Diesel Power Challenge 2019, Day 2: Photos and Fuel Economy #DPC2019
Pretty Pictures and Fun with Fueling
Day Two was a fun one for Diesel Power Challenge 2019 Presented by XDP competitors—unless they're camera shy. That's because we started the day at scenic Red Rocks Park near Morrison, Colorado, for an extensive round of feature photography, using the state's famous rust-colored rocks as a backdrop. We took group photos of the trucks, pics of the team members, and detailed photosets of each individual competitor's vehicle. And we're not hyperbolizing when we say that this year's competitive set is about as organized and easy to work with as any in recent memory, if not more so.
After a few hours at Red Rocks Park, we once again returned to ATS Diesel Performance, this time putting their chassis dyno to work. As in other years, we loaded the dyno with a road course that simulated the kind of daily driving many of us see: lots of idling, accelerating and decelerating at city speeds, and a freeway cruise at about 55 mph. This 7.5-mile commute replica was used to evaluate both driver precision and truck fuel consumption—like always, deviating from the dyno computer's prescribed speed produced a penalty that counted against the truck's fuel economy. Truck drivability and driver skill come into play very heavily here.
While the fuel-consumption test seems a bit, well, boring, such a commute can really cause surprising wear and tear on these high-performance trucks. Case in point, Seth Kuntz spent the evening at ATS tracking down an engine problem that made an appearance during the fuel economy test, and the dyno caused reigning champ Kody Pulliam's GM to develop a transmission issue. Hopefully they fix those little niggles and show up in time for Day Three, where we return to the rollers to put these trucks to the horsepower test.