Who’s the better heavy-lifter - The Blue Oval F-150 or The Bowtie Silverado?

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For any prospective truck owners, towing and payload capacities play a major role when they’re choosing their future acquisition. Automakers realize this, too, and try to up the ante with every new model they release. The segment’s top two contenders – Ford and Chevrolet – also did the same with their 2021 model year trucks, the F-150 and the Silverado 1500. Given the number of permutations and combinations these companies have to offer in terms of trims, body styles, engine options, and drive layouts, it could get very confusing to filter out the data. So here’s a comprehensive towing and payload guide for these two trucks that break down the essentials for you.

2021 Ford F-150 Towing Capacity

2021 Ford F-150 vs 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500: Towing and Payload Capacities
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The 2021 F-150 comes with six different engine options and three different body styles. Each body style is further offered with an option of two different bed sizes. The Regular Cab and SuperCab models can be had with either a standard bed (6.5-foot) or a long bed (eight-foot). The SuperCrew models are available with a small bed (5.5-foot) and standard bed (6.5-foot) layouts. Here’s how much each engine option can tow based on the body style and bed size.

Regular Cab (6.5-foot bed)

2021 Ford F-150 vs 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500: Towing and Payload Capacities
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This combination can be had with three different engines. When powered by the 3.3-liter V-6, you can tow up to 8,200 pounds in both two-wheel- as well as four-wheel-drive layouts. With the 2.7-liter, EcoBoost V-6 under the hood, the F-150 can tow up to 8,600 pounds in the two-wheel-drive configuration and 100 pounds less in the four-wheel-drive layout. When equipped with the V-8 Coyote mill, these figures increase to 9,100 pounds in the two-wheel-drive model and 9,600 pounds in the four-wheel-drive.

Regular Cab (eight-foot bed)

2021 Ford F-150 vs 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500: Towing and Payload Capacities
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With the eight-foot bed, the Regular Cab is available with four different engine options. The 3.3-liter, V-6 can tow up 8,200 pounds in both, two-wheel and four-wheel-drive configurations. The figures changes to 8,600 and 8,400 pounds for the two-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive layouts, respectively, in the case of the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6. However, a ‘2.7-liter, EcoBoost V-6 Payload Package’ is available that’s exclusive to this engine and it pushes the towing capacity to 10,000 in the two-wheel-drive configuration and 10,100 pounds in the four-wheel-drive model.

Get this combination with the 5.0-liter V-8 and you have a maximum towing capacity of 10,400 pounds for the two-wheel-drive model and 10,500 pounds for the four-wheel-drive model.

Opt for the ‘Max Trailer Tow Package’ and for 13,000 pounds in both drive configurations. The 3.5-liter, EcoBoost V-6 is also available in the Regular Cab/eight-foot bed model and it can two up to 11,200 pounds in both layouts. This increases to 13,000 pounds in the two-wheel-drive configuration and 100 pounds more in the four-wheel-drive model when equipped with the Max Trailer Tow Package.

SuperCab (6.5-foot Bed)

2021 Ford F-150 vs 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500: Towing and Payload Capacities
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The SuperCab F-150 with a 6.5-foot bed is offered in five different engine options.

The 3.3-liter, V-6 can tow up to 8,200- and 8,100 pounds in the two-wheel- and four-wheel-drive layouts. This increases to 8,400 and 8,100 pounds, respectively, when powered by the 2.7-liter, EcoBoost V-6. Purchase the Payload Package and the towing capacities increase to 10,000 and 10,100 pounds. The 3.0-liter, Power Stroke V-6 engine option is also available here, but only in the four-wheel-drive configuration. You can tow up to 10,500 pounds as standard and up to 12,100 pounds with the Max Trailer Tow Package.

The V-8 engine in this combination can tow up to 10,500 pounds in both iterations as standard.

The Max Trailer Tow Package adds extra strength, enabling the truck to tow up to 12,800 pounds in case of the two-wheel-drive configuration and 12,300 pounds with the four-wheel-drive layout.

The 3.5-liter, EcoBoost V-6 can two up to 11,000 and 11,100 pounds with the two-wheel-drive layout and four-wheel-drive layout, respectively. Get the Max Tow Trailer Package and tow up to 12,300 pounds in both drive layouts.

SuperCab (Eight-foot Bed)

2021 Ford F-150 vs 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500: Towing and Payload Capacities
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The 3.3-liter, V-6 and the 3.0-liter, Power Stroke V-6 are not available in this combination. The 2.7-liter, EcoBoost V-6 is also offered only in the two-wheel-drive version and it can tow up to 8,300 pounds as standard and 10,000 with the 2.7-liter, EcoBoost V-6 Payload Package. Opt for the 5.0-liter V-8 and you will be able to tow up to 10,400 pounds in both drive layouts. You can equip it with the Max Trailer Tow Package to increase the capacity to 13,000 pounds.

The 3.5-liter, EcoBoost V-6 engine is offered on this body style combination in both, two-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive layouts. It can tow up to 11,200 pounds in both iterations. The Max Trailer Tow Package is available here, too, and with that in place, your F-150 can tow up to 14,000 pounds in the two-wheel-drive configuration. This is the best tow rating that the truck has to offer. The four-wheel-drive version with the package tows 200 pounds less.

SuperCrew (5.5-foot bed)

2021 Ford F-150 vs 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500: Towing and Payload Capacities
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This body style+bed length combination is the only one that can be had with any of the six engine options that the Blue Oval offers. The 3.3-liter, V-6 engine-equipped F-150 can tow up to 8,200 pounds in both iterations. The 2.7-liter, EcoBoost V-6 has a maximum tow rating of 8,300 and 8,100 pounds as standard, but can be increased to 10,000 and 10,100 pounds for the two- and four-wheel-drive models equipped with the engine-exclusive Payload Package.

The 5.0-liter, V-8 Coyote comes with standard ratings of 10,500 pounds and 10,400 pounds, respectively.

The Max Trailer Tow Package ups the ante to 12,900 pounds for the two-wheel-drive and 13,000 pounds for the four-wheel-drive layout models. The 3.0-liter, Power Stroke V-6 is available only in the four-wheel-drive version and can tow up to 10,400 pounds as standard and 12,000 pounds with the Max Trailer Tow Package.

With the 3.5-liter, EcoBoost V-6 under the hood, your truck can tow up to 11,200 pounds in the two-wheel-drive format and 100 pounds more in the four-wheel-drive layout. The Max Trailer Tow Package pushes this rating to 14,000- and 13,900 pounds. Finally, the new 3.5-liter, PowerBoost Hybrid is offered a rating of 11,000 pounds in both layouts. With the Max Trailer Tow Package, the ratings increase to 12,700 pounds in the two-wheel-drive layout and 12,400 pounds in the four-wheel-drive layout.

SuperCrew (6.5-foot bed)

2021 Ford F-150 vs 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500: Towing and Payload Capacities
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The 3.3-liter V-6 isn’t offered on this combination. The 2.7-liter, EcoBoost V-6 comes only with a two-wheel-drive layout and has a maximum tow rating of 8,300 as standard with 10,000 with the Payload Package. The Coyote V-8-equipped F-150 can tow up to 10,400 pounds when powering two wheels and 10,300 pounds when powering all four wheels. The ratings increase to 13,000 pounds when opted with the Max Trailer Tow Package. The 3.0-liter, Power Stroke V-6 can be had only with the four-wheel-drive configuration and can tow up to 10,400 pounds and 12,100 pounds with and without the package, respectively.

The powerhouse of the range, the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 tows up to 11,300 and 11,200 pounds in the two-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive layouts, and this goes up to 14,000 and 13,800 pounds respectively with the Max Trailer Tow Package. In the case of the 3.5-liter, PowerBoost Hybrid, the ratings stand at 11,100- and 11,000 pounds for the two iterations and the Max Trailer Tow Package pushes this to 12,700 pounds and 12,400 pounds with the two-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive configurations.

2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Towing Capacity

2021 Ford F-150 vs 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500: Towing and Payload Capacities Interior Exterior
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The 2021 Chevy Silverado comes with six different engine options and three different body styles – Crew Cabs, Double Cabs, Regular Cabs. Crew Cabs comes with a short bed and a standard bed, Double Cabs with a standard bed, and Regular Cabs with long beds.

Crew Cab (Short Bed)

2021 Ford F-150 vs 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500: Towing and Payload Capacities Interior Exterior
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With the 4.3-liter, V-6 engine, you can tow up 7,600 pounds with the two-wheel-drive layout and 7,400 with the four-wheel-drive layout.

Opt for the 2.7-liter, turbo engine and you can tow up to 9,300 pounds in the two-wheel-drive model and 200 pounds lesser in the four-wheel-drive. If you have your Silverado 1500 with a 3.0-liter engine under the hood, then you can tow up to 9,500 and 9,000 pounds if you opt for the two-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive models.

The 5.3-liter, V-8 twins can tow up to 9,700 pounds when powering two wheels and 9,400 pounds when powering all of them, but the option with the DFM can tow up to 11,500- and 11,100 pounds, respectively, if you opt for the Max Trailering Package. The four-wheel-drive model with this 5.3-liter, V-8 DFM sees a major fall in the towing capacity as it can tow only up to 9,200 pounds if you pair it with the 10-speed auto gearbox. The 6.2-liter V-8 is available in the short bed version only with the four-wheel-drive layout and it can tow up to 9,200 pounds as standard, and 11,900 pounds if you add the Max Trailering Package.

The Trail Boss models are available only with a four-wheel-drive layout and have their own ratings altogether. It can tow up to 7,300 pounds with the 4.3-liter, V-6, 9,400 pounds with the 5.3-liter, V-8 AFM, and 9,300 pounds with the 5.3-liter, V-8 DFM mill and the 6.2-liter, V-8 in case of the short bed.

Crew Cab (Standard Bed)

2021 Ford F-150 vs 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500: Towing and Payload Capacities Interior Exterior
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The Crew Cab models are also offered with a standard bed and they tow less than the short bed models, except for when equipped with the 4.3-liter V-6 engine. The 2.7-liter, turbo engine models can tow up to 9,200 pounds in the two-wheel-drive iteration and 9,000 pounds when power is sent to all the wheels. These figures are 9,600 and 9,400 pounds when you have the 5.3-liter, V-8 AFM engine under the hood that comes with a six-speed automatic gearbox. The 4.3-liter, V-6 engine models can tow up to 7,600 and 7,400 pounds, which is the same as the short bed models.

When you choose the 5.3-liter V-8 engine with DFM, you can tow up 9,700 pounds and 11,400 pounds – if you have the Max Trailering Package added – in case of the two-wheel-drive models. The four-wheel-drive models can tow up to 9,300 pounds as standard, 11,100 if you have the Max Trailering Package, and just 9,100 if you have the ten-speed auto gearbox mated to the engine. The 6.2-liter, V-8, and the 3.0-liter, turbodiesel isn’t offered with the two-wheel-drive layout. They can tow up to 9,100 and 9,000 pounds in the four-wheel-drive configuration. The V-8, when equipped with the Max Trailering Package, can tow up to 11,900 pounds.

The Trail Boss models with the standard bed, four-wheel-drive layout can tow up to 7,200 pounds with the 4.3-liter, V-6, 9,300 pounds with the 5.3-liter, V-8 AFM, and DFM, and 9,200 pounds with the 6.2-liter, V-8.

Double Cabs (Standard Bed)

2021 Ford F-150 vs 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500: Towing and Payload Capacities
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The double cabs come only with standard beds. The 2.7-liter, turbo engine can tow up to 9,300- and 9,100 pounds on the two-wheel-drive and the four-wheel-drive models. In the case of the 4.3-liter, V-6, the Silverado can tow up to 7,600- and 7,400 pounds. With the 3.0-liter, turbodiesel in place, the towing ratings stand at 9,500 and 9,100 pounds, respectively. You will be able to tow up to 9,700 and 9,500 pounds when you have the 5.3-liter, V-8 AFM engine plonked under the hood.

The 5.3-liter, V-8 DFM comes with a rating of 9,800 and 9,500 pounds as standard, but can be increased to 11,500 and 11,100 pounds when opted with the Max Trailering Package. The 6.2-liter, V-8 is offered only with the four-wheel-drive configuration. It can tow up to 9,300 pounds as standard and 12,100 pounds with the Max Trailering Package. However, you can further push the limits here to a massive 13,300 pounds if you have the RST trim with this engine option, the Max Trailering Package, and 20-inch wheels installed.

For the Trail Boss models, the towing capacity is rated at 7,300 pounds with the 4.3-liter, V-6 engine, 9,400 pounds with the 5.3-liter, V-8 engine with AFM, and 9,300 pounds with the 6.2-liter, V-8 engine. It is not available with the 5.3-liter, V-8 engine with DFM technology.

Regular Cab (Long Bed)

2021 Ford F-150 vs 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500: Towing and Payload Capacities Interior Exterior
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The Regular Cab Silverado 1500 can be had only with two engine options. When opted with the 4.3-liter, V-6 engine, you can tow up to 7,900 pounds in the two-wheel-drive layout and 300 pounds fewer in the four-wheel-drive layout. With the 5.3-liter, V-8 engine with AFM under the hood, the ratings stand at 10,000 pounds and 9,700 pounds for the two-wheel- and four-wheel-drive models. The Trail Boss model is not available with a long bed.

2021 Ford F-150 Payload Capacity

Regular Cab (6.5-foot bed)

2021 Ford F-150 vs 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500: Towing and Payload Capacities
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With the 3.3-liter, V-6 in place, the F-150 can haul up to 1,985 pounds in case of the two-wheel-drive configuration and 1,775 pounds in the four-wheel-drive model. The 2.7-liter, EcoBoost V-6 can haul up to 1,875 and 1,705 pounds, respectively. And the final option in this combination, the 5.0-liter V-8, has a payload rating of 1,900 and 1,835 pounds.

Regular Cab (Eight-foot bed)

2021 Ford F-150 vs 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500: Towing and Payload Capacities
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The 3.3-liter, V-6 engine with the long bed in the regular cab body style has a payload rating of 1,975 and 1,960 pounds for the two-wheel- and four-wheel-drive variants. The 2.7-liter, EcoBoost V-6 is rated to haul up to 1,905 and 1,885 pounds, but is increased to 2,480 and 2,125 pounds, respectively, when packed with the Payload Package.

The V-8 engine can haul 2,350 pounds in the two-wheel-drive layout and 50 pounds lesser in the four-wheel-drive avatar. Add the Heavy-Duty Payload Package and then haul up to 3,325 and 3,050 pounds respectively. The 3.5-liter, EcoBoost V-6 has a standard payload rating of 2,620 and 2,360 pounds, and 3,250 and 3,035 pounds with the Heavy-Duty Payload Package.

SuperCab (6.5-foot Bed)

2021 Ford F-150 vs 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500: Towing and Payload Capacities
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You can haul up to 1,905 pounds with the 3.3-liter, V-6 engine under the hood that powers two wheels, and haul up to 1,880 pounds when you have the four-wheel-drive system. The 2.7-liter, EcoBoost V-6 has a slightly lower rating of 1,855 and 1,745 pounds as standard, and 2,175 and 2,165 pounds respectively with the Payload Package. The numbers further increase in the case of the 5.0-liter, V-8, to 2,345 and 2,240 pounds for the two-wheel- and four-wheel-drive models.

The 3.0-liter, Power Stroke V-6 is offered only in the four-wheel-drive avatar and it can haul up to 1,840 pounds. With the 3.5-liter, EcoBoost V-6 engine, the F-150 is rated to haul 2,290- and 2,190 pounds.

SuperCab (Eight-foot Bed)

2021 Ford F-150 vs 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500: Towing and Payload Capacities
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There’s no 3.3-liter, V-6 engine, or the 3.0-liter Power Stroke V-6 offering here. Even the 2.7-liter, EcoBoost V-6 is available only in the two-wheel-drive version and it can haul up to 1,925 and 2,225 pounds. The 5.0-liter V-8 engine F-150 has a payload rating of 2,325 and 2,205 pounds, and it increases to 3,010 and 2,765 pounds respectively with the Heavy Duty Payload Package.

With the 3.5-liter, EcoBoost V-6, you can haul up to 2,285 and 2,125 pounds as standard. Equip it with the Heavy Duty Payload Package and you will be able to tow up to 2,980 and 2,740 pounds.

SuperCrew (5.5-foot Bed)

2021 Ford F-150 vs 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500: Towing and Payload Capacities
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You can load up to 1,785 pounds with the 3.3-liter, V-6-engined, two-wheel-drive F-150, and 1,765 pounds with the four-wheel-drive model. The 2.7-liter, EcoBoost V-6 can carry 1,815 and 1,760 pounds as standard, but give it the Heavy Duty Payload Package and you can haul up to 1,960 and 1,965 pounds.

The ratings stand at 2,335- and 2,135 pounds for the V-8 engine in the two-wheel- and four-wheel-drive avatars. When you have the 3.0-liter, Power Stroke V-6, four-wheel-drive powering your truck, you can haul up to 1,805 pounds. There’s no two-wheel-drive layout available in this combination.

With the 3.5-liter, EcoBoost V-6 you can put stuff weighing up to 2,050 pounds in your bed when it is powering just two wheels. If you opt for the four-wheel-drive model, you can haul up to 2,100 pounds. When equipped with the Max Trailer Tow Package (not Heavy Duty Payload Package), the payload capacity increases to 2,300 pounds. However, it can be had only on the two-wheel-drive model. As for the 3.5-liter, PowerBoost Hybrid, it comes with a payload rating of 2,090 and 1,830 pounds respectively.

SuperCrew (6.5-foot Bed)

2021 Ford F-150 vs 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500: Towing and Payload Capacities
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This body style + bed combination cannot be had with the 3.3-liter, V-6 engine. Even the 2.7-liter, EcoBoost V-6 is available only in the two-wheel-drive configuration and it can haul up to 1,830 pounds as standard and 2,085 pounds with the 2.7-liter, EcoBoost V-6 Payload Package. The 5.0-liter, V-8-engined model can take up to 2,235 pounds in its bed in the two-wheel-drive avatar, and 2,135 pounds in case of the four-wheel-drive layout. These ratings increase to 2,900- and 2,650 pounds when the truck is equipped with a Heavy Duty Payload Package.

The 3.0-liter, Power Stroke V-6 is offered only in the four-wheel-drive iteration in this combination and it can haul up to 1,805 pounds. The ratings stand at 2,245- and 2,155 pounds in case of the 3.5-liter, EcoBoost V-6-engined two-wheel- and four-wheel-drive models. The capacities increase massively to 2,880- and 2,640 pounds when you opt for the Heavy Duty Payload Package. Finally, in the case of the 3.5-liter, PowerBoost Hybrid, you can haul up to 2,120- and 1,810 pounds respectively.

2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Payload Capacity

Crew Cab (Short Bed)

2021 Ford F-150 vs 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500: Towing and Payload Capacities
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The payload capacity on the Chevy Silverado doesn’t have to do anything with the engine capacities, unlike Ford. The two-wheel-drive models can haul up to 2,060 pounds. When equipped with the Max Trailering Package, it can haul up to 2,180 pounds. The four-wheel-drive models can also carry up to 2,060 pounds in their bed. With the Max Trailering Package, the payload capacity stands at 2,170 pounds. As for the Trail Boss models can tow just 1,990 pounds.

Crew Cab (Standard Bed)

2021 Ford F-150 vs 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500: Towing and Payload Capacities Interior Exterior
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The two-wheel-drive models in this combination can haul up to 1,990 pounds as standard and 2,110 pounds with the Max Trailering Package. The four-wheel-drive iteration is rated to carry up to 2,010 pounds without the Max Trailering Package and 2,120 pounds with it. The Trail Boss model with the Standard Bed has a payload rating of 1,820 pounds.

Double Cabs (Standard Bed)

2021 Ford F-150 vs 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500: Towing and Payload Capacities
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In the case of the two-wheel-drive double cab Silverado 1500s, you can haul up to 2,060 pounds. You can add the Max Trailering Package here too, which will increase the capacity to 2,190 pounds. In the case of the four-wheel-drive model, this figure stands at 2,050 pounds without any additional equipment and package, and 2,180 pounds with the Max Trailering Package. The Trail Boss Silverado can haul up to 1,780 pounds.

Regular Cab (Long Bed)

2021 Ford F-150 vs 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500: Towing and Payload Capacities
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If you opt for a 2021 Silverado 1500 in the Regular Cab form, you can haul up to 2,280 if you choose a two-wheel-drive layout. The hauling capacity drops to 2,160 pounds if you buy a four-wheel-drive configuration.

Sidd Dhimaan
Sidd Dhimaan
Associate Editor and Truck Expert - sidd@topspeed.com
Sidd joined the Topspeed.com team in 2017 as an intern and in less than a year he earned a full-time position as an associate editor and junior automotive expert. He is currently our pickup truck expert and focuses his attention on heavy-duty and off-road vehicles.  Read full bio
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