Texas Truck Showdown 2016: Towing Braking

Ford Braking II

By Joe Bruzek, Cars.com

The braking distances between the five max-tow trucks spanned just 10 feet from the best to worst, but these trucks threw out the anchor in varying degrees of comfort and control. Our 60-mph-to-zero braking tests were measured both empty and with a 1,750-pound payload. The payload brought three of the trucks close to their maximum calculated payload, and exceeded the max calculated payload of the 2016 Ram 1500 and 2016 Toyota Tundra. The goal was to see how well each truck handled an equal payload within what we think is a reasonable amount truck owners concerned about maximum capabilities would want. To slow the trucks to a stop, we used the "dynamite" method of emergency braking in which the trucks were sped up to a steady 60 mph before stomping on the brake pedal to simulate an emergency braking situation.

TTS16_Tow_Braking_Empty_F (3)

How They Drove Empty

The 2016 Chevrolet Silverado stopped slightly shorter than its corporate sibling, the 2016 GMC Sierra. A total of 2.7 feet separated the two. Both trucks exhibited a positive, confident brake pedal when empty.

Behind the Sierra in third was the Ram 1500 at 144.5 feet with a controlled, well-mannered stop with minimal fuss from the brake pedal, though after two stops the brakes exhibited that unmistakable "please, no more" smell. The Tundra stopped in 145.1 feet, and the 2016 Ford F-150 rounded out the field at 148.8 feet. The Tundra's brake pedal had the least-confidence-inspiring feel of the group with the loudest antilock braking system. Under full braking force, the Tundra's brake pedal went uncomfortably far to the floor and was an unresponsive, mushy mess.

The 2015 F-150 has typically been up front with the best stoppers in other PickupTrucks.com tests while providing a surprisingly carlike stopping experience. This particular F-150 couldn't stop as short as the rest of the field, perhaps because of the equipped Michelin Energy Saver low-rolling-resistance tires. It might have something to do with this specific truck's brakes as well, but what's typically one of the best braking performers just didn't have the stuff to stop this go-around.

TTS16_Tow_Braking_Loaded_F (3)

Rock Salt Load II

How They Drove Loaded

The Sierra and Silverado had the shortest stopping distances, again — at 145.5 feet and 148.8 feet, respectively — and had confident pedal feel even after repeated stops. Both, however, exhibited uncomfortable undulations during emergency braking with 1,750 pounds of payload. The trucks rocked back and bounced all the way down to a stop. The similarities between the two aren't surprising given they are related trucks using similar suspensions, brakes and tires, though it's slightly unsettling with that much payload.

The F-150 didn't stink up the show as badly when loaded, and it posted a respectable 154.9 feet from 60 mph. The Tundra and Ram 1500 fell apart on the braking test loaded (or rather, overloaded) with 1,750 pounds. The Ram carried almost 500 pounds more than its maximum calculated payload, and the Tundra exceeded its maximum calculated payload by almost 600 pounds, so we weren't surprised to see the degraded braking performance of 158.2 feet for the Tundra and 161.6 feet for the Ram, which brought up the rear. We should note all three of these players had a considerable amount of bed sag when loaded with our standardized payload.

Cars.com photos by Evan Sears and Angela Conners

Overview | Acceleration | Braking | Mileage | Results

 

Chevy Track Tree II

 

Comments

Wait the Ford lost here but yet we get a whole paragraph about how great it usually is? What kind of bias reporting is this junk! No matter who wins the Ford gets the better review. Wow wonder who pays the bills over here at PUTC.

@Cooper

Exactly

Copper, I'm not sure if you read it completelyrics but they said in the past the F150 did brake better. The Ram sounds like it was starting to overheat and no mention about that 20th the others. It is well known that tires have a huge affect on braking. So an accurate test would be to use all the same tires but that is obviously not possible here and it is based on tires available from the manufacture. But I would have like to see some better braking from the F150 myself.

Ford's next idea will be to install a boat anchor in the bed, so you can stop your truck. They call it faster pro braking assist LMMFAO!

I'd expect the 6.2L GM to run away, but it didn't with 50hp/40tq over the Ford V6.

I keep saying this over and over again - most of these tests do not give true differences between trucks in braking, acceleration, handling and even mpg when running on different tires.

PUTC should get a tire sponsor and run all of the trucks on THE SAME TIRES.

Get all of these tires and put them on the same truck and see how different your times will be!

Ford "lost" here because of the tires, but the two GM's had big problems here under load.......

"Both, however, exhibited uncomfortable undulations during emergency braking with 1,750 pounds of payload. The trucks rocked back and bounced all the way down to a stop. The similarities between the two aren't surprising given they are related trucks using similar suspensions, brakes and tires, though it's slightly unsettling with that much payload."

This is a big problem.

Lou_BC's tire sponsor idea sounds pretty damn good, especially for off-road comparisons. Any chance of that happening?

Ford "lost" here because of the tires, but the two GM's had big problems here under load.......

"Both, however, exhibited uncomfortable undulations during emergency braking with 1,750 pounds of payload. The trucks rocked back and bounced all the way down to a stop. The similarities between the two aren't surprising given they are related trucks using similar suspensions, brakes and tires, though it's slightly unsettling with that much payload."

This is a big problem.
Posted by: Mike Lemon | Jan 25, 2016 11:51:07 AM

Why? The braking is so good that the weight was shifted to the front, then settled back down when it came to a stop.
The other trucks all crashed due to not stopping in time! Which is worse, crashing, or bouncing off the stops?

I think the parameters used for this test is quite good.

The pickups are running on the recommended tyres by the manufacturer.

The manufacturers obviously spend considerable money finding the best wheel/tyre combo for their vehicles.

People who make claims that it isn't fair for vehicles to have the same tyres and/or wheels are probably supporting a product which didn't receive the best review or test outcome.

The next thing the whiners complaining about what tyres are fitted during testing will expect all trucks to run the same transmissions and engines.

Where will it stop?

They appear to want formulas created that are similar to motor racing so not one manufacturer has a real advantage.

The best pickup will be the one with the "best" driver. How silly.

Their views remind me of Socialism.

@ furd fan girls

"the F150 performed great for an outdated V6. We'll see the results change when Ford updates the Eco V6. Then the table will turn, for now, congrats to the Sierra, who barely eeked out the Ford despite have more HP/TQ."

the GMC performed great for an outdated, simpler, smaller, pushrod V8. We'll see the SAME RESULTS when GM updates to a LIGHTER truck. Then the table will REMAIN THE WAY IT IS, congrats to the SUPERIOR Sierra, who beat the crap out of furd despite the Sierra being 500 POUNDS HEAVIER!

@BARFo - "The pickups are running on the recommended tyres by the manufacturer."

Pull your head out of your Oz.

What a cop out.

Manufacturers spec tires for ride and a semblance of durability. They also look at gaining any mpg gain possible.

We see huge differences in test results between tire brands. Testing with the same tires are the standard for motocross or competitive off-road race bike shootouts. They are also the standard for sport bike tests.

You call yourself an engineer........... well sanitation and latrine engineer don't count.

Many times I will check this site out when I am sitting on the toilet making a statue of Johnny Welfare!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3yOlvL37680

Ford "lost" here because of the tires, but the two GM's had big problems here under load.......

"Both, however, exhibited uncomfortable undulations during emergency braking with 1,750 pounds of payload. The trucks rocked back and bounced all the way down to a stop. The similarities between the two aren't surprising given they are related trucks using similar suspensions, brakes and tires, though it's slightly unsettling with that much payload."

This is a big problem.


Posted by: Mike Lemon | Jan 25, 2016 11:51:07 AM
---------------------------------------------

HAHA Levine is that you?

You certainly have a way to twist your brand's shortcomings into some sort of advantage. The 500 lb heavier Chevy, with 1750 pounds in the bed, stopped in the same distance as your truck when UNLOADED. Sounds like you have a GM problem.

Also, why is Ford short-changing the customer with this towing package. Why would you put crappy eco tires on a truck that's very obviously intended to tow?

A 6.2 is as rare as a PUTC blog free from trvlls.

Not as rare as the mythical F150 with best-in-class 3,300 lb payload. Where are they??

Hell if you put 3,000 pounds in the unicorn fairy powered f150, the bumper would be on the pavement it pretty much is with 1,750 pounds! Ford max tow trucks are built for towing and hauling tampons and maxi pads LMBO!

Dapper - The HD cargo package is 3,600 in the Crewcab 4x4. It is higher in the Regular cab. It is only available in XL and XLT.

As far as sag goes, when I look at the pictures the Ram sits pretty low. It most likely has less suspension travel therefor the difference between empty and loaded will be less.
If the F150 sits higher empty and sags more but still sits level when loaded that is more important a number than overall sag.

Sag is a poor measurement of load carrying ability. Does the truck sit level or slightly higher in the rear with a load?

That is more important.

The problem with coils is that they bottom out before leafs (depending on bump stop height.)

Sag denotes that one end has dropped. Sag would not be both ends.

Lou is right and the same point was made by readers after the HD challenge. Measure it from when the tailgate rests and it actually sags less. And by the way the HD Payload is also available in a Lariat this year. It will be highly controversial if Ram ditches the rear coils on the next truck because they are also in the 3/4 tons. But it needs to be done.

Chris T - Ford's website would not allow me to configure a 2016 Lariat with HD cargo package. Just XL and XLT.

Lou, You have to build a Lariat SuperCrew with a 6.5' bed.

Jeff - I'll check again but I don't ever look at 5.5 box trucks.

@Jeff- I stand corrected. Thanks.

You can take 20 F150 and all 20 will stop at 20 different distances. Same applies to the other makes. This also applies to acceleration as well.

Do this test again in 10 years with these same exact trucks with 100k on them. Assuming the bed hasn't rusted through, Toyota wins that battle. Although it's possible that the Ecoboost could change Fords reliability, but I doubt it given their track record.



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