<p><em><strong>Photo of 2015 F-450 Super Duty courtesy of Ford.</strong></em></p>

Ford has increased the towing capability of its largest pickup, the F-450, for the 2015 model-year to a best-in-class 31,200 pounds, Ford announced at a media event in West Virginia.

The 2015 F-450 increases payload capability 6,500 pounds over the 2014 model, which would give it greater towing capacity than the Ram 3500 HD or the Chevrolet Silverado 3500 HD, said Doug Scott, Ford Truck Group marketing manager.

Ford brought automotive journalists to New River Gorge National River for a demonstration that included side-by-side comparisons with its competitors' vehicles.

Ford has made several other improvements to its Super Duty pickups including the F-250 and F-350 such as improved power output from the 6.7L Power Stroke V-8 engine, upgrades to the chassis, and a revamped King Ranch model.

The 2015 F-450 is going on sale this week, while the 2015 F-250 and F-350 became available earlier this month.

While improving towing capability, Ford won't align the trucks to the SAE J2807 towing standard developed by the Society of Automotive Engineers. Meeting the standard would require Ford to retest the vehicles, which won't happen during this midcycle refresh. Ford has said it will conform to the towing standard with all new vehicles, including the 2015 F-150, which will be available later this year. Ford representives declined to say whether they would shift to aluminum for the heavier pickups.

The automotive industry agreed on the SAE J2807 towing standard in 2009 for the 2013 model year, but only Toyota adopted it. Ford and Chrysler said in February they would adopt the standard for 2015. In June, General Motors revised its ratings for its Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500 2015-MY pickups.

Originally posted on Automotive Fleet