PickupTruck.com Heavy Duty Shootout, Part 2 of 3
By: Mike Levine, Kent Sundling,
© 2007 PickupTruck.com
Enter the Drag Strip
green light drops, the blah blah blah stops.
few automotive experiences that get your heart rate up or your hands
sweating faster than rolling up to the starting block for the first run
of the day at a drag strip. (Sitting next a six-foot tall brunette model
inside the cabin of a Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano 6.0-liter V12 at the North
American International Auto Show is about the only thing we can think
pulse surged even faster when we realized it wasn't just our selfish
pride that was at stake drag racing the guy in the lane next to us -
there was also skin in the game for the OEMs who'd just loaned us the
seven heavy duty pickups we'd be
racing testing against each
ask, what's the point of running heavy duty pickups through the
1/4-mile? Isn't the job of a three-quarter or one-ton rig to simply
deliver a heavy load or haul a trailer from point A to point B? You'd be
absolutely correct except for one circumstance where the 1/4-mile test
almost always comes in as a handy measurement - getting on the freeway.
we performed represent a reasonable scenario for those drivers
interested in learning how quickly they can accelerate up to 60-mph plus
to join the flow of traffic on a freeway, without holding other drivers
up behind them or causing an unsafe situation in a slow moving vehicle
towing a trailer.
Part 1, we rented the asphalt at
Milan Dragway, just outside Detroit. The track features an IHRA
sanctioned 1/4-mile dragstrip. It's perfect for determining time and
speed performance over a fixed distance, unloaded and loaded.
originally set out to test all seven trucks at Milan, but due to time
restrictions and the number of runs required for the trucks, only the
one-ton diesel trucks were completed at Milan, plus the F-450
uninstrumented. We ran and completed testing all the three-quarter-ton
gassers the next day at
Ford's Michigan Proving Grounds (MPG).
runs at Milan were carried out at wide open throttle (WOT) in the normal
1/4-mile direction, using the right hand lane, starting from the regular
start line. Every run was initiated by following the staging and
countdown lights on the Christmas tree from a dead stop.
Milan a bit more interesting, we invited all the manufacturers to send
as many PR and engineering folks as they wanted to observe the testing
first-hand. Chrysler, General Motors, and Ford Motor Company all took us
up on that offer and had at least one person onsite during the races.
Some even took turns racing each other.
pictures that accompany this story, you'll see the trucks racing each
other. However, Ricardo Inc. only collected metrics and data
from one truck at a time using an
Oxford Technical Solutions RT3102 - so how the trucks performed
head-to-head with each other wasn't necessarily indicative of the final
results you'll read about.
tests were conducted at Milan and MPG in 4 wheel drive (high range mode)
with tow-haul engaged when towing, and disabled when not towing. A
minimum of three runs was carried out in each configuration tested. The
fastest runs are presented in the results.
have time but an interesting test would have been to have done these
runs for three days, to see how the adaptive computer programs would
have changed acceleration and shift points in the transmissions. Though
under load, such as a trailer, we may have been close to our top