Having the fastest diesel powered pickup truck in North America is a pretty big deal but what use is it if it can’t climb a mountain pass without breaking a sweat or running out of diesel fuel. In our opinion, Diesel Power Challenge competitor trucks should exemplify what a real world diesel truck is. A full bodied truck that can haul, tow, lay down some serious power and all while achieving respectable fuel economy. This is why we save our last day of Diesel Power Challenge for our 142-mile Fuel Economy Drive through the steep grades and mountain passes of the Rocky Mountains before making each truck hook up to a seriously heavy weighted sled to test their limits.
You might think the sled pull can lead to some serious parts breakage but the reality is that our 142-mile loop over the Rocky Mountains can push trucks to their breaking point, especially considering how much abuse they’ve already endured in the past few days. Did we mention that road conditions aren’t actually blue skies and smooth roads? This year’s competitors faced freezing temperatures, snow, sleet and rain on top of the countless 6 percent grades up and down the Rocky Mountains.
Just when it looked like Shilo Ellingford’s bad luck was over, his short bed Chevy Duramax truck seemed to develop another overheating issue which caused it to drop out of the Fuel Economy drive over the Rockies. Speaking of Fuel Economy, we we’re pretty surprised to find that the lowest fuel economy number of the group was only 12 mpg. That’s pretty amazing when you consider that this was also from the heaviest truck in the group while climbing the Rocky Mountains to an elevation of just over 11,000 feet.
Once the Fuel Economy drive results were tallied up, it was time to hook up to the sled and find out what this year’s competitors could do when the going gets tough. How many made it to the sled pull and who was able to make a full 300-foot sled pull pass?
Check out the video to find out and see what it takes to beat the competition at Diesel Power Challenge!