• The Worlds Toughest Towing Test is Here: 2017 Ike Gauntlet and Gold Hitch Awards [Video]


    There are a number of measures by which one can test a truck. We, at TFLtruck, are proud to say that we hold claim to one of the most demanding tests in the business of trucks. That is of course the 2017 Ike Gauntlet: the worlds toughest towing test.

    2017 gold hitch awards half-ton nissan titan

    As you can imagine, things are well under-way for the 2017 Gold Hitch awards. We are in the middle of testing a huge number of trucks this year, in a wide range of classes. Competitors come in the form of familiar faces, such as GM’s plethora of offerings, as well as some new challengers who hope to take down the previous kings of the gauntlet.

    2017 Half-Ton Class:

    2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 6.2L V8 8-Speed

    2017 Ford F-150 3.5L EcoBoost V6 10-Speed

    2017 Nissan Titan 1500 5.6L V8 7-Speed

    2017 HD Class:

    2017 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 HD 6.6L Duramax V8

    2017 Ford F-350 6.7L Power Stroke V8

    2017 Ram 3500 HD 6.7L Cummins I6

    2017 ike gauntlet towing test shirt hoodie mug sticker sale
    Ike Gauntlet T-shirts, Hoodies, and more for sale

    We are always grateful for the viewership and the support we receive from you. The Ike Gauntlet merchandise is currently available at our online store.

    2017 Midsize Class:

    2017 Chevrolet Colorado 3.6L V6 8-Speed

    2017 GMC Canyon 2.8L I4 6-Speed

    2017 Nissan Frontier 4.0L V6 5-Speed

    2017 Off-Road Class:

    2017 Ford Raptor

    2017 GMC Sierra 1500 All Terrain X

    2017 Nissan Titan 1500 PRO-4X

    2017 Ram Power Wagon

    2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro

    Who exactly will prevail is not yet decided. One thing is for sure, the 2017 Ike Gauntlet will push these trucks to their limit, helping to find which vehicles have the guts to earn the ever-prestigious Gold Hitch Award.

    To see some of this year’s competitors as well as a suspiciously enthusiastic “Yee Haw” from Andre, be sure to watch the full video!

    Of course stay tuned for the award ceremonies to find out who will end up victorious.

     

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    47 thoughts on “The Worlds Toughest Towing Test is Here: 2017 Ike Gauntlet and Gold Hitch Awards [Video]

    1. It’s really cool that you guys got the newest versions of the Heavy Duty diesels. It should be a great matchup.
      I am also looking forward to the 8-speed 3.6L Chevy.
      The biggest letdown is the half ton class. I think you guys need to do something different next year. Almost all of the trucks get just over 8:00. Please add weight to that class and/or bring the speed back up to 65 MPH. The Titan was the lowest common denominator, but maybe you could just adjust on the subjective score for pulling a lighter weight. Then again, there is always the SuperIKE. The other option is to test out the base V-6 models from each brand at a lighter weight.
      Lastly, many here would like to see the 3/4 ton gas class. GM 6.0, Hemi 6.4, Ford 6.2, and even the Titan XD 5.6L.

      1. Thank you for the feedback. New half-ton trucks are approaching 460+ lb-ft of torque and 420 horsepower. Even if we tow 11,000 lbs behind them, the truck will maintain the speed limit on the way up. The trucks are getting too powerful. However, it’s not just about going up the mountain. It’s more important to be safe on the way down. Also, comfort, handling, fuel efficiency on our 100-mile loop. We are trying to get the entire picture about these trucks, not just climbing the mountain.

        1. Exactly, the loads are already too heavy given the light weight of the truck in my opinion. Its already too much especially going down the hill in snowy conditions.

          However, I was sipping my coffee watching the video when you said you are now going to dyno test and I nearly choked. I am really enthusiastic to see that. HP at the motor doesn’t mean much and the HP and torque curve will be far more interesting than their peak power, paper statements; and for how much actually gets to the wheels. That is awesome, big thumbs up.

        2. Why are the 2017 Tacoma and Ridgeline not being tested in the midsize class? Also, why no Colorado Zr2 in the off road class?

          1. TFL contacted every manufacture and ask them to send vehicles for test. They only test what is given to them.

            I’m guessing that Toyota / Honda doesn’t expect this test to make them look good as uphill tow test wouldn’t be a strong point for either one.

      2. Also looking forward to the 8 speed-3.6 Colorado Ike run.
        From the small amount of information that I have been able to find so far, the 8 speed improves the truck considerably. It will be very interesting to see if this is actually the case.

        1. I just started messing around with video editing, and I know that portion eats up a lot of time. General rule is 1 minute of edited video = 1 hour work. Then you have all the logistical aspects of preparing the tests, so not just cruising around in cool trucks all day.

    2. My favorite time of the year. Looking forward to your results. I would like to hear what was the slowest recorded speed in each truck. Maybe a 0-60 run when loaded. Nothing worse than taking minutes to get up to highway speeds.

    3. I love the IKE Gauntlet tests. They just need to tax the trucks enough so that they all don’t hit the 8 minute mark with ease. Because then, it just becomes a very subjective…”well, this one has a nicer touchscreen,” or “this one got 0.2 mpg better up the hill.” Not important. The IKE is really all about brute pulling power up the steep hill with a very heavy load.

      Some of the results are pretty predictable. The F-150 EcoBoost will get the worst gas mileage but will be the most effortless. The Canyon diesel will get the best mileage.

      What might be pretty interesting is the HD Class. The GM trucks are pretty much the same and cannot tow as much as Ford and RAM, but they have a stout new power plant.

      1. Thanks for the feedback! We would have to grossly overload these trucks (or try to test base V6 models, which are hard to get). We cannot overload the trucks, as this would not be safe. We are trying to get the WHOLE picture about each truck, not only the uphill portion.

        Andre.

        1. Safety is important, for sure. You guys could always due a “normal” Ike Gauntlet run and then a Super Ike Gauntlet run for the 6.2L GM and 3.5tt I know you only get the vehicles for so long, but still, it would be a two for one deal on videos since limited prep and post-production would be needed. Just wait until the TFL “dry season” to release the SuperIke video.

    4. Tfltruck for midsize class you need to add 2017 Tacoma… so its easier to compare, and in offroad class you need to add ZR2
      in 2017 I would like to see ZR2 vs Tacoms Pro battle in offroad (like raptor vs Tacoma)

      1. ZR2 must still not be available. Very weird year. I think the economy is down again. Andre, do you have a reason why the ZR2 is not available or other?

        1. Chevrolet has told us that the 2017 Colorado ZR2 will not be available until April or May timeframe. They did not provide a specific reason, other then regular product lifecycle.

          My guess is – it takes a while to develop and setup manufacturing for special truck, such as the ZR2.

          Andre.

          1. Thanks, maybe let us know your opinions on the throttle lag, if that changed with this new tranny and motor. 0-60 will be interesting. I hope you dyno test the new Tacoma and the new Colorado!!!

    5. I really dont think the all terrain x or the pro 4x should count in the off road class. They dont have any defining off road features that would hamper them in the towing test, thus giving them an advantage. The Raptor TRD pro and PW all have larger tires then their base models and far softer suspension giving them real capability.
      The skidplate and sticker packages should compete in the half ton class.

    6. This should be a great matchup but I don’t think the ZR2 is available anywhere. I would also like to see the Ram half ton although we know it can’t tow as much because of the coil spring setup. It would also be nice to see the Ford V8 versus the GM 5.3.

    7. Last couple of posters: most of those models were tested last year with no changes this year. TFL tries to get new models or slight powertrain upgrades, but they will take what they can get.

      1. statistically since the trucks are usually run at the same time each year i dont think there’s really any need to re run the 3500 ram, GM 1500, 2.8 canyon, or power wagon because there havent had model changes.. but tfl gets a share from youtube views.

        1. Nice thing about running the 2.8 diesel and the new 3.6 with the 8 speed is that the comparison of the two will be fresh, plus, I think the testing is more involved this year, with the 100 mile MPG averages included.

        1. Rambro, the 5.0 10 speed will only be for the 2018. the MY17 will have the 10 speed on the 3.5EB. Believe me, I want a 10 speed behind the 3rd gen 5.0 Coyote engine.

      2. Precisely. We have the latest and greatest pickup trucks. Some of these truck just rolled off the factory line a few weeks back. All the latest engine/transmission combinations.

        Andre.

    8. No Tacoma or Ridgeline in the mid size class ? I know they’ve been tested before but I’d like to see them all tested back to back with subjective opinions as to how each performed.

    9. andre you should try to use your obd2 tool and watch the calculated tq on the diesels to see if they are limiting torque and by how much. the app should be able to do so by using air and fuel flow calcs.

    10. Andre I would have to second a couple other comments about testing some base model NA V6 engines. There are some good ones out there for what they are. These are really overlapping on price point with the mid-size trucks. These won’t set any records or win any awards but it would still be nice to see the results. Nothing good out on the web. TFL would be the first!

        1. And I want to see a Manual Tacoma do the Gauntlet. I don’t know the politics of how TFL gets their test trucks but I know they have said they get what they get depending on the manufacturer choice. Maybe TFL has tried to ask for a specific truck, maybe they can try harder or have already exhausted that avenue? I don’t know?

    11. I’ve read other posts wanting more in depth reviews on interiors.
      @Andre, will TFL step up to the plate and give in depth reviews on the interiors and options these trucks provide? Consumers spend %100 of their time driving

    12. I would love to see you test a Ram Cummins with the 6 Speed Manual sometime. Hit the FCA press guys up for one! Keep up the great work.

    13. Interesting trivia about the Ridgeline. Unlike most trucks, as you get closer to the base model, the truck gets faster and has more payload capacity!

      Ridgeline has the same powertrain (fastest V6 and most economical V6 among mid-size trucks) in all models, but base models weigh less due to fewer options. RTS is a great value!

    14. I am definitely interested in the dyno part because that’s where numbers meet the drive wheels. Low end torque can surprise you.

    15. Andre reading these posts it seems like you got your work cut out. You might have go to 7-8 days 14 hrs to get all in.

      I heard the part about dyno testing about the DSL on videos , Which I could careless. Are you going dyno test heavy duty pickups gas engines?

      Stay off the meds you will ruin rushian accent. I don’t think anybody on here wants that to happen.

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