Here is Episode 6 of the TFLtruck Ike Gauntlet – Light Duty Edition. Technically, it is Episode 1 of the Ike Gauntlet 2.0. Why the “2.0”? We are using a new trailer and more weight. Total load of 8,000 lbs from the previous series was not high enough to slow most trucks down. The 2014 Nissan Titan KingCab 4×4 PRO-4X is first to step up to this extreme towing challenge.
This Titan is equipped with the tried and true 5.6-liter V8 paired with a new 5-speed automatic transmission. This engine produces 317 horsepower at 5,200 rpm and 385 lb-ft of torque at 3,400 rpm. This truck’s wheelbase is 139.8 inches and it’s rated at 7,101 lbs GVWR, 1,842 lbs of payload or a maximum 9,500 lbs of towing capacity. This particular Titan PRO-4X has a low 3.36 rear axle ratio. The ‘as tested’ price of this truck is: $43,355.
The temperature was around 41 F during the test, and the surrounding slopes had snow from the day before. The roadway was dry and clear, the sky was blue, and the test was underway.
What Are We Towing?
We upped the ante for Ike Gauntlet 2.0 with a Logan Coach – Stockman trailer and large water tanks. The water tanks allow us to fine tune the load precisely, and in the end we measured 10,010 lbs of trailer + cargo. That’s not all. Don’t forget that Roman, Nathan, and Mr Truck Kent Sundling are in the truck to provide the data and commentary. Lets just say that the guys and gear add another 800 lbs. All together – the load is 10,810 lbs.
The Way Up
The engine and transmission will be stressed to the max gaining more than 2,000 feet of elevation in just eight miles. The maximum grade of this climb is 7%. And the engines will be starving for oxygen and struggling to make power at the 11,158 ft finish line. The test is to use maximum throttle input on the way up in order to maintain the 60 MPH speed limit (or the maximum speed the truck is able to maintain below that). This is also a test for the driver as very slow moving semi trucks and other vehicles are obstacles to maintaining momentum and staying at 60 MPH. (See the video for the time, summary data will be posted after all three videos are published).
We want to know how capable the brakes and transmission are descending from the tunnel to Dillon/Silverthorne. This is perhaps even more important than being fast on the uphill. The trucks must be safe and practical on the way down. The measurement is simple. The trucks must maintain a safe and practical speed at or below the 60 MPH on the way down. We measure the brake rotor temperatures at the bottom and the truck with the coolest brakes is the winner. Of course, we also monitor the transmission and engine temperatures on all runs. (See the video for the brake temperatures, summary data will be posted after all three videos are published).
Check out this epic towing test here:
Andre Smirnov is a life-long automotive enthusiast, writer, reporter, and software engineer. He has been a contributor at TFL since 2011. When not working or spending time with the family – you can find him tinkering in the garage or simply ‘going for a drive’.