TFLtruck’s 2016 Gold Hitch Annual Award features the best Towing and Off-Road Trucks in the USA.
March 14, 2016, Boulder, CO. – The Fast Lane Truck (TFLtruck) announces their 2016 Gold Hitch Award recipients. The TFLtruck Gold Hitch Award recognizes mid-size, half-ton, heavy-duty and (truck-based) full-size SUVs for their ability to perform under the most demanding driving conditions. Six TFLtruck Gold Hitch Awards will be presented this year.
The benchmark for all towing scores is based on the grueling Ike Gauntlet. The Ike Gauntlet is designed to be an extreme test of any truck’s towing and overall performance. The test loop consists of an 8-mile stretch of the I-70 between Dillon, CO (9,111 feet above sea level) and the Eisenhower/Johnson tunnels (Continental Divide at 11,158 feet above sea level). The highway grade reaches 7%, the maximum allowed on a US Interstate. The trucks are loaded with trailers near their maximum towing capacity.
In addition to the Ike Gauntlet, TFLtruck is adding an off-road challenge known as “Gold Mine Hill.” This obstacle consists of three components: the accent, momentum ending corner and articulation accent. “The Gold Mine Hill obstacle is not impossible,” said Roman Mica, Editor, Host and Producer, “The challenge is for participating automakers to build a vehicle that can be effective and easy to navigate up a difficult obstacle.”
Andre Smirnov, Producer and Managing Editor commented, “Maximum-effort testing is what the Ike Gauntlet is all about. High elevation, steep grades and heavy loads certainly challenge all trucks that participate. Now, with our new scoring system, our viewers can clearly see how these vehicles performed and compared.”
TFLtruck team used the new Ike Gauntlet scoring system and voted for winners in each category. All five category winners were eligible for the title of 2016 Gold Hitch Truck of the Year, but only one truck could take home the title.
The 2016 Gold Hitch Award winners are:
Best Towing Mid-size pickup truck – 2016 GMC Canyon Duramax Diesel
Best Towing Half-ton pickup truck – 2016 Ford F-150 5.0L
Best Towing Heavy-duty pickup truck – 2016 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 HD 6.6L
Best Towing SUV – 2016 Toyota Land Cruiser
Best Off-Road truck – 2016 Ram 2500 Power Wagon
2016 Gold Hitch Truck of the Year – 2016 GMC Canyon Duramax Diesel
“We were unanimous in every major decision.” said Nathan Adlen, Host and Senior Editor, “It points to outstanding vehicles supplied to us. The high standard of each vehicle made all of our judging difficult, but fun.”
TFLtruck is the most popular online video truck review channel. Featuring news, views and reviews through our publication, nearly 4 million truck buyers watch TFLtruck video reviews and tests every month. This includes the signature “TFL Ike Gauntlet” extreme towing test, which challenges the trucks to the absolute maximum of their performance capability. Simply put -TFLtruck is all trucks- all the time!
The 2016 GMC Canyon Duramax Diesel reminded the TFLtruck team why we love this line of work. This truck surprised us all. It pulls hard, drives smooth, gets excellent fuel mileage and brings diesels to a new consumer base. By winning its class and Truck of the Year, it’s obvious that General Motors sweated the details. Well done.
We did not expect the 2016 Ford F-150 5.0L to win its class like its EcoBoost predecessor did in 2015, but it did so impressively. Our fans demanded we test this model and our test results were outstanding. As half-ton packages go, the 2016 Ford F-150 5.0L blew us away.
We knew going in that the 2016 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 HD 6.6L did not match the torque of the competition. Regardless, the 2016 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 HD 6.6L excelled at every task. It is a well thought out, rugged and easy to drive staple of the heavy duty class.
Despite being the only competitor this year, the 2016 Toyota Land Cruiser still had to prove itself against competitors from the past. With the introduction of its eight-speed transmission and willing V8 engine, it excelled at towing and impressed the team. This is one of the few towing competitors that competed on and did well on Gold Mine Hill.
It was a surprise to the TFLtruck team that the 2016 Ram 2500 Power Wagon would have a successor coming next year. Surprising in that it absolutely decimated our Gold Mine Hill off road obstacle. The entire TFLtruck crew agreed that the 2016 Ram 2500 Power Wagon is the best off-road truck in the land.
Do you want to learn more about how the TFLtruck team came up with the results and the winners? Here is the complete deliberations video with Roman, Mr. Truck, Andre, and Nathan.