2014 Ultimate Heavy-Duty Challenge: What We Like

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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




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.

+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.

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.

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.

@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)


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. :-)

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.


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.


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?



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."

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.




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

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.


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. :-)

Oh I forgot, Ford doesn't offer a FordBox.

Posted by: zviera | Aug 26, 2014 10:45:40 PM

Ford needs to offer the Fire Box option just like Rams Ram Box. Only different. Have it full of Fire extinguishers. That way you can keep the cost to a minimum. Sorta self contained only better. ;-) What do you think?

At least my truck doesn't have a truck..............
We all know that. I better bookmark this. LOL.
Karma is a bitch.

Hahaha Fire box, HEMI V8 you made my day.

@zviera -

What I find ironic is my gaff was a typo and yours are deliberate.

Your Typo is Karma.

Here is another Ram that caught fire. I guarantee you there are a greater percentage of new Rams that catch fire than any other truck.

(Ram) Pickup truck fire doused near Outer Ring Road ramp


Some commuters in St. John's experienced an unusual delay on Tuesday morning, when a pickup truck caught fire near a ramp on the Outer Ring Road.

The driver was alone in the vehicle when it suddenly filled with smoke while he was driving on the Ring Road, an arterial that circles the city.

The truck pulled over and stopped on Allandale Road, near a westbound exit to the Outer Ring Road.

Firefighters used hoses to put the fire out.

@ Hemi V8

Are you talking to yourself?

The ute tubs might look nice to some, but even a well designed tray back is nice, especially colour coded.

I have read some comments regarding the Ram Box and the versatility increases.

I do think this style of pickup bed (in the link) would definitely increase the versatility and you can even carry a back pack or two in the back, securely.

This gives you a extremely durable pickup bed that's very strong.


@Zvirus, you are the last person on here who should be criticizing others for typos. Everybody else has been fair to you, and I haven't pointed yours out because I think that would be pretty low. If you prefer to keep score and you want to be corrected every time, please let us know.

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