Coming Monday: 2014 Ultimate HD Challenge Part II

IMG_8190 II

Last week we posted the first part of our most recent comparison test, the 2014 Ultimate Heavy-Duty Challenge.It focused on the three-quarter-ton pickup truck segment. The Ram 2500 HD, with its new 6.4-liter Hemi, upgraded interior and rear coil springs, did a masterful job of showing us how much better it is than the competition.

On Monday we'll post the second installment of one of the most comprehensive heavy-duty pickup comparison tests we've ever conducted. In this part, one-ton dualie turbo-diesels will strut their stuff. With thousands of points on the line, 25 different scored categories and three competitors, this is our test to end all tests.

We took the 2015 Ford F-350 Super Duty with the upgraded Power Stroke (now with a dedicated exhaust brake button), the 2015 GMC Sierra 3500 HD with the Duramax (also with an improved exhaust brake) and the 2014 Ram 3500 HD with the newly rated Cummins engine and let them battle it out for HD pickup supremacy.

Look for the full story next week.

Cars.com image by Evan Sears

 

Parade of HDs 2 II

 

Comments

I think Duramax/Allison combo will positively surprise us all, just like Chevy 6.0L did in three-quarter-ton tests.

That last picture is just impressive looking.

I want to see a kill of the hill contest where each truck has to climb Davis Dam with some serious weight in tow until a truck breaks down. The last one standing/running wins.

The HP/TRQ contest has reached it's worthiness; now how'bout some durability contests! :D


This line from the article " The Ram 2500 HD, with its new 6.4-liter Hemi, upgraded interior and rear coil springs, did a masterful job of showing us how much better it is than the competition." is a joke! I do believe that the Ram with the 6.4L won, but they were all so close to one another overall, that it makes no sense for the author to make that statement!

There needs to be a requirement that anyone driving a 350/3500 and up truck have a class A license

Trucker, I don't think so expecially since must are used to haul air. My neighbor bought one to pull his jet ski.

Trucker,
so what do you say about 40 foot motor homes

@bob

I do believe when we get into the likes of the F-450 we are looking mostly at people buying these trucks to do a certain job, beyond pulling a jetski. There is no reason to spring for an HD DRW truck unless you mean business. Like massive construction equipment, race car trailers, etc.

An F-250 though? Yes, some people buy those simply to daily drive them an haul something occasionally. And there's nothing wrong with that, if you are a truck enthusiast and you can reasonably afford to drive one, why not? Enjoy!

Can we have it earlier than noon please? Mike Levine put his up at 12:01 am the day he said he was going to. You made us wait till noon!

I know the Super Duty won the New River gauntlet up the hill and back down. That wasn't at high elevation though. Be interesting to see if they fixed the high elevation problem?

I drive a '03 3500 Dodge daily.
Averages 22MPG on my weekly commute.
Tow a 28ft enclosed racecar trailer on the weekends.
Why not drive one every day?
You do pick your battles when parking. LOL

Right devo. We'll just lift you to a lofty online legendary mpg status so you can save the keystrokes. :)


As you saw in the first part of the 2014 Ulimtate Heavy Duty Challange, Ram thoroughly updated the GUTS on this new HD Ram. And they wrapped it in a handsome new exterior with class leading ride around these countless improvements to give you the GLORY that we come to expect from RAM.

Will Ram do it AGAIN on Monday and finally get out of Chevy and Ford's shadow to become back to back part 1 and 2 2014 Ultimate Heavy Duty Challenge champions?!

Please be sure to come back on Monday for part 2 where you can see for yourself...
More Guts
More Glory
MORE RAM!

PUTC?
Look at the trouble you started!
Can't you lie and claim either the Chevy or the Ford the next winner in diesel?
We already know the Ram will win the 2nd time.
In our town when the kids play a Little league Game there are NO losers, we don't keep score both teams win. When the kids asked who won, we tell them they all did.
That's the political correct way we do things today and you should do the same!

Ram isn't just another HD, this Ram 3500 is a WRECKING MACHINE, and Ram's HUNGRY!

Ford and GM haven't been hungry since 1999. Therefore I agree that Ram will become the FIRST ever back to back Heavy Duty Challenge champion!

GUTS
GLORY
FIRST EVER BACK TO BACK PUTC HD CHALLENGE CHAMPION
RAM

@Trucker
I agree with you on the licensing requirements for vehicles.

Here in Australia we have a simple formula. A 'car' license will only allow you to operate a vehicle with a GVM (loaded truck, no trailer) of 4.5 tonnes which is slightly under 10 000lbs.

Anything greater than that required licenses which are classified by weight, trailers, vehicle articulation, etc.

Even with heavy articulated vehicles a driver of a semi trailer can't just drive a road train pulling four trailers.

I agree with LJC. These tests are cool, but I really would like to see some kind of durability test. A long-term durability test would be best. I know that would be expensive, but would be 10 times as useful as this test. I didn't even read the 3/4 gas test because I just don't care how the ram or chevy did, for a 3/4 truck for me buying a ford is a no-brainer.

FORD & GM, You can't win. Ram will kill you dead inside of 3 rounds: Milan Dragway, Davis Dam, and Eisenhower Pass. This Ram 3500 just aint another truck. It's A WRECKING MACHINE!

Al,
You must not have much of a Rv business down there. It would kill ours in the U.S.
Businesses would hate it also. Especially the construction trades.

@Beebe - I agree but a long term durability test will not happen as long as the majority of auto journalists get their test vehicles from the auto company press fleets.

It is a symbiotic relationship, journalists provide advertising for car companies in exchange for free test vehicles.

ALL1: I said why you doin this?

Hemi V8: Because Ford can't win! This Ram 3500'll kill you to death inside of three rounds!

ALL1: You're crazy!

Hemi V8: What else is new?

ALL1: Ram's just another truck!

Hemi V8: No it ain't just another truck. This Ram is a wrecking machine and Ram's hungry! Hell, GM and Ford ain't been hungry since the 2008 LD Challenge!

All1: Aw, what are you talking about Ford's won plenty of shootouts?

HEMI V8: That was easy!

ALL1: What do you mean easy?

HEMI: They was hand picked!

ALL1: Set ups?

HEMI: Nah they wasn't set ups! They was good tests, but they wasn't against killers like this truck. Ram'll knock you to tomorrow, All1!

ALL1: Jeez, Hemi. Why'd you do it?

HEMI: Because the beating that you got from the Ram in the Ram Runner test should've killed you, kid. It didn't. It was PUTC job to keep you winning and to keep you healthy.

ALL1: You really don't think Ford and GM got nothing left do you?

HEMI: Well, ALL1, let's put it this way. Now, 5 years ago your F-450 and GM 3500 was supernatural. GM was hard and Ford was nasty and GM had this boxed frame but then the worst thing happened to both, that could happen to any truck. You got civilized. But don't worry kid. You know, presidents retire, horses retire, Man-o-war retired. They put him out to stud. That's what Ford and GM should've done, retired.

ALL1: Ford and GM can't retire knowing all this, Hemi.

I highly doubt Ram will win this test, can you really call this a test, because the inline straight 6 Cummins Diesel engine is a work horse not a drag strip burner.

So when it come all these 1/4 mile races and 0 to 40 don't look for the Cummins to be on top.

Having said that if you need a truck that is a true work horse then the only real dependable choice of these three is the Ram with the Cummins inline straight 6 cylinder diesel.

Even in the other 3/4 ton challenge all those who is first in speeds is a waist of time. That is not the real measure of these trucks.

@BuddyIam

Actually the limits that Big Al stated are already laws here for most states. Each state has different requirements, but most states require a class B license if towing more than 10,000 lbs. However, that excludes people towing their personal recreational vehicle like RVs.

@buddylam
Safe vehicle operation is considered a higher priority than a company bitching or individuals bitching about having to 'learn' to operate significantly different equipment.

Even within our construction industry we have licensing for each piece of construction equipment, even using a Ramset requires licensing.

Our RV industry is as large or larger per capita than in the US.

Once you start having vehicles the size of HDs I do believe a line must be drawn in the sand on licensing. The size disparity and the difference in vehicle dynamics between a HD towing 20 000lbs and a Corolla is huge.

You should be assessed if you are able to operate a vehicle the size of many HDs, irrespective of what you tow.

Many fifth wheel RV operators are probably the most likely to have not operated heavy and large vehicles. These retired RV operators should be taught and assessed to be able to drive one of those huge vehicle on a public road.

You just can't just jump into a race car and race. As risk increases training and assessing and especially adherence to regulations become greater.

Mark Williams

GM commits to standard payload calculations is all that was posted by you on August 11 on my PUTC website? I see nothing posted about the results of the challenge part 1 ?

I have mixed feelings about licensing requirements for towing.

On the one hand, a non-commercial Class A is already required for the upper end of the towing capacities of each of these trucks. On the other hand passing the tests to get a certain license don't guarantee that someone is a safe driver.

The issue is always whether the operator can handle the trailer and load safely. Experience comes into play as well. A person using their truck to pull a 5th wheel RV on the weekends doesn't have nearly as much as experience as a commercial truck driver who is towing heavy loads day in and day out.

Since the HD trucks now give the average Joe the ability to tow what was once reserved only for semi trucks, I think that people need to be all the more aware of what they are driving.

The biggest problem I see with people towing is not that they don't have the skill level for what they're towing, but it's that they aren't towing safely. This includes stuff like following to close, speeding, weaving in and out of lanes. I don't think they have the awareness that their truck and trailer can't stop on a dime.

i'm hoping for ram, but have a feeling ford is gonna take it. after the refresh they just did it'd hurt them bad to lose this one..

@kevin
Each truck has distinct advantages in each area. The way I look at it, in terms of what I would use a class 3 truck for, any of the 3 would do the job and do it well.

I think the results of these tests are always interesting, but usually look at other things to help me decide like word of mouth and JD Power reliability rankings.

Since all the trucks will perform in a similar fashion, a major factor in which truck someone would buy is brand preference.

If I was out shopping, I would take all the brands into consideration, but I would also consider some of the more subtle factors. For example, when GM was producing medium duty trucks, they had the Duramax as an engine choice. Ford still uses the Cummins 6.7 ISB in their medium duty trucks, though the plan is to switch to the Powerstroke eventually.

That to me is a red flag right there. Why has Ford been so hesitant to put their Powerstroke in their medium duty trucks? Given that the same Cummins is used in Ram, it strongly implies that the Cummins may be more durable.

I'm sure the Powerstroke is a decent engine as is the Duramax. My point is that there are other things that I think about besides just the results of these kind of tests.

The Powerstroke may have the ability to win some parts of the HD challenge, but at this point in time, I am not convinced that Ford is standing behind it completely. When it has been used in the medium duty trucks for a few years without major issues, then I will have the peace of mind to seriously consider one.

@Hemi Monster

"Ford still uses the Cummins 6.7 ISB in their medium duty trucks, though the plan is to switch to the Powerstroke eventually."

That is due to contract reasons. Usually these contracts are multi-year contracts, and it would cost Ford to end it early. The contract will be up soon and they will not renew paving the way for their own 6.7L Powerstroke.

@ALL1
Ford initially wanted a Cummins in their product for a reason, contract or no contract.

The Cummins brand name spans across 'fanboi'ism'.

I do believe Cummins does have a better name across the board than any specific vehicle manufacturer branded names, sort of like Caterpillar.

How many truck drivers (real trucks, ie, semi's, etc) state I run a Ford diesel? Most talk about a Cummins or Cat with much respect.

Your comment does have a marginal amount of credence, with little weight. Ford is changing to PowerStrokes for a reason and it isn't reliability, it all about costs.

@ Jake D. I know what you mean, I couldn't find it until Wed. on my computer..but it is there now..keep digging.

Well Jake maybe I was wrong, I can't find it now on mine again at all either.....

Part I is linked in the first setence of this very article, it's on the homepage front and center, and it's in the Special Reports. 3 places. You can't miss it.

http://special-reports.pickuptrucks.com/

@Big Al

"I do believe Cummins does have a better name across the board than any specific vehicle manufacturer branded names, sort of like Caterpillar.

How many truck drivers (real trucks, ie, semi's, etc) state I run a Ford diesel? Most talk about a Cummins or Cat with much respect."

While this is true in the heavy duty market, this is not the case for the medium duty market. The medium duty market is a whole different animal than the heavy duty market. The "fanboism" is not there in the medium duty market like how it is in the heavy duty. You would be surprised on what gets these medium duty trucks sold and it isn't at all what you think. How do I know? Because I sold them before.

Price is a big factor in medium duty sales especially when it comes to government municipalities. Most of the time the person purchasing the trucks are bean counters for the companies that don't care what is as long as they can get it under budget and at the cheapest price. There are those that want a certain brand, but they are very rare. Another thing that means more in the medium duty world is service after the sale. I don't know how many large fleet sales I got over the local International dealership due to the fact that their shop was always full with buses making wait times for service long. The major influence on medium duty sales is the salesman themselves. People buy from people they know and like. I don't know how many details of multi-truck contracts were talked over at a bar. This so called "fanboism" does not exist like you think it does in medium duty sales. Don't believe me? Go call and have a chat with your local medium duty trucks salesman and he will confirm all that I just said.

Cat and Cummins engines have been available in medium duty Ford's since they came out in 2000. Cat dropped out of the lineup in 2009(along with all of their on-highway engines) due to emissions regulations, and the cost to get them compliant. Like I said, once the contract is up, Ford is going to go with their own engine. This also so happens to coincide with 2016 being the first year of the next generation F650/750 and the fact that they will now be built in the factory that built the just dropped Econoline vans om Ohio instead of Mexico. It has NOTHING to do of what you just stated.

@ALL1
I do believe it's about branding and marketing not what size vehicle is being slated. The size of the vehicle is of little meaning, it's the name association that the manufacturers using.

You see brand association as a common instrument to increase sales across many industries.

Just look at how Nissan and Toyota are using the great name of Cummins in their campaign to increase appeal for their products. Does a Cummins person like Ford or even Ram? Not necessarily.

Ford, Chrysler and GM will use the same tactics of brand association.

Without this association Dodge wouldn't of have had the success they have had with their HDs.

Trying to talk up the Ford decision like you are is odd. I do believe you are not looking at the significance of the Cummins name.

Ford what diesel? Remember I do have a Ford diesel, but I'm not a fanboi of Ford or trying to market Ford like yourself. Or you would have approached this argument differently, with better logic.

BAFO from NJ is trolling again and looking for a fight. You know nothing about these trucks. Stick to what you know, BAFO, which is hauling air in your Mazda. Zoom Zoom!

@Chris
I'm very sorry you feel that way, but I do think my assessment is quite accurate.

Have a closer read of most of what ALL1 presents on PUTC, like his response to me.

He has;
1. Systematically made inferences of the shortfalls of Caterpillar and Cummins,

2. also talked up and had no negative inferences toward the Ford,

3. used, a particular vehicle segment to deviate from the original discussion in an attempt to move the debate regarding brand power naming conventions,

4. Ford do make a decent diesel, but they don't have the recognition that Cummins and Caterpillar have with diesel engines.

ALL1 does tend to argue this way. Maybe some of you guys ought to realise this.

I'm not smitten by the fact he's a Ford marketer. I've mentioned this to him earlier.

This isn't about fanboi'sm this is a little deeper and shouldn't occur. ALL1 isn't a troll and he does write with common sense and has some technical understanding. But, he's marketing Ford's. I don't care much about that.

As I've stated read all of his past input into PUTC.

In the end he's trying to justify (sell) Ford's decision to remove the Cummins brand from Ford.

Yesterday I was in the grocery store and the checkout girl screamed at me saying: "STRIP DOWN, FACING ME"
Surprised I said "What"?
I soon realized they were directions for swiping my credit card.

Lol, they started off thinking the 6.0 Chevy was faster, because Chevy had TFL Truck test some trucks, and they made damn sure the Ram had 3.73s. And the Chevy got 4.10s.

Yep, keep thinking that the 6.0 makes anything the same as power as the 6.4 does, the higher gear ratios and other things I noted have made up for some but not all of the losses the old Chevy has.

So the folks said "that 6.4 ain't nothing", but yet even with a heavier truck (yup, even after you take off the 150 pounds worth of Ram boxes,(that not everybody wants, and Chevy has no such option, so why compare?) the Ram is heavier then the Chivy.

So even with 75% as much transmission gear as the Chevy had, a half inch taller tire (which also supports more weight then Chivys 265/70 18) and heavier truck, it whooped that Chevy.

Lol, first they played the "coil springs are a joke", and when they realized the Ram had more payload capacity, they went on to attack it for anything else, only after the Leaf springs are best crowd got embarrassed when the Ford was clearly the one with the most squat/droop. Why not have a crappy ride along with poor ability to support a load? LOL!

This HD test says nothing of off-roading, where Chevys are so low slung.

Nothing about which has a smaller turning dia., the Ram is #1, Ford #2, and low rider Chevy 3, complete with torsion bars that Chevy mounts a couple inches from the pivot point, lol, using t bars for over half a century, they can't properly mount them!

Lol, Maybe they will stop complaining about tow hauls automatically down shifting, and realize all 3 brands can be manually put in second if a driver wants to, and maybe they might realize their Eisenhower tunnel test wasn't a true test about brakes.

LOL, Chevolet has to put Goodyear SSA tires on to get good stopping times, meanwhile they called them off-road tires, LOL!

Way to compare an off-road tire to the street tire! Now maybe someday you will compare all three vehicles on the same exact tire and size, you will see some differences there.

CT

My PUTC home page shows the Chevy article posted on 8-11-14 next post is on 8-13 -14 on the Toyota Mule. I am on the east coast and some times we don’t get the post at all or the post will say see the video below and there is no video. Thanks for the tip on the special reports

I think my wife is selling drugs.
The other day I was running late for work and the phone rang.
I answered it, but before I could say anything, a male voice on the line said, "Hey, honey, is that dope gone yet? "

I have to agree with all1, if the cummins name was so dominant dodge would have the hd pickup market sown up. I do agree that cummins was the only reason to buy a dodge, but for some people it' about the truck, not the engine.

It is all about fleet sales Tom, nothing to do with the Cummins engine. Ford is the fleet queen of the three in this test.

Fleet sales are not MSRP sales either, they are deeply discounted sales.

Jake, You must have missed it. Look right on the home page, featured dead center: 2014 Ultimate HD Challenge. It has been there since Monday. I am on the East Coast, too.

If you're looking in the news only section, the shootouts will be posted under lastest news, but only accessible from the homepage until it is pushed off the page.

From then on it can be found featured on the center of the home page until it is replaced by another shootout or under special reports which lists all of the shootouts.

@Tom,
As you can ask any Allpar person who comments on this site, I'm not a Ram fan. TRX will vouch for that.

I do like the VM V6 1500 Ram, except I have two issue with it, the looks and the low load capacity.

But, Cummins kept Ram afloat and alive in the HD market. Without Cummins I don't even think Ram would be here today.

Contrary to what ALL1 has written regarding his perceived shortcomings with Cummins and Cat I do know that Cummins has and probably is the leading diesel engine manufacturer in the US, using US technology and research.

Cummins is one of the leading diesel engine manufacturers globally in using it's own and leading emissions technology.

Much of Ford's diesel technology came out of the UK. Even the PowerStroke is base on an enlarged version of Ford's UK designed Lion diesel.

The 3.2 Duratorq going into the US Transit is from the UK.

Even the small 4 cylinder Duratorqs are UK in origin.

Man these Fiat boys are a hypocritical untrustworthy bunch. I recall for YEARS them saying, oh, it is MUCH more than tires that impact braking, you other guys are just making excuses, my favorite pickup is just better, blah, blah, blah.

Now that the shoe is on the other foot--the Fiat has terrible braking distances--they change their tune quickly.

The minute someone around here says the name Cummins they get accused of fanboism. Does anyone realize that Ram is just one of the many vehicles that has a Cummins?

Cummins has been around long before it was ever offered in Rams and they don't need Ram to survive. Since Ford uses Cummins in their medium duty trucks, it isn't accurate to say that Cummins is something related to Ram fanboism.

ALL1 is right, when he says that medium duty customers care mainly about price. The person driving the truck is stuck with whatever truck the company provides and thus brand preference means little. I'm sure that businesses do take into consideration reliability and maintenance costs. A business has to have a reasonable method to plan for these costs ahead of time.

My main point in my argument yesterday was that someone has to look beyond the results of these tests by PUTC to decide what would be the best truck to get. The fact that the ISB is used in so many applications makes me feel much more confident about it than other engines. If it were in a Ford or Chevy, I would likely seriously consider those trucks too.

@Big Al

"I do believe it's about branding and marketing not what size vehicle is being slated."

I don't believe, I know. Why, because the medium and heavy duty truck world is what I do. Like I said, medium duty is a different animal then what you are stating it is. Engine make or even truck make play less of a role then what you think in the sales of medium duty trucks. Price plays a bigger role then what you think. The drivers do not get a say so in what brand they prefer to drive and are just given a truck to do the job. It has very little to do with brand loyalty, and more to do with price and the salesman.

I am not trying to downplay Cummins because you also forget I used to work for them and still know many that do. I still love Cummins engine and still believe their heavy duty engines to be the best in the world. I am not say that people do not like Cummins or was I trying to say it is an inferior product at all. I just stated why Ford didn't put their own engines in their medium duty trucks and still put Cummins up until the newly designed 2016 models which will all be Powerstrokes diesels and 6.8L V8 gas/CNG. It has nothing to do with the brand loyalty or reliability of either engines as you stated.

Cummins engines have been available in F-650/750 Ford trucks ever since the came out in 2000 start with the ISB 5.9L along with the Cat 3126. Cat got out of the on-highway engine market in 2009 due to the 2010 emission regulations and the cost to make their engine compliant. They were even available in the F-600/700 that the 650/750 replaced. Since the change over to the F-650/750, there has never been a Powerstroke engine option available even though Navistar(the maker of the Powertoke before 2011) partnered with Ford to make the F-650/750 with Ford in a joint venture. This has a lot to do with contract reasons as well. It wouldn't look right to other engine contractors if the person who you are in a joint venture in to build the trucks also builds it's engines. Also, Navistar International has their own engine, the DT466, which is a wildly popular engine in the medium duty world. Their VT365 which was the Navistar International equivalent to Fords Powerstroke was also available in International's medium duty and would be competing with their own product if put in a F-650/750.

People say that Cummins is whoring themselves out to other brands with Nissan and Toyota, but what people don't know is that is how the heavy duty market is. Cummins is available in just about every heavy duty truck in the US from Peterbilt to a Volvo. The medium duty as well although not in the International since(up until recently) because they make their own engines that already have a good market share in the medium duty market due to their price since they are built "in house".

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"He has;
1. Systematically made inferences of the shortfalls of Caterpillar and Cummins,"

Where did I make shortfalls of Cat or Cummins in my first post? I never stated anything about the reliability or performance of those engines at all.


"2. also talked up and had no negative inferences toward the Ford,"

What is there to be negative about, all we were talking about is engine availability.


"3. used, a particular vehicle segment to deviate from the original discussion in an attempt to move the debate regarding brand power naming conventions,"

No, I was commenting on Hemi Monster's post which was about the Cummins being in a MEDIUM DUTY trucks. Then you commented about what I said. I never deviated from medium duty trucks.

"4. Ford do make a decent diesel, but they don't have the recognition that Cummins and Caterpillar have with diesel engines."

I will agree with you there, although Cat engines are not available in the on-highway truck market in the US anymore besides in their own CT660 and CT681 trucks. Word through the grapevine since where I work is still a Cat distributor is that they will be coming back to being available in other trucks soon, but that has not been confirmed.

" ALL1 isn't a troll and he does write with common sense and has some technical understanding. But, he's marketing Ford's. I don't care much about that."

Again, this has more to do with facts and not "fanboism".
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Big Al, I have been cordial with you since your return. Hell, I even agreed with you on the towing laws in your debate above with BuddyIam. Why do you want to start this up again between you and I? If you want to butt heads again then I am game, but I was trying to avoid that. Since you want to be a prick about things then I will bring up my past question that you still have yet to answer.


How was I only "partially right" in answering Alex's question in this article?

http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2014/07/chrysler-gives-cummins-a-big-thank-you.html#more

You were talking about a completely different technology than what Alex was asking about yet you said I was "partially right" even though I was talking about the exact technology Alex was asking about. How was my response to Alex "partially right"?

Al, Ford UK is still Ford, headquartered in USA. Same as Ford Germany and Ford Au, if it's still in business there. Also Belgium,Brazil,Canada,China,France,India,Japan,Mexico,Romania,Russia,Slovakia,South Africa,Spain,Taiwan,Thailand,Turkey,Venezuela and Vietnam.

May the best truck sell the most to fleets! Fleet trucks are the hardest working trucks out there.



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