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  • Truck Trend’s 1-Ton Challenge: Introduction

Truck Trend’s 1-Ton Challenge: Introduction

Battle of the Heavyweights

Jul 19, 2017
Photographers: Truck Trend Staff
We’ve all seen the tests before. Some media outlet gets ahold of a set of heavy-duty pickups, hitches up a trailer, and runs up either the Davis Dam or Eisenhower grade. We’ve been guilty of it in the past as well. There’s nothing wrong with these sorts of tests, but let’s face it, they are a snoozefest. Trucks from all of the manufacturers have become so incredibly capable over the past decade that the outcome of these types of tests is rarely surprising and nothing short of impressive. So when we set out to test the heaviest of heavy-duty pickups to come from the Big Three, we wanted to do something that was a bit outside the norm and far more entertaining.
For the past 11 years, our sister brand, Diesel Power, has held a yearly event aptly named Diesel Power Challenge. They gather 10 of the most powerful diesel street trucks in the nation for a weeklong battle royale in the thin air of Denver. This year, we crashed their party.
Photo 2/7   |   1 Ton Challenge
We invited Ford, GMC, and Ram to enter the competition with a 1-ton of their choosing, so long as it adhered to the following criteria: the trucks had to be diesel-powered, had to have dual rear wheels, had to be crew-cab longbeds, and had to be four-wheel drive. What arrived was $224,130, 25,980 pounds, 2,735 lb-ft, and 1,270 hp worth of steel and aluminum.
Babying the trucks was not going to be an option; they were signed up for the full experience and set to compete side-by-side with the Diesel Power Challenge competitors in each of their events. The competition would start out with a grueling fuel-economy and driveability program run on a dynamometer. Then, on the same dyno, they would make pulls to calculate horsepower and torque to the rear wheels. From there they would hit the dragstrip, first making an eighth-mile pass with a 10,600-pound trailer in tow and then the full quarter-mile unladen and flat out. An obstacle course with the same 10,600-pound trailer awaited them next before capping off the competition with a sled pull. Yup, not your typical heavy-duty shootout.
How did the results shake out when the dust settled? Read on to find out!
Truck Trend’s 1-Ton Challenge: The Competitors
Truck Trend’s 1-Ton Challenge: Fuel Economy and Dyno
Truck Trend’s 1-Ton Challenge: Eighth-Mile Trailer Tow
Truck Trend’s 1-Ton Challenge: Obstacle Course
Truck Trend’s 1-Ton Challenge: Quarter-Mile Drag Race
Truck Trend’s 1-Ton Challenge: Sled Pull
Truck Trend’s 1-Ton Challenge: Winner
Truck Trend’s 1-Ton Challenge: How We Scored It

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