2014 Ultimate Heavy-Duty Challenge: What We Like

IMG_3666b II

Yesterday we posted our "2014 Ultimate Heavy-Duty Challenge: What We Hate" video and, apparently, quite a few readers thought we were being harsh, while others thought we missed another dozen details we should have noted.

Just to show you we think there's value to balance and that there were really quite a few things we liked, here's Cars.com Detroit Bureau Chief Aaron Bragman discussing what we liked and appreciated during our five-state and two-week tour with these HD pickups during our 2014 Challenge.

Let us know what you think and feel free to add to the list of things you thought we missed.

Cars.com photo by Evan Sears

 

 

Comments

It looks like Ram did very well. I have said it before and I will say it again I would love the Ford tow mirrors and bed extender.

I am surprised how much praise the Ram has gotten. I've always liked them, but not because of the bells and whistles, I'm more of a spartan truck guy. Give me manual window cranks any day.

Informative but short video. Here's a suggestion: Instead of making a couple very short videos showing one or two things you like and disliked about each truck, why not explain it in a little detail? Or how about a walk-around of each truck and explain things a little more thoroughly? Would it kill you to make a 5 minute video of each truck and just explain the pros and cons of each? I wouldn't have guessed you had the trucks 2 weeks. Judging by the limited info you gave us, I would have guessed 3 days.

I'm with Beebe.

Your videos are too short when you go over the things you love or hate. How about not just highlighting the things you love about a feature, but how they are superior to what the competition offers? Or, when doing the things you hate, how they are inferior..

How about going over each truck individually and saying "i'd correct this by XXX" or "this is brilliant use of engineering and out of the box thinking...."

Ram Truck is so not the Dodge Truck of the 80's anymore!

have to say I am impressed with Ram even more so now, thanks Mark !
All Ram has to do now is prove reliability and quality to me and yes they are very much improved in those 2 departments, Ford and Chev have done so. Be interesting when the new Ford comes out if they really step up to hold onto that crown or relinguish it to Ram...

I'm amazed that we American men would rather buy $50 to 70 grand pickup trucks by the millions, the same price range as Benzes, BMWs, and Corvettes, instead of those high end luxury cars that'll go so fast it'll rip the bras right off unwary female passengers.

We shmucks enjoy beating each other up over tow ratings, GVWRs, horse power and torque ratings, while the real smart dudes are cruising the strip with all the babes.

I'll take the XL, tradesman, or LS package pickup, thank you very much and have my Z06 too.

Life's too short to cruise with my babe and her bra on.

@greenrover, I agree to a point. If I had the money to buy a capable truck *and* a cool car, I'd do that in a second. But I can only afford one vehicle. I don't go for the top-line packages... I'm an XLT/SLT/1LT guy - comfortable, but no leather or power floor mats. And I want my truck to be as capable as possible, for those times when I really put it to the test. I've owned full-size pickups exclusively for 24 years, and I like them for their versatility.

I had a 302-powered F-150 and a 12-valve Cummins that got bras off... but acceleration had nothing to do with it - bring back the true front bench seat, please.

So where are these so called videos? I have yet to find them in either story. I click on the read more and not video links pop up.

Why should I have to search high and low just to try and find these so called links to these videos?

I have yet to find the link for the what we hate video and today I have yet to find the link for the what we like video.

Considering I am running Windows 7 and internet explorer both very common programs I am not understanding why I am not finding a link in either story.

@RoadTrip
+1 on the bench seat. My 78 C20 had a bench seat and a very comfortable 8 foot bed. Wink.

@Ram Big Horn,
The video is in this story that you commented on. The computer you are using might not be recognizing it. I've had that happen before. Refreshing the page might help.

@greenrover - how old are you? I know one guy that has Lamborghini's, Ferrari's, and assorted other cars but he is the last guy on the planet I'd want to emulate.
He was cheating on his wife, is as shallow as a sidewalk puddle, and is all ego.

I agree with Beebe - use some video's to show important stuff like ease of access to trailer plug ins, or dash and interior controls, or how easy it is to get in and out. How accessible is it to add DEF or check the oil.

This video looked like a PR exercise.

Must be a requirement to get access to the corporate test fleet.

Hate the "look"? of the Ford hitch, but don't hate important stuff like the Ram using 2-3x's as much DEF or that it went 20 miles up the hole. Like that the Rambox is great for storing backpacks? No, it is a joke and makes the bed too narrow. Come on! Get serious with these reviews.

*20 mph up the hill.

The Rambox would be okay for some but it really limits the versatility of your truck.
Canopies/caps are out of the question just like slide in utility bodies or campers. Conventional cargo racks are also out. One also looses bed space.
I'd rather buy an aftermarket "job box" that can be emptied and removed in 15 minutes if the full box is needed.

That is another issue, you can't transfer it to another truck. I bought a galvanized job box for my truck in 1985 and I still own it.

The Ram box is perfect for me. Tow rope, winch accessories, battery impact gun, highlift jack, beer, ice, fishing poles, rifles, flat repair kit, tools, shovel, air compressor, and on and on. Lock it and forget it. Already measured to see if quad will fit. No problem. It's very versatile. These class exclusive options from Ram help make it the industry leader. Beats the man step hands down. Plus it's an option you don't have to get it. For me their is no question. Ram box, check.

The other probems with the Rambox is the appearance - they break up the lines of the truck, and the Ramboxes warp.

The warping got so bad that Ram has a TSB on it, but no actual recall because they consider it a cosmetic issue. The BLACK painted ones were affected the most, the heat from the sun on the surface causes it to warp and rain to get into the warped Rambox lids. Many people had to remove the drain plugs in the bottom of the Rambox, so their tools & other gear would not rust or corrode. I wouldn't store anything valuable in it.

The dealers can try to fix it but it just ends up doing the same thing and the cost is out of your pocket. Even if the boxes don't look warped they will leak in heavy rain. People have brought this up to the dealership many times and have even contacted Chrysler. Then they gave up on fixing it and have to permanently remove the plugs and be careful what they put in there.

BREAKING NEWS!

Video of the 2016 Super Duty fire

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cy1UZfzICi4


WOW. Maybe all of that aluminum Ford is using is not such a good idea. I'm glad Ram is sticking with STEEL.

GUTS

GLORY

RAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You forgot to knock off points for the Ram having a narrow bed, poor def consumption, orange peel catastrophe and poor visibility due to the over enlarged rear fenders. Also the fog lights look cheap, cause thats important too ya know? Atleast they got a trailer hitch tucked under away, wouldn't be using that thing anyhow.

Rambox also takes up like 150 lbs payload on the short beds and more on the long beds...

Rambox thoughts on 5th wheel towing forums...

It depends strictly on what type pin box the rv has. Son in laws box is about 60=70 degrees vertical. With a hitch that has short arms, it works. If your pin box comes out at more or less 45 degree angle, and the pin latches are long, you'll hit the side rails with something. The side rails on a Rambox are only 49 inches apart, where a standard box is close to 60 inches or better wide.

----

There are 2 issues with the ram box. First is the narrow width, but that can be solved by using the Reese Revolution aka Sidewinder pin box.

Second is actually using the storage while hitched to the fiver. Those compartments aren't very useful if you have to un-hitch any time you need to retrieve something.

-----

I didn't see anywhere where anyone said it couldn't be done...

The main question has always been: What hoops do you have to jump through, and is it worth jumping through them.

Obviously it *CAN* be done, but from the looks of things you need a very specific combination of parts, and you ultimately have to make modifications to the parts to make it work.

-----

have no clue if it will work with 5th wheel though. All i know is when you build a 13 Ram and have ram box selected, if you try to select the Trailer Prep package it will remove the ram box. makes me think maybe you cant but cant be for certain

-----

Am considering a 2013 Ram 3500 MegaCab SWB SRW and like the idea of the RamBox. RamBox is not available with the 5th Wheel Prep Package so maybe the RamBox does not provide enough clearance for a 5th Wheel hitch, anyone have experience with this?

------

I talked with a Ram Truck Rep who said Ram does not recommend the RamBox with a traditional 5th wheel hitch. Only option would be to convert the Bighorn to a gooseneck but Heartland strongly discourages that so I'll just stick with a regular bed. Thanks for all your replies.

@HemiV8 - The Rambox is rated for 150lb each for a 1/2 ton and 300 lb each for a HD.

In my case that would mean that I'd have to buy a 3/4 ton Ram just to get a Rambox rated to carry all of my gear.

The cost kills it at 1,195 (Canadian).

Rambox warpage

I saw two trucks at the dealership with warpage on the rambox plastic, I asked the salesman what happened and he said it was from someone trying to pry it open from the other side. I should of had known better, it is scary for me to see that it is more common than I suspected.

Ramboxes = $1500+ and warpage

Toolbox = $300 and no problems

I have neither, just pointing out my observation(s)

http://dodgeforum.com/forum/4th-gen-ram-tech/202400-ram-box-warpage.html

Please excuse hemiv8 or just plain hemi. He's still trying to put his paper power wagon together and its hard for him to focus on anything but his stupidity.

@LouBC, Better than some bozo at the gas station why you go in for some beer grabbing all your gear. When i am out in the desert my truck is left alone. Any body can up up to the camp and grab your stuff. The Ram box not only holds all my stuff but it holds it tight. Not flying around the bed while I am off roading.
Again. Ram box for me thank you. :-)

BREAKING NEWS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Spy Video of the 2016 Super Duty fire

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cy1UZfzICi4
Posted by: HEMI | Aug 26, 2014 3:47:08 PM

GUTS
GLORY
RAM

I don't know about your dragging @$$ Ford Lou. I have overloaded the $#!^ out of my Ram 1/2 ton on excursions. Other than hauling @$$ and sucking Gas the wheels didn't fall off. A few hundred pounds doesn't hurt my Ram. Since I have out grown my 1/2 ton Ram the Power Wagon is perfect for my needs. I didn't know a motorcycle trailer was so heavy Lou? What gear you hauling? Snow chains,Logging chains? Gold bars?

@Hemi H.D. I wonder if that 2016 Ford had an Eco Burst engine in it?

@Hemi H.D. Looks like the older model still burns as good as the new Ford F series does. Yep, Ford still got it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KroxsvxdW9Y

All three are perfect for towing 5th Wheelers and larger Caravans, seeing they are more and more like SUV's, ride maybe be doubtful in some though

@HEMI V8 - I've had the same galvanized steel tool box for close to 30 years. It has been in every truck I've owned. I paid $75 for it and spend $75 getting a damaged corner repaired and armor over the padlock location.

It has never been broken into even though I've had 1 truck B&E'd and another had driving lights stolen from it. I'm willing to bet that a RamBox can be broken into without much trouble.

If you want one, good for you.

I think that for the price most truck buyers feel the same way I do.

http://www.dealershipforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2458

More than 25% of our Dodge Trucks are sold with RamBox - 0%
Less than 25% of our Dodge Trucks are sold with RamBox - 4.55%
Less than 10% of our Dodge Trucks are sold with RamBox - 13.64%
Less than 5% of our Dodge Trucks are sold with RamBox 1 - 50.00%
What's a RamBox? - We've never sold one - 31.82%

How come there is a direct corrolation of obnoxious d-baggery to using a brand/logo/trim of a vehicle as a user name? Almost exclusively related to Fiat. Coincidence?

Coincidence?

NO.

Yep,
RAM is from Ferrari group. Exclusive track brand.

RAM BOX is very, very cheap considering how complex those units are with wiring, lighting and locking.
My next truck RAM 2500 HEMI 6.4 MDS with RAM BOX.
Yeah! Take that ! Ford.

Zvirus, If you order the Ram box, I doubt you even need a pickup truck. You might as well order the hard tonneau cover too. My name is Ram and my tank is full! That commercial was about on the same level as "Max & Al."

@LouBc, It wouldn't be bad to have both. Ram box and your box. "@HEMI V8 - I've had the same galvanized steel tool box for close to 30 years. It has been in every truck I've owned. I paid $75 for it and spend $75 getting a damaged corner repaired and armor over the padlock location."

@Alex
Zvirus, If you order the Ram box, I doubt you even need a pickup truck.

Why is that?

I have a 2 Swing Case from Undercover and 3 piece hard tonneau cover. Easy to remove for more cargo room or bike, because of my short bed 5'7".
But with RAM 2500 and 6'4" bed I would be happy wit RAM BOX because of triple capacity of Swing Case and better access and light.
I have also 3 extra plastic boxes with water proof lid and 2 large tool boxes, so my trunk is completely full with tools and spare parts.
Truck works best for me. Almost everybody with own business use trucks for work and pleasure. Would you suggest a sport car with hitch and contractor trailer?
I am opened to any ideas.


WOW. Maybe all of that aluminum Ford is using is not such a good idea. I'm glad Ram is sticking with STEEL.

GUTS

GLORY

RAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Posted by: HEMI | Aug 26, 2014 3:50:27 PM


Ya,that"s it? That's what is dragging on the pavement with the load in those Fords. Sparking and arching?

HEMI V8 - Good point. My box would be narrow enough to fit. Most job boxes tend to be too wide.
1,100 is a lot of money for an accessory that stays with the truck and limits other accessories.

Zviera's truck has a trunk?

Better bookmark that for later discussions.

Please excuse hemiv8 or just plain hemi. He's still trying to put his paper power wagon together and its hard for him to focus on anything but his stupidity.


Posted by: Truck Crazy | Aug 26, 2014 6:00:31 PM

Already ordered the glue from Ford. Amazon sucks. lol

Maybe that's what you will be smelling in that new 2015?

I liked it. lol

From Lou's dealership forum link.....

"I thought of this thread when I was watching a new episode of Top Gear the other day.

Top Gear was testing three different full-size trucks and the 2013 Ram 1500 had the RamBox feature. I'm sure Chrysler provided a truck with the RamBox option to increase the awareness of this option but the hosts of the show mostly panned the feature because the RamBox is somewhat small and it reduces the space available in the bed of the truck."

At least Top Gear gets it. For those that say you can get a Ram without the Rambox, that's not the point. Ram always sends the trucks with the RamBox for review therefore the shrinking bed should be up for criticism or at least mentioned by PUTC staff. They praised the extra storage space but made no mention of the decreased bed space. I am very surprised by PUTC's stance. Showing you can store you backpack in there is lame. Talk about the shrinking bed. 11" is removed and if you add an inside the rail cover, then that's a foot and a half of space removed. That is a huge amount of space being given up for a somewhat small RamBox.

@Lou
You better do. You are obsessed what zviera posts in here.
That's what you call clear table. LOL. Loser.

1100 is lot of money for RAM BOX? What do you get from Ford?
Power moonroof is 1300.
Soft folding toneau cover is 550.
Tailgate step is 300.
Power sliding rear window is 600.

2 RAM BOXES with light and lock for 1100 is sweet deal compare what Ford is offering.
Oh I forgot, Ford doesn't offer a FordBox.

We actually put stuff in the beds of our trucks, I don't want to give up bed space for a couple of man purses on the sides. Guts, glory, no room! Zvirus, you should get that sports car.

Mark Williams
"Yesterday we posted our "2014 Ultimate Heavy-Duty Challenge: What We Hate" video and, apparently, quite a few readers thought we were being harsh,"

Too harsh?! Some of those guys were acting as if they had their mothers insulted in front of their faces. It's just a truck! For a modern 2014 vehicle it needs to up to par with its rivals, as pickup trucks are no longer just simple work horses on wheels. Standards have risen so it's important for automakers to be aware of that all times especially when you have other rivals competing aggressively against you.

@Zviera - truck tool boxes run 400- 600 dollars. That also applies to "over the wheel arch" tool boxes.

https://www.menards.com/main/tools-hardware/tool-storage/truck-job-boxes/c-9192.htm

I don't care about moon-roofs, tonneau covers or power sliding rear windows.

They all add weight to a truck and if you happen to have a Ram 1500, any extra weight is the enemy.

For 1,100 dollars I can get a canopy or cargo rack.

At least my truck doesn't have a truck..............

Do you actually own a truck because it sounds like you are describing a Honda Ridgeline?

At least my truck doesn't have a truck..............

spell check strikes again - meant.............. trunk.............

That is a huge amount of space being given up for a somewhat small RamBox.


Posted by: Gregory | Aug 26, 2014 10:38:50 PM

I agree you don't need the Ram Box option, but it's nice to know I can get one from Ram. ;-) Cause i need one. Thank you. :-)



Post a Comment

Please remember a few rules before posting comments:

  • Try to be civil to your fellow blog readers.
  • Stay on topic. We want to hear your opinions and thoughts, but please only comment about the specified topic in the blog post.
  • Your email will not be shown.

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In

Home | Buy or Sell a Truck | News | Special Reports

Powered by Cars.com. By using this site, you agree to our terms of service | © 2014 Cars.com | Privacy Statement | Contact Us

Visit our partner: MovingTruck.com