• 2017 Chevy HD vs. Ford SD vs. Ram HD: Highway Towing MPG Review with 22,800 Lbs [Video]

    This year’s towing MPG loop competitors are: 2017 Chevy HD 3500 with the 6.6L Duramax V8, 2017 Ford Super Duty F-350 with the 6.7L Power Stroke V8, and the 2017 Ram HD 3500 with the 6.7L Cummins I6. Which one of the three brand heavy trucks is best at flat highway towing efficiency? Let’s find out right now.

    GM has completely redesigned the big Duramax V8 diesel for 2017. According to Chevrolet, the engine has 90% new parts. It now makes 445 horsepower and 910 lb-ft of torque. The new turbo-diesel is hooked up to a mildly upgraded 6-speed Allison 1000 automatic transmission. Although, the power has been upgraded, the rest of the chassis remains the same. The payload and towing rating get only the slightest bump for 2017. The 22,800 lbs BigTest gooseneck trailer we are towing completely maxes out this Chevy. This truck is equipped with the 3.73 rear differential ratio, the only one available.

    The 2017 Ford F350 Super Duty is all new from the frame to the panoramic sunroof. The aluminum-bodied truck rides on a stiffened frame. The truck is full of latest driver aide and convenience technologies, including adaptive cruise control and 360-degree camera view. The upgraded 6.7L Power Stroke V8 diesel is rated at 440 horsepower and 925 lb-ft of torque. The F350 is rated to tow a maximum of 31,800 lbs – the highest towing rating of these three. The rear differential ratio on this truck is 4.10.

    The Ram HD is mostly unchanged for this year. The high-output 6.7L Cummins I6 is still rated at 385 horsepower and 900 lb-ft of torque. The rear-end on this truck is a 4.10.

    Which diesel will be the most efficient on this loop?  Check out the video right here.

    Andre Smirnov
    Andre Smirnov
    Andre Smirnov is an Automotive Enthusiast, Producer, Reviewer, Videographer, Writer, Software Engineer, Husband, Father, and Friend.

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    103 thoughts on “2017 Chevy HD vs. Ford SD vs. Ram HD: Highway Towing MPG Review with 22,800 Lbs [Video]

    1. We’ll get 10-15 mpg on this exact test when we demand electric motors directly turning the wheels and a diesel engine generating the power for it. That kind of truck will also power our houses and campgrounds and work sites. Why are these old things still our only choice?

      1. Havern – – –

        Well,…yes…but there may be other issues:
        1) Cost of a comparable hybrid EV truck would be about $10K higher.
        2) Even a small battery pack alone would weigh about 800 lbs. One suitable for heavy-duty truck towing may go 1000 lbs.
        3) The electric motors (assuming two) would be at least 100 lbs a piece, totaling 200 lbs. So, added in with the battery weight, we may reduce haul and tow capability by at least 1000 lbs.
        4) Electric motors give max torque at low (zero) RPM, but may not deliver that same max torque, nor the same torque as diesel engines, at 2000 RPM.
        5) Cooling of battery packs at high-discharge rates is a big problem, and these batteries would be drained quickly here under the loads shown here;
        6) Batteries don’t like cold temperatures, and their charge capacities and rates suffer. If this test were done at -5 deg F from a dead-cold start on this exact test, the hypothetical battery EV hybrid would likely not be able to compete very well, much less hold 70 MPH.

        I’m sure there are concerns. Yes, an EV hybrid diesel truck could be done, but I would expect it to shown up in mid-size trucks first, at least as a first attempt.

        1. No, these are misconceptions by people who are ignorant. The engineering is not the problem. The only problem is our ignorance, voting patterns, and the auto industry’s milking of the status quo.
          1. Cost is far cheaper since you don’t have to build a transmission or rear end or linkages. Electric motors are smaller, simpler and much cheaper to build. Gas mileage is also much cheaper. And, maintenance is much cheaper. The diesel diesel engine never gets hot and never changes gets jerked around and always runs at its optimal speed, lasting many times longer than an engine punished by going through gears.
          2. You don’t have to have a big battery pack at all. Locomotives do not have big batteries. The diesel engine powers the electric motor.
          3. With no transmission, rear-end or linkages and a smaller engine you save thousands of pounds in metal and fuel.
          4. Electric motors make more torque at high rpm than any diesel truck driver is used to. Easily 1000 hp at highway speeds! You see how stupid we are for accepting these old kind of vehicles.
          5. You don’t have to cool any batteries, just a diesel engine, like usual. But in this application, the diesel engine would not get near as hot. And 23,000 pounds of towing is NOTHING for electric motors to pull up any mountain. A diesel engine mechanically connected to this load has a much more difficult time.
          6. Like I say, locomotives operate in the coldest of conditions, and you have a diesel engine warming anything up you want at any time! Man, people are stupid.
          And then you say “you are sure it can be done.” It has been done for a long time.

          All major automakers have these vehicles in their labs. And some are even for sale. See Via Motors/Vtrux, tesla, Honda Accord Hybird etc.

          1. No. we don’t have the technology to go as far either, a Diesel engine to run the motor? What would the point be? It works in trains because their engines are massive.

            1. Oooooooh!, so now the problem is that the engine is too big. Sooo, which is it? The battery would be too big? Or the ENGINE would have to be too big?
              Like I say, you folks don’t know what you are talking about, keep changing your story. And you are ignoring that IT HAS ALREADY BEEN DONE FOR A LONG TIE NOW.

            2. I guess the question is how efficient would a smaller package be in a truck. I am not saying it would be good or bad because I honestly do not know. It is efficient in a train for sure. At least based on what I have heard. Heavy mining trucks do the same thing. Very powerful and I dont know if they do it for power, efficiency or due to packaging. I do find it odd that it hasnt been explored yet. My guess is because we are seeing it more high end vehicles it may end up under the hood of trucks. They already have electric motors at the wheels so i suspect they could be built to handle the stress of towing. I could also see them as full time AWD just to divide the work load of each motor. A smaller battery pack may be needed for short burst of high amp loads to reduce the stress on the generator. A diesel may be a good option but so could gas. The question is how efficient can it be downsized. If it is done, be aware of all the nay sayers that said it does not have that V8 sound.

          2. Havern – – –

            First, I would suggest that you do not refer to any people on this website as “ignorant” or “stupid”. They have their views; you have yours. If you feel you cannot have this type of discussion properly, then I recommend you visit somewhere else.

            Second, referring to your (and my) paragraph numbers, without repeating your comments, here are some thoughts:
            1) All speculation aside, and discounting government subsidies, statement-of-fact: Hybrid vehicles have always been more expensive than their simple, direct ICE counterparts.
            2) Again, hypothetical speculation aside, statement-of-fact: Hybrid vehicles have always been heavier than their simple, direct ICE counterparts. So, any weight savings from removing the transmission and other mechanical components has not been significant. Practical hybrid road vehicles have shown a need for a battery pack to allow a small ICE to buffer the power delivery and get a cost savings.
            3) ProjectIon: Therefore, as applied to a pickup truck, towing and hauling capacity WILL be reduced, compared to a truck with simply an internal combustion engine.
            4) Statement-of-Fact: electric motors give maximum torque at 0 RPM, and then either decline immediately with increasing speed, or plateau for a short duration, and drop precipitously.
            5) Cooling of batteries with liquid channels throughout the battery matrix has been, and continues to be, a substantial issue. And, when hot batteries rupture (or are pierced), the anode and cathode components have shorted out and caused fires, even with sedans and SUVS’s:
            Statement-of-Fact: Trucks are typically even more exposed to hazardous or taxing or extreme conditions than are cars.
            6) Since battery packs MUST be used for this scenario to be practical, the low-temperature problem with batteries won’t go away.

            There is yet one more issue: work trucks are often used on construction sites in water up to their hubs, axles, or drivelines. How well do soaking wet electric motors run?

            Now, if you feel this combination of a diesel engine-with-electric-motors-and-no-batter-pack is feasible, I would suggest you put the time and money into building a prototype, getting your mileage, capacity, manufacturing costs, energy data, AND make the business case for presentation to one of the Big Three (or Five) American truck manufacturers. This whole issue could be settled experimentally in short order.


            1. Are you suggesting there is no such thing as ignorance and stupidity? I fully admit I am ignorant and stupid. I am a human being, and I would assume you are human, but I don’t have to. You proved your ignorance and stupidity in your last two posts. I am ignorant and stupid, but you are ignorant and stupid and don’t know it. That’s doubly grave.
              1. “Always”? I suggest you stay away from superlatives. You are proved wrong by using that word alone. Look to industry and commercial vehicles. Corporations are not as stupid usually as consumers. THESE VEHICLES ARE ALREADY PROVEN FOR DECADES. I think your narrow-mindedness keeps focusing usually on consumer hybrids (although even those have proven the concept now–See Honda Accord Hybrid 2017).
              2. There you go with that “always” again. Completely untrue. If electric propelled vehicles with diesel generators cost more and are heavier, they would not have been procured and maintained for decades by industrial applications. Its consumers short-term outlook that don’t get it.
              3. Oh, yeah, that’s why industry uses this concept in some of the most heavy hauling applications on earth! Duh.
              4. Gosh, all those race cars with electric motors must have magic making them faster than the combustion cars.
              5. Ha! No high-reving combustion engines and big fuel tanks ever catch fire and blow up. You’re just making this fun for all of us now.
              6. Oh no, none of those industrial vehicles using this design are EVER used in freezing conditions (that’s sarcasm). Take that superlative.

              No pickup-truck is abused like industrial vehicles. You are a really good example of ignorance and stupidity. Don’t get me wrong. We all are in our own ways.

              Oh yeah, in all my spare time. As if I don’t have enough things I am engineering to help poor people across the world right now.

            2. Well put Bernie.
              In response to Havern:
              (1) not sure what you are referring to here.
              (2) There are other reasons these configuration are used in these apllications. For instance; in a train cna you imagine putting in a “convential” transmission and driveshafts able to handle the torque a locomaotive produces and then be able to get that to all the wheels that it powers. A generator/motors combination simple does this better. Does this mean that it will be the suppior solution in a completely different appication (ie, pickup truck). No. Also, compare the cost of a locomotive to a pickup truck. No comparision. Normalize it by power output. Still no comparsion.
              (3) See above. Same applies to Heavy Haul trucks, etc). Completely different economics, duty cycle, objectives. Apples to Oranges.
              (4) ?
              (5) You might be surprised when comparing the incident/number of vehilces.
              (6) Most of the industrial machines you mention do not use batteries, so the arguement is mute. Using battey operated vehilces in cold climates is a concern.
              Could an truck be built using electric motors? Of course. It has been done and is being done. Does it offer all the advantages you describe? No. And for many of the features you cite there is little reason to beleive that they ever will. There are simply some things about the technology that you do not understand correctly.

          3. Curious as to where you get your information. Without a battery pack milaeage will go down-a mechanical transmission is more effecient that an electrical one (generator-motor).
            (1) electric motors are not likely to be less expensive than a transmisison, or at least not substantailly so. By time you add in the very expenisve electronic controls needed to control those motors there will be no economic advantage.
            (2) True. See first paragraph.
            (3) If there are no batteries, you will need the same size engine to get the same power. Slightly larger actualy as a generator/motor type setup is less effecient than a geared transmission. You will still need a rearend of some sort. You will need just as much if not more fuel. Motors are not light-atleast not ones that can produce that much power and at that duty cycle.
            (4) It depends on how big of a electric motor you put in there. My electric drill has an electric motor and makes awesome torque but it is not as much as my diesel engine. You could also put in a bigger diesel engine if you really needed more torque.
            (5) The diesel engine will get just as hot, as it will have to make just as much power. Electric motors do not pull power from thin air. The rest of you statement has no connection to reality or known physics. The power for the motor comes from the diesel engine.
            The vehicles you mention ALL use batteries. None of them regularly tow large vehilces.
            I don’t know why I wasted my time responding to this. Your grasp of enginering and the subject matter is clearly lacking, that or you’re just trying to wind people up with your mis-information.

            1. Another factor to consider is the ongoing supply/demand curve for various rare earth elements needed for both electric motors and battery packs.

              If massive engines/battery packs are constructed in huge numbers, at what point will it pinch the available supply? If it does, will it drive orices up?

          4. Haverne, some people just plain prefer the way a traditional gas or diesel engine moves a vehicle…pressing the accelerator produces a rise in engine tone and sound, and a direct increase in speed. You feel the transmission shift…or even better, you shift yourself. People feel very connected to their vehicles. You can’t just take that away. Offer alternatives, sure…but never force. By the way, electric motors absolutely do not produce linear torque curves. They produce maximum torque at zero RPM, and as motor speed increases, torque decreases.

          5. Telling us that we are ignorant about technology that we already know does not make us ignorant. Now I do see your view point , but to put this in a much smaller application is probably not viable for Auto manufacturers.

            1 how do you know it is cheaper? it might be cheaper for locomotives and such but it might be not so in a much smaller application. Not only that the manufacturers have to retool everything to make this work. Which equals a very big expensince. Look at how much Ford spent to go to aluminum. Also you said it is much cheaper to repair , but that might be not true. You have to educate a lot mechanics to learn this whole new system. Do you think the dealer’s can afford this? This is very large expenses and down time from that dealer to fix what they got now with limited amount of mechanics​ they got now. I’d imagine when they have new update now it is very expensive to educate mechanics​.

            2 yes true

            3 I doubt you would save much​, but this contradicts number 2. Will you just have one motor to power all the wheels? Or motor for each wheel? You see how things get really complicated ?

            4 can you seal that motor from all the elements from not getting hot? Have you ever seen a locomotives go through water? There is reason for this. Anything above 6″ it don’t go. Yes this system might work on the highway , but out in the elements not so much.

            5 is true what you say, but you still have to keep the motors cool and kept dry.

            6 yes locomotives operate in cold conditions​, but so does the vehicles we got today with out much problems.
            Don’t call us stupid just because you have great idea and we reject it. We are just as intelligent as you are.

            Now the last part. Sure there might be some manufacturers might be experimenting, but the cost is probably the big reason for this development not going any further than testing. Havern you don’t have no idea on how much this cost neither do I, but one have to assume it isn’t cost productive for the manufacture to make something like this.

            I have nothing against new power train ideas, but I look at as a whole. Not just that is probably better than what we got currently. I doubt we will see this dsl electric motor anytime soon.

          6. I’ve driven an HD truck with a Hybrid Diesel/Electric powertrain. It SUCKED!!! They a long way to go before they are even close to competing with a conventional ICE powertrain. It only averaged about 0.5 mpg more than its conventional counterpart, and was completely gutless. The only nice thing about it was the PTO running off the battery pack. Made it very quiet when I used the hydraulic unit in a neighborhood.

        2. How is going from Chemical/Mechanical (diesel engine) to Elecrical (motor) then back to mechanical any better than simply going Chemical/Mechanical directly to Mechanical in regards to efficiency? You may save a small amount in drivetrain loss, but there is no such thing as a free lunch. I suppose it is the slack jawed yokles in red state America as to why fuel efficiency is so low and NOT because of government agencies with non-elected officials whom are 90% liberal??

          1. If you think drive train friction and the sort are the only gains you get, well… I can only say you need to think it through a bit longer. We’re not talking about a free lunch here. Locomotives and industrial vehicles and Via Motor trucks/Vtrux and the Honda Accord hybrid 2017 don’t get ZERO mpg!
            We’re talking far more efficient, not free lunch.
            Is your name really Moses? Because you suppose erroneously. By confusing yourself as to the engineering in front of everyone, and thus reverting to a political, binary way of thinking in order to discern my motivation, you have only revealed the very problem we are facing here. THE PROBLEM IS ONLY IN OUR HEADS.
            As I and others have stated many times before, it isn’t an engineering problem. That has already been done for decades. The red states AND the liberals are BOTH the problem. Because they are BOTH human, ignorant and stupid. Starting to get it yet?
            I’ve given you what you need to search. So please go study it yourselves.

            1. Here is a man that is not so ignorant on the subject. His comment is at the bottom of the page.
              “Interesting that our fleet of Volvo VNLs with the D13 455 hp, 1650 ft. lb. and iShift transmission with GVW of 60,000 – 70,000 lbs get 7 mpg, all day long.”
              And heck, those aren’t even electrified diesels. You see what kind of crap we are spending our life’s saving on? We need to demand better.

            2. Yes this technology has been around a long time. Do you really think your the first person to think of this? Do you honestly think any of the big manufacturers wouldnt have jumped on this for automotive HD applications if it was viable? Unlike a locomotive where you have set speeds for long durations a vehicle is stop start, fast slow, on/off. If you just used an engine as a generator in this application without a good sized battery pack you’d kill the motor or negate any possible fuel savings advantages. Plus if it’s diesel you still have all the emissions crap on it. Don’t know what your occupation in life is but leave the “engineering” to the professionals

          2. Exactly.
            A mechanical transmission is considerable MORE efficient than a generator/motor combination. The advantage electrics have is the ability to capture regenerated power (i.e. energy storage=battery) and their ability to function as an infinitely variable transmission (one of the reasons they are used in trains and heavy haul vehicles).
            The reason the electric trucks mentioned by others get better fuel efficiency is because they are hybrids, meaning they require batteries. They use a smaller engine with an output optimized for efficiency. The battery can only supply power for so long. These types of vehicles cannot provide sustained high output like a diesel truck can while towing a heavy load.

          1. Wow, sooo many people stuck in their thoughts. Soo many people stuck in ignorance of what it going on and has been going on for a long time. I gave many examples for you to research, and they get stuck on one. That should tell you the kind of narrow-mindedness we are dealing with.

            1. Well if your so damn smart and have it all figured out then make millions off your ideas. If you succeed I’ll be cheering you on…. but I’m putting my money on the people and companies who know what their doing and do this for a living

            2. Yeah…all of us are so stupid…only YOU are smart. I’ve heard that kind of logic before. Especially when it is delivered in a condescending, degrading manner. I’d suggest you leave this forum.

          2. They already have. Look up my examples. Its actually more compact than all the transmissions and linkages.

      1. Thanks for the comparison. Looks like the Chevy and Ram are very similar. Ford results seems weird. When are the dyno runs coming out?

          1. While it is true that a higher RPM will typically yield lower MPG, the reality is each vehicle was accomplishing the same amount of work, therefore the fact that Ford was much lower MPG seems weird. Your RPM example only tells part of the story. I’m curious if they were in Regen during part of the run. Another possible factor is the winds. Predominately the winds build through the day, but all that is conjecture… hence weird.

            1. I’m sure it was in regen while the other two weren’t. No possible way ford couldn’t be number one.

    2. This test is one of my favorites that you do. Towing MPGs is real money while the IKE gauntlet seems more about bragging rights.

    3. Andre
      While cruising did all the trucks stay in 6th gear or did they have to downshift now and then? Did one brand downshift more than the others? If so, do you think that downshifting helped or hurt that truck’s fuel mileage? Keep up these videos. They are the best, most unbiased, most accurate views available to us on these trucks. Thanks again.

    4. All these mileages are just horrible. Under 7 mpg. I get better with my gas motor home. These newer emissions diesels are just getting choked put and are just losing efficiency. To bad you didn’t check DEF usage. The Cummins has been using up to 3 times the DEF as Ford and GM but I wonder how much the new Duramax is using now. But 100 mile test loop is not a long enough period to test that.

    5. How much did the Ford sag. I didn’t seem to hear that number. I heard the Chevy 2″ and it looked like a buck board in their with Andre and Kent just bouncing around.

    6. The ram and Chevy will save the consumer a lot of money on fuel compared to the Ford over the lifetime of the truck. I’m really disappointed with Ford, especially being a brand new truck from bumper to bumper. I’d take the RAM. I’d consider the Chevy if it had a solid front axle. Really crappy thing about Ford, if there is engine problems, the entire cab has to be removed.

    7. None of the trucks did great. Then again they were moving about 30k lbs combined. The Cummins has always been good on fuel. The GM did better than the Ford since it was turning 1700 RPm instead of 2100. Still, it was another disappointment for the Ford. A truck with 3.55 gears may have helped, but then it would have done much worse on the 0-60.

    8. So the ram gets 15% better mileage than the ford. I6 is a more fuel efficient design than V8. Chevy has a nice cruising rpm.

      1. Now we have to factor in DEF fluid usage. The Cummins historically uses 2-3 times the DEF as the Powerstroke and old Duramax. I am curious on what the new Duramax does.

        1. That kind of DEF consumption might make for a wash with the GM, but still wont cover the 17% more fuel that the Ford sucked down. Yes, it comes with a 48gallon tank, so it isn’t a problem for the guy buying the $75k bling truck to pull his high dollar 5er or race hauler. For those who depend on these trucks for a living, it makes a difference. IN this scenario, $4.20 more for fuel every hour,$33.60 in an 8 hour day. More simply, without being able to adjust for DEF usage, its 6c/mile in extra fuel that the Ford uses. That adds up.

    9. That looked like a miserable day, thanks for enduring. All I can say is I’d get the one with the biggest available fuel tank and be cruising 55-60 to help bring those numbers up.

      1. Yea it looked like terrible day to be out there. Wind, snow, probably ice(accident) and just no fun at all. I agree, they deserve a big thanks for all they do for sure.

    10. You’re towing with the Superduty before its achieved 1000 miles. According to the manual, this is too early and maybe impacting its performance. The other trucks have a little higher mileage which helps but these trucks won’t get their best mileage until they pass 10k and break in.

      1. Dave. Where did it say it’s under 1000 miles? If you pause at 10:07 it shows 730 because the camera angle does show the numbers before that. Might be 1730

      2. True. It would be great if they could do this again with trucks that have a few thousand miles on them (broken in). I understand the logistics in doing that however would be difficult.

    11. I am happy Ford appears to have changed the suspension to not sag as much as it has in the past. Having a good stance after loaded to almost max payload and offer the best ride with the most quiet cabin are huge benefits for those on the road alot. MPG may improve as the engine breaks in but if your on the road a lot, comfort means a lot.

      1. When did they ever say it was a better ride than the chevy? Just wondering. They said the ram was bumpy.

    12. I found my ford mpg computer to be always within 2/10’s of my hand calculation. Almost dead nuts on. Never hand calculated my sierra. But these computers can no longer be called the lie o meter as I’ve seen some say.

    13. Any chance TFLteuck would consider the same test unloaded? I know that is asking a lot but I think we would all be curious. I just have to wonder if these trucks can even pull 17mpg highway completely empty. In any event – Thank you TFL, it was an awesome test you put together for us!

    14. These results were to be expected. With the Cummins turbo diesel unchanged for the 2017 model year, the Duramax completely redesigned, and the Powerstroke updated, it’s no wonder that the RAM came in first, Chevy in second, and the Ford third (or last).

      The Ike Gauntlet Showdown in which the Chevy placed first, RAM second, and Ford third (or last) was also to be expected.

      Ford loyalists have been bragging about the major updates made over the past couple of years to the light and heavy duty Fords such as the switch to aluminum, the use of turbo charged engines (ecoboosts), the introduction of a half-ton diesel (Following suite of RAM’s success with their ecodiesel), and so on.

      Despite their plethora of updates and changes, Ford placed last in the Gold Hitch Awards, placed last in the HD MPG comparison test, and GM proved that Ford’s aluminum beds can easily be punctured when a bed liner is not in place.

      So with that said, should Ford loyalist continue to brag about all of the updates and changes made to the Fords? Granted, Ford is innovating but is it paying off (is Ford reaping big rewards/huge gains?) A question for Ford loyalists to ponder about over the months and years to come!

      1. Mike,

        It is hard to say that ram has been successful with their 1/2 ton diesel when they dont sell that many and it is under federal investigation for emissions cheating. The EPA found 8 cheating programs that FCA never disclosed and these happen to increase MPG at the cost of higher emissions. When that pans out then saying it was success can be said. There is a law suit between FCA and Cummins for emissions issues with the HD’s and investigations for emissions too. Ram mentioned no updates for 2017 yet for some reason it suddenly gets better at down hill braking and performance? Special calibration for the press trucks? FCA has been under several federal investigations and has received some hefty fines over the past few years I dont trust anything they have right now, especially press trucks.

        The engine and transmission is virtually unchanged for 2017. They did crank up the boost a little for more torque but for some reason it still was not enough. For some reason the new 6.7L has been low for MPG’s. I believe it is because they use EGR more than others for emissions. Cummins pumps a lot of DEF in the exhaust to use less EGR.

        The switch to aluminum in the Superduty i believe is a good thing because they have increased the frame strength and was able to put in even bigger axles. Even though the previous axles were pretty stout. The weight of the rear axle shows that. Ram is out of options right now, thus the rear axle remained unchanged for the higher capacity other than adding 2 ring gear bolts and detuning the engine till 3rd gear.

        While I am disappointed in the IKE run I still think Ford is going in the right direction. Right now the current diesel truck are just outstanding in pulling. I wish the torque wars would end and the big three would focus more on reliability for all this emissions junk. All 3 companies have high warranty cost in emissions related repairs. Even the class 8 trucks do. A dealer I work with has guys dedicated to just emissions repairs on these large trucks. They have a ton of work waiting for them every day. I looked at a detroit diesel torn down the other day and the intake port was coked up and looked worse than the exhaust port. It is incredible what these engines have to deal with now.

        I also think the big three need to focus on interior and comfort. Right now they are doing a good job of that but it will get even better. With the new Superduty offering the quietest cabin now and what the TFL crew has said the best ride, they are heading in the right direction. I would gladly take less peak torque to gain emissions reliability any day.

        1. How exactly is ram out of options?? Who’s to say that can’t get more power out of the 6.7 Cummins or beef up the current aisin?

          1. For GVWR. If they want to keep it as a class 3 truck they are limited by its own weight. Unless it can save weight elsewhere, they are capped at their current limits. The rear axle is what im referring to. Ford was able to reduce weight and instead of using the same axles they have for a very long time, they were able to install even stronger axles for future expansion. It also showed up with Fords rear axle weight being the heaviest. Bigger and stronger axles.

            1. Im sure they will up their game for sure. In fact I don’t know why Ford keeps the F450 superduty as a class 4 truck now that the current F350 has more towing. The F450 has the big t-rex axle under it that is found on the F450 and F550 and 19.5″ tires. It can handle a lot of weight so Ford could market it as a class 4 pickup truck heavy hauler and increase it’s payload. The crowd looking for that kind of capability would buy it for sure instead of getting class 4 cab and chassis trucks.

            2. Thats why baxk in 06 Dodge dropped the NV5600 manual trans in favor of the G56 crapper. Helped as far as gross weight but went to a much inferior transmission.

      2. Mike That last question is yes. Look at the sales they haven’t changed much. So innovatives has been paying off and to the future.

    15. Wow. Another win for RAM. Better MPG and Time pulling up the Ike Gauntlet than Ford, better MPG than GM and Ford pulling on 100 miles loop. Air ride and no sag.

      Best truck overall for towing in my books.

      Congrats to RAM, no aluminium needed.

      1. Zviera,

        I agree with you totally on the Ram, its the best one for this application all around! You can’t beat an inline 6 and true air suspension.

        I just wished it had the older model grill – dont care for the new one.

        1. It’s not a true air suspension on the dually. Its a hybrid of rear air bags and leaf springs. Motor Trend said the air-bag equipped RAM dually was the worst riding truck by far; it felt like a 10-year old truck. Not good.

          Here’s their quote: “Not entirely. Take, for instance, the ride of the 3500 diesel dually. “Poor” doesn’t begin to describe it despite its $1,595 rear air suspension. “It rides like a truck from 10 years ago,” Loh said. “I felt bumps and other vibrations like no other truck here on parts of the drive loop that I didn’t feel anything in any other truck.”

          Here’s the link: http://www.motortrend.com/news/ram-2500-3500-hd-2017-truck-of-the-year-contender/

          Motor Trend also rated the Super Duty fuel economy higher than RAM, at least unloaded. Here is the link: http://www.motortrend.com/news/ford-super-duty-2017-motor-trend-truck-of-the-year/

          1. I didn’t drive this model, so I can’t comment on that, but it’s a working progress. Air ride is the way to go.They need to make a fine tweaking and use a bigger air bags with less pressure to get a softer suspension characteristics. That’s all. I would rather keep it firme ,like german car, than wobbly , like Raptor.

    16. This test is a good baseline, and it would be interesting to see a follow up test once they have higher miles on them.
      Loaded VS unloaded as well as a dynamic test. This would eliminate any speculation about computer engine governing before a set mileage is achieved.

    17. Well done TFL. Another test done as fairly as possible. This was also a pretty good test of the hood scoop on the Chevy.

    18. Great review , TFL. I love these real world practical reviews. Much more meaningful than drag races in these 10k pound barges.

    19. So Ford is the slowest truck up the IKE, and it get’s the worst fuel economy! Ford has also had to change their diesel motor design three times since the 7.3L powerstroke. GM has used the same basic design since 2001, yes they changed a few things but it remains a 6.6L engine. While Ford has had to completely change their design’s over the last 14 years or so. Even Dodge went from a 5.9L cummins to a 6.7L cummins in that amount of time. That tells you a lot about who’s had their stuff together the most. With this kind of gas mileage though, I think I would seriously consider buying an 05 2500 with the big block 8.1L over one of these new diesels. I bet the fuel economy would be darn near identical.

    20. Interesting that our fleet of Volvo VNLs with the D13 455 hp, 1650 ft. lb. and iShift transmission with GVW of 60,000 – 70,000 lbs get 7 mpg, all day long.
      They cost quite a bit more but still interesting.

      1. They are a lot slower!
        Impressive though.
        Build a pickup truck with a similiar HP/GVWR and a similiar number of gears and think you’d see a big improvement in fuel economy.

      2. I bet we’ll start seeing transmission like the iShift in these trucks in the not to distant future. They’re starting to show up in the medium duty class.

    21. I’d like to see the mpgs for the Super Duty and the Ram trucks maxed out as well since the Chevy was too.

    22. @ JAY: RAM, GM, then Ford for MPG
      6.6, 6.5, and 5.7 mpg I think

      PUTC has a preview of their upcoming V-8 3/4 ton shootout! These are the base work trucks, but it is the one that many have been waiting for. All gas V-8s in the XD, F-250, Ram 2500, and GM 2500.
      Kudos to TFL who did ALOT this year, but still would like to see the gas HD trucks next year.

    23. The Ford runs slightly shorter tires than the RAM and Chevy. Without knowing the ratio for 6th gear in their respective transmissions, the RAM and Ford both have 4.10 axle ratios; the GM has a 3.73 axle. So if all things were equal, the Ford would turn the most RPMs at a given speed. Typically that uses the most fuel, unless the others are running more boost to maintain speed…which they probably were not.

      For reference, I own a 2017 F-350 crew cab long bed Lariat Ultimate dually 4×4 Powerstroke, much like the truck tested here. It has 7,000 miles on it now – the biggest difference between mine and this truck is I ordered mine with the 3.55 axle ratio. This past Saturday I drove 250 miles in northern NH, in very cold conditions. None of this was ever at speeds higher than 60mph…mostly a steady 50mph. No regenerations occurred. The truck was able to achieve 20.2mpg round trip, including the climb up and over Pinkham Notch. This was unloaded and not towing, with temps ranging from +10F down to -2F.

        1. I was impressed. The truck has a “lifetime” average mpg and gallons used feature in the trip computer. My lifetime in 7k miles is 13.8mpg, but that includes all my towing, idling, 4×4 usage, regenerations, and higher-speed Interstate driving. It’s not horrible for everything included in a big dually truck, but it could be better. Without regens that number would probably be 15mpg.

    24. Now my turn.

      That didn’t look like a fun video to do.

      Not real surprised of the results between them. Tho I was expecting higher fuel mileage with all 3. 70 mph is pretty high speed to tow that much weight get good fuel mileage. Maybe at 65 probably see a one or two mileage jump in fuel mileage.

      I had a 1 ton (single) with 6 SPD manual 4wd. Pulling a fifth wheel tri axle toy hauler I’d get between 6-9 mpg at 60 mph. Just a comparison sake.

    25. under square ( smaller bore than stroke) like the inline 6 will be more thermally efficient than over square (most V engines) due to less surface area in the combustion chamber, although will have higher piston speed (assuming same rpm) resulting in higher friction losses. which is why the huge ship engines(high efficiency) have strokes several times larger than the bore

    26. Well the bore on the 6.6 duramax v8 is 4.06 and the bore on the 6.7 inline 6 is 4.21 so how does the v8 have more surface area???

      1. if you do they math ( i used cad to do it quickly) the cummins has a 1 cylinder volume of 67.9 in^3, and SA of (92.4in^2) x 6=554 in^2. the powerstroke v=50.8 in^3, and SA of (75.9in^2) x 8=607 in^2

          1. I will sum it all up in a few words. All these trucks will do more than we should do with them and some people like one brand more than the others…

    27. Why did the blue 2017 f450 pull 30,000 better than this f350 pulling only 22,000. Seems like there was a problem with the Ford truck the test was done with? Same engine and tranny. Same gears?

      1. The f350 test was done like every other test tfl does. Using their trailer with the weighing done and VERIFIED by them. In the case of the f450 test, tfl was given the truck and “preloaded trailer” by the supplier. And tfl only had the f450 for only a few hours and they had to do the test at midnight! So they had to take the suppliers word on how much the trailer weighed. I was suspicious at the time and I am even more so now. “I was born at night, but it wasn’t last night!” I have a feeling tfl will have to wait a few years before they’re given a f450 for another ike gauntlet run.

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