When it comes to pickup trucks there is nothing quite like a comparison between makes, especially between the American big 3 like this 2017 Chevy 3500HD vs Ford vs RAM review doing the hard stuff. When I say the hard stuff I mean a proper heavy towing test, both up and down a high country hill.
These hi-way hills don’t come much tougher than the Ike Gauntlet. It is 8 miles long with a constant 7 degree gradient, each pickup was towing the same 30,000 lb load, and was tested going up the Ike Gauntlet against the stop watch and fuel consumptionmeter. Then it was tested coming back down using exhaust engine braking, plus counting the number of times the brakes also needed to be applied. Downhill performance is more important than going uphill as there is nothing more scary or dangerous than any rig, big or small, in an out of control situation due to overheated or cooked brakes. This is where a diesel engine with exhaust brakes shine through. Provided the truck is in the correct gear, which is usually the same gear needed to go up the hill, the exhaust brake, although noisy is very efficient and often takes away the need to use brakes at all. For the long distance big rigs this does reduce their brake maintenance costs and gives tires longer mileage before needing replacing.
The 3 pickups in this test are the 2017 models of the Chevy 3500 HD, the Ford F-350 Super Duty, and the RAM 3500 HD. I wont spoil whats in the video by adding the results here but sufficient to say the truck I expected to rate the lowest didn’t, and the one that should have been either No1 or very close it actually came in well behind. So there you have it, enjoy the video and be surprised [perhaps]
The score card at the end of this test is quite a surprise
Special thanks to the Fast Lane Team. Photos are video screen shots.