• GMC Sierra Duramax Diesel vs Ram Cummins HD vs World’s Toughest Towing Test (Video)

    2018 ram 2500 hd gmc cummins duramax towing ike gold hitch diesel heavy
    2018 Ram Cummins 2500 HD vs. GMC Sierra Duramax 2500 HD

    2018 Ram 2500 HD Cummins or GMC Sierra 2500 HD Duramax? Which diesel truck will handle the world’s toughest towing test better? We are about to find out.

    The test CM Trailers Cargo Mate trailer is loaded up to 12,500 lbs. We are towing it up and down a 7% grade of an 8-mile stretch of the highest elevation interstate highway in the country – the Ike Gauntlet? The top elevation of the toughest towing test in the World is 11,158 feet above sea level. If a truck does well in this environment and under heavy load, it will do great in your day-to-day operation.

    This is our fourth year of testing, comparing, and awarding pickup trucks and truck-based SUVs. We show all of our testing setup and procedures on video. We let you know as much as possible about our scoring system, and we make our final votes for the winning trucks on video. We will announce the winners of the 2018 competition in early April, 2018. In the meantime, we will be testing every midsize, half-ton, and heavy duty truck we can get our hands on.

    There are no closed door voting or decisions here. We use the real-world data and truck’s performance to select the winners.

    This time it’s Ram’s newest heavy duty truck – the 2018 Ram 2500 HD 4×4 with an Off-Road, Lone Star, and a Harvest Edition packages. This truck combines a lot of features and a relatively simple interior together with a 6.7L Cummins I6 engine that is still rated at 370 hp and 800 lb-ft of torque in this 3/4 ton application.

    GM is represented by arguably the most off-road worthy diesel-powered HD truck on the market – the GMC Sierra 2500 HD All Terrain X with the 6.6L Duramax V8 turbo-diesel. This engine is rated at a much higher 445 hp and 910 lb-ft of torque.

    Check out the video to see exactly how they performed.

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

    85 thoughts on “GMC Sierra Duramax Diesel vs Ram Cummins HD vs World’s Toughest Towing Test (Video)

    1. Interesting, the L5P worked too well, not keeping it in the speed range that would be preferable.

      Of course, you could just use the cruise control, and it would be rock solid, but still, it would be best to keep it in highway speeds.

      Cummins is so good. But admittedly, Durmax and GM did lead the way innovating downhill performance, and to RAM’s credit, they followed well.

      Ford, had to pick themselves up off the floor late, but now are somewhat sober.

      1. I don’t think they changed the GM frame since 2011. So why hasn’t TFL talked about the chain hookup before?
        Of course, Ford has had this problem since their new frame in 2017.

        1. The hookup is to the hitch, not the actual frame, so maybe the hitch changed. Or maybe in previous years TFL used a trailer with open hooks that could reach around the confined hitch tabs.

          1. That’s what happens joe when you don’t pay attention to your multiple user names. You just end up talking to yourself. You may want to double check your user name before hitting reply next time.

      2. Cummins had an exhaust brake before Duramax. Ford was the last of the 3 to have effective exhaust braking. But now GM seems to be missing out on the ability to maintain downhill speed without having to use Cruise control.

        1. If you remember, TFL’s tests showed that GM’s system worked much better than Cummins–holding the speed just right far before the Dodges.

          But then RAM did a good job in catching up, and even making the automatic downhill braking more adjustable(although it didn’t quite work as well as the GM for a while).

          Then Ford started making changes and mending its ways.

          Just keeping the record straight.

          It looks like GM has opted for safety over convenience by continuing to slow the vehicle down after a brake application rather than just bringing the speed won to a highway speed. That is a safer choice, but less convenient in this test anyway.

          Its not the ability. Of course, it ha the ability to go faster–its downhill after all! All trucks have the ABILITY to go faster downhill while towing.

          It was a design choice.

          1. Opting for safety over convenience? I disagree. Why should cruise control have to be engaged in order to maintain a speed downhill? Both Ford and Ram can do this. To me it seems GM is missing an “auto” engine braking feature when cruise is off so that it knows to hold the speed at which you left off the brake pedal. In other words, you brake to slow down to 50, and the truck should be smart enough to hold 50, whether cruise is engaged or not.

            With GM, if cruise is off, the truck assumes you are trying to slow down and applies maximum exhaust braking. This might be true at times, but in other times, such as this test, you might just be trying to maintain speed. And if you are in heavy traffic, like is common on I-70 where this test is done, you will be tapping the brakes on occasion to maintain safe distances between vehicles and this will turn off cruise, which will then throw off the exhaust braking.

            I guess all I am saying is the exhaust brake on GM is very powerful and effective. They could just use a software update to allow the truck to use it more effectively when cruise is off.

            1. The GM does not apply “maximum” exhaust braking when you tap the brakes. IF it did, you would be stopping in the middle of the highway very quickly.

              It just continues to slow until you hit the gas. Certainly annoying for this test and under some circumstances, but it was obviously designed to do so by erring on the safe side.

            2. What’s interesting is that the GM from ten years ago has always led in this field by keeping the speed that you brake to.

              I wonder why they changed it, and now the other two brands have arrived at the old GM way?

              Funny. Maybe GM just believes that slowing down at the expense of convenience in some situations will save more lives.

            3. I don’t think you’ll be stopping very quickly in the middle of the highway when you are towing 12,500 lbs down a 7% incline like the Ike Gauntlet.

            4. If the l5P applied maximum engine brakes with 12,000 lbs going down the Ike, you would stop quite quickly, not just continual slowing down. By the time it gets to second and then first gear, you would be dangerously blocking the road on the highway.

              The L5P engine brakes are designed for the future of slowing 30,000 lbs or more.

          2. I don’t think the slowing down is a result of GM erring on the side of safety-I think it is just plain bad programming. I suspect they are not worried about it to much however as I believe the intended method of maintaining downhill speed is to use the cruise control.
            It would be nice if the computer would assume that the speed you brake down to is the speed you want to hold and then do so as long as it detects that the truck is going down hill or until the driver changes the speed.

            1. I like how Ford and Ram do it. With cruise control on- it holds the speed. With Cruise control off, it depends on the exhaust brake setting you choose. Full – let of the brake and the truck will try to slow down. Auto – let off the brake and the truck will try to maintain that speed.

              I don’t know why anybody would want it programmed any other way. You have all your options available.

            2. Yeah, “bad programming”, that’s what “erring on the side of safety” means.

              Erring, means bad, mistake etc.

              Any more lessons in English today?

              Anyway, it is not logical that they made a mistake(although it is possible). But not probable, because GM innovated that feature of staying at the speed at which the brake was applied.

              Ford and GM were slow to catch up on that ability(especially Ford).

              So it is logical they did it on purpose to change it.

              But TFL would be great to ask the engineers.

            3. I agree Iowa. If you over brake you are posing a risk to other large vehicles behind you that are not expecting you to slow down as much. Especially over 5 times in an 8 mile run. I honestly can’t see why this would not be an easy software fix. Just vary the vanes to be less agressive and make it work more uniformly with the transmission. The hardware is there and works great. Just tighten up the software.

        2. I don’t think it had anything to do with the exhaust brake or calibration on the GMC. The giant DEF tank was dragging against the road and the friction was causing the truck to slow down too much.

    2. The current generation of Ram is at the end of its lifecycle and still kicking ass. Gotta give them credit. The look, although still nice, is definitely getting dated though.

      1. That is a pretty glaring error in my mind-one that is easily remedied but really… That is a pretty substantial penalty though.

      1. Andre said, and I quote… “automatic engine brake” when speaking about the downhill run in this video with the Ford FX4.

        It always cracks me up how wrong sparky and Daniel and JimmyJohns and Brewhaha are when telling me I don’t know what I am talking about when I speak of automatic engine brakes.

        I just have to pray for most of humanity.

        And yes, the Ford FX4 is quite comparable since it is the off-road package just like the off-road packages of the Chevy and RAMs on this page, although the Fx4 is a 2017 and not a 2018.

        But he FX4 was 4 mpg rather than 4.4 for the cummins and 4.5 for the Chevy.

      2. Watching that review, the only reason the ford would “win” with 85.5 points over Rams 84 points is due to the subjective scoring. They gave it 23/22 vs Ram’s 17/22. But why? It has the same stupid hitch design as the GM. They didn’t do decibel reading in the Ram to compare. They also had a near top of the line King Ranch at $75k price tag (and they still had fit/finish/plastic parts complaints). Rams price was much lower $60k if i remember right. Same brake applications (1), similar MPG (which we don’t know how accurate either are but Fords as 4.1 vs rams 4.4).

        Yet they were glowing positive and seamed amazed/almost giddy with the BRAND NEW F250. But when the Ram performed almost identically on an outdated platform, they were ho-hum.

        Watching the videos back to back seems to show Ford bias…but i’m trying to give TFL the benefit of the doubt here.

        1. Rusty, for starters these reviews will never change any of our minds for what brand we prefer. It is just a big Ole dock measuring contest on who’s favorite brand is better. If you remember the dually test the Superduty lost huge subjective scoring jus because they thought it would have been the leader up the IKE. All three were within 15 seconds. But, the Superduty was the quietest truck and had the best ride aND handling. Yet it made no difference. The subjective now seems more on track with what subjective should be. The truck and not the performance. They did not have to measure the DB of the ram, it is the loudest truck of the three. It always has been. But the GM is usually pretty close to the superduty. The ride has been praised on the F250 too. One reason they really seemed giddy about it. The fit and finish stuff is quite embarrassing. For one, Ford should have checked that prior to delievery. But you or I received that truck, it would be taken to the dealer for repair.

          When it comes to the hitch, I have to wonder if Ford and GM made the eyelet so large for safety reasons. It has to to control a 21,000 lb trailer if it came unhitched. It is quite possible it needs to be that large. I have seen people use a large ring that connects to the hitch and allows the smaller hook to connect to that. I don’t beleive the GM should have been hit that hard over it. The MPG stuff I could care less about. Your asking for accurate fuel data in 8 miles. It may be close but I don’t put much faith in it nor care.

          The down hill is puzzling. I would like to hear what GM says about it. The last shootout the GM did the same thing.

          1. This is exactly why i argue for no “subjective” scoring measures. Their perception or expectations of a truck should not affect it’s scoring. Point value scoring should be based on data. Why not have the decibel reading actually dictate the scoring? Same can be done with ride quality (measure vertical acceleration like Motortrend did in their comparison of the EV vehicles)

            1. Agreed Rusty. When it is subjective, it is personal opinion. That is all fine and dandy but everyone has their own taste. Some prefer a soft ride while others rather have a stiffer one. I actually like a quieter cabin on long trips. Allows for conversation and music while others want to hear the engine for 5 hours. But, in the end, we are not going to run to the other brand because of the outcome. We cheer for our own. But, all 3 trucks did outstanding. Power was there even though they were pulling light loads but everything did what it should have on all 3 brands. I would like to know about the exhaust brake on the GM because I don’t know why it just doesn’t modulate the vanes in the VGT to control decent better. I hate to say this but over braking down hill is dangerous to others behind you. They are not expecting the vehicle in front of it to over brake so many times down one hill. Especially a semi. But I have a feeling there is an explanation for it.

            2. I think it’s bewildering why everyone thinks padded dashes are so great. You don’t sit on it, may touch it once in awhile etc. When I see the soft materials on a dash i see materials that will split and crack before plastic will. Also is usually harder to clean. If tou have to hqve a component replaced in the dash like a door actuator, airbag, or heater core those soft materials are a LOT easier to mar up removimg panels. And from what I’ve seen they don’t particularly lend to a quieter interior. I think it’s a fad that hopefully gets old really quick

            3. I fully agree. My truck does not have a padded dash and I don’t care what so ever. It is easy to clean and keep clean. Even though the truck only has 125,000 miles on it and it’s a 2010, it doesn’t squeak or rattle. It still looks factory new. The same as the door panels. Ford uses a lot of plastic on them to and I never once said that i wish there was padding. The plastics last a lot longer than the soft touch materials. I’m glad ford is not going all soft touch materials but I think they are giving in slowly. But that’s what the market wants now.

          2. No, that is the FIRST time the GM diesel has done this in the history of automobiles.

            The last shoot out was a gas truck, and that usually the case with all gas trucks no matter which brand.

            1. You would know. I don’t hardly frequent a site that publishes dangerous maintenance advice..

              If that is true, then it is a varying result from the tests here.

          3. My 2017 Taurus makes so many noises from the cheap plastics. I’m so disappointed with the quality of Ford.

          4. That’s the difference between you and me Jimmy Johns.

            If Ford were to get their act together and provide a better quality vehicle for less, I would absolutely buy it.

            I will criticize them and any other manufacturer until they get it right.

    3. Towing the IKE with a 3/4 ton diesel is kind of an exercise in futility. Both of these trucks (and Ford) have vastly more power and torque than is needed to move their max tow rating of 13k or so.

      I really like the RAM. Good looking, just performed well. But nit-picking the GM on the brakes is stupid. Utilizing cruise control, standard on both trucks, would allow the transmission and exhaust brake to manage speed without any driver intervention.

      The benchmark of 8 minutes…both exceeded it by a few seconds. Neither were limited by power and could have been doing 70mph up the hill without issue. It’s almost silly to have the time benchmark on this class of truck.

      And finally, fuel economy. Which trip computer is actually accurate? Shouldn’t have much weight in the criteria.

      As for the trailer hookups, I agree. My 2017 Ford also suffers from this problem with the 2.5″ hitch. The trucks with the 3″ receiver don’t have this problem. Why the manufacturers are going to a design which cannot accommodate most hooks is beyond me. Especially on trucks designed for towing.

      1. Troverman, completely agree. Using the trip computer to score the MPG category is a little silly. Too much room for error on such a short run. This is basically a pointless category for the IKE and may bot be at all representative of the MPG these trucks get in 99% of driving conditions. Also agree on the breaking. If you want a set speed then use cruise control. Some people will want the truck to slow down as much as possible when they take their foot off the gas, others may want it to maintain speed, and others still may prefer it speeds up.

        1. I agree on MPG. We regularly see disparities between actual MPG and the computer’s MPG on the 98 mile MPG loop. So trusting the computer’s MPG calculation when pulling a heavy load up a 7% incline 2 miles above sea level seems wishful at best.

          1. The Ike mpg also favors underpowered trucks. Take a look at the ram ecodiesel, the truck takes it sweet time up the hill because it can’t physically make enough power to go faster. Slower speed means less air drag etc.

            They account for this in the time score but is it equal?

      2. Remember, TFL has been testing mpg on 100-mile loops, and over the years the trip computers have been getting more and more accurate of late. Ford used to be terribly inaccurate.

          1. Both, of course. But that is not the point. The point is that the trip computer is actually quite accurate these days–even on the Ford’s that used to lie quite badly on mpg. They almost always were far too complimentary of themselves. But now, O.K.

            1. Actually reading TFL’s IKE section, it looks like only the MPGs from the IKE run are used so that’s not good.

            2. No, the gold hitch award takes into account the 100 mpg tests. You think they don’t take that into account?

            3. Hal, I don’t think you can single out Ford on this. You have no evidence that Ford computers were intentionally inaccurate besides what you’re saying. In addition to my 2017 Super Duty diesel, we also have a 2003 Ford Excursion with the base 5.4L V8. The trip computer seems quite accurate on that vehicle when compared to hand calculations – both concur the engine is guzzling gasoline very quickly!

            4. Uh no, you plainly don’t remember the last many many years of independent tests on mpg trip computers.

              Every one at TFL will tell you, it is was a marked difference between Ford and the others. Although some of the others used to be off too, and Ford has got much better of lat(on accuracy, not mpgs).

      3. Troverman – – –

        Agree completely. I have a 2017 Ram Cummins Diesel with MT. For a truck to be made for towing isn’t all about HP and torque: the whole package has to go together, COMFORTABLY. My Ram towed 10K like it’s not even there. Love the smoothness of the 6-cylinder, and its inherently vibration-free design. Of course, for me, there were NO down-hill brake applications: have both exhaust brake and easy downshifting of the MT.
        Fuel mileage under similar conditions (but not Ike Gauntlet) was about 6-7 MPG. That Daimler G56 MT really paid for itself….


        1. Bernie, take your truck to TFL for an IKE test. I am curious on how the down hill works with a stick shift truck.

          1. Jimmy Johns – – –

            JJ: “..take your truck to TFL for an IKE test.”

            Good idea. Have been trying to “talk” [email] Andre and Roman into sponsoring a weekend “Reunion” (not that we even had the 1st one!), so that we would get together in Denver. It would include all TFLT staff, participants, and commenters who may wish to come.
            We could not only meet each other, but get tours and trials of “Gold Mine Hill” and “Cliffhanger 2.0”, and have an industry famous “keynote” speaker, — and we could bring our own trucks for towing tests (for those who would want to)!
            Denver has easy air access, being centrally located. The “weekend” could include Friday, and run though Sunday night.

            What do you think?


        2. @Bernie,
          I really like the Cummins but frankly it seems more gruff than the GM & Ford V8 diesels. I’ve been in both. I’m not saying it wasn’t smooth, but there is zero vibration from the Powerstroke into the cabin as well.

          As for the MT vs AT…you can get equal engine braking from an AT. These modern AT’s all have lockup torque converters. When locked, it is no different than a manual transmission. What I’m saying is if I select Manual Mode on my Ford, exhaust brake turned on, and then hit the minus button on the shifter…the transmission downshifts…torque converter locks…same braking effect as a MT truck.

          That said, I’d much prefer to drive a MT truck or any vehicle myself. I’ve considered buying a RAM on several occasions because of this offering. Four years ago, I came close to buying a 2014 RAM 3500 Crew Cab SLT 4×4 with the Cummins / G56 combo. Ended up buying a 2015 F-350 Crew Cab Lariat 4×4 gas V8. Then once again, this year I contemplating buying a 2017 RAM 2500 Crew Cab Laramie 4×4 with the G56 as well. That was a very nice truck! But instead I bought a 2017 F-250 Crew 4×4 Powerstroke.

          1. Troverman – – –

            T: “As for the MT vs AT…you can get equal engine braking from an AT. These modern AT’s all have lockup torque converters. When locked, it is no different than a manual transmission. ”

            Yeah, I know. It should work that way, but for some reason it just doesn’t quite do it for me. There is a directness, instantaneousness, and “grab” that is still missing with the AT’s, to say nothing of lack of “feathering in” to put the degree of engagement into your “hands” (or feet, as the case may be). And, of course, OTR semi truckers have had MT’s for much the same reason, — in addition to their better robustness, lower price, and lower maintenance costs.

            T: “..there is zero vibration from the Powerstroke into the cabin as well.”

            Yup. Early versions of the PowerStrokes engine had their problems, — including vibration — but from own tests last year, they are nice and smooth now. And the Ford cabin engineers have done a great job in sound deadening. Still like the Cummins (^_^)..


      4. Troverman i agree and disagree on the brake thing. Clearly, the Ram and GM had significant differences based on how they drive them for this test. GM’s system was more difficult to control speed without requiring additional input with both throttle and brakes, so it should get docked.

        On the other hand, I find it hard to believe that they couldn’t have feathered the throttle on/off to stay closer to the posted speed. And with a higher load, GM’s exhaust brake may have performed nearly perfect requiring only 1 input.

      5. I agree on all but braking. It really shouldn’t work the way it did. Granted, it would likely work perfectly is used as intended-with the cruise control but this is just bad programming, or design choice. Could more than likely be “fixed” with a software update.

    4. You guys can make the videos longer. Id like to see more gauge shots. Also please note the ambient air temp, max coolant temp, max trans temp, ability to hold top gears, etc.
      ALso, make sure to include the Titan Xd Cummins this year.

      1. Triton – – –

        Good comment. I agree: Need more “data shots”; and it’s about time we put the Titan XD into the mix!


    5. I love the simple heavy duty big rig look of the Ram!

      Even though it’s way past it’s prime I still think it’s the best looking of the three HD’s. It’s really the only one that doesn’t look cartoonish and over scaled to try and look tuff!

      It is tuff though and I could sit and listen to that Cummins pulling up the Ike, loafing along at just over 2000rpm all day long!!!

      If I was in the market for an HD Diesel, this is the rig I would buy without a 2nd thought!

      Very well proven, tested, and sorted out – a complete package.

    6. Some have recommended using cruise control, however, this is not recommended in some manufacturers towing guides. Researching GM specifically, they have a few different automatic braking systems:

      AUTO GRADE BRAKING Standard on Silverado, Suburban and Tahoe, this feature works with the cruise control to maintain vehicle speed on long, steep grades.

      CRUISE GRADE BRAKING Included with the 6-speed and 8-speed automatic transmission on Silverado, the cruise grade braking feature automatically downshifts to help slow the truck and preserve your brake pads on long, steep descents.

      EXHAUST BRAKE SYSTEM The diesel brake system on Silverado HD works with the available Allison® transmission and the Tow/Haul mode and auto grade braking features. After adjusting for the load and grade, a variable vane geometry turbo creates back pressure to slow the vehicle and help reduce brake use. That means reduced brake fade, prolonged brake life and more confidence when you’re pulling 23,200 lbs.,3 especially on steep grades, increasing the vehicle’s ability to trailer heavy loads. An exhaust brake system is also included on Colorado models with the available Duramax 2.8L Turbo-Diesel 4-cylinder engine

      It would appear to me that maybe only the exhaust brake is on the HD, so cruise may or may not have helped anyway. GM’s exhaust brake system was too aggressive for this load, and would actually increase brake wear due to additional input requirements. TFL was correct to dock GM for this in my opinion, especially due to the significant difference to the Ram’s exhaust braking, which was far superior in the comparison.

      As far as the rest of the test and scoring criteria, i still have beef regarding the subjective section. No real details were give on why the Ram got 17/21 vs the F150 that got 22.

      That hitch hookup is really a stupid design, and GM deserved to be docked because of it.

      What about sound levels? I think you used a decibel reader in the F150, but didn’t do that for either of these trucks. If your subjectively scoring based on that, why not make it objective by taking readings in each truck to compare?

      Agree with others and still don’t like basing MPG on computer readouts on a short uphill run as they will not be accurate.

      No significant details around ride/comfort?

      1. The GM HD trucks, with cruise control and exhaust brake on, will typically hold a speed within 1-2 MPH of target every single time. It works very well. What doesn’t work so well is when cruise is off. Then the trucks assumes you are trying to slow down instead of maintaining the speed at which you let off the brake pedal.

        The bottom line is that all of these trucks have very effective exhaust brakes. It’s just a matter of the scenario you are in and what settings/systems are engaged.

        1. Ford and Rams downhill exhaust brake and programming must work quite differently then. In the F250 ike test, they stated that the truck will try to maintain the speed at which you let off the gas when being pushed downhill. They made no mention of cruise. Must be why Ford and Ram only had 1 brake application? If on flat ground and or not being pushed enough they will obviously start slowing the vehicle.

          If GM recommends using cruise for downhill braking, the that’s what TFL should do. Ford specifically does NOT recommend using cruise when towing with heavy loads or hilly terrain.

          1. Auto Mode on the Ford will allow the vehicle to speed up maybe 5-7mph above the last speed the vehicle had when the driver was pressing the gas pedal. At that point, one downshift will automatically occur and allow the exhaust brake to begin working. If that does not slow the vehicle down close enough to that target speed, it will downshift again.

            Full mode requires downshifts to happen manually or as a result of the Tow/Haul automatically downshifting with a brake application.

            In reality, it is so easy to downshift these trucks manually and have much greater control over the exhaust brake that way…why wouldn’t you? I bet every driver running heavy loads down a steep hill like this would prefer more control.

            Truthfully, the exhaust brakes on these trucks all work the same exact way, and only software programming separates them. I think its a moot point.

        2. To be more precise, the GM HD trucks after 2017 will slow down. The prior trucks held the speed as proven over and over and over again over the last decades here on TFL.

          It would be interesting to have TFL ask the GM engineers why they changed it for this year. Safety, of course.

          1. I’m curious why it was changed too. Doesn’t make any sense. Worked great before in basically all situations. Now- not so much.

    7. This subjective scoring has to be changed. Having it account for up to 25 points is two much. Taking 10 points off for the fact that the tow hooks and the hitch mounting holes don’t compliment one another is just wrong. Why don’t you blame cm trailer instead for using undersized hooks(and possible undersized chain as well). I know our wells cargo trailers have much, much larger hooks and chain standard. And apparently you found some way to attach the hooks, since the truck made the run. And why are you guys taking about braking in your subjective scoring when braking is scored already in the downhill section of the scoring. Last year the ram dually also brought the speed down below 50 mph when you touched the brakes and in that testing you just awarded all three trucks the full 25 points! Also why no decibel level test? Everyone knows the duramax is quieter. So why no points for that. I’d personally say both trucks did great and the scoring should have been much closer.

      1. I agree there is always something amiss in these videos. They should have a checklist to cover in these videos. It is never cold out, for those who know cold, you are not wearing the proper clothes, no such thing as cold out.

        I wish the subjective scores were more about features interior and exterior.

        What was broken down in the video? Was that a GM Ram or a Ford, I know Tundra’s don’t break down so it wasn’t that.

      2. I wonder if they recorded this video before they made their “2018” subjective scoring modifications. Using the old way it is a better comparison to the F250 diesel run they posted earlier this year??

        I actually wouldn’t mind if the subjective scoring was thrown out altogether. It’s too easy to be inconsistent, especially when there are different people involved on different runs. But then at the same time, there are things you can “sense” or “feel” about a certain truck that you may like or dislike, but can’t really measure with a number. So the only way to convey that is with the “subjective” section.

      3. I agree. Way too much weight is placed on “how many brake applications” when none of these trucks are actually having any difficulty slowing down or controlling a heavy load. I would reduce this to 10 points, or instead award more points for trucks with the most positive pedal feel, least amount of fade, etc. I actually liked the old TFL tests where Andre would get out and measure brake rotor temps.

      4. Totally agree..This hitch thing really bothers me. We tow several different trailers, none of which we have trouble figuring out how to hook up the chains. If CM is so short sighted to not have hooks to accommodate the current generations of trucks then I’d look to a different trailer manufacturer. And GM has had the same hitch since 2011.

    8. How is this still the “toughest towing test” if they are not even towing close to the truck’s maximum rating? 12,500 lbs is nothing for a 3/4 ton truck. Load all the trucks to their max capacity to see if they can really tow what the manufactures claim!

        1. @IowaFord They literally stated in the video that the Ram has max towing of 17k. The F250 that this keeps getting compared to would have a similar rating.

          1. Payload and Towing capacity are two separate things. You can’t tow 17k legally if your payload, including tongue weight from the trailer, exceeds the payload capacity. 3/4 ton diesels don’t have crazy high payload ratings because the diesel engines themselves are so heavy.

            1. Correct. In a way, the 3/4 ton diesel is kind of a silly vehicle. In order to keep it a “3/4 ton” vehicle, the GVWR must be no more than 10k lbs. Yet the combined weight of the diesel engine and all the other heavy duty components leave precious little excess room for payload. Loaded models are even worse. A King Ranch 250 diesel probably has a payload of 1900lbs. Even my XLT is only rated for 2385. Because of the low payload, trailer tongue weight greatly impacts the total amount the truck can tow legally. Yet these things are equipped with the same engine you find in a truck capable of towing 32,500lbs!

            2. And to add to that, the ratings are based on J2807 which requires a 15% pin weight and 250 lb hitch for 5th wheel trailers and a 10% tongue weight and 75 lb hitch for bumper pulls. You also have to account for 300 lbs of passengers. So right there, a 3/4 ton with 2000 lbs of payload only has 1450 left over before a 5th trailer is even hooked up. 1450 lbs only leaves you with the ability to tow ~9500 lb 5th at 15% pin weight.

    9. Nathan really didnt ding the GM very much.
      He’s just a tough grader.
      He gave Ram a 17. Obviously if he liked the ram over the GM. He had to grade it less than 17.
      -1 for brakes.
      -1 for hitch.
      17-2 points equals 15 points.
      Seems fair to me.

      What is unfair about subjective is when. One gives 22.
      And the other gives 17.

      Same truck. Two graders using a different scale.

    10. Nathan says about the ram “it’s hard to downgrade this truck”. And then he gives it only 17 out of 25 points! This doesn’t make sense. Making the subjective part of these tests worth 25% of the total score is serious overkill!

    11. Entertaining test but very lacking! This test reminds me of when Nathan dogged on the GM trucks for not having telescoping steering wheels when it was right in front of his finger tips the entire time lol! I have the exact same tow bar on my 15 Duramax and I know for a fact it will fit the hooks they were having issues with in the video (my enclosed trailer uses the same hooks). On smaller hooks you simply slide the hook horizontally across the front plate and they drop into the front holes like magic. Everyone knows the Duramax has a very good exhaust brake if you know how to use it. It’s also commen knowledge that the Duramax is the truck to beat in the heavily loaded hill challenges. The timed test in this video was pointless due to the fact that both trucks were handicapped by the speed limit when both could exceed it with the given load. Long story short is trucks should not win tests based on ignorance.

    12. I used to own a 2011 GMC Duramax. I had roughly 8k lbs and made the downhill run on the ike in August of 2016. The exhaust brake did wonders as I didn’t have to use my truck brakes at all. The exhaust brake did slow the truck slower than what I wanted, however I learned if you just feather the acclerator pedal it would hold the speed I wanted. If you push the accelerator too far, it will obviously disengage the engine brake. But when I just feathered it it held the speed I wanted and worked quite well. That was my experience, take it for what it’s worth. That may not be how it works anymore either. I do agree that the subjective scoring is rather inconsistent, especially when there are different guys doing the testing. At the very least, the same two guys need to make the runs so they are on the same scoring system.

    13. The subjective scoring seem to be all over the board to make sense of it.
      The safety chains for the gm to hook up would be an issue. I had trailers jump off the hitch and it isn’t a fun experience. I’m surprised government hasn’t come down on this issue. That is a stupid design that gm to hook up safety chains.

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