The rivalry and chest-beating among heavy-duty truck manufacturers continues as strong as ever. This time, Chevrolet is calling out both Ford and Ram by comparing three-quarter-ton and one-ton trucks in seven feats of strength in a series of “HD to HD” videos on Chevy’s website.
"We wanted to get away from spec-sheet comparisons and show how these trucks perform in the real world," said Rick Spina, global vehicle line executive for General Motors full-size trucks. "To do so, we engaged an independent company to test the Silverado HD with the [6.6-liter] Duramax [V-8] diesel and Allison transmission head-to-head with the competition, and record those tests for everyone to see."
The tests include acceleration comparisons at sea level and at 6,000 feet, highway-speed passing, brake fade and exhaust brake performance on a long downgrade, plus squat measurements under load and gauging frame stiffness during twist-ditch simulations. All the tests were conducted with cargo in the truck beds or heavy trailers or both simultaneously.
Most of the tests we’ve done ourselves, during the Heavy-Duty Shootout and last year’s Rumble in the Rockies. The real eye-opener is the twist ditch test (below). The Super Duty’s open c-channel frame shows a significant amount of torsional bending compared to the Silverado’s fully-boxed chassis.
To ensure none of the testing was rigged in the Silverado’s favor, the Chevy team hired AMCI to manage all of the testing. AMCI has been used as an independent neutral party to validate multiple manufacturers’ claims for over 30 years. Ram recently used AMCI to test its 4500 and 5500 chassis cab trucks to verify bragging rights for best-in-class braking and cost of ownership.
The only things we can critique about this round of testing are that it didn’t include fuel economy -- which Ford claims the Super Duty is best in class for diesel mileage -- and the new High Output version of the Ram 3500 isn’t used (it’s not on sale until June).
We’ll fix both of those issues this summer. Until then, take a look at the videos:
Zero to 60 MPH Acceleration
Acceleration at Altitude
Wheel Brake Fade
Exhaust Brake Test