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#PTOTY20 – Day 5 Recap: Off-Road at Hungry Valley SVRA

Learning Their Limits

Chad Kirchner
Oct 23, 2019
"Don't pick another Ram," the California State Park Ranger told us as we entered the Hungry Valley off-road vehicle practice area. He was our security for the day to make sure that we weren't bothered by the locals and had a strong opinion on pickup trucks—don't worry, he doesn't get a say.
Hungry Valley is where Truck Trend we found ourselves evaluating the off-road credentials for the 2020 Pickup Truck of the Year award. A dedicated off-road park isn't exactly where most people will take their pickups, but all of the truck makers make bold claims about how well their trucks will do in extreme environments.
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A few of the trucks were even wearing special off-road packs. Both the Sierra 1500 and 2500 were in the company's new AT4 trim. This includes a 2-inch lift for the 1500 and Rancho shocks for both, among other goodies. The Ram 1500 in attendance was the Rebel. Ford's gas 2020 Super Duty they sent over was the new Tremor package. We even had a Gladiator.
Jurors appeared to be impressed with the smaller trucks. Both the Gladiator and Ranger were talked about positively after hitting the trail. The Ranger, interestingly enough, had a rear locker but the Gladiator did not.
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The extra ground clearance on the 1500 AT4 helped with breakover angle. The Silverado 2500, on the other hand, without an off-road package, had running boards that took a bit of a beating.
The truck most were curious about was the Tremor, which is a new offering for Ford and is positioned to be a Power Wagon competitor. How did it do? Well, we're sworn to secrecy until the final results of our testing come out in January, but what we can say is the red paint with the black wheels looks epic out in the dirt.
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Our tired and weary team just need to finish up their scoring and then official testing is concluded for the 2020 Pickup Truck of the Year. Stay tuned for the results in a few months.