The brutal and extreme tests Ram, Ford, Chevy run on trucks

The brutal and extreme tests Ram, Ford, Chevy run on trucks

Phoebe Wall Howard Detroit Free Press Published 6:00 AM EDT Nov 2, 2018 In the summertime, Mark DenUyl of Marysville loads thousands of pounds of busted-up concrete into his trailer and hauls it behind his Ford F-350 pickup, which is filled with construction equipment while driving over pothole-filled roads for weeks at a time in temperatures exceeding 90 degrees. When winter comes, he and the F-350 will pull 36-hour shifts in blizzard conditions, pushing snow into piles up to 5 feet high.  That's nothing. Because car companies “torture test” their trucks — driving them over ice-covered lakes in 40 degrees below zero and through deserts topping 130 degrees. Breakdown is not an option. Whether it’s the Ford F-Series, Ram 1500, Toyota Tundra, Chevrolet Silverado or others, companies globally are testing full-size pickups and midsize pickups more aggressively than ever. Ford uses the slogan “Built Ford Tough” and has long dominated full-size pickup sales in North America. .

But customers expect every truck to withstand assault. “We load a truck up, put on a trailer, accelerate from zero to 95 mph, hard brake, and repeat that time after time after time, ” said Mike Raymond, chief engineer for the Ram 1500. “We drive in heavy rain with washed-out gravel roads that create trenches a lane-width wide. We run the front wheels into the trenches and slam on our brakes to get the worst-case shock-loading experience on our suspension. We drive roads that could eat an entire wheel, and do it all day long.” Fiat Chrysler has test roads at proving grounds that replicate notorious highway sections in North America. .

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