2014 Ultimate Heavy-Duty Challenge: What We Hate

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If you've read the stories from our 2014 Ultimate Heavy-Duty Challenge (three-quarter-ton gas engines and one-ton dualie turbo-diesels), you know that we spent quite a bit of time with each of the pickup trucks in our head-to-head comparison. In that time we drove each vehicle on many different surfaces, in many different conditions through five different states, so we were able pick out many of the things we liked and many things we didn't like.

Here is what we didn't like, with our "What We Like" video coming tomorrow.

Cars.com photo by Evan Sears




I can't believe it. They slammed Ford. Maybe this is not a Ford run site.

Sounds like a lot of nid picking except for the ford interior it's cheap looking

Kudos! It's nice to hear and see critical reviews. Anything else is a dis-service to the viewer.

Another hate hopefully addressed in the next gen ford design is the excessive size of the ford cab, poor frontal aerodynamic area, and overall excess truck height. It's just not needed and ultimately poorly affects fuel economy.

It was expected. Ford is outdated.

Ford has rested on its laurels for way too long & is now way behind in the HD Pickup Truck business. I'm sure things will change come 2016 for them. Time will tell.

I agree with Mark about the comments of the Ford and being outdated! However I am sure that the next generation will be setting new standards for this segment. I do like the way that GM and Ram integrate their towing hitch.

So how come in the judges score for visibility the ford ranked worse than the ram? I mentioned this before. The ford has larger windows and mirrors all around (much better towing mirrors IMO) and yet ranked worse for visibility? Did you have the seat bottomed out? Then you mention specifically how the visibility is worse in the ram when backing because of the huge flares. The great visibility is one of the things I really like about my super duty. Your other points relate to how pretty and car-like these trucks are. The trailer brake location is really nit-picky. You probably will be touching it pretty rarely, so how important is it's location really as long as you can easily reach it? I think these articles ought to be written by a guy that has experience using trucks for.......work.

If you just look at the interiors of the trucks, I agree the ford is less "refined", but in my opinion has much better ergonomics for a working man. It is more simple and durable and feels more spacious and seems a lot better designed for getting in and out of the truck often. If I owned that truck with all the stitching, those stitches would fill with mud and dirt pretty fast and be hard to clean. You mention the "matched colors?" And the ford "desperately" needs better ride quality? Seriously? Are you talking about a truck or a cadillac? I've never had a problem with the ride quality in the ford. Hydraulic mounts are just another thing to wear out more quickly and add unnecessary expense on these more "refined" trucks. The last point about the look of the hitch is pretty nit-picky as well. I'd really like to see pickuptrucks.com bring on a real truck guy to review these trucks. Mark williams should be reviewing Cadillacs and Mercedes.

The working man's stripped down version is always available otherwise almost anyone forking out $60K+ for a vehicle will gravitate toward comfort. And we can't forget these vehicles will also be hauling loved ones.

Fortunately there's no reason to compromise just because a manufacturer gets lazy with design updates.

Talk about kicking a dead horse. Mark just came out and kicked ford in the nuts.

Agree about the dually fender designs. Ironic that Ram has the most obtrusive,m when Chrysler previously had the best - the minimal fender extension on the Dodge D/W series (through 1993)...

Ram would do well to return to a similar design for their next redesign. As for Ford, it looks like they took the fenders directly from Ram, as was used on the 2007-2009 Mega Cab dually.

"And the ford "desperately" needs better ride quality? Seriously? Are you talking about a truck or a cadillac?"

I share the sentiment, it's a HD truck not a car. SMFH!!!!!

How about a challenge where you put base-model 3500 DRW's against one another in the same situations? Challenge the manufacturers to offer the best performing base model for the best price. Make cost vs. performance the focal point of the challenge.

There's nothing wrong with pulling a fifth wheel with a diesel 4x4 dually, loaded with stitched leather and butt warmers. There is, however, a large segment of consumers that tow and haul heavy loads but instead do it with a regular cab 2wd gasser dually with plastic seats, no carpet, and crank windows.

Or maybe simplify it just take the absolute bare-bones dually you can get from each manufacturer and make them do this same exact challenge (modified trailer weight if necessary) and lay out the numbers including price.

LOL boy the Ford fanbois are getting pissed!

Hydraulic cab mounts make sense but the rest is nitpicking.

Interior quality, style, layout, comfort is an easy one for buyers to sort out. All they have to do is go to a dealer and sit in one.

The "integrated" trailer hitch look is just aesthetics. How about location of the trailer connectors? Most designs put them in a very vulnerable location.

PUTC said they tested these trucks in all sorts of road surfaces - Bull sh!t.

Spend a week with these beasts towing on gravel roads. Anyone who actually uses one of these for work will see dirt and mud.

Most of the Top 5 "I hate" comments were a comparison between #2 Ram and the #3 Ford.

The only negative was GM's left placement of the trailer brake.

@zviera - "It was expected. Ford is outdated."

Agreed. Wiith the exception of the 6.7 PowerStroke, the Ford HD is getting long in the tooth.

I don't know why the Ford fans would be getting pissed, there's an all-new Super Duty on its way. I think Ford fans should be excited. I agree the current body and chassis is outdated. Ram fans should be disappointed that the 2500 still doesn't get the high output Cummins but happy with the class leading specs on te 3500. GM fans should be happy that there's a new Duramax engine on its way. Unless you're a Tundra fan, you should be excited.

Wow, this site has really called out the Ford Superduty... basically calling it rubbish vs the rest.

I like the Superduty because of the proven years of service and it really is a work first minded truck. Yes the interior and ride are probably the worst but it is a TRUCK.

Hopefully Ford will address some of pickuptrucks.com complaints in the 2016 model while still retaining functionality.

Most of the criticism is well deserved, however,

The ride complaints will reverse if they tested these on a dirt/gravel road. The HD Chevy's have been compared to penalty boxes on anything other than smooth highway. It would have made for a much more complete test if there was at least SOME off-highway portion to the test.

ford fenders on the DRW are great! Ram is ugly

Ram has the worse mirrors..moose ears

The TBC and the ram and the ford are in fact where they should. Ask people who use these trucks as intended.

The F350 stiff ride is there for a reason. You want a car ride then by a car.

Call out the GM twins on DEF tank, they need to fix that, the IS front is a winner regardless of the solid axl lovers, I have a Jeep Wrangler so I don't hate Solid Axles but in towing rigs its not necessary in this class.

The ford has pretzel frame, dated interior, same doors for decades and they just refresh the front, the engine is not proven and that's not a solid proven truck, they have had powertrain issues forever.

My buddies superduty has the neat feature of roasting the tires out of no where overboosting, major rust on frame.

Ram is still the best HD here and I am GM fan, family works there, GM has the most reliable rig here 2500/3500.

But Ram has Megacab, powerwagon with lockers, sway bar disconnects like a Rubicon, Ram Box, Coil rears avail, Cummins, best interiors, best exteriors, best deals money off.

I wouldn't even consider the super duty, Duramax and Cummins all day long, just happens the Ram has too many exclusives, the Megacab really seals the deal, they could hush up the Cummins and pull a few more HP out of it and put an 8 speed and it would be about perfect.

The smooth ride is all about the cab mounts.
There are engineers all they do is design cab mounts.
A smooth ride does make a difference on a long distance ride.
The truck is designed and engineered for the customer test ride when he's thinking about buying it.
The Ford came in last but it will come in first being the most reliable.

What I hate:

1) Ram travels at 20 mph at 90% of the tow rating.

2) GM splits up GMC and Chevy resources to make 2 good trucks, but not 1 great truck, shortchanges Chevy.

3) Ram uses 2-3+ x's as much DEF

4) Rambox takes up a foot of the cargo bed

5) Exhaust brake on Ram too loud; ugly tow mirrors.

@Toycrusher - true. Most everyone I know say that the Ford and Ram ride much better than the IFS Chevy on gravel roads.

@Mr. Obvious - I know a guy with a Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited. He says the electronic disconnecting sway bars are failure prone if the Jeep is used in mud. He's gone through several sets and his Jeep is less than a year old. other guys he knows with similar Jeeps have had the same problem. Not everyone lives in Moab.
The PowerWagon has been neutered. The old one was good for 1800lbs. The new one has 1500 lb capacity in a plain truck or 1300lb in a full bling truck. Those numbers are Raptor territory.

Rambox is an expensive item that is easily outdone by an after-market "job-box".


I haven't see any issues with Sway Bar but that's a valid point, but its exclusives I pointed out.

I have a Willys, has some of the Rubi Goodies, Trac Lok, 3.73, rockrails, rubi wheels and tires, no sway and no lockers.

Frame on both 2500/3500 beefed up on RAM's, Super Duty frame is not in the same league as GM and Ram, even PUT.com mentioned ass dragging, we all have seen it, needs a refresh.

The new Ford engine is NOT proven, redesigned twice in 2 years to get bragging rights.

Ram has Megacab and that's def a major advantage, having ridden in the back of a new megacab, its impressive, cummins/duramax over ford inhouse engine/tranny all day long, 40 percent FE over the new Ford in PUT.com own testing, I call that a major advantage, the Cummins with DEF usage might be an issue, who knows, DEF is a big negative for all three, the low hanging tank on the GM is not good, maybe on all three refreshes they will get DEF right on usage and placements.

@Mr.Obvious - last durability ratings I saw which covered the 6.7 rated Ford in 2nd for durability. I'd like to see a few more years of data.
Agree that the SD frame needs updating as well as the suspension.
I don't see many MegaCabs- name explains why.

Ford needs to improve the HD's. That is coming. It is an ongoing game of leapfrog.

so how did chevy interior compare? why was it between ram and ford?

I have been saying the same thing about the Ford Super Duty for the last two years! I have been driving one for the last six years part time for a company and the 2015 is the same truck as the one in 2006 except the engine. Small windshield, rough ride, weak suspension, a cruise control that cannot find the speed you set, weak frame, and on and on.

All Guts

All Glory

All best in class Ram!

PUTC hated nothing on Ram - Posted by: HEMI

Except for the need to assign 1st place to a better overall package ;)

Things I hate:

GM DEF tank that hangs low and looks terrible

Why don't GM and Ram have power folding mirrors

Ram torque management that makes the engine feel doggy

Not a fan of the GM styling


Very low hanging GM front air dam

When they do the comparison tests I think they ought to choose mid-level models to compare. Whatever is the most common model sold. I'm sure the ford would probably be the xlt, but yet you never see an xlt in a comparison. It seems like the tests are usually the highest trim trucks and occasionally bare-bones trucks. How about testing the trucks everybody buys? In my community almost every household has a full-size truck. I know probably 20 guys that own a super duty, and not a single one of them has a platinum or king ranch.

I'm still trying to figure out how all three judges picked the ram as having better visibility. What really bugged me about the test is how they repeatedly talked about how thoroughly they tested the trucks, and then they chose the winner largely based on looks and personal preferences, and not on the actual testing. That alone wouldn't have bugged me so much, but they never even gave any kind of explanation for 1/2 of what made up the final results (the judges scores). As others pointed out the testing was pretty disappointing in how thorough it was. There were no rough roads mentioned, no gravel, no dirt, or mud, or snow, no tricky maneuvering. When I am towing it usually involves not only gravel roads but some paved roads that are in bad shape (frost heaves, maybe a few minor potholes, etc.). I've always enjoyed this site, but lately i've been pretty disappointed.


What will really be fun is to still be watching the Superduty out selling the Cram and Generic motors trucks more than 2 to 1 combined.

More Guts

More Glory

More @$$ Kicking

Class leading



Haters gonna hate.


Ford has oldest truck yet...
Gas truck: Ford #1 Emperical
Diesel: Ford & GM virtually tied Emperical

Thanks for playing.

Theres nothing wrong with saying the underpinnings of the Ford is getting long in the tooth. Because it's true. But you could add that a brand new Super Duty is on deck for next year. I think it's safe to assume that the frame will be getting a major upgrade since the motor and tranny have already gotten such treatment. This is classic Ford style as far as upgrades go. If Ford refuses to surrender the truck market to the likes of GM then they certainly won't surrender to an upstart such as RAM. Was Ford resting on it laurels? Probably not since it take 2 to 5 years to bring a new vehicle to market. It probably better to say Ford was caught with there pants down by RAM as they never expected RAM to swing for the fences like they have been doing. Either way the end consumers, us benefit in the end by all of this.

For thosesaying the site is slamming Ford, they're going to have a what we like video tomorrow and I bet there will be a few things they like from Ford. Powerscope Tow Mirrors, Engine, etc. Ram should get slammed hard tomorrow for going less than 30 mph on the Eisenhower Pass.

Ram= ;-)

G.M.= :-)

Ford= :-(

Video asks what i think.

Ford needs to update their truck. Dump the 90's C-Channel frame. Fix the harsh ride. Fix the suspension. Fix the interior. Fix the spontaneous Fires that have plagued Ford vehicles for decades.

Except for the need to assign 1st place to a better overall package ;) - Posted by: Lou_BC

You need to buy a better truck. Enough said......


Hmmm , another ( prototype fire? ) Don't think so... FORD SUCKS´╗┐.



Not one thing said bad about the GM trucks!

I finally did have the time to read and digest this article. All of these trucks are great. The differences are marginal and I did expect the fanboi's to attempt to use the data to their advantage.

For work trucks, each one of these far exceeds what I would offer a employee. These are trucks, not cars. Some of the assessments of these is almost carlike, which I do find useless.

Also, the expectations by some is carlike in their approach, even the testers.

But, I do have to admit when I had my business I wouldn't have considered one of these at all. And, yes we did have HD's in Australia when I had my business. The reason I wouldn't have bought one has nothing to do with the vehicle persay, but the type of vehicle it is.

Maybe if I was into construction I would of had one, but then again there are alternatives.

I was a manufacturer, located approximately 150km outside of Sydney and I had to get my product onto the shelves spread out over a 300km distance. Daily runs were a necessity, in the early 80s I had JIT delivery to the store's shelves. Product going interstate was left up to transport operators. I found deliveries to a transport operated far easier than to the loading bays in a large shopping mall. This is where this truck would have failed for me.

Loading the most in the smallest area. All I wanted is a truck to do 100kph. Because in many countries a truck exceeding the speed limit is of great concern. So why do you need 1/4 mile times when large vehicles are speed limited and governed. These are trucks not cars.

If I was in the same position today, I wouldn't not run trucks again. I would use a logistics/transport company.

These trucks are great and very competitive with each other. They are that competitive that if I owned a business that require the use of one of these I would be purchasing the cheapest, not the brand or the slight differences between them.

If you don't always drive the truck and someone is employed you listen to feedback and look at your ledger to see which product is better and as this test displays the differences will be marginal between them.

I do like all of them. I have a soft spot for Cummins, but I'm not a Fiat fan. The winning vehicle the Chev won, maybe because of a little subjectiveness or it won fairly.

I like Ford, because I own one of their light commercials (Mazda), but then again it's made in Thailand.

The only way I would own one of these is if I had toys to be moved around, but then again there are plenty of alternatives.

This test does try to give the reader it's opinion on which vehicle it deems the best using the test parameters laid, it does achieve this.

Except, look at the competition, all from one country. Why?

Car testing covers a multitude of nations in almost every segment don't you guys ever wonder why?

The only thing I will comment on is that the G.M. Truck trailer hitch receiver sticks out, making your draw bar stick out even more. I do not look at the back of my truck to tow a trailer if I did I may care. What I do is walk around the back of a G.M. truck and hit my knee on the drawbar!

I have been the happy owner 2 recent generation Ram HD. Towing ridiculous grades with 10,000 plus lbs and 110 degree heat is no sweat. I get 23-26 mpg unloaded. Power and acceleration are a confident certainty loaded or not and passing is quite simple. My buddies owned toyotas, Fords and Chevys. After my experiences and what they see me do, they have all new RAMs. Yes... really it would make a great commercial.

think you guys hit the nail on the head!

It seems about right. The best selling truck in America being degraded. When your the best, people always try and tear you down, great job ford for not stooping down to the competitions level.

Finally a great review! This will help me decide which truck to buy, because the one I have I hate for some of the reasons that were pointed out in the video. It also tells the manufacturers what they need to improve upon if they want sales.

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