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  • Truck Trend Letters to the Editor – One-Ton Challenge

Truck Trend Letters to the Editor – One-Ton Challenge

Emissions Check

Nov 17, 2017
Photographers: Truck Trend Staff
While we typically have a policy here at Truck Trend to not feed the trolls, we felt this was a good enough letter to print and break down for everyone. If you disagree, feel free to write.
My comments below refer to the “One-Ton Challenge” article in the November/December 2017 issue of Truck Trend magazine.
Bottom line, it was Ford-biased and badly done, with poor criteria, missing tests, inappropriate methods, and undefined subjective scores. It was not worthy of Truck Trend. While I am not able to "fire up my torches and dust off my pitchfork," I do have a nice pot of hot tar and can use an old pillow for feathers!
[We still prefer torches and pitchforks, but continue.]
Let's get to the specifics of your journalistic crimes:
Photo 2/14   |   Truck Trend Letters To Editor
A) Pro-Ford Bias.
...1) Page 26: Even before test results were published later in the article, that double-page spread shows the Ford “ahead" of the others by being closer to the camera, so that it appears bigger and more dominant than the GMC and Ram.
…2) Pages 28 and 30: “Meet the Players” offers three exterior truck views of the Ford, occupying a full page; but the Ram and the GMC get only two exterior views occupying a half-page each. Again all this before any results are shown.
[There’s one big thing here worth noting: we’re not wizards. The magazine layout and design was done after the testing concluded. This simply means that the winner was known and given more prominence throughout.]
Photo 3/14   |   Truck Trend Letters To Editor Ford Pull
B) Poor Criteria/ Inappropriate Methods.
1) Sled pull? Nobody would ever take a new truck on a sled pull, or even a broken-in truck they value: those transmissions are or will be toast.
[You’ve never been to a sled-pull event, have you? People frequently pull with new trucks just for the fun of it. Even gas-powered ½-tons participate. It’s actually a quite popular sport in much of the country. The biggest threat is to the driveline. If the truck develops severe axlewrap/axle hop, it can break driveshafts or U-joints. In a stock application with a properly weighted sled, there’s no risk to the vehicle, especially the transmission.]
2) Acceleration: Quarter-mile dragstrip to go 80 mph? In which, of course, the Ford did very well. Nobody treats his or her 1-ton truck that way.
[Again, you must have missed the part explaining that the point of this exercise was to mimic the Diesel Power Challenge exactly. We didn’t create the tests, just subjected our factory pickups to them. And, again, if you hit up the test-n-tune night at your local dragstrip, we’d be willing to bet that there are more than a few diesels in the staging lanes.
And, yes, it took the full quarter-mile to get up to nearly 80 mph. These are big, heavy trucks, after all, not lightweight race cars. It’s actually quite impressive that nearly 9,000-pound trucks can put down these sort of quarter-mile times.]
Photo 4/14   |   Truck Trend Letters To Editor Gmc Ford
3) Appearance: “Best Interior” (Ram) and “Best Exterior” (GMC)—completely irrelevant to the functional rating of 1-ton trucks.
[Who said this was purely a functional test? This is where we put a small touch of our own Truck Trend flair on the test. By polling the people directly involved in making this happen, of which there were many, we were able to give these accolades. Though they may seem like participation awards, both were genuinely earned.]
Photo 5/14   |   Truck Trend Letters To Editor Ford Hauling
C) Missing Tests.
1) Stopping. Hauling and towing need to be complemented by slowing and stopping. Where are the braking tests from 60-to-0 mph?
[Check out our Pickup Truck of the Year testing later in this issue, we test braking there. In this case, it wasn’t part of Diesel Power Challenge, so it wasn’t included, although our week of test driving between events did allow us to evaluate real-world stopping ability.]
2) Sway resistance. Where do you show crosswind accommodation and maintained stability?
[See our wizards comment prior. We haven’t quite figured out how to control weather, though we are actively working on it.]
3) Swerving. How about a skidpad evaluation or doing a mild slalom? I want to know a truck's behavior in emergency conditions.
[We see you cleverly ignored our two tests that involved towing, one of which had slalom, stop box, and copious backing.]
D) Badly defined methodology.
1) Dynamometer test: You didn't show the HP- and Torque-vs-RPM curves? Where are they?
[We’ll give you this one. We should have added the curves. Honestly, a lack of page space kept us from doing this.]
2) Dynamometer test: How did the technician “lock” the automatic transmissions into Fourth gear?
[This is done by using the manual gear selector available in the pickup. The truck is then accelerated to a speed and rpm that will stay in the desired gear. The test commences from there. If a shift is detected, the run is scrapped and started over. If this doesn’t work, it can be done with available dealer and aftermarket software, both of which we have access to.]
3) Dynamometer test: The article says the technician used a “window" of 2,000 to 2,900 rpm. Great. Now which did he choose for the HP and torque numbers?
4) Dynamometer test: No car-based dynamometer starting at 2,000 rpm is appropriate for a diesel pickup-truck! It needs to start at 800-1,000 rpm!
[We’re seeing that you don’t quite understand how a load-cell chassis dynamometer works. Google is your friend; we’re running out of space.]
Photo 6/14   |   Truck Trend Letters To Editor One Ton Challenge
E) Subjective Scores.
1) Drive Impressions? What the hell are “drive impressions”? Not defined.
[They are actually highly defined and well regulated. Our reviewers are among the top in the industry, with decades of experience evaluating vehicles. In addition to our professionals, we also polled several diesel enthusiasts who helped with the test. What are your credentials to question theirs?]
So, if we straighten out the goofiness, eliminate what I see as inappropriate methods, and add what I think is missing, we may come out with overall scores that are much closer to reality for the three trucks tested.
[All this talk of bias, and you just exposed yours. We can tell you don’t like Ford, and by the way you speak, must be a Ram fan. Fair enough, everyone has a favorite team. We run these tests as independently as possible and let the numbers speak for themselves. Our results are transparent and easily repeatable. Our only regret is that Ram’s 930 lb-ft tune wasn’t yet available when we ran the test.]
I’ll bet you certainly would not publish this letter, would you?
[Don’t tempt us with a good time!]
Bernie Kressner
Appleton, Wisconsin

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