6.0 Powerstroke Towing Capacity | Everything You Should Know

Moving large, awkward loads like a camper or trailer can be challenging. You have to follow several steps to make your towing trip safe and secure. Before we start describing them , let’s talk about the towing capacity of the Powerstroke 6.0.

6.0L Powerstroke was a replacement for 7.3 and started its journey in the second quarter of 2003. Until 2010, it was used in several Ford models. The towing capacity of each model is not the same as that of the other. Usually, it changes from vehicle to vehicle, but on average, the towing capacity of a Powerstroke 6.0 ranges from 10,000 to 20,000 pounds.

We will describe every bit of detail about the towing capacity of several Ford vehicles that use Powerstroke 6.0. Keep reading to find out more.

6.0 Powerstroke Towing Capacity

What Is 6.0L Powerstroke Towing Capacity?

Before we get to know the towing capacity of several models equipped with Powerstroke 6.0, let’s understand the meaning of the towing capacity.

Towing capacity, unlike load bearing capacity, simply means how much weight the vehicle can pull without damaging itself.

Usually, towing capacity can be found in the vehicle’s manual, or else you can calculate it on your own. Here is the equation of towing capacity.

  • Towing Capacity = Gross Combined Vehicle Weight – Curb Weight

For example, if the vehicle’s GCWR, usually mentioned in a manual, is 12000 and the curb weight is 4000 ( curb weight is the weight of empty vehicle) and the 3000 pounds of dirt and equipment inside the truck bed, then the towing capacity of the vehicle would be 12000 – 4000 -3000 = 5000.

As we have mentioned earlier, the Powerstroke 6.0 was used in several Ford models. Those models include super duty, Ford Econoline vans, and Ford Excursion SUVs.

And, there are several models under each name. Here is a list of several F 250 and 350 models and their towing capacity.

F-250/F-350 super duty pickup Towing capacity (automatic transmission)

Maximum Loaded Trailer Weight (Lbs.)

6.0L V8 Turbo Diesel23000 ( axle ratio 3.73)
6.0L V8 Turbo Diesel23500 ( axle ratio of 4.10)
6.0L V8 Turbo Diesel23500 ( axle ratio of 4.10)

GCW must not exceed GCWR. That means the maximum load trailer weight should not exceed 23,000 lbs. Alternatively, the towing capacity of the Ford trucks should be less than 23,000 lbs.

We mentioned earlier that the average towing capacity of a Powerstroke 6.0 ranges from 10,000 to 20,000 pounds.

There are some important equations related to towing capacity, and it is important to learn them. Look at the equation below.

Equation 1. GVW + Loaded Trailer Weight = Gross Combination Weight (GCW)

Equation 2. Base Curb Weight + Cargo Weight + Passenger Weight + Tongue Load or King Pin Weight = Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW)

  • Important Facts 1. GVW must not exceed GVWR
  • Important Facts 2. GCW must not exceed GCWR

How Can You Safely Tow With A 6.0L Powerstroke?

When it comes to talking about safety while towing with a Powerstroke 6.0, you have to follow a few primary rules. Following these rules will undoubtedly ensure safety and improve performance.

Rules 1: Know the weight

First, know the trailer’s weight plus the weight of anything inside the trailer. Once you have the number, that means you know the limit, so the risk of being overweight will be reduced.

Rule 2: Make sure the car has the right equipment

Towing becomes easy when the vehicle has the proper equipment. For example, if you have an F150 and the trailer weight is 5000 lbs, then most probably you need a trailer tow package.

On the other hand, the weight carrying hitch can be considered the other recommended equipment that makes the towing smooth and hassle free. So make sure you have the right equipment installed before towing.

Rule 3: Separate Functional brake

To comply with state law and to follow the fords recommendation, you might require separate functional barke on towed vehicles if the load exceeds 1500 Lbs.

There are two kinds of breaks. One that is controlled electronically and the other one is a hydraulic controlled brake or surge brake.

Rule 4: Lamps of the Trailer

Before towing, ensure you have installed the lamp or light on the trailer. Not any kind of light, but light that is compatible with local regulations.

Rule 5: Safety chains and the right hitch

Safety chains, as the name suggests, ensure safety. Check the manual or owner’s guide for detailed information. Also, check to make sure before towing that you have installed the proper hitch.

What Are The Benefits Of Towing With A 6.0L Powerstroke?

Powerstroke 6.0 has several benefits. This engine was an upgrade and replacement of the 7.3, so obviously it can be a great choice for towing trailers. These benefits include the following.

  • More towing capacity is the first benefit. On average, Powerstroke 6.0 can tow 10,000 to 20,000. so there is less chance of overload.
  • Powerstroke 6.0 is ideal for towing due to its torque output.
  • Another cool point is the fuel mileage. On the highway, it can reach 19-20 MPG.
  • There are available upgrade options on the powerstroke, so you can increase the existing capacity.
  • Powerstroke 6.0 comes with a good axle gear ratio.

What Are The Limitations Of Towing With A 6.0 Powerstroke?

Towing capacity of any vehicles including the vehicle with powerstroke 6.0 depends on the vehicle’s overall health. The car’s engine, gear, transmission, chesis, and weight all contribute to the towing capacity of the vehicle.

When it comes to the limitations in the towing capacity of Powerstroke 6.0, that means one of the above mentioned parameters is not working at its optimum.

Here is a list of common issues with the powerstroke that may impact its towing capacity.

  • One of many issues with the Powerstroke 6.0 is the issue with the oil cooler. Usually oil temperature depends on the cooler. When the oil temperature is low, the car will tow more. So, faulty coolers can be an issue with high towing capacity.
  • Powerstroke 6.0 comes with HEUI which is prone to friction and may lead to engine difficult to start condition and hamper the smooth towing.
  • Powerstroke 6.0 is equipped with the VGT, or variable geometry turbo, which is susceptible to soot buildup and results in decreased power. Less power will undoubtedly reduce the towing capacity of the vehicle.

What Are Some Tips For Towing With A 6.0 Powerstroke?

It is always a good idea to learn a few important tips before you start the journey. Knowing them will increase safety and transport your trailer with ease.

Tip 1: Cargo has to be distributed proportionately. If more weight is concentrated in the front or in the rear, you will fail to handle the car properly.

Tip 2: Prepare yourself if possible drive the trailer on a free road for a while before going into the busy road.

Tip 3: Check whether it is properly inflated. It should not be under or over inflated.

Tip 4:  Check the following things

  • Hitch attachment to the trailer
  • All the electrical connections and the trailer lamp
  • Oil should in appropriate level
  • Lug nuts should be tight

Tip 5: While towing in a hilly area, properly shift the transmission.

Tip 6: When backing up the car, make sure someone is standing in the rear to assist you.


There you have it all. Hopefully, by now you are pretty educated about the towing capacity of a Powerstroke 6.0. Not only that, you can just find the towing capacity from the manual, but you can calculate it. Calculating is easy; you just have to put numbers in the equation.

Anyway, the Powerstroke 6.0 is well known for its towing capacity. On average, it can tow 10,000 to 20,000 pounds, but you must check the manufactured specified amount and should never exceed that. Finally, examine the vehicle’s general condition before towing. Its engine, gear, transmission, chesis, and weight all contribute to the towing capacity of the vehicle.

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