2017 One-Ton Heavy-Duty Pickup Challenge: Dynamometer


By Mark Williams

At PickupTrucks.com, we like to find out how much power a drivetrain is putting out at the rear wheels for our Challenge comparison tests. The test results give us an idea of how they compare with factory horsepower and torque ratings. Sometimes that can be quite telling.

2017 One-Ton Heavy-Duty Pickup Challenge

Overview | Track | Towing | Daily Driving | Dynamometer | Results

Given that our 2017 One-Ton Heavy-Duty Pickup Challenge featured two of the biggest, most technologically advanced and most powerful turbo-diesel engines we've ever tested together, we hired Las Vegas Mobile Dyno to meet us at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, where we conducted our customary empty and loaded track testing.

Here's What We Found:

Our 2017 GMC Sierra 3500 Denali with the all-new Duramax V-8 recorded 383 horsepower around 4,100 rpm and 786 pounds-feet of torque at 3,000 rpm. Both of those numbers match up pretty close to what we found several months ago with the same powertrain combination when doing dyno testing for our 2017 3/4-Ton Premium Truck Challenge. For that test, our 2017 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 LTZ Midnight Edition with the same Duramax engine and Allison 1000 six-speed transmission combination recorded 385 hp and 775 pounds-feet of torque. Consistency is good.

However, when it was the 2017 Ford Super Duty F-350 Lariat's turn on the dyno with its turbo-diesel 6.7-liter V-8 Power Stroke and six-speed transmission, our Las Vegas Mobile Dyno technician had some problems getting full power out of the engine, at least compared with the numbers we recorded during our Premium Truck Challenge. During that contest, the Ford's dyno runs — completed on a cool January afternoon with an in-ground Mustang dyno — yielded 369 hp and 721 pounds-feet of torque from a 2017 Ford Super Duty F-250 King Ranch with the same engine. This time, however, with our one-ton F-350 Lariat dually, we had to work hard to get 360 hp (admittedly close to our previous number), but in the torque department, our best pull gave us a max rating of 663 pounds-feet — quite a bit less than in the recent past.


After contacting Ford and providing representatives with as much information as we could, as well as discussing the processes and recollections from the Las Vegas Mobile Dyno technician, we could not determine how our numbers could differ by nearly 60 pounds-feet. We should note, as any good dyno or powertrain expert will tell you, that there always will be some disparity between different dynamometers and even between drivers, based on their experience. We'd also throw in that we've seen a moderate range in outputs when temperatures and/or cooling fans (sometimes pointed incorrectly) have not been the same between trucks, providing a wider margin than expected.

We can only assume that one of these variables, or a combination of them, could be the culprit here. We used the same dyno with the same methods and tester on the same Dynojet equipment for each truck within an hour of each other on the same day at the same location — and this was the result.

Cars.com photos by Evan Sears


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Where's the Cummins?

GM has always had the best motors

I don't put any stock in dyno runs anymore. They always vary so widely. TFL had a 2017 GM dually and it lagged way behind on the dyno run. Here we have a Ford lag way behind. All you have to do is look at the Davis Dam run to know the powertrains for both are basically on equal ground.

The amount of drivetrain loss from the 6.7 Powerstroke is embarrassing.

Hands down GM makes the best D@MN motors. Ford fan-boys have no argument here today, and shouldn't argue on anything bc the HP and TQ the Super Duty put down is embarrassing!!!

Or you could just admit that it was either a huge amount parasitic or poor build quality. Likely both. However that would go against the narrative.

Does anyone think the Ford may have been in regen on the dyno for some reason? That may have posibaly caused the power differences. Other sources have dynoed the trucks and the Ford made the most H.P. but was 2nd. in torque tlf truck that was. I read diesel power mag the ford was the fastest on track of the 3. So it is hard to say but they did state the bellow

Our 2017 GMC Sierra 3500 Denali with the all-new Duramax V-8 recorded 383 horsepower around 4,100 rpm and 786 pounds-feet of torque at 3,000 rpm. Both of those numbers match up pretty close to what

The ford will not fuel at 4,100 rpm on power what I know of. I'm not sure about the gm? As well GM"S peak torque is @ 1,600 not 3,000

They didn't ad the ram because ram beat the Ford in a another test ,,,truck lane,,

Holy cow when did Ram stop building a HD truck?

It is VERY possible the FORD was in the middle of a regen during the dyno run. Would make sense 100 ft lb loss from the 3/4 test

Just last week I had a brief conversation with a man whom works for GM, in Austin,Tx. He told me that GM is cancelling the gas engine in the 3500 trucks. That they would all be diesel. He said the reason being is the 6.0L is not up to the challenge of what the customers are putting the truck thru. That GM is seeing lots of issues with the gas set up. The Chevy website this morning still listed the 6.0L as an available engine. Any one have any thoughts on this?

Yea that guy is full of crap. The 6.0l gas may not have the hp or tq of the ford of ram offerings but it will absolutely last longer and still get the job done. In my experience, the 6.0l is a 300k mile engine.

He made to comment in response to me telling him my brother has a 3500 with the 6.L and that he hasn't been too happy with it. He recently told me he probably wouldn't buy another one, which damn near floored me. My Father turned over in his grave. LOL My brother is a Chevy truck man thru and thru.
I guess time will tell.


re the 6.0. I've never been a fan of these mid size V8s trying to pull a one-ton truck around. My first experience driving dump trucks was a 1968 International Harvest 1 ton dump when I was just 16. It was a 4 speed stick and had a smallish gas V8, it had surprising pulling power for its size.

That was then.

Today GM needs a big block V8 for the entry level one ton and they need to offer something like a 454 or an 8.1. These engines are easily updated and would give their customers an extra box to check.

As it is, the 6.0 is just too small. My opinion.


The math behind your Dyno runs is not making sense.

It would take 484 hp to produce 786ftlbs @ 3000 rpm, based on the relationship


Here is an article from the fast lane truck showing peak numbers in the chevy similar to yours, but not the ford


And an article from aFe also posting similar numbers


the inconsistencies in your data sure question credibility.

TFL's numbers are going to be quite a bit different. They're miles above sea level. Use your brain.

And AFE used a Dynojet whereas Mark stated quite clearly that they used a Mustang dyno. Dynojets will give you a much higher number.

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