Toyota Tundra Out-Pulls a Ford F-350

By Mike Mello


“I hope he doesn’t break anything…” is what the announcer said, right before a Toyota Tundra pulled the sled out the back door of a recent truck pulling event in Swanzey, NH. The glossy blue Tundra was competing in the street-legal class and bested an F-350 diesel that, in all fairness, was at least a couple years old. However, you could almost hear the comments in the stands before the Tundra hooked up, about how the Toyota probably wasn’t up for the job. Judging by the amount of other Tundra pulling videos on YouTube, it’s safe to say that the latest Tundra is prepared to take on any vehicle in the street-legal classes of truck pulling.

In these two videos, it’s unknown if either truck had any bolt-ons or otherwise custom work done to their respective drivetrains. Who knows if one driver had more experience than the other in pulling? The difference in the two pulls was a matter of about 20 feet. It appears that the Tundra gathered a little more momentum in the early stage of the pull which might have helped it at the top end of the track.

Maybe the F-350 driver selected the wrong gear? Perhaps it was just a matter of tires and traction? Any number of reasons could be suggested for why the Tundra twice made the pull look easy. Maybe what’s interesting is that truck commercials could do without all the CGI and improbable stunts. How about some homegrown video of trucks proving their mettle?

Getting back to the Toyota vs. Ford issue at hand, on the day of this particular contest, the Tundra appeared to be the newest vehicle hooking up to the sled. The Dodges and GMs of the day didn’t come close, but, again, who knows if any of these drivers had ever competed before. I just wonder if the ranks of Tundra drivers are going to grow to Super Duty proportions? Is it possible? You probably know at least one convert in your town and if the Tundras keep pulling their way to the front of the pack then what are we to expect? It’s just obvious that trash-talking the import isn’t going to hold up anymore.

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Author: Chris Haak

Chris is Autosavant's Managing Editor. He has a lifelong love of everything automotive, having grown up as the son of a car dealer. A married father of two sons, Chris is also in the process of indoctrinating them into the world of cars and trucks.

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  1. Okay, so the Tundra’s a good truck that can do the job. Isn’t it ironic, however, the “green” car company got caught in the same net that snagged Ford and GM — where people stopped buying big trucks because of pricey gas. I’m laughing at Toyota.

    ToMoCo is a very profitable car company, so I’m sure they won’t miss the $2 billion spent on the new Tundra and its Texas plant. (Or the multi-millions its second-tier Formula One team has burned through.)

    For everyone who bashes the Detroit 2.8 because they spent so much time, money and energy on trucks at the expense of everything else, let it be known that even Toyota was/is STILL envious of the big profits these big trucks deliver.

    Had they not wanted a larger piece of the big SUV/truck market, which DID approach 50-plus percent of the overall market until the recent crash, Toyota would have been content with the 7/8-scale Tundra –and Nissan wouldn’t have built the Titan. In short, the Japanese aren’t at all prescient; just fortunate that their home market is absolutely skewed to favoring small cars.

  2. As you say, there were a lot variables that we don’t know about. I’m not saying that to minimize the victory by the Tundra because I think it’s a good truck, but who knows what the circumstances of the pull were?





  4. Well, there’s also a question of things like axle ratio, acceleration, the height of the truck, the design of the 4-wheel drive system… the problem with all of these “comparisons” is that they don’t actually describe how well a truck will hold up under that stress over time. That load didn’t look particularly heavy (ie – it’s not going to break the frame of the Tundra) and the Tundra is geared to accelerate fast, much faster than a heavier diesel F-350, for example.

    This is about as useful as Ford’s swinging the F-150 around commerical. I don’t think this will convince anyone that somehow the Tundra is now a superior truck to the F-350 (except a Toyota fan); just as the front tow hooks on an F-150 don’t necessarily make it a better truck than the Tundra (except in the eyes of a Ford fan). However, the Tundra has to prove what millions of truck drivers currently know: Ford makes a good truck for many situations, especially under continual stress. It will be a long time before swarms of Tundras make up the workforce at a construction site.

    And for the same basic reason, no matter how good Ford’s cars are becoming, it will be a long time before a Fusion or Focus pops into someone’s head first when they start their new car shopping.

  5. If either one of these trucks can pull out a miracle and stop the sales slide in the full-size truck market, that would be something impressive.

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