The show Top Gear has been around in England for a pretty long time. It has become the benchmark for automotive TV shows. In 2010 Top Gear made the jump to the United States and three seasons later, it's proving to be a source of information and reviews fit to carry the same name as it's UK counterpart.
While most of the episodes are about cars, there have been a few that featured trucks and a select few that deal with the big boys. In season 2 the Top Gear guys decided they wanted to see which American truck was the "King Of Trucks" by running a few "scientific" tests on them. The trucks they chose were:
All three trucks are well equipped and suitable for pretty much anything you would need to do with a big truck. But since there can really only be one winner, let's look at their tests and which truck came out on top.
The Drag Race Just like the rest of us, the guys wanted to know which truck would win a burnout competition. Obviously this isn't a true test, since the drivers are at different skill levels and no light tree is used, but c'mon, this is exactly what you would do given the chance, too. The Chevy came in first in this race, with the Ford a few inches behind, and the Ram trailing pretty heavily. Both the Chevy and the Ford have V-8 engines, with the Dodge only having a V-6. The difference was easy to see in a side-by-side-by-side drag race. Those extra cylinders really made a difference. Now, it's not too often that you drag race a truck, so this test isn't really the best test. The Ford and Chevy each boast around 400 HP; with the Dodge being a decent bit less. We all know that it isn't horsepower that makes a truck, it's torque. This is why they moved on to test number two, the burnout.
The Burnout Ok, I know this is far from scientific, just like the drag race, but I can't think of a more fun way of seeing how much torque a truck has. This is very dependent on the driver, but with the hosts all being car guys, it should be fairly evenly matched. The truck with the longest burnout wins this round. First up was the Chevy. This was the worst burnout, actually needing to be done in reverse! This brought it in at third. Second was the Ram, coming in with a small but respectable burnout. The third truck to go, and the winner of this round was the Ford, driven by Tanner Foust. While this truck had the most torque at 800 ft/lbs, the driver being Tanner Foust most likely helped. He actually burned circles around the guys for a victory lap. With two tests down, the next is a hill climb to measure off-road capability.
The Uphill For this test, a runaway truck ramp was chosen to do a hill climb. This sloped hill of loose gravel makes it a great test of how well the trucks can grip and climb without digging in and getting stuck. The first truck up for this test was the Chevy. Starting off at a slow pace, the Chevy climbed the hill with no problem, as it should. The second truck up was the Ram. Even though it had less power and torque, it still got to the top fairly easily. This would be a good time to mention that this was a planned test by the Top Gear guys. Since Tanner Foust did his "victory" burnout in the previous test, he has little tread left, which is vital to a hill climb. This is why they let him go third. Obviously Tanner didn't make it to the top, giving a first place tie to the Chevy and the Ram, with the Ford coming in last. Even though this was lost only due to the tire tread left, the Ford is still in this competition. The last key test for a truck is towing.
The Tow The first part of this test was given to the Chevy. The test is having the truck pull down a row of telephone poles. While this is far from scientific, it is meant to show that the truck is more than capable to tow. The next truck up was the Ford. The test chosen for the Ford was to tow a locomotive engine and an empty coal car weighing in at 280,000 pounds. After being hooked up to tow the load that was over the rated capacity, the Ford, spinning tire, got the engine and coal car to move. The third truck to go was the Ram. The test here was to pull down an abandoned house. Once again, not a scientific test at all, but for the catastrophe level, this is a great test. At first it looked like he wouldn't get it done, but after a few yanks, the house came down. Obviously these tests weren't meant to line up with one another, but more to show how powerful and well-equipped the trucks are. The Winner With all the tests being a little un-scientific, there is no clear winner. If you're looking for the fastest truck in the list, go for the Chevy. If you're looking for the truck that can tow the most, the Ford is the best choice. If you're looking for a mix of everything in a slightly smaller engine, the Ram is great. The Top Gear tests are more about fun and exposing you, the viewer, to a variety of trucks and seeing what each can do. I doubly any of these tests will go into showroom literature any time soon, but when you get to see a truck pull down a house, it's hard to argue with those results. More On Top Gear Want to see more about this episode and read a little more about Top Gear USA? Check out the links below for more.
- King Of Trucks Part 1 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FrXYj4A8uew
- King Of Trucks Part 2 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g52KxccoQRE
- Top Gear USA on Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Top_Gear_(U.S.)_episodes