Happy Birthday to Us: PUTC Turns 18

18th Balloons II

In honor of our 18th birthday today (now we can vote!), we've decided to take a quick look back at some of our favorite moments and repost the story from our 15th Anniversary that explains how this all got started.

For those who keep track, it was 10 years ago when we first conducted a head-to-head comparison test that we called Shootouts. Naturally, we started with the first Heavy-Duty Shootout we had ever seen, where all of the competitors were three-quarter-ton and one-ton turbodiesels vying for supremacy in a three-event, Thunderdome-style cage fight.

Sure, other outlets had been doing competitive testing before but we knew we had to be more thorough, more dedicated for our pickup-loving audience, and more detailed about exactly how we conducted and scored our tests (something the rest of the media hasn't always done so well). We knew being as transparent as possible was the only way to get our audience all of the information it wanted.

Since then, we've learned a lot of lessons and have been improving each year and in every competition. Thankfully, that momentum has kept building and we are looking to ramp up our efforts in the years to come.

For now, though, we want to celebrate PUTC, which was started by a passionate and creative (and youthful) Mike Levine in his Tucson, Ariz., dorm room. Simply put, all we can do is offer a meager "thank you" for the amazing website that he brought to life and that plays such an important role in the pickup universe today.

Maybe it's no surprise that some of our most cherished memories are tied up in our many on-the-road adventures and multitruck confrontations. If you haven't seen or read these stories in a while, they're worth every minute you can give them. We're already planning our double-decade celebration for 2015. More tests and showdowns to come. Join us.

Our Top 10 PUTC Shootouts
10. 2003 Heavy-Duty Shootout
9. 2008 Light-Duty Shootout
8. 2010 Heavy-Duty Shootout
7. 2010 V-6 Work-Truck Shootout
6. 2011 $30,000 Shootout
5. 2011 Ford F-150 FX2 EcoBoosts
4. 2012 Midsize Shootout
3. 2012 Duel in the Desert
2. 2012 Global Pickup Shootout
1. 2012 Ultimate 4x4 Shootout

PUTC Anniv 1

PUTC Anniv 2

PUTC Anniv 3

PUTC Anniv 4


What's going on with the Forums? There's a serious lack of Administration/Moderation there? SPAM is out of control.

I agree, nothing has changed. People should stay on topic to the related article, it always turns into brand/name bashing.

Happy Birthday 'Ole Fart!

Its natural I will find the Global Pickup shootout the best.

I was a good article and great to participate in the discussion.

But I do think its unfortunate that all of our major players weren't in the mix.

Now we have Ford, Mazda, GMH, Izuzu, VW, Nissan, Toyota, Mitsubishi, Great Wall, Foton Tunland (with a Cummins), Ssyangyong, Mahindra, Landrover etc pickups.

Even throw in a Maloo and a FPV ute and normal Ford and Holden utes.

As 4x4 pickups Toyota and Nissan have larger pickups to test against these other utes.

It's a huge ask:)

It would be great if all of them in ute form could be tested together. There will be a great variance in performance.

Also, the Toyota Hilux didn't provide an adequate competitor in a diesel. But as was written Toyota are getting long in the tooth.

Yeah the moderation on this site is slim to none. Love coming on here and reading good articles and I hope it last for a long time but the trolls are constantly making it worse. If you are going to moderate it then do it as trolls will sit and wait on you to not do it then they start again. All manufactuers have them but the ram clans the worst. Glad I don't have to drive a dodge anymore but if I really needed a truck it wouldn't matter what was on the tailgate, Ford,chevy,ram,studebaker etc. When you really need one you need it. Moderation is the key.

Great site guys, I really enjoy your articles. I believe you do the best I have seen written when it comes to testing pickups for what they are and what they are intended to do. Keep up the good work!

Funny,that Ford looks like a 2013 !! LOL !! Then again go back to 1997 and it also would look the same !

I enjoyed the old PUTC. The current PUTC needs an enema.

Happy birthday PUTC!!!
I'm looking forward to another 18 years of RAM and FORD talk only.

I think PUTC needs to flip the list around. I am just going to point out what everybody has noticed but wont mention. How is it that all the top shootouts are post Mike Levine? We all know that their is no love loss between me and Mike Levine but really?

I think the real reason you want to switch the list around is you don't like 3. 2012 Duel in the Desert and 2. 2012 Global Pickup Shootout because Toyota got their clocks cleaned in both tests and in 1. 2012 Ultimate 4x4 Shootout there was no Toyota. Oh, no Toyota did bad so we can't praise that.

Correction: Duel in the Desert - no Toyota and 2012 Global and 2012 Ultimate 4x4 Toyota got their clocks cleaned. Don't worry you'll get used to it after awhile.

Happy Birth-Day PUTC !

I turned 18 last weekend and my Uncle helped me to buy a very nice ,clean,39,000 mile 1 owner Red,2006 Dodge Ram 1500 Sport Quad Cab Hemi,well he loaned me 3/4 of the money for it.Now I have to work with him at his own business weekends and after School/College to pay it off.I know he didnt like the Toyota I had before,I bet I dont even have to pay him back lol,he disliked my Toyota that much lol !! Yes,I will pay him back ;) Yes..I will...

PUTC and Mike Williams,
Keep up the good work and would be nice to have a Global Pickups 2 Shootout. This time hopefully with more statistical data.

@truck Girl, you better pay him back because he helped buy you a nice truck. Hope you enjoy it, make sure you take him for a ride!!!!

I don't care about 4x4 shootouts wrong again Fred. I am not a Toyota lifer as my next truck may be a GMC so wrong again Fred. I am just pointing out that PUTC thinks none of the Mike Levine shootouts were better than any Mark Williams shootouts. Some of us Fred are focusing on things other than brand bashing as my Supercharged Tundra wasn't even part of any test.

To the guys that are talking about trolling.

I had a good think about why PUTC has the amount of trolling it does.

I do think we should look at the challenges there would be in moderating PUTC. Personally wouldn't like to do the moderating.

1. There are very few vehicle brands/types. This intensifies rivalry.

2. The vehicles are all mainly from a local market (US).

3. The type of person who generally buys a pickup, would be different than a person spending up to $50-60k on another type of vehicle.

4. There is a limited number of vehicles to discuss. And leading stories aren't hard and fast.

5. The limited knowledge of some contributors and the brand bashing.

I have only been posting on sites for the past 12 months or so and PUTC is actually the first site I started doing this "chat" stuff. But I have noticed there are two types of trolls.

1. The brand promotor and/or basher. This person might also use numbers alot, to prove a point even though they might not comprehend those numbers.

2. The person who purposely misconstrudes statements and takes views out of context and leads with questions to twist a debate. I learnt about this. These are generally the bullies, they get gratification on winding some one up.

Number 1 is the easiest to identify, but number 2 is harder.

So as a moderator he has to be on PUTC 24/7 to manage it. This is awkward, as this site is a business and I would imagine has sponsorship and responsibilities towards the sponsors.

So, its easy for us to be critical, but think about moderating a site like this.

@ Big Al from Oz, Great list. Now read #2 on PUTC RULES!!!

@Hemi V8
I try not to be like that, but I'm not perfect.

Are you.

AL, Stop. You're ruining the birthday post.

@Hemi V8
It is actually quite ambiguous to detect this one.

All debating can be viewed a number 2, but how far you go and setting boundaries is the hard part. That is subjective, what one finds offensive another can think is normalacy.

I do debate assetively at times, I will not deny that. But only when someone post wrong information or garbage I become assertive.

Have a look at what you do and you do justify your actions.

I mean you stated that someone had "made" you be like this about 12 months ago. Why don't you turn over a new leaf?

I do know you can add constructive debate, I've seen it, but as soon as you percieve someone attacking your favourite brand, you paste garbage that no wants on the site. You might be attacking someone else, but your actions affect many. But you state you don't care, and that the part that everyone gets upset about. Its called being empathetic towards others.

You know Hemi V8 I'm actually not anti any brand. I do think all brands have something to offer, even if its competition.

Without Ford, the GM brands, Toyota and Nissan do you think Ram would have put the effort into their current 1500s? So you see the other brands do help Ram.

But don't be surprised if another manufacturer pulls a "rabbit out of a hat" and surprises everyone and Ram will be on the back foot to improve again.

That is my view with imported vehicles also, they will force the US manufacturers to improve even more. Its the same here in Australia, more brands increase competition.

Imported vehicles aren't a threat, because it will allow the US to export as well and compete on the global market and produce new and better technology. Rather than importing Euro tech the US could export more tech.

The US is still the largest innovative country in the world and its wasted by a protected market.

I have worked on aircraft most of my life and the US produces the best aviation products in the world. Because it has to be competitive in a global market. Boeing can't allow Airbus, Embraer or even Bombadier to build a better airliner can it. That's capitalism.

Anyway that's why I have the views I have.

Just food for thought.


Happy B-Day PUTC!

Happy Birthday and I really like the articles and shoot outs. I know you do your best to be objective.

Rock on guys and good job, keep up the excellent work!

@TRX4 Tom,
You're the one with a chip on your shoulder. You know you can go to college or university yourself. The US, Australia, Canada and New Zealand are probably the best countries in the world to be what you want to be. It's hard work, but anything worthwhile doesn't come easy, unless its illegal.

I know gearing interests you, and I've been making you research. Soon I will have you identify different wear patterns on gears. This will help you when you rebuild a gearbox and identify what each wear pattern means.

One of my jobs was to remediate under achieving maths and physics students at our college.

I used to challenge them and it worked. I know its working with you because you keep on responding to my input and researching more.

There are three qualities you require to become good at any calling in life, this relate directly to a job. They are skills, knowledge and attitude.

Looking at what you write you seem relatively intelligent, and wanting to learn. But when you learn don't be cocky.

Congratulations to PUTC on 18 years. That kind of lifespan is an eternity in relation to the internet. Kinda like 18 in dog years.
Keep up the good work.

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