Video: 2013 King of Beasts -- Ford F-450 Vs. Ram 3500 HD

Video Ram HD II

Check out the details of our two 2013 behemoth trailer pullers and see what we thought of each of the combatants as we examine and discuss both trucks. We lived with the Ford F-450 and Ram 3500 Heavy Duty for more than a week and drove them until our backsides were sore. In the end, we found that one pulled ahead because of how well it stopped. Stay tuned: We may have a behind-the-scenes story coming too.

 

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THE KING OF BEASTS

No Chevy, so I don't care too much at this point, but if it wasn't for a Chevy I'd take the Ram HD, it really is a great looking truck, and I can tell the Ram brand's working hard to make it the best truck.

Great article, great video!

Ram makes it cummins shakes it. Remember that.

Good to see my old employer, Cummins, still pulling strong. Good job Ram Heavy Duty. Even though I would never buy a Ram 1500 because I don't like the engine choices, I wouldn't mind having a Ram 2500 Heavy Duty with a Cummins.

why was a chevy HD not included in this comparison?

chevy is only rated @ 23k towing capacity both of these are rated @ 30k chevy is to worried about making commercials in stead of competing in the truck world and they are old and cheap on the inside and the least attractive on the outside look like 98-07 ford lights

GM had to stay on the porch because it couldn't run with the big dogs!

This was a cool test, but sort of the same old thing. I would really like to see some sort of durability test. Long term. Hundreds of thousands of miles. Off-road. Towing. Etc. I think we would all be very interested in something like that. Might be expensive and difficult, but would be awesome and more interesting than this. One thing I've learned is that you can't buy a truck based on the tests such as this because they give you no idea as to the long term durability, which is by far the most important thing to me in a truck. They all have plenty of power and capability. LETS SEE A DURABILITY TEST PICKUPTRUCKS.COM!!!

Howard Clayton's Dodge Ram 3500 is heading for the record books. Purchased new in 2000, people tell him it looks like it might have 80,000 miles on it. When FARM SHOW caught up to him, he had just passed 1,688,676 miles. In all that time, he's never touched the inside of the 5.9 Cummins engine, and it's not because he follows the book.

"The book says change the oil every 3,000 miles, but if I did that, I would be stopping every other day," says Clayton. "I change the oil and filter every 10,000 miles. That's two trips from Indiana to California."

Clayton lives in Iowa, but he tows trailers for an Indiana company, putting on more than 160,000 miles a year. Most of his trips are west. The 70-year-old has been trucking for the past 20 years. The first 10 years were in a semi, and the last 10 in the Dodge 3500.

Forest Cunningham is ClaytonÕs mechanic, though he lives in Missouri. Cunningham himself is sort of a legend with those who know him for his work on fuel pumps and high mileage engines. When FARM SHOW contacted him, he said another customer had just left with 400,000 miles on his engine.

"That one is just a baby compared to HowardÕs," says Cunningham, who gives credit to Clayton for taking good care of his rig. ÒOnce a year we clean out all the fluids and refill with fresh synthetics. He has a custom-built set of injectors, stock injection pump and an after market device that alters injection timing. He gets more than 300 hp with that engine, and IÕve no idea how much torque."

Clayton has had to replace the battery, alternator and lift pumps. The closest he has been to engine problems was replacing a head gasket, though he has had a couple of oil leaks over the years.

"Howard was nervous when he stopped recently," recalls Cunningham. "He was using a quart of oil every 200 miles, but it was the vacuum pump that was leaking. We resealed the oil cooler, changed oil and sent him out the door again."

Clayton says there are no secrets to what he and Cunningham do. "I try to keep an eye on maintenance, and if anything goes wrong, I take care of it immediately."

Clayton relies on synthetic Rotella 1540 for engine oil and Fleetguard oil filters. Transmission and rear end fluids are also synthetic. He gives them at least part of the credit for never having touched the 6-speed transmission or the rear end.

Clayton also uses a fuel treatment year round to keep his injectors clean, as well as using Lucas Oil Additive. He adds half a quart of the thickening agent with every oil change.

"It thickens the oil just enough for better oil pressure," says Clayton. "You don't want it too thick, especially in the winter."

Clayton says his odometer gets a lot of attention when people first notice it. "I had a small fuel leak and stopped at a Dodge dealer in Kankakee, Ill.," he recalls.

"The mechanic couldnÕt believe it when he saw the odometer and called the manager out to see it," says Clayton. ÒI told them to add a million. I had to show them an article about my truck in Diesel Power magazine for them to believe me."

GUTS

GLORY

ASS KICKING RAM!

@Hemi V8 - How is changing a head gasket "not touching the inside of the cummins"???

Those visual effects during the intro almost gave me a seizure.
Check into some video stabilization for those hand-held shots during the main video to really raise your game for the next big shootout!

Ram is building some serious hardware, no doubt about that.

@ beebe - the majority of magazines whether they be paper or electronic rely on corporate press fleets. I doubt that a company would loan any truck out for such a test. Besides, none of them would want to face the label of being the most unreliable and no automotive journalist would want to be blacklisted for pointing out such a fact. I read that journalists have been blacklisted for being negative about a vehicle.

I agree with beebe.

The acceleration tests, towing tests, braking tests, etc only show a very limited slice of the vehicles actual performance.

I notice on this site people think a vehicle is better because more are sold.

Or a vehicle is better because the manufacturer sets its tow limit higher.

Since most pickups can tow 7 000lbs, why not have a tow comparison with the pickups only towing 7 000lbs. I might be surprising that a lower rated pickup will be a better overall tow vehicle than one touted will a higher limit.

0-60 times to me are quite meaningless. What do they really prove? How many times are you going to accelerate 0-60 in under 15 seconds. Even accelerating at that speed you will beat most of the traffic.

In Australia we seem to focus more on the off road attributes of a 4x4 ute than in the US as well.

If you are buying a 4x4 the main reason would be to off road, wouldn't it. And just don't take one a 4x4 park. Take on a 2 week adventure towing a trailer around the North West Territories.

See how well FE impacts off roading.

Essentially, show us what it is like to live with one of these trucks longer term.

The prettiest and quickest might not be the best to live with.

Buying a truck is similar to finding a woman to marry. Make sure you marry someone who can cook better than having $ex, because you'll end up eating more of her food than $crewing her. That's what you live with the most.

@Big Al, the off-road scene is definitely different between US and Australia. A 4x4 pickup is for all conditions and towing, but mainly on road. The trail systems here are designed for ATVs. In Australia, ATVs are illegal off private property, so you do it in your 4x4 (as they are built for that), but you don't need a 4x4 for driving around because the weather permits a 2wd on nearly all roads, all year around. So in America, you have a 4x4 pickup that can carry an ATV and is good to drive on-road. In Australia you have your 4x4 for the trails and your 2wd for everything else.

Big Al, you should pick yourself up an old Discovery TD5 for the trails. Get it with ACE cornering enhancement if you can. That's what I think I would be looking for right now if I were still there.

I love Ford F series but I may consider the chevy 3500 HD with Duramax

@Alex
So you can't go through a National or State Park in the US on dedicated 4x4 tracks? Just pull up somewhere and make camp?

I do know here, like where I live in the outback we have only tracks for 1 000s of kilometers, but on the coast you can go through most of our parks on tracks for 4x4s. Hmmm. A little bit boring.

I can see why we have a larger 4x4 market and 4x4 performance is very important.

I looked at Disco's before buying my BT50. But the BT50 is fantastic off road and has every bell and whistle I need. I was initially in the market for a SUV, but the newer utes are really great. The difference is like comparing an XJ Cherokee to the new Grand Cherokee.

But the utes are getting larger now and off road you can feel the size much more than on road. Plus the torque of these diesels off road is awesome along with FE.

Alex, I think some who blog don't realise the lifestyle we have, particularly here in the Outback. We organise weekends away where you need 4x4 for hundreds of kilometers, carrying all your gear for hunting, fishing, quads/bikes, camping and importantly........beer and BBQs.

We go out in groups of up to 20 vehicles of all types and the difference between them is mainly driver based not vehicle based. You only notice the difference if you drive the different vehicles. I've seen guys get bogged and stuck in places that are almost like driving on a highway.

Its a frontier lifestyle and great.

Around here at least (Rocky Mountains) they have dirt roads that you can drive your pickup and RV down and they are wide enough to get down them. All the real off-road mountain trails that you want to explore are wide enough only for a snowmobile or ATV. In Australia, you want to be sure your RV (caravan) is suitable to take with you on the off-road trails behind your Nissan Patrol (or the like). Just a little different with the climate, terrain, and what they design the trails for.

@Big Al from Oz - in my part of the world, trails are remnants of logging, mining, ranching, or other forms of making a living. Pickups for the most part are useless in the overgrown stuff or in forest. They tend to be big and too heavy. There are parts of the province that are more arid and you can ride a bike or quad between the trees.
There are plenty of places that you do need 4x4 to get in and out of as old roads deteriorate or are "deactivated". In some cases they will deliberately tear up a road due to liability or to encourage regrowth of forest. In other places they will put in erosion bars which are basically shallow ditches. Snow is another big reason why it is handy to have a 4x4. My dad never owned a 4x4 all his working life. Just 3/4 ton 2 wheel drive pickups and a set of tire chains.
ATV's or dirt bikes need liability insurance and that is about it. The police do check closer to towns especially in the confines of municipal limits since it is illegal to operate unregistered or unlicensed motor vehicles inside a municipal boundary. Hunting rules have put partial bans on ATV access and since ATV's and side by sides are expensive, many hunters will pull a Suzuki Samurai, Sidekick or even those Kei trucks behind their HD's. I don't see too many Jeeps used that way.
Company logging roads are considered private so most tend not to insure their ATV's even though Worker's Compensation and Company policy calls for liability insurance.
You should have a VHF radio since all of the roads are "radio controlled" where vehicles have to call their "miles" or you are supposed to follow a VHF equipped unit. That is why I always have a laugh when the "OnStar" types hype that product. Most of the places I go do not have cell coverage unless you have a "Sat" phone.
Most parks ban motorized access. Some allow limited access i.e. marked trails only.

I laugh at the people who say AutoBlog got it first - go it this, got it that. PUTC is slow, yada, yada.. All AutoBlog does is regurgitate PR crap. PUTC does the best it can.

Here is an article on how an AutoBlog writer was shilling for a Nissan advertising company:
http://jalopnik.com/5845095/why-were-pissed-arianna-huffington-is-destroying-autoblog

I rmember when PUTC did do a sort of long term update on a Silverado at one time and that's when the interior faults came to light.

Edmunds does these long term tests with many different vehicles. I think they even bought a raptor. Unfortunately most of their long term tests are just driving around urban areas. But still they are way more interesting to read than your typical test. The fact that ram won this test means nothing to me because my experience with my 09 ram is it's an unreliable piece of crap. It was great at first and had great reviews. But now it is falling apart. 100,000 miles of farm use and now it sucks. Went from best truck I ever bought literally to the worst.



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