Longtime readers of PickupTrucks.com will remember that we conducted our first head-to-head comparison test way back in 2003. Over the years we've tried to get a little better with road tests, averaging more than one big test per year and providing as much technical and procedural information as possible about how we conduct our tests.
And if we're completely honest, we have to say we have a soft spot for our heavy-duty pickup truck challenges because we're always impressed with how much power, strength and technology each of the truckmakers have stuffed into to each new-generation vehicle.
In 2003 we started our journey down this truck testing path with heavy-duty diesel pickups, and once again, more than a decade later, we'll be taking a group of one-ton and three-quarter-ton pickups on the road for some exhaustive, real-world testing that only PUTC can do. This time around, we're spreading out our testing over the course of two weeks in order to spend as many hours and miles as possible with each truck to better flush out their strengths and weaknesses. We'll be in Michigan for the first week at a nearby drag strip and proving ground facility, then on the road for a four-state road trip running each truck on some of the nastiest grades we could find.
We'll try to Tweet some updates and post pictures on Facebook, asking for your input along the way. We'll be as transparent as possible, answering as many questions as we can given the limited number of hours we have in a PickupTrucks.com workday.
For this Ultimate HD Challenge, we'll have three one-ton 4x4 four-door dualies -- one from Ford, GMC and Ram with their respective turbo-diesel engines and max tow packages. There was no price restriction for this group, but we did require each player to come equipped with 3.73:1 gears. For our second group (4x4 four-door three-quarter-ton gas-engine pickups), we required a $50,000 ceiling and will have Chevrolet, Ford and Ram represented.
Each of the competitors have had either minor or significant changes to their pickup since our last shootout. It should be very fun to see how they shake out this time around.
We are targeting Aug. 11 for publication of our Three-Quarter-Ton Challenge, with the winner and all the results posted at once. One week later, on Aug. 18, we'll have the Ultimate HD Challenge One-Ton Turbo-Diesel story posted for your pleasure. As always, we'll be looking for your feedback. Stay tuned.