Pushing 2015 Duallys Up The Beckley
It’s not often we editors get to a media drive where the hosting pickup manufacturer not only brings loaded trailers to show off their new truck’s towing prowess, but they also have their competitor’s comparable models on hand to drive as well.
That’s what Ford did earlier this week when they brought several dozen of us automotive scribes to the hills of West Virginia to get behind the wheel of the 2015 F-250/350/450 Super Duties. Sitting there alongside the new Fords were Chevy Silverado and Ram Truck 3500 crew cab 4×4 duallies.
During our day of driving the trucks, each equipped with 3.73 axles and towing identical 33-fo0t 5th wheel travel trailers, we were looping over the Beckley Grade, which is well known by truckers for a true test of power and brakes.
A six-mile stretch of west-bound Interstate 64 climbs out of the New River Gorge and over the summit, during which the last 3.5 miles are between 6- and 7-percent grade. That’s a test of pulling power.
My driving partner, Mark Williams, said they’d just used the same section of highway for Pickuptrucks.Com’s Ford/Ram shootout. So we decided to watch the speedometer on each of the three duallys we were driving to see how they faired up The Beckley.
Not surprising, Ford’s 2015, with the 2nd generation 6.7L developing 440hp and 860 lb.-ft. torque, lead the way to the top with the best top speed and fastest time in our impromptu flat-to-the-mat power runs.
The Silverado 3500HD was a really close second, with the Ram 3500 playing tail-end Charlie.
As this wasn’t a test I together, nor did I have any high-tech instrumentation, it still gave me a decent seat-of-the-pants feel for how each of the new duallys performed.
I hope we can get a real hood-to-hood towing shootout at some point to see how close (or far apart) these big trailer- toting work trucks compare under more controlled conditions. Let the power wars roll on!