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The 2001 Ford F-350 7.3L Diesel Towing Capacity Explained

Towing Capacity

The 2001 Ford F-350 equipped with the 7.3L Power Stroke V8 turbo diesel engine offers impressive towing capabilities for a heavy duty pickup truck. With multiple cab, bed and drivetrain configurations available, the versatile F-350 can haul a wide variety of trailers and cargo. Understanding the key factors that determine the truck’s tow rating is important for F-350 owners looking to tow heavy loads safely and confidently.

An Overview of the 2001 Ford F-350 7.3L Diesel

The 2001 model year marked the first major update to the Super Duty F-350 since its introduction in 1999. The refreshed styling featured a more rounded front end and quad beam headlights. Under the hood, Ford stuck with the proven 7.3L Power Stroke V8 turbo diesel engine, which produced 250 horsepower and 505 lb-ft of torque. This torque-rich powerplant gave the truck excellent towing muscle.

The F-350 was offered with regular cab, SuperCab, and crew cab body styles, as well as 6.5 ft and 8 ft bed lengths. Two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations were available across the lineup. Manual and automatic transmissions could be paired to the diesel engine as well.

2001 Ford F-350 7.3L Diesel Towing Capacity

The maximum towing capacity of the 2001 F-350 diesel depended on several factors:

  • Cab and bed configuration – The shortest wheelbase regular cab trucks had a slightly lower rating than the longer wheelbase SuperCab and crew cab models.

  • Rear axle ratio – Higher numerical ratios increased torque to the wheels, allowing for higher tow ratings.

  • Drive type – 4WD models could tow more than 2WD models.

  • Transmission type – The manual transmission allowed for higher towing capacities.

  • Dual rear wheels (DRW) – DRW trucks could tow heavier loads than single rear wheel (SRW) trucks.

Considering these variables, the 2001 F-350 7.3L diesel tow ratings ranged from 12,500 lbs up to 15,000 lbs for DRW models. The most common configuration – the SuperCab 4×4 SRW – was rated to tow 12,500 lbs with the manual transmission or 12,300 lbs with the automatic.

Towing Capacity by Cab and Bed Configurations

Regular Cab Short Bed

  • 2WD SRW – 12,500 lbs (manual), 12,300 lbs (auto)
  • 4WD SRW – 12,500 lbs (manual), 12,300 lbs (auto)

SuperCab Short Bed

  • 2WD SRW – 12,500 lbs (manual), 12,300 lbs (auto)
  • 4WD SRW – 12,500 lbs (manual), 12,300 lbs (auto)

Crew Cab Short Bed

  • 2WD SRW – 12,500 lbs (manual), 12,300 lbs (auto)
  • 4WD SRW – 12,500 lbs (manual), 12,300 lbs (auto)

Crew Cab Long Bed

  • 2WD SRW – 12,500 lbs (manual), 12,300 lbs (auto)
  • 4WD SRW – 12,500 lbs (manual), 12,300 lbs (auto)

SuperCab Long Bed

  • 2WD DRW – 15,000 lbs (manual), 14,500 lbs (auto)
  • 4WD DRW – 15,000 lbs (manual), 14,500 lbs (auto)

Crew Cab Long Bed

  • 2WD DRW – 15,000 lbs (manual), 14,500 lbs (auto)
  • 4WD DRW – 15,000 lbs (manual), 14,500 lbs (auto)

How to Maximize Towing Capacity

You can optimize your 2001 Ford F-350 7.3L diesel for maximum towing by:

  • Choosing a SuperCab or Crew Cab long bed DRW model
  • Opting for the 4WD drivetrain over 2WD
  • Selecting a truck equipped with a manual transmission
  • Using a weight distributing hitch and integrated trailer brake controller
  • Upgrading to a suspension designed for heavy loads
  • Adding supplemental transmission and engine oil coolers
  • Running proper tire inflation pressures
  • Not exceeding max payload and tongue weight capacities

Properly equipped, a 2001 F-350 diesel DRW can safely pull a 15,000 lb 5th wheel trailer, a 12,000 lb bumper pull travel trailer, or a 7,000+ lb boat. Just be sure to abide by the truck’s rear GAWR and GCWR limits when towing heavy.

GCWR and Weight Distribution

The Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) is the maximum allowable combined weight of the truck and trailer. For DRW models, the 2001 F-350 7.3L diesel GCWR was up to 23,500 lbs. When towing near the max, you’ll need to distribute the weight properly between the truck and trailer to avoid exceeding the rear GAWR. A heavier trailer tongue weight improves stability, but too much can overload the rear axle.

Shoot for a tongue weight between 10-15% of the loaded trailer weight. The integrated trailer brake controller can assist with smoothly slowing the combined weight of the truck and trailer. And be sure to use a weight distributing hitch that levels out the rear suspension properly.

Trailer Sway Control and Safety

A long wheelbase Super Duty paired with a proper hitch setup will tow heavy loads with minimal trailer sway. But unexpected sway can still occur when passing trucks or in windy conditions. In these cases, the F-350’s engine and transmission can help correct the sway and stabilize the trailer.

Manually downshifting to increase engine braking effects can dampen sway. The tow/haul mode on the automatic transmission does this automatically. Avoid sudden steering inputs or hard braking when correcting trailer sway issues. Focus on small controlled inputs and deceleration.

And of course, always make sure your trailer is loaded properly, with heavier cargo placed low and toward the front. Proper loading, an adequate hitch, and safe driving practices are essential for safely towing heavy trailers within the F-350’s impressive towing capacity limits.


What is the max conventional towing capacity?

Around 12,500 lbs for a bumper pull trailer. The max conventional tow rating applies to fifth wheel and gooseneck hitches.

What can a 2001 F-350 7.3L diesel pull?

Properly equipped, it can tow fifth wheel RVs up to 15,000 lbs, 12,000 lb travel trailers, 7,000+ lb boats, and heavy construction equipment.

How much weight can the tailgate hold?

The tailgate is rated for up to 600 lbs of cargo weight. Use caution when loading heavy items solely on the tailgate. Distribute weight properly.

Can I tow a 5th wheel with the F-350?

Yes, the bed can accommodate a fifth wheel hitch. But the max fifth wheel tow rating is lower than the gooseneck rating, around 13,000 lbs vs 15,000 lbs.

Is the 7.3 Powerstroke reliable for heavy towing?

Yes, the 7.3L Power Stroke has proven to be a very durable and reliable diesel engine, even under heavy load towing conditions over many miles. Proper maintenance is key.

In Conclusion

With the optional 7.3L Power Stroke V8 turbodiesel, the 2001 Ford F-350 can confidently tow between 12,500 and 15,000 lbs depending on configuration. Understanding the truck’s GCWR, axle ratios, capacities, and limits is key to safely towing heavy within its rated specs. When properly equipped and setup, the versatile 2001 F-350 can haul a variety of large trailers with ease.

F350 7.3 Towing 14,800 Lbs!

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