Need to haul fireworks? The F-150 outshines Chevy & Ram

It’s America’s Independence Day – the day we celebrate the original Brexit when America declared her independence from Britain back in 1776. It’s also the day we replicate the nighttime scene witnessed by Francis Scott Key during the War of 1812. “The rocket’s red glair, the bombs bursting in air…” Check your citizenship if you don’t know the story. Anyway, folks typically buy plenty of fireworks for the July 4th celebrations, so that lead me to wondering what pickup would best haul an arsenal’s worth of explosives.

Turns out it’s the Ford F-150.

The F-150 can haul an impressive 3,280 pounds when properly equipped. But what’s that mean? Well, specing a pickup for maximum payload or towing is like cooking with Gordon Ramsay – a laundry list of factors has to be just right. In the 2016 F-150’s case, it’s as follows:

Regular cab and eight-foot bed, the 5.0-liter V-8 and six-speed automatic transmission with RWD, and the “Heavy-Duty Payload Package” selected. That last add-on includes a beefy 9.75-inch gearset in the rear differential with a 3.75 ratio and electronic locker, along with upgraded springs and an auxiliary transmission oil cooler. This setup can also tow an impressive 11,100 pounds.

Since you’re limited to the regular cab and long bed, trim level choices are restricted to the XL and XLT lines. Lucky for your fireworks budget, the base XL trim starts at only $29,525 when equipped with the Heavy-Duty Payload Package. Opt for the somewhat swankier XLT trim with the HD payload package, and the base price jumps to $32,500.

But who buys a base pickup? This is America – the land of choices and excess! Thankfully the F-150 comes with more options and accessories than your sister’s Barbie. But I’ll cover that down below.

Continue reading for the full F-150 payload run-down

Necessary Packages

Heavy-Haulin' Half-Tons
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Making the F-150 haul 3,280 pounds requires getting the Heavy-Duty Payload Package. On the XL trim, the package costs $1,500. On the XLT, the same package costs $1,695 and includes 18-inch aluminum wheels over the XL’s 17-inch steelies.

Options and Accessories

The modern F-150 has plenty of options and accessories, both coming from the factory and as dealer add-ons. Here’s a list of stuff suited to help an F-150 haul. It’s by no means a comprehensive list of options, but these are what you’ll pick from when specing out the perfect fireworks hauler. The only option not found that’s highly recommended: a fire extinguisher. Or six…

Feature Price
Integrated Trailer Brake Controller $275
Spray-in Bed Liner $495
Tailgate Step $375
Bed Divider $295
Bed Extender $365
Bed Stake Pocket Retractable Hooks $89
Box Side Steps $325
Extended Range Fuel Tank (36 gallons) $395
Fog Lights $140
LED Side Mirrors $175
LED Box Lighting $125
Soft Tonneau Cover $525
Hard Tonneau Cover $995

2015 Ford F-150

2015 Ford F-150 - Driven High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the Ford F-150 here.

Mark McNabb
Mark McNabb was a contributor at TopSpeed from 2013 to 2018. Growing up, Mark always had a mind for tinkering on random items throughout his home and dad’s garage, including a 1953 Ford Mainline and 1971 Corvette Stingray.  Read More
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