Chevy vs. Ford in Heavy-Duty Rumble in the Rockies

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Photos courtesy of Diesel Power, General Motors

Over the summer, we published the results of our nine-truck Heavy-Duty Shootout, where we selected the Chevy Silverado 2500 HD and GMC Sierra Denali 3500 HD as our two top picks in the three-quarter-ton and one-ton diesel categories. But our readers raised two important points.

The first point was that we didn't test Ford’s "Job 2" engine calibrations for the all-new 6.7-liter Power Stroke V-8. The free powertrain software update for 2011 diesel Super Dutys boosts the ratings from 390 horsepower and 735 pounds-feet of torque to an astonishing 400 hp and 800 pounds-feet, eclipsing GM’s 6.6-liter Duramax V-8 rating of 397 hp and 765 pounds-feet. We didn't test the re-rated Ford trucks because they weren’t available at test time.

The second concern was about the quarter-mile and hill-climb acceleration tests, where we measured performance over relatively short distances pulling 10,000-pound and 12,000-pound trailers. The tests were enough to provide consistent evidence of the strength of GM’s powertrain, but some thought Ford’s diesel and new six-speed would have beaten the Chevy and GMC if the distances were greater.

Specs

We didn't disagree with these two points and wondered about both ourselves, even though we know our Shootout comparison tests are the most rigorous exams you’ll find to judge pickup truck capability.

The challenge

Then, in late September, Chevrolet challenged Ford to a real-world showdown in the Colorado Rockies, similar to the Mike Rowe head-to-head towing competitions that Ford has used to promote the capabilities of its F-Series pickups. Ford declined, but the bowtie boys decided to press forward and invited PickupTrucks.com and Diesel Power magazine to witness the test.

We agreed with a few conditions: Chevrolet had to use test trucks purchased off the lot from Chevy and Ford dealers and the Super Duty had to have the 400/800 power ratings. They couldn't come from GM's captive test fleet and the trucks had to be as "apples-to-apples" as possible when it came to features and equipment. While Chevrolet originally wanted to test three-quarter-ton HD pickups — the heart of the HD market — we had to use one-ton trucks because that was the only way to match equivalent rear axle ratios of 3.73. We also had to drive and instrument the trucks to measure the results ourselves. Chevy reps would be along for the ride.

Chevrolet met those conditions, and we picked up two brand-new dealer-bought HD pickups in Detroit. The 2011 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 LT four-wheel-drive crew cab came from Mike Savoie Chevrolet in Troy, Mich., with 8 miles on the odometer and 0.9 hours on the engine meter. The "Job 2" 2011 Ford F-350 Super Duty XLT four-wheel-drive crew cab was sold at Harold Zeigler Ford Lincoln in Elkhart, Ind., and driven to Detroit by a third-party fleet service. Two Diesel Power staffers drove the trucks 1,250 miles to Denver.

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How equivalent were the trucks? They were probably the most evenly matched HD pickups we've tested. Besides the same rear axle ratios, the $54,805 8,440-pound Ford was just $65 and 220 pounds more than the $54,740 8,220-pound Silverado. Both lacked fancy equipment such as leather seats, navigation systems and sunroofs.

The location and the load

We knew we needed a real-world place to test both trucks, so we chose the eastbound ascent from Dillon, Colo., to the top of Eisenhower Pass on Interstate 70. It’s perhaps the toughest stretch of road a loaded truck will encounter on a major cross-country highway – call it the Nürburgring of pickup trucks because nearly every bit of towing and braking hardware is stressed to its max for multiple miles at a very high altitude.

The grade starts at about 5 percent for two miles and increases to about 7 percent for the remaining six miles, to the entrance to the Eisenhower Tunnel, the highest vehicular tunnel in the U.S. Despite that lofty elevation, an average of more than 30,000 vehicles crossed in both directions each day last year, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation.

We also needed a heavy trailer that the trucks could share. Chevy lined up a 6,500-pound gooseneck with three 4,140-pound pallets of flagstone lashed to the flat bed for a grand total of 18,920 pounds. That brought the gross combined weight rating for the Chevy to 27,140 pounds before four adult males jumped in and added another 800 pounds, for a grand total of 27,940 pounds, or 96 percent of the Silverado’s maximum GCWR. The total for the Ford F-350 was 28,160 pounds, or 94 percent of the Super Duty’s maximum GCWR.

Eisenhower

For our test, we used a stretch of I-70 that started in Dillon at 8,776 feet and ended at exactly 11,000 feet, rising 2,224 feet over 7.6-miles (approximately 40,000 feet).

But we didn’t just time the trucks up the grade. We also evaluated their exhaust-brake performance while heading the opposite direction back to Dillon with the nearly 19,000-pound trailer pushing these monster HDs downhill. An exhaust brake saves on brake and transmission wear by clamping down the engine’s turbo vanes, creating back pressure to engine brake the truck. It also reduces the potential for brake fade during long descents, increasing downhill safety while towing and overall wheel brake life.

Where’s Ram?

If you were wondering where the Ram 3500 is in all of this, it wasn't included because these weights exceeded its 24,500 maximum GCWR by more than 2,500 pounds. It wouldn’t have been safe or responsible to test the truck in these conditions.

To help manage these astonishing weights, which we couldn’t have imagined a decade ago, we used a professional driver with a commercial driver’s license paid for by Diesel Power Magazine. Please see Diesel Power for the driver's bio.

Hill-climb test

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Each truck was run up the grade in Tow/Haul mode starting in four-wheel drive for max traction in the cold conditions and switching to two-wheel drive at approximately 30 mph. The fastest time was used for the comparison.

We ran the Ford four times. The first two runs were with only three adult males to offset the Chevy’s 220-pound curb weight advantage, and the last two runs had all four of us in the trucks. The fourth run was Ford’s fastest time. Two-hundred-twenty pounds doesn’t matter much when you’re pushing almost 15 tons against gravity.

Temperatures ranged from 5 degrees to 18 degrees, according to the trucks’ outdoor temperature readouts. It was so cold that neither truck’s fan turned on, though the next day, at just 35 degrees, both trucks’ fans turned on frequently to cool the engines.

The trucks were at a dead stop before each run. The driver ran wide-open throttle from start to finish. We didn’t encounter any traffic on the road during the late-night climbs.

We used our own GPS-based Racelogic VBOX test kit to record performance and geographic data.

The Ford F-350's best time up the grade was 10 minutes, 46.8 seconds at an average speed of 42.41 mph. The top speed was 58.5 mph, and it happened just before the point where the grade increased from 5 percent to 7 percent.

Time-comparison

This chart shows each truck's speed climbing the 7.6-mile grade against the clock. The Silverado reached 11,000 feet in 518.2 seconds and the Ford finished in 646.8 seconds.

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Distance-comparison

This chart shows the speeds of both trucks relative to each other over the 40,000 foot (7.6 mile) run to 11,000 feet in elevation. Note how similar the speed patterns are for each truck as the grade changes throughout the climb.

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Average speeds

The Chevy Silverado was significantly faster. It finished more than two minutes ahead of the F-350, in 8 minutes, 38.2 seconds. Average speed cruising up to 11,000 feet was 53.63 mph, 11.22 mph faster on average than the Ford. The Chevy’s top speed was 67.38 mph for a few seconds before the grade changed from 5 percent to 7 percent.

The Chevy and Ford had similar performances at the start of their runs. The Ford clicked off the quarter-mile in 31.25 seconds at 45.13 mph, and the Chevy ran the same distance in 28.93 seconds at 50.3 mph. But the Chevy was already coming on like a freight train at that point. It took the Silverado 28.56 seconds to go from zero to 50 mph, while it took the Ford 42.02 seconds.

Both trucks ran the first part of the grade in 4th gear and dropped down to 3rd gear for the rest of the climb.

Exhaust brake test

For the exhaust brake test, we exited Eisenhower Tunnel westbound and set both trucks’ speed to 55 mph in 4th gear. The Silverado has a push-button-activated exhaust brake that can work in or out of Tow/Haul mode, while the Ford’s exhaust brake is automatically enabled when the truck is in Tow/Haul. Unlike the Duramax, the Ford’s exhaust brake can't be turned off by the driver.

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We wanted to see which truck required the least amount of wheel brake application, so when speeds reached 60 mph, the driver applied his left foot to the brake to slow down the truck to 52 mph to start the cycle again.

The difference in exhaust brake performance (echoing the much shorter test performed in the HD Shootout) was starker than the difference towing up the hill.

After four runs in the Ford, we had to manually slow the truck between 11 to 14 times during each descent to keep it from exceeding 60 mph. Ford’s exhaust brake seemed to have minimal effect slowing the rig and keeping our driver from getting that “white knuckle” feeling you don’t want to have when your 15-ton rig is rolling down a hill. Ford’s six-speed transmission did a nice job downshifting from 4th to 3rd gear after the foot brake was applied to help slow things down.

The Chevy was a superhero on the descent. It was like Superman digging his feet into the pavement to stop a runaway locomotive. In three downhill runs, we averaged one to two manual brake applies. That’s it. It consistently hung in at a steady 58 to 59 mph and stayed at that speed for miles. When we applied the foot brake after the first time, the Chevy downshifted from 4th to 2nd gear near redline at 52 mph and kept shedding speed until we tipped into the throttle to get back into 3rd and started picking up speed again. We never shifted down to 2nd gear in the Super Duty, slowing the truck to 52 mph.

At the turnaround point in Dillon to start each test cycle, the most telling aspect of our exhaust brake test was the strong smell of hard-worked brakes in the Ford and the absence of that smell in the Chevy. That doesn't just save on brake wear. It saves on frayed nerves as well.

Summary

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In short, the Chevy Silverado's performance surprised everyone, given Ford's higher stated power figures for the 6.7-liter Power Stroke. Finishing two minutes ahead of the Super Duty over a 7.6-mile grade at more than 90 percent GCWR is nothing short of a dominant showing for Chevy. The exhaust brake performance is perhaps even more telling and welcome news for frequent heavy towers.

What accounts for the significant performance differences between the Chevy and the Ford in this comparison? We originally thought it might be a gap in the Power Stroke's high altitude engine calibrations, which optimize combustion performance based on driving conditions, but now we think its part of the nature of the 6.7's unique single sequential turbo.

Ford's turbo features a single turbine and two compressors placed back-to-back. It's possible that Ford's siamese compressor design is losing some efficiency the higher it climbs.

For braking, both trucks depend on variable geometry fins that surround the turbine. They clamp down to restrict exhaust flow and create back pressure in the engine to slow the truck down. The Duramax appears to be able to clamp down more strongly than the Power Stroke.

Interestingly, Honeywell subsidiary Garrett is the same turbo supplier for both diesel engines. 

Regardless of the cause of the performance gap between these two incredibly capable HD pickups, we reaffirm the results of our 2010 HD Shootout in the real world. There’s no question that GM's latest diesel pickups are the performance leaders in the class. Chevy doesn't just run deep. It runs high as well.

For more information and a second take on this test, be sure to check out Diesel Power.

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All of the data we collected during the Rumble in the Rockies has been provided to Ford and General Motors for their review. PickupTrucks.com and Diesel Power Magazine paid for our own travel and lodging expenses associated with this test. We were not compensated for any part of our participation by GM.

Comments

Well now what Ford... Job 3??? Great job everyone on this test

Great test. Great Results. No excuses. Props to Chev, they earned it.

Thanks Mike

Now that is a clear win for GM. But what is more impressive to me is the downhill performance of the Chevy. To only have to apply the foot brake twiced pulling nearly 19,000 pounds is nothing short of amazing.

Not too surprized that the Duramax won... but pretty surprized that it was that big of a difference. Both are very impressive! Amazing trucks.

Congrats GM very good job.

Two outstanding trucks. One clear winner in this test.

Ford scrambled the give the power stroke an increase in power and it still can't beat the mighty Duramax...

Nice try Ford, better luck next time....

What excuse are the Ford boys going to use now? After the Duramax won the Diesel shootout all the Ford boys told me to just wait until the upgraded 6.7 came out... Well we waited and the 6.7 still can't match the Duramax...

Well Done GM, these new HD's are truly class leading.

Ford was dominated in this test, I don't know how anyone can truly say with a straight face that Ford heavy dutys are better then GM...

Those braking results are almost not even real....

These GM HD's get better ever time I read about them....

Well, a clear knockout. Congrats to GM.

Ford, back to work. And to head of the powertain group for the SuperDuty... out of work.

At this level of truck, pulling ability (and control) matter more than gadgets and toys in the cab. You making notes Ford?

I know you said we were going to be shocked at the results, but to be honest it doesn't surprise me. I figured the Chevy would win, even with Ford upping their HP and TQ. The only way I'd of been surprised is if the Ford had won.


For the people that don't follow up on news articles and only go by hearsay, then I understand how they'd be surprised.


Great read nonetheless.

Mike I think u should have put them on a DYNO before an after the TEST an see the #'s ... YOU say they are the CLOSEST two trucks BUT one DOMINATED the other in everyway POSSIBLE . Either someones LOW ballin the #'s or the others HIGH ballin there #'s . You said its the Ford's siamese compressor design is losing some efficiency the higher it climbs ... I think Its the Fords TUNE thats KILLING it at HIGHER EVEVATION .....

Ford was so busy making their interiors look pretty they lost sight of what a real truck is...GM put their money to good use, Ford didn't, and its showing in these tests....

@ Jake

I guess the question for may folks will be, is the tradeoff worth it? Heck the Ram is slower, pulls less and uses more fuel yet they are still selling them. Diff strokes for diff folks.

wow, that sets the record straight. i'm hearing crickets on here from the ford boys. you cant say a thing but nice job gm.

@ mike levine

NICE GRAPH'S! you guys did a great job collecting info on this one kudo's. So my beforehand guess of 10 mph was REALLY CLOSE eh. i must say from my OWN personal experience that having to just hit the brakes 2 times to slow the truck down is TRULY amazing. i continually switched from hittin the truck brakes to the trailer brakes and back again when i ran the pass at a gcvw of 23500 with the 02 duramax. (some of this was probably overcautious because it was my first trip up that mountain). thanks again for the info.

The braking performance is truly amazing IMO. That alone makes me want a diesel (I am a GM guy already). Too bad one at the local dealer optioned like I want is over $55k. But either way, the braking performance is more impressive to me then even the over 11 mph faster average and 2 minutes faster ET.

Well I guess that's what you get when you have been working on a power train for 10 years. I'm a Ford guy and I don't mind that Chevy won this one. With Ford's new 6.7 and trans still very new I think it will still prove competitive enough since it will probably go through refinement in the years to come. It wont change my mind though cause die-hards will be die-hards and even if the Ford had won I doubt any Chevy guys would have given a rats a** and still would have gone out and bought the Chev anyway. Its kinda like the Dodge guys who would say that the Cummins is the best diesel no matter what.

Now if I could just get the duramax in a 2500 Suburban I'd be a happy man.

Hell, I'd even love to have the 4.5L "baby" duramax.


As far as the test goes, I figured GM would win, but not by such a large margin. Very interesting to see how two vehicle so close on paper can have such different results.

With that said, I'm sure Ford will continue to improve. After all, this is only the first year of their in-house Powerstroke. The duramax has had about 9 years to get it right. I'm excited for what the future will bring for both brands.

Mike,
Did you guys keep track of fuel economy?

@Neil: Diesel Power has the FE figures from the 1,250 mile trip from Detroit to Denver. We didn't keep track of the FE during the grade testing but each round trip up and down the mountain required us to go past the tunnels and come back, a distance of about 25 miles. Over roughly 75 miles, the Ford seemed to be a bit more fuel efficient *but* we went off the gauges and not off fuel levels filling the tank because the Ford ran 4 times and the Chevy 3 times.

Kudos to GM. Like I've said before - I wish GM's management was as capable as their HD engineers.

Mike, I guess that 18,000lbs is probably the actual practical limit for these vehicles. As you said the load exceeded the Dodges limit.
Have you tested both HD's on severe grades, much greater than 7% , like I have experienced in Australia and Europe.? These tend to really kill the climbing ability of a vehicle.

thanks Mike, a great write-up as always... Now... getting the money to get one... hmmm....

I'm not surprised at all by these results. Pretty much exactly what I expected. Interesting article.
With that said it doesn't really do anything for me besides provide an interesting article to read. If I hauled huge loads up and down steep inclines on a regular basis or if I liked to drag race my truck a lot I might prefer the duramax. But like most people I care a lot more about efficiency, comfort, reliability, features, and overall value. That is why my next diesel truck will probably have a powerstroke or cummins. I just don't feel as good about gm products anymore.

The duramax is an amazing engine. I just don't think the chevy's suspension is that durable of a set up. I'm sure it drives great and allows amazing steering but if I was working this truck on a ranch and not pulling a house on wheels I think I would want a solid axle. I have a felling if you pounded those torsion beams they would be sagging far before a stout Dana 60 gives you problems. I feel the ford is more a working mans truck. Still rough and tuff with plenty of power. The chevy is beautiful for pulling you shiney house on wheels.

@ Brahm

I guess I missed the part in the article where they were comparing the durability of the front suspension on a ranch. Oh wait, this was a TOWING comparison, not a ranch truck comparison. But you're right, how dare they declare the truck that TOWED the best the winner of a TOW comparison, and not consider how well a truck performs on a ranch as part of that TOW comparison.

(eyes rolling)

Next you'll be crying because they didn't factor in how well the windshield wipers performed.

Let the excuses begin, excuse#1) wait till Job 2, #2) it was an F-450 with 4:30 gears, #3) 220 pound weight Difference, Add ballast to make it even #4) the Superduty was gaining on the duramax if the test were longer Ford would have passed chevy, #5) they should have done a 4wheel launch.... << Well well well ford fans YOU asked for it and you GOT it! Very well done GM..... P.S. cant wait for the suspension test on a farm (Insert sarcasm here)

As far as the test goes, I figured GM would win, but not by such a large margin. Very interesting to see how two vehicle so close on paper can have such different results.
The duramax is an amazing engine. I just don't think the chevy's suspension is that durable of a set up. I'm sure it drives great and allows amazing steering but if I was working this truck on a ranch and not pulling a house on wheels I think I would want a solid axle. I have a felling if you pounded those torsion beams they would be sagging far before a stout Dana 60 gives you problems. I feel the ford is more a working mans truck. Still rough and tuff with plenty of power. The chevy is beautiful for pulling you shiney house on wheels.

Kudos to the chevy on the uphill climb...However I would like to see an article of the same two trucks pulling the same two trailers for 2 hrs side by side at the same speed on the highway. Both of these trucks are quite capable what would put one over the other in my mind is not the ocasional hill that I'm going to pull at a 7 percent grade with that much weight but how the truck settles in on the highway and how efficient it is with pulling that load at highway speed....how about a aerial resistance test for those trucks to simulate pulling a big trailer through the wind.... the same trailer for each truck of course. Give us some numbers for stuff we do 90 percent of the time... well at least I do 90 percent of the time

I was craking up reading these comments. Excuses excuses excuses. 2 hour drive side by side? are you kidding me? to prove what? we all know that their FE is really close, they both handle well. I wonder what next excuse you ford gals will think of? perhaps, how soft the leather feels?

I see lots of comments like (Were's all the Ford girls at) Well I'll speak for them as a Ford (Girl) as you put it.

Congrats GM, Under fair circumstance's you beat out the Powerstroke. But does this change my mind? Absolutly not. I'm still just as much of a Ford guy as I was before I read this article. As it was stated earlier, The Cummins Dodge is slower, isn't rated to tow as much, and use's more fuel...But there are still plenty of Dodge/Cummins loyalest that will still buy Dodge.

So what if the Duramax is 10mph and 2 minutes faster in this up hill tow. Honestly if your paying 60K + for a truck like this only to go drag racing up the mountains...Well your an idiot, sorry but you are. I did enjoy reading this test, but it really prove's very little, because lets be real, who is going to race threw the rockies in 1-ton trucks that cost as much as a cheap house, with a 20,000lb load behinde them? Probably less than 1% of the people who buy these trucks will ever use them like they were used in this test.

To all the GM fanboy's who think they are cock of the walk now...How bout instead of talking crap, lets be thankful that Ford, GM, and Dodge offer these trucks wich are sooooo vastly more powerful and comfortable than any 1-ton ever offered before.

Once again from a Ford guy, Congrats on the win GM.

Now lets take 2400lbs off the trailers and include the Ram, I think it will outdo all of them, just because Chrysler takes a more conservative approach to stating payload numbers doesn't mean its weaker.

@nathan well said. From a ford guy congrats to chevy, however, this doesnt change my loyalty. Great article mike. I still dont get why it was just in the rockies, I thought itd be smarter to do a test at sea level as well. And let me clarify before the bowtie boys go crazy on the key board, IT WAS A GREAT ARTICLE AND CONGRATS.

As impressive as the hill climb is. It is the down hill that is even more impressive. If you look at it as durabilty point. You will have to replace the brakes on the Ford a lot more then the Chevy which will raise maintenance cost. As they said on the down hill you could smell the brakes of the Ford cooking and the Chevy brakes didn't have a smell to them.

I am surprised by the margin of the win. I thought it would be closer (you know, finally being fair and all, lol).

Great job by PUTC and friends to address EVERY issue had with the F450/3500 which was't even a formal test.

I guess the only thing is run them in cuise on a flat interstate like some still want but why??? Jobsite shootout??? Running out of excuses, here... lol

It doesn't change my mind about being a fan of the SD but I've definitely made me a fan of the new GM HD's.

Any feeling for why the results. I could see a slight advantage, but not the huge win that happened. What in your opinion is the difference, is it power (Ford overrating and/or GM underrating), transmission/drivetrain, altitude affecting one more than the other?

Also I noticed the transmission gearing kind of makes your "most equal" statement untrue, however, I would think the difference should be pulling advantage for the Ford and a fuel economy advanatge for Chevy and the results say this wasn't the case so that difference isn't the cause.

It does help explain why Ford is running 3.31 axle in a SRW as the trans is offsetting some of it.

Awesome! Both trucks are great but the GM definately won this round. Good job GM, Better luck next time Ford.

Holy Crap...SOME of you GM guys are SORE A@# winners. How about just saying "Good job Gm" or "I always have had faith in Gm" or "Gm Rocks"...etc. But no you have to "pre" whine about the possibility that a Ford fan will post an excuse. OR when a Ford fan does post his opinion about suspension(clearly he cares more about durability than up hill speed) but also says the Gm is a beautiful truck you lash out and attack him acting like he just dragged your D@#K in the dirt. COME ON GM guys, how about showing a little class.

@synrgy its funny they cry biased until they win! Lol

Good job making these tests happen.

The next question is why the difference??? Was it drive train losses, poor engine design? Does Ford need to hire more diesel expertise?

the different philosophies between Ford and GM go back 20 years. GM builds a truck to haul and carry the load and even though the Fords look tougher (bigger & sit higher) their size cuts into their ability to haul and carry. Reality and perception are seldom the same.

Interesting how a GM won a GM comparison. Seems most buyers realize the Ford is more capable, with more capacity and power, as Ford owns HALF the heavy duty pickup truck market. Buyers of real pickups aren't tricked by these sponsored evaluations. To all the Government Motor fans, don't be surprised when 3 Fords pass your 2 GMs trying to pull a trailer up that hill............. I wonder if pickuptrucks.com can explain why real world users see just the opposite of what is reported here. Let's not forget how the new Mustang with a 5.0 spanked the new Camaro, and the GM boys had to come up with their own test to have some pride. Let the sale figures tell the TRUE story.

Not including drag and rolling resistance (which should be similar in both trucks, since speeds were not excessive, and the same trailer was used), the trucks put the following power to the ground, averaged throughout the run:
Chevy Silverado w/Duramax = 212 hp
Ford Super Duty w/Power Stroke = 171 hp
I've got to admit that this difference is larger than one would expect considering how close the rated power numbers are.

The exhaust brake comparison, while not precisely documented in this report, also shows a substantial difference in performance; enough to declare a clear winner.

Congratulations to GM on the win. Congratulations to Ford for the competition; they're doing their part in keeping GM moving forward. Imagine where this would be if there was no competition. :-) Will we see changes to the Super Duty to equal or exceed GM's performance? Would be great!

Thanks to PUTC and Diesel Power for putting this together. It's great reading for us!

Actually if you guys even bothered to read the article you'd see that they WERE NOT using the upgraded 400hp and 800lb/ft of torque Powerstroke diesel for the Ford, they were still using the previous 6.7 Powerstroke! So of course the Chevy won, if they used the new Powerstroke which I quite frankly think is bull crap when they say it wasn't available, then Ford would have dominated!

@Brandon: The 2011 F-350 we tested in this story was a Job 2 400/800 Super Duty.

Job 2 Super Dutys were not available for testing when we did the 2010 HD Shootout in July.

@ nathan..well said!
congrats to GM, i do have to say i am impressed with the GM especially with the exhaust brake. Great article Mike!...As was stated it made good reading but I would still buy the Ford as the tinny chev and crappy front IFS will fall apart long before the capable Duramax/Allison give out. The other thing here is Allison won't handle much more power without being rebuilt with heavy duty parts and the Ford trannies have been proven to hold almost double the power with no problem. The main thing i saw here is a 10 year old design vs a brand new engine and the powerstoke is right up there, just think of what this motor will do when they start tweaking and tuning it a bit. I'm not out to race and I certainly wont be hauling max loads over the rockies so I'm after fuel mileage, reliabilty, comfort and toughness. I'm waiting for the new powerstroke to be out a couple years before I head down to the dealer as my current 6.4 truck is great and still pretty new. once again congrats to GM it certainly made me at least want to test drive one and see for myself, hope I can get past that horrible interior though

Good job Government Motors on finally getting more PR per taxpayer dollar and this is what you need for your ad campaign, not just alot of talk!!! I"ll still take the Super Duty.

Wow, that was a beating! I drove in this morning (in my powerstroke) with the lights on for the ford that got killed in the rockies.

I would never have imagined such a difference...can the difference in tune/turbo and elevation really make that much of a difference when power at the crank at sealevel is very similar...unless one is over/understating?

Ford really needs to get back to work on getting the power to the wheels, not just the crank...if they want my business again.

Nice test Mike. Just as a Ford fan, I would have like to see if there was much difference at much lower elevations.

The Chevy's no joke. Props where props are due.

The only thing I would have liked to see was a dyno benchmark before the runs. Just to remove all doubt that these low mileage trucks are in the ball park of their advertised power.

Perhaps Ford's turbo setup, or their new Job 2 calibrations, are adverse to high altitude... as has been suggested. That said, there has to be *some* explanation of a trouncing this thorough, given the similarity in power numbers.

I'd still like to know the whp that they are putting down; if there is a high altitude chassis dyno available, even better.

Dyno results for similar trucks tested back-to-back: http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2010/09/rocky-mountain-power-test-2011-gmc-sierra-denali-3500hd-and-2011-ford-f-450-king-ranch.html

Now, GM just needs to fix the interior of the trucks...



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