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  • How To: Get Your Ride in Readers’ Diesels

How To: Get Your Ride in Readers’ Diesels

Tips for taking photos and getting your rig into our popular showcase for real-world trucks.

Apr 20, 2020
View Some Readers' Diesels Here
1987 AM General Humvee, 2005 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD, and More
1992 Dodge Ram W350, 1993 Ford F-150, and More
2009 Western Star 4900 FA
It's hard to believe Diesel Power and several other enthusiasts' brands owned by the MotorTrend Group, have been operating as "digital only" for nearly half a year already. The company's truck group has weathered the transition from monthly printed magazines to online content exclusively well. However, as dust continues to settle, we're always considering ideas for improving and enhancing online truck content.
Thanks to email and social media outlets, enthusiasts are communicating with editors more and weighing in with content ideas, including likes, dislikes, wants, needs, etc. ). So, we believe now is a good time for us to incorporate Readers' Diesels—one the popular, reader-driven departments in the printed magazine—into the online-only flow.
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"How can I get my truck in Diesel Power?" is still the most frequently asked question. Even without print, the top method remains: "By submitting photos and information to Readers' Diesels." The electronic mailbox, dieselpowerrides@motortrend.com, is active and ready to receive details about and photos of the rigs you own, build and drive, and we can't wait to get them on the site for fellow enthusiasts to enjoy.
Here's the proverbial "thing"—some of you might call it a catch. The success of producing a regular—monthly? weekly?—digital Readers' Diesels report totally depends on you, and your ability to provide the content that will make it work.
In this report, Editor KJ Jones provides guidelines for the required information about your truck, as well as a video tutorial that hopefully will help you take great photos. One of the biggest challenges we've always had is working with picture files that are too small or saved in a format that we can't work with (.JPG is our standard). Read and watch everything carefully. We can't wait to see what you've got!
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Your Truck, Your Words
While we don't expect everyone to be a brilliant writer, we hope that you all will have enough pride in your rigs and concern about the way it's presented, to provide complete and detailed information about it—and about you. This is the "Tech Sheet" that must accompany every photo set. We are now including much more information in Readers' Diesels, so every category must be completed (providing a valid email address that YOU respond to is mandatory), and "NA" must be used for areas that don't apply to your vehicle. Bottom line? Nothing should be left blank and information should be provided per the examples. This is your truck's moment to shine.
To ensure consistency for this new section, vehicles with Tech Sheets that are not completed in full, will not be published. Take a look at the sample, and then Copy/Paste the blank document into a Word file that must be attached to your email. Do NOT Copy/Paste a Tech Sheet into an email. It must be a separate attachment.
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Tech Sheet (Sample)
Truck Nickname: "Top Gun"
  • Year/Make/Model: 2007 Dodge Ram 2500
  • Owner: MANDATORY
  • Hometown: City, State (write out complete state name)
  • Email: MANDATORY
  • Engine: 6.7L Cummins I-6
  • Odometer: XXX,XXX miles
  • Horsepower: XXX hp
  • Torque: XXX lb-ft
  • Fuel Economy: 16 city/21 highway
  • Engine Mods: XXX rods, XXX pistons, ported cylinder heads, XXX camshaft, beehive valvesprings, etc. (specify all parts and brands)
  • Cold-Air: Specify brand
  • Turbocharger: Single - (size) OR Compound - (size) over (size) OR Triple - (sizes), details about turbo system (specify brand/manufacturer/modifier, tubing, etc. )
  • Intercooler: Specify brand and type (air-to-air, water-to-air, etc. )
  • Fueling: XXX injectors, XXX injection pump, XXX-gph lift pump (specify brands, sizes, etc. )
  • Tuning: Specify chip/programmer brand, tuner's name, etc.
  • Nitrous Oxide: Specify brand, jet size, etc.
  • Water-Methanol: Specify brand
  • Exhaust: Specify brand, tubing size, hood/bed stack, etc.
  • Transmission: Type and number of gears (ex: 48RE four-speed automatic)
  • Transmission Mods: Builder info, parts/accessories, torque converter, etc.
  • Tires: Specify size, brand and model
  • Wheels: Specify size, brand and model
  • Suspension Mods: Specify brands and components
  • Front Axle: Specify brands, gear ratio, etc., as applicable
  • Rear Axle: Specify brands, gear ratio, etc., as applicable
  • Interior: Specify mods, accessory brands, details, etc.
  • Exterior: Specify mods, accessory brands, details, etc.
Owner Says: This is basically your opportunity to brag. In a few paragraphs, it's a chance to talk about your rig ("bought it new," "daily driver," how you use it, etc.) share your story, and possibly inspire other enthusiasts to make similar changes or upgrades to their trucks. After all, imitation is the best form of flattery. It doesn't have to be a novel or repeat the information that's provided in the Tech Sheet. All we ask is that you let us know a little about yourself and the vehicle you're proud of, future plans, etc.
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Tech Sheet (Blank Template—Copy/Paste into email and send to dieselpowerrides@motortrend.com with photos)
Truck Nickname:
  • Year/Make/Model:
  • Owner:
  • Hometown:
  • Email:
  • Engine:
  • Odometer: miles
  • Horsepower: hp
  • Torque: lb-ft
  • Fuel Economy: city/ highway
  • Engine Mods:
  • Cold-Air:
  • Turbocharger:
  • Intercooler:
  • Fueling:
  • Tuning:
  • Nitrous Oxide:
  • Water-Methanol:
  • Exhaust:
  • Transmission:
  • Transmission Mods:
  • Tires:
  • Wheels:
  • Suspension Mods:
  • Front Axle:
  • Rear Axle:
  • Interior:
  • Exterior:
Owner Says:
Picture Perfect
The photos you take are equally as important as details that you provide about your pride and joy. "Posing" a vehicle for Readers' Diesels photography isn't difficult, and we don't require an elaborate 50-shot spread.
What we need from you are sharp, high-resolution (3.0MB or bigger) .JPG images that can be taken with a cell phone (provided it has a good camera), or of course with a point-and-shoot or SLR digital camera. The basic photo package should include the following shots: three-quarter front, side profile, three-quarter rear, interior (front and rear seats), engine, wheels/tires, suspension, and any other custom or detail items that you think should be highlighted. Note the examples in this report.
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Remember, you're taking photos for a web site, not Instagram or Facebook. And, we can't accept images that have been copied from web sites or social media. Hold the phone sideways and shooting in what's considered "landscape" style (versus the "portrait" form that dominate the 'Gram). Also, try and shoot your rig in the ambient light of early morning (before sunrise) or late afternoon/early evening (before sunset). Harsh midday sunlight typically isn't conducive to good pictures. And, ensure the entire vehicle is in the photo before taking it.
We no longer have an art director to touch-up "noisy" areas in pictures (light poles, litter on the ground, etc.) using Photoshop, so try and take photos in open areas that aren't loaded with a bunch of distractions that take away from the main subject, your ride!

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