What is it like to drive a crew cab heavy duty truck on tracks up and down Park City ski mountain in Utah? This is precisely what we had a rare opportunity to find out.
GMC is doing something General Motors has not done before. They are letting journalists drive a concept vehicle. In this case, it’s a 2018 GMC Sierra HD All Mountain concept truck. There are actually five of these trucks in North America that are displayed at ski resorts or at recent auto shows.
The All Mountain Sierra starts out as a All Terrain X Sierra HD 2500. We tested one of these production trucks on the Cliffhanger 2.0 mountain trail – our most difficult off-road challenge (see video below). GMC’s design department and build team gave the truck a 6-inch lift and fitted heavy duty Mattracks at all four corners. Each track weighs nearly 400 lbs and costs around $10,000. Mattracks builds a variety of track systems that fit anything from a side-by-side / ATV, to a midsize truck, a heavy duty truck, and tractors or farming equipment.
Each track is about 15 inches wide as to spread out the vehicle weight over a larger surface area and provide better floatation over snow or mud. Mattracks also offers a steering assist system to help turn the heavy 400 lbs tracks.
While the turning radius has suffered after this fitment, the steering effort while the truck is in motion is surprisingly easy. It’s just as easy or easier than a stock truck. The tracks themselves do not make as much noise as you might expect, but this big and tall truck has a bit of that intimidating moving tank sound.
The truck uses stock brakes, but all the added traction and the big footprint of the tracks help to slow down the truck without using much brakes at all.
Is it possible to get the Sierra HD All Mountain truck stuck? Anything is possible given enough deep and soft snow, but I was not able to get it stuck during my drive. It does bog down a bit in softer and wetter snow that we encountered, but it has enough torque and traction to simply get through it. That is the point of a vehicle like this – to go places where other ordinary wheeled vehicles cannot.