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

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.


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 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.


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.


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


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.


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.



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.


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.


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.



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.


All of the data we collected during the Rumble in the Rockies has been provided to Ford and General Motors for their review. 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.


Been interested in moving into a heavy duty truck and I've always been a Ford guy so looking hard at the new 2011 6.7. However spending $50k+ I have an open mind. I would have laughed if this test showed the trucks were a few seconds apart and people got their skirts all jacked up. But I'm fairly impressed, suprised and confused at the same time. Assuming all was legit and those Chevy boys didn't slip a tune in when nobody was looking, this updated Duramax pulled that grade almost 25% faster, did a much better job engine braking and appearantly flat out whipped the new 6.7 Powerstroke. That's a pretty damn big difference and impressive to say the least. I'm suprised there's that much difference and confused that on paper the GCW were so close, the engine power levels so close, yet such a big difference in result. If this really is more to do with the turbo designs than tuning then Ford dropped the ball imo. Changing to a different turbo after all the hype of the dual-sequential would be a hard sale. Could it be the tranny? I'm not a fan of Ford's slushy trannies. While durable, the torque converter behavior suck imo, though I have not driven the new 6 speed HD, I'm saying that based on numerous other Ford slush boxes, including the one I'm driving now. So powerwise it's got to be the turbo, tune, tranny or combination of those not getting the power to the ground. Is this something that can/will be worked out Ford? Like I said, I'm a Ford guy and obviously the Super Duty is capable however it boils down to what I'm getting for my money and from what I'm seeing the Chevy is giving a lot more where it counts here (towing). Make it anywhere close to even and I remain a Ford guy, they've always made the best overall truck imo and no Obamanation money.

Kudos to GM for using a capable outsource for their engine and transmission. I would hope they can be competitive or win after 10 years of consumer testing.

I will take the results of this test with a grain of salt. Until someone proves that there were no electronic manipulations to either of the trucks. Even though they were purchased at dealers does not mean that GM didn't have the dealer download some hot program into their truck. After all, this was their challenge and they controlled it. I would like to see purchase their own trucks and do this test after 20,000 miles. Plus after selling trucks for 20 years, Ford products are way more solid after 5-10 years and 100,000-200,000 miles. Great job in the test guys, and great job to GM for this win.

Just a response to various complaints-

-Being faster uphill is not about a drag race, it's about having the power to tow up hills (isn't this obvious?). You don't want a truck that struggles to pull a load up grades do you?

-More stable downhill, your brakes will thank you. If you enjoy cooked brakes, then Ford's got something for you.

-Springs are springs, whether they are coils or torsional. They do the exact same job-- twist.

Well good job GM you handidly won this one. And for whomever said Ford asked for this try reading again GM proposed this test and paid for both trucks. It certianly would be interesting to see this done at a lower altitude to see if there is a difference. For being such a "complete" test FE for towing wasn't involved? Sounds like the ford did a little better but I guess admitting that would Piss off GM and we wouldn't want to do that, it would totally conflict your "GM walks on water" writing style.

Oh well I guess ford loses Maybe they'll take their BEST market share in ten years and the fact that they sell more than 2 Super Duty's for every one GM HD and just give up lol. Good luck with the ipo guys, if it doesn't workout the Gov't will save you!

They dont have to prove anything. The test was controlled by PUTC and I believe their word until told otherwise. It would be nice to see both of these vehicles dyno'd just for reference and its not unlikly that two differently purchased vehicles might have verying results. Still the test is what it is.

All this proves is they are better at high altitude. Good for GM but I am not sure why I was supposed to be surprised. We saw the previous Rocky Mtain Power test. They still have to redo the shootout tests where they were .1 seconds apart. They did two Rocky Mountain Tests in a row because GM wanted them but now GM probably won't redo the regular tests because they were too close.

More grist for the mill... HD shootout:

"The Sierra Denali 3500 pulled strong after a small slip at the start line but was able to get its six-ton trailer up to 60 mph in 18.8 seconds, a full half-second faster than the Super Duty. The Super Duty’s transmission seemed well-suited to bring the fight to the Denali after 60 mph. In fact, by the time the F-350 got to the quarter-mile marker, it had closed the gap with the GMC to almost nothing. The best time for the Denali was 22.3 seconds, while the best time for the Ford was 22.4, and we’re guessing if this were a half-mile flat-tow head-to-head test, the Power Stroke would have likely overtaken the Duramax in the next 200 feet."

In the HD shootout, the Chevy 1 ton was just .1 seconds faster than Ford's job #1 truck.

Now you see why people are asking for it to be redone first, and now you see why Chevy cherry picked the test at high altitude and doesn't want anything to do with regular or low altitude.

Great job GM. The Ford engineers will be scrambling now to figure out how to equal chevys numbers. It looks like the first thing that Ford needs to work on is their engine brake. I have driven on hills like that all but with lighter loads and I would want the Chevy. Ok GM won this round. We shouldn't have to test these trucks again till Dodge comes out with their new Cummins and the 8 speed transmission. Now onto the 1/2 ton shootout.

Let the debates rage between the fans! But the simple fact is what will win in the open marketplace where the real competition takes place? Brand loyalty is one thing, where people spend their money is another. Time will tell, but I believe Ford will expand it's HD marketplace share over the next three years.

If a Powerstroke actually was able to outperform a Duramax at sea level... i can't imagine it being enough to offset this Rumble in the Rockies comparison.

For people talking about fuel economy, if you go to and read their version of the story, they also include the fuel economy numbers during the drive out to Colorado. They stated the Chevy beat the SD by about .7MPG. Not a big difference, but the Cehevy did come out on top. So, more power, better exhaust brake, and slightly better fuel economy.
And before anyone states "but that was only unloaded" yes, it was unloaded, but not everyone tows 24/7 with their truck. Maybe the Ford is better loaded, who knows, but at least unloaded, the GM won.

To Teddster,

Go back to your sandbox and play with your toys, you obviously can not read....from Mike
"We were not compensated for any part of our participation by GM."
The ford is more capable you say, capable of what, going though brake pads.

I can't believe everyone is overlooking the important part of this test, the downhill portion. Ya the DMAX got there way before the PS, no surprise because the DMAX is unbeatable, but the downhill test blew me away. The Duramax is much safer towing heavy loads and it is very clear in this test. Touching the brack twice over a 5 mile 7% and 2 mile 5% grade is unheard of and flat out impressive carrying those loads. It makes me nervous Ford is turning regular drivers loose with their truck so underperforming downhill like this while being so capable to pull these heavy loads. Mike stated himself that they smelled heavy brake use at the bottom with the Ford and that was with a class A driver behind the wheel, imagine what your everyday average clueless Joe is going to do. Hes going to cause lives.

To Ford,
Go back to work and fix that so called exhaust brake before idiots start hurting themselves. Call it job 3 who cares that it will look bad, it needs to be done. They are supposed to be the most innovative and responsible truck maker in the industry so they need to act like it and fix that design asap.

I am not familiar with the 4WD setup on these trucks (have no need for 4WD) and have a question. Will the transfer case disengage under load? Since it is stated that the trucks were shifted into 2WD @ 30MPH, would that make any difference in the runs? I realize this sounds like excuses, but I believe its a legitimate variable in the testing as both these trucks would have different limits for when to actually engage or disengage the transfer case.

I have to agree with Greg. So Ford got part of the story down with making some power, but forgot to make the truck stop safely. I would feel much safer towing my 5th wheel down grades in a chevy than a break burning ford.

Here are the results of the rigorous fuel economy test we did during the Shootout, towing and unladen:

Where is all the Ford's hp and torque ?

Bet the Cummins Dodge would be right behind the Ford..

For folks asking about a sea-level challenge: If Ford is up for it, we'll come out an manage it the same as we did this test. Set it up for Davis Dam.

Going forward, expect to see us test more trucks (half-tons, etc) in Colorado on the same grade.

Clearly GM won this one hands down. But is high altitude towing/braking the yardstick by which every HD buyer measures?

Since I live in Houston and do the vast majority of my towing in the South, these test results do nothing for me, but I'm sure for people in the mountains, these results are very helpful.

Ford needs to work on their exhaust brake, to me that is far more dissapointing than being in second place getting to the top of the hill.

He who gets to the top of the hill the fastest with the most toys has the smallest penI5?


First off, great job! Been coming to the site for a while - and I think this is my first post - but you guys have run some pretty cool stories here!

For future comparisons would it be possible to include tests with "running starts"? I'd be interested to see how the trucks compare if both hit the hill at 60 - 70 mph. I think you've included a test like this in your past Shootouts.

If you look at the gear ratios, the GM trucks are faster than the Ford through the first 4 speeds - doubly true given that the tire OD's were nearly identical. That translates to more speed which translates to more momentum and more kinetic engergy. In the world of dynamics, that fact alone could explain the difference in performance. And it just makes good plain horse sense to anyone who's ever towed - its easier to keep a load moving than to get a load moving. Make no mistake - I'm not creating any excuses for the Ford - you'd have to conclude that the engineers at GM were able to achieve better overall system efficiency in their powertrain.

Under those circumstances, one would infer that if both trucks hit the hill at the same speed, any differences in performance would be directly assignable to differences in power production/calibration etc. Again, this test shows that the GM powertrain set up appears to be more efficient than the Ford, but the proposed "running start" could shed more light on whether its a powertrain or engine difference.

I am a Ford guy, but I have to give credit where credit is due. Well done, Chevrolet.

The Duramax has a better turbo. More thin air got compressed into the engine to compensate for the altitude = faster time up the mountain.
That same turbo was more efficient at controlling exhaust gases going out of the engine = better engine braking.

I'm not sure how "too much" engine braking would effect an engine's durability or lifespan.

Qudos to GM's engeneering team.

No excuses here, I still WILL NOT buy the Chevy.

Cool Test nonetheless, but this test won't make buy a Chevy, EVER!!!!

Oh yeah and um... Good Job Chevy!

@ Greg
newsflash what do think trucks did before exhaust brakes were put on pick up trucks??? Having these surely makes modern trucks safer for sure but certainly doesn't make them unsafe, it sure sounds like the GM has the better exhaust brake but to say the Ford is unsafe is crazy. You may have to put 5 sets of brakes on the Ford compared to the Chevy's 4.

It's not brand loyalty. There was a study which listed the reasons people would switch brands for.

The top 15 reasons were:
1) fuel economy - diesel power mag rated fuel economy a tie
2) operating costs - not tested here
3) durability (lasts a long time) - not tested here
4) how far on a tank of gas - about the same
5) reliability (doesn't break down) - not tested here
6) ride smoothness - not compared here, but PM said Ford was slightly better on and off-road
7) performance fully loaded - in the HD shootout the differences were minimal
8) seat comfort - Ford
9) engine power - both have plenty of power. TIE.
10) visibility for driver - it was said GM's tow mirrors did not extend far enough as would like
11) towing capacity - Ford can tow more weight. Factory 5th wheel package.
12) overall front seat roominess - Ford.
13) in vehicle electronics, technology - onstar vs Ford sync, productivity screen, work solutions. Advantage Ford.
14) front seat for passenger area - Ford.
15) exterior styling - Ford more modern, Chevy classic styling, take your pick. Both need to do something soon. Tie.

Sorry, GM fans, towing at high altitude towing and exhaust brake did not make the list. NONE of these trucks are bad trucks. Main reasons for buying a truck are reliability and durability which if you go by JD Power and similar tests, Ford is on top.

"3) durability (lasts a long time) - not tested here
4) how far on a tank of gas - about the same
5) reliability (doesn't break down) - not tested here"

Is a 5 years/100k not enough reliability for you?????????? Would you rather have a Chevy backed by a 10 year 100,000 mile warranty or a Ford backed by 5 year 60k? Chevy has the best reliability and durability. These are just the facts.

Silverado HD has always stood tall against the competition. But there's really no need to take our word for it when the facts speak for themselves.

@Dave. You crack me up. lol Im just going to say it, you like ford and will make every excuse to justify your means. Thats fine, but open your eyes and see the numbers in front of you and give GM their due. GM BEAT FORD IN THIS TEST AND ALL THE PERFORMANCE TESTS THIS YEAR. Did i mention that GM IS STILL USING A 10 YEAR OLD ENGINE AND TRANNY architure. How many different powertrains has Ford gone thru??


They are not using the same engine/tranny. If you knew just a tad bit about trucks you will know it's not the same. The only thing that is the same is the name. Duramax / Allison.

Insults and trolling won't be tolerated. The posts will be deleted.

He i do know buddy, thats why I said the same "architecture". GM has made improvements each time (LB7, LLY, LBZ, LMM, and now the LML) using the same overall design as compared to the Ford. Each time GM has improved the internals but lets take a look at Ford. Umm the 7.3 (probably their best), then you had the 6.0, then the 6.4, and now the 6.7.

Congrats to the folks at GM. Absolutely amazing results. I just can't believe it took the Ford 2 minutes longer to get up the hill. I could understand 30 seconds or less, but 2 minutes! Incredible.

Ford will fix this issue, I am sure, but for now the Duramax takes the cake. Great reporting Mike!

Ford has the nicest interior (my opinion). GM has the best drive-train (FACT). I guess it comes down to the consumers choice/loyalty....Do you want a fancy computer which states "BUILT FORD TOUGH" all nicely in the dash and can warm/cool your hiney better than any other truck? Or do people want to tow their trailers up and down hills with ease?

Ahh, decisions, decisions. Thanks to PUTC for the most accurate information available in the pickup market!

Nice test, especially the down hill, you only get to go down hill too fast once. Now what kind of mileage do the get over the long haul with those loads?

Couple questions:

How come when Ford uses an old design that is construed by GM fans to be a bad idea, and when GM uses an old design it is good/proven/the greatest thing ever?

But when GM uses a new design it is great/wonderful idea, but when Ford uses a new design it is bad idea/not proven?

Use some consistency in your arguments.

Just because GM uses the Duramax name doesn't mean it is the same 10 year old powertrain. It is considered all new this year, and has changed many times over previous years. I could say Ford has the same engine because it uses the PowerStroke name but would that be true? Nope.

GM won at high altitude towing and exhaust brake. I said good for them.

But GM did not beat Ford at "all of the performance tests this year." It is funny how a small minority think that GM won all the tests and ignore all the tests that Ford won. They also ignore how close some of tests were: 2 inches, half a second, and .1 seconds in some cases.

They are not using the same engine/tranny. If you knew just a tad bit about trucks you will know it's not the same. The only thing that is the same is the name. Duramax / Allison.
Posted by: Frank | Nov 15, 2010 1:06:12 PM

Exactly, Frank.

When was the last time any of you had to tow through the rockies.
The results would be a lot more meaningful at normal altitudes where most of us use our trucks...
... but of course that would eliminate chevy's advandage and eliminate all the fun.

Interesting comparison, but not very applicable to real world situations.

did you record the engine and tranny temps and comfort level of the two trucks, noticed the gmc sierra vs ford I did that lack of interior space and uncomfortable driver seat( pinched lower back)My friends gmc was horendous for warranty work and wanted you to pay everything and dealers were jerks. 2001 gmc sierra1500 250k ext cab, stereo melted itself dealer wouldnt fix, tailgate doesn't open, rear doors (handles bent the latch), random starter issue, fuel pump. family used vehicle all highway never towed anything more than 3500lb. 2000 vw gold tdi lasted better still used more and put to harder us and its got 330+ miles

@Klasher: An average of 30,000 vehicles a day travel over the pass we tested on. It doesn't get any more "real world" than this.

Ford Fans. The Ford is nice, and has a better company backing it. But, in this test, the Ford lost fair and square. Period dot.

Although, I still can't believe the time difference. Something has to be up with that Ford, because it should have came in within at least 30 seconds. I wonder how their quality control is when their building their engines.

Irregardless, in this test, those trucks were as evenly matched as you could get from two DIFFERENT manufacturers and it is quite clear that people who buy the Ford are definitely not getting the most "capable" truck on the market AT THIS TIME. I like how PUTC acquired these trucks from two dealerships, and "run what they brung".

This test is as "REAL WORLD" as anybody can get.

I have said it before and will say it again...Ford will continue to dominate the pickup truck market regardless of these tests. Check back the first of the month to remind yourself.


All GM has to do now is build a good gas V6 and V8 to compete with FORD because their gas engines are whooping their hineys, even FORDS V6 is whooping the V8.

Get to it GM! Consumers are waiting.

Cmon Synrgy, GM fan boys don't have class so they can't show it. Instead they have to rely on somone elses success or victory as their own to feel good about themselves.

I bet the amount of fuel left at the top of the hill was not measured. The SD probably had a full load and the Gov't truck was on empty. This explains why the Gov't truck kept picking up speed at the top, it got lighter! FTW! lol

Seriously, good thing ALL four of Ford's other gas truck engines KILL everything else GM makes...and then as usual there is the ultimate AND only figure that matters, SALES. Last time I checked, outselling the other guy was the goal of these company's, not a pissing contest.

Yep, keep on beating your chest and stroking your egos GM boys.

It's called winning the battle but losing the war.


They will still cry foul and say, hey McDonalds sells more hamburgers that doesn't mean they are the best.

See what I mean.

Please read this SLOWLY--they DIDNT test the upgraded Ford, so of course the Chevy won.

"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."

One thing you're forgetting is GM hasn't had to go back and start from scratch every time from the LB7 to the LML. They've made improvements each time. Now tell me how many parts (even the block is the same from the 7.3 to the 6.7. Um maybe the emblem. Im just saying Dave. Show me where Ford diesel this year has been reccommended over the GM diesel? PUTC gave their vote to GM, and i also believe consumer reports did also (im not sure if they got it this year or not).

Shaun Kesler: You're being selective. You'll see the paragraph immediately before what you quote was about the HD Shootout from the summer.

For this test, we *did compare* the Job 2 400/800 Super Duty against the Silverado. End of story.

@ Dean
Not quite a newsflash, but the later model trucks didn't quite have the capabilities that these new trucks have either, and I would say that exhaust brakes should have been put on these trucks years ago. Getting the brakes hot is in fact unsafe because that's just a couple brake apps from losing them. As far as going through brakes as you stated, based on this test, i would say its more like Ford"s 5 brake sets to Chevrolet's

@ Dave: lol

@ Chris: I can see your point, but I don't think it would change the result of this test, plus I'd be willing to bet that the chevy would probably be doing 90 up the hill if they did I think that Ford needs to put an Eaton tranny with the new 6.7, i think its the only way to compete with the Allison and get away from the poor rep. Ford trannys have.

Got a new 2011 Super Duty on the way and DANG proud of it. Good Job Ford, Cummins, and Allison!!

Ford will continue to dominate the market because as the "top 15 reasons for switching brands" shows, there are no real differences or Ford is on top.

Buyers are brand loyal but they also like dependability, reliability, low cost of ownership, interior, cushy ride, technology, work-related features. Ford wins in all those categories. High altitude towing and exhaust brake tests are nice, but that doesn't make buyers want to buy a Chevy. Because that is the only test GM could win outright that is the specific test GM asked for against the job 2 Ford. See. I told you so.

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