The 2019 Gold Winch awards is TFLtruck’s way of finding the best off-road truck in America. We have always tested 4×4 trucks in the Colorado Rocky mountains on the Gold Mine Hill, Cliffhanger 2.0, and many other trails. In 2019, we decided to extend our testing to include more objective comparisons and measurements.
This is a guide to all of the 2019 off-road testing that we have done. This also includes off-road trailer comparisons in Colorado and in Moab, Utah.
The 2019 Gold Winch competition is including all new or updated trucks for 2019: midsize, half-ton, and heavy duty.
Let’s kick off this best off-road truck guide with an epic three truck comparison in Moab, Utah. Watch this video.
It’s is so difficult to beat the updated Raptor. The Raptor is really in a class of its own in terms of capability, but it also cost a lot more than any other truck. The 2019 Raptor has active valve adjustable Fox shocks, endless variety of driving modes, great clearance, articulation, tires, 4×4 system, and massive power (450 horsepower). Will the newly updated Raptor take the best 2019 Gold Winch award? We still need to deliberate and vote, but we will know on March 27th, 2019.
Episode 1: Drag Race
We decided to drag race three new off-road trucks against each other. Acceleration and speed are not the first things that come to mind in relation to off-road trucks, but drag racing is just a lot of fun and carries some bragging rights. The three trucks we tested were: 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4, Nissan Titan Pro-4X, and a Ram 1500 Rebel.
After some controversy and many racing attempts, the 6.2L V8 and the 10-speed in the Sierra AT4 were victorious. The Titan and the Rebel were also very close.
Episode 2: RTI Articulation
Now, we are getting serious with the Ramp Travel Index (RTI) comparison. Wheel articulation is very important for any off-road truck or vehicle. The more articulation the truck has, the more contact the tires have with the ground in tough off-road situations. The 20-degree RTI test is a great numerical way of comparing trucks. RTI score is calculated by measuring how far up the ramp a truck can climb without lifting a wheel off the ground. The RTI takes the truck’s wheelbase into consideration.
In this case, the Nissan Titan sneaked the victory over the Ram Rebel. The Sierra AT4 was in third place.
Episode 3: World’s Slowest Drag Race
Which off-road truck is the slowest? We are testing the truck’s 4LO crawl ratio in this test. The slower the truck can move, the easier it can negotiate very steep terrain and other rough obstacles. The slowest truck wins.
In this case, the Sierra AT4 won. The Rebel came in second, and the Titan third.
Episode 4: Turning Radius and More
Off-road truck maneuverability, clearance, and visibility are very important. This episode is all about testing these attributes in the real world.
The truck with the smallest turning radius is the winner. The Titan took this test. The Rebel was second, and the Sierra was third.
The front visibility test compared visibility over the hood without using any of the truck’s cameras. The Ram Rebel had the best front visibility. The Titan was second, and the Sierra third.
How about approach and departure angles? Yes, we can easily look manufacture specifications, but what fun would it be? We had to measure these for ourselves with truck’s chin spoilers and rear hitches. The Rebel came out on top. The Sierra was second, and the Titan was third.
Episode 5: More RTI
It’s time to throw the new 2019 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro into the mix. This time is competing against the Titan Pro-4X in a fast drag race and on the RTI test.
The Pro-4X Titan took the Tundra in the drag race just by a nose, but the TRD Pro showed what it’s made of by flexing and getting an RTI score higher than the other three trucks we testing.
- Sierra AT4: RTI 408.5
- Ram Rebel: RTI 418.1
- Titan Pro-4X: RTI 418.5
- Tundra TRD Pro: 437.5
Episode 6: Another Slowest Drag Race
This time more trucks showed up. The Rebel and the Pro-4X participated before. Now, the new 2019 Ford Raptor and Chevy Silverado Trail Boss jump into the game.
Both the Raptor and the Trail Boss turned out to be very slow crawlers, but the Trail Boss edged out the big Ford just by a nose.
We cannot forget all of the other fun trail runs that we did in the new 2019 Chevy Trail Boss, Ford Ranger FX4, Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro, Toyota Tundra TRD Pro, Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison, Ram Power Wagon, and other.
Chevy Silverado 1500 Trail Boss
We took the new Trail Boss Silverado up our toughest off-road test – Cliffhanger 2.0. The conditions were tough with lots of loose rocks and deep ruts, but the Trail Boss climbed all the way up after some doing and without getting completely stuck.
Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison
We had an opportunity to test the new Chevy Colorado Bison at the first drive event in Arizona. Chevrolet picked the trail, and it was one of the rockiest and gnarliest trails we have seen any manufacturer pick to showcase their new pickup truck in recent year.
We joined the 2019 Ford Raptor first drive event and had an opportunity to jump the newest Raptor. Ford chose a stadium truck style racing track for the jumping opportunity. It’s the first time we jumped a truck at a manufacturer event.
The biggest news here are the new FOX Live Valve active shocks. The sensors on the truck feed information to a central processing unit, and the computer decides how stiff or soft to make the shocks in real time. If the wheels are at full droop and the truck is at speed, then truck is jumping and the computer closes the valve to make the shocks stiffer to absorb the landing.
Toyota Tundra TRD Pro & Ram Rebel
How will the new 2019 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro and a 2019 Ram Rebel handle deep Canadian mud? We found out in this “Hydro Line” review. Hydro Line is a trail that is available to TFLtruck’s Stephen Elmer in Ontario. Expect to see many more reviews on this trail this season.
While both Rebel and Tundra made it through the deepest muck, Stephen gave the Tundra TRD Pro a small edge due to its new suspension setup.
We have a lot of off-road reviews to consider before we can choose the best off-road truck in America for 2019.