Ultimate Three-Quarter-Ton HD Challenge: Milford Hill Climb

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We like using a manufacturer's proving grounds because it allows us to standardize and control many of the real-world variables (traffic, pedestrians, street conditions, etc.) that we might otherwise not be able to. Acceleration runs and brake testing in particular are difficult to accomplish safely on public roads. Finding a good section of unpopulated hill climb is almost impossible unless done on a privately owned, controlled closed course.

We have to say GM has been the most accommodating truckmaker for our tests, and we were fortunate that the timing at GM's Milford Proving Grounds worked out for this Challenge. However, part of our stipulation included that GM was not to interfere or attempt to sway our opinions or testing procedures in any way. GM complied. We had an escort for the full day but were unrestricted as to our use of the 7.2 percent hill climb (as seen in our 2013 Light-Duty Challenge). Of course, we had to agree not to talk about or take pictures of any "interesting" vehicles that may have wandered past us in the outer testing loops during our hill runs. We complied as well.

 

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Our empty Ram 2500 run was 6.16 seconds, while its fully loaded zero-to-40-mph run took 7.47 seconds. Interestingly, the Chevrolet Silverado 2500 pulled strong on the hill, just barely beating the Ford F-250 both times. (We can only imagine how well that Ford would have done if it had matching ring-and-pinion gears; of course, it likely would not have done as well during the mpg run.)

 

HD_GasHillQuarterFINAL

Our quarter-mile runs were similar, with the Ram doing well in empty and loaded runs; however, somewhere the Ford found a way improve its breathing, pushing itself past the finish line faster than the other two, finishing the quarter-mile hill climb without any payload in 18.5 seconds while the Ram did it in 18.8 seconds and the Chevy in 19.6 seconds. When fully loaded with our 62 bags of rock salt on the quarter-mile hill climb, the results for all three trucks were incredibly close, separated by just 2/10ths and 3/10ths of a second. But the win went to the Ram with a finishing time and speed of 21.2 seconds at 67.6 mph.

How We Did the Testing

Temperatures at the proving grounds were quite comfortable in the high-70s, with only a slight breeze blowing from the north.

This controlled climb allowed us to directly compare zero-to-40-mph numbers, as well as quarter-mile times up the 1,600-foot slope. The combination of numbers, we thought, would complement the numbers we collected from the Milan Dragway.

Again, we had "The Joes" inside each of the test trucks — Road Test Editor Joe Bruzek, our most accomplished Cars.com "hot shoe," behind the wheel and Joe Lachovsky in control of the RaceLogic VBOX in the passenger seat. Each truck was set up with the VBOX equipment and run up the hill.

Our empty zero-to-40-mph runs were quite fun, as our driver didn't really have to worry about wheel spin with the hill's angle and roughened surface. There was plenty of traction to be had, even at wide-open throttle. On the hill climb, like on the Milan Dragway, the Ram did well, even more so than before.

Cars.com photos by Evan Sears

 

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Overview | Milan Dragway | Fuel Economy | Milford Hill Climb | Braking | Davis Dam | Eisenhower Pass | Results

Comments

Ford's performance seems to be all over the place!

With the limited ratio spread of the 6 speed auto in the Ram [and numerically low 1st gear], is the Ram able to hit 40mph in 1st gear?

Good performance for the Chevrolet in the loaded 1/4 mile. It has to upshift into 3rd whereas the Ford/Dodge are still in 2nd gear.

Amazing the "old" 6.0L is only 0.1 seconds behind the Ram in the loaded 1/4 mile despite such a disparity in horsepower, kudos to the engineers at GM.

The Chevy only lost 1.7 seconds
The Ford lost 3.0 seconds
The Ram lost 2.3 seconds

ford is ohc and revs quicker thats why it won empty with 3.73 gears. the 4.30's are speced to that truck because they work very well with that engine. should have speced it with those and you would have had benchmark numbers the other trucks could have shot for. no matter what it should have had the 4.30 gears thats the lowest they offer for that model just like the other brands were recieved with their lowest available. if i were to buy a new reg cab work truck the ram would be the first i looked at though. it is far ahead of the others in all areas and with some better gearing options only has room to improve.

Jason, here's a clue, the GM has more transmission gear. Lol....

Put a trans with like gear ratios in the Ram, and it's good bye Chivy.

Make less power, eat less gas.

@TRX-4 Tom - The 6.4L Hemi supposedly has 50 more hp and 49 more torque than the GM 6.0L - can't put all the blame the transmission.

The GM HD once again impresses me. It may of lost but these trucks are close.

I love it, more moaning about the Ford's dif gears even though it had the second lowest final drive ratio of the bunch, and still lost to the Chevy that had a massive horsepower and torque deficit and only marginally better final drive ratio.

Ford could have equipped the truck with any gear they wanted. They were asked to supply their best truck for under the $50,000 dollar mark.

George_C, might I suggest you purchase and use a calculator? Here is your message followed by the correct numbers.

Your post:
"Amazing the "old" 6.0L is only 0.1 seconds behind the Ram in the loaded 1/4 mile despite such a disparity in horsepower, kudos to the engineers at GM.

The Chevy only lost 1.7 seconds
The Ford lost 3.0 seconds
The Ram lost 2.3 seconds"

In reality,
The Chevy lost 1.85 seconds
The Ford lost 1.95 seconds
The Ram lost 1.31 seconds

Hey JRT, look at the outline of the quote, then follow it down to the poster. See that little angle-it is supposed to be a 'bubble'.
So, you should address Jason.

Thanks.

This is the real way to get the clash royale gem.

This is the best way to get the hack for the game.



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