About Pickup Axle Ratios

Updated Feb 15, 2021

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Pickup Axle Ratios  

Ford’s 2013 F-150 engineering manager gives some insights about the best pickup axle ratios


by Bruce W. Smith

Dawn Piechocki loves vehicles and has devoted her career to making them go faster, last longer, and perform better in every way.

She’s the  Vehicle Engineering Manager for the 2013 F-150, Expedition/Navigator at Ford Motor Company, and before she embarked on trucks, Mustangs were her focus at Ford.

Piechocki knows about power and what it takes to build durability into the cars and trucks she spends everyday working with in the labs, on the test tracks and out in the real world.

She’s also savvy on all things to do with fuel economy and towing performance.

Lower (higher numerically) axle ratios such as the 3.73s that come with the Max Tow package, provide the best acceleration and towing performance. But they cost about 2mpg in highway fuel economy compared to 3.15s. (Photo Courtesy of Jeff Yip)

I found that out when I had the honor of her company while previewing the 2013 F-150 SuperCrews in Dallas. (Check out the video to hear  her take is on pickup axle ratios.)

In a nuthsell, here’s what Piechocki told us abut axle ratios:

  • As the numerical ratio goes up, fuel economy goes down; the best fuel economy comes from 3.15 axle ratio;
  • Numerically higher ratios, such as 3.73 and 4.10, provide better acceleration.That’s why Ford uses the 3.73 axles with the Max Towing packages in the F-150s;
  • Highway fuel economy difference between 3.15:1 and 3.73:1 is about 2mpg in real-world driving.