One-Ton Test Results - With Trailer:
One-Ton 1/4-Mile Assessment:
In contrast to the three-quarter-ton gas trucks, Dodge had a better story to tell with its six-speed Cummins diesel.
With the earliest torque curve among the one-tons (1,400-rpm versus 1,600-rpm in the Duramax and 2,000-rpm in the Power Stroke) and a 4.10 rear axle (versus 3.73 in the Ford and Chevrolet) the Ram owned the unloaded quarter mile. What's interesting to see in the results though is that by the very end of the run the other two trucks were really putting pressure on the Ram. The Dodge was the slowest of the three as it crossed the finish line. So, while the 4.10 definitely helped the Ram 3500 win the quarter-mile, the other two trucks were just coming into their own at the checkered flag.
The towing quarter-mile started out much the same way, but in this scenario the Ford and Chevy caught the Ram and were able to out muscle the Cummins-powered pickup before the end of the drag.
A few weeks back GM invited us out to their Milford Proving Grounds to compare their full size pickups head to head in against competitors in each of the segments. One of the bouts pitted a Silverado 3500 and an F-350 against each other in a hill climb. We saw the same pattern from that contest repeat itself on level ground. The Duramax's lower torque peak (1,600-rpm v. 2,000-rpm) and its higher second gear (1.81 v. 2.22) helped the Chevy initially out-power and out-hustle the Power Stroke down the track from 0 to 50-mph. But look at the final quarter-mile times and speeds, the Power Stroke made up for lost ground and was almost able to close the gap against the Duramax.
But what's most amazing of all, and this was something echoed by the OEMs on hand at Milan, was how close in performance all the diesels were to each other versus just a few years ago at the turn of the century. Now it takes electronic GPS devices to measure the pecking order - it's that close. Good news for any consumer regardless of what pickup you buy.
Today reliability, dependability, and cost of ownership should be the major determining factors when purchasing a diesel.