For the first test we rented some track time at Milan Dragway, southwest of Detroit. The track features an IHRA sanctioned 1/4-mile dragstrip. It's perfect for determining performance over a fixed distance, unloaded and loaded.
We contacted a third party, Ricardo Engineering, to certify our results and instrument the vehicles. Ricardo is one of the world's foremost independent automotive and powertrain engineering consultancies.
All vehicles carried instruments to measure vehicle speed at Wide Open Throttle (WOT) and each vehicle was tested by three different drivers. Those tests were repeated with and without a 12,100-pound trailer attached.
Each of the runs was conducted on the main straightaway at the Milan Raceway test facility, driving in both directions. The best runs for each vehicle. in each direction -- with and without the trailer -- were then averaged to compensate for wind direction.
Each vehicle was tested with full fluids, one driver, one passenger and test equipment. All vehicle tests were conducted in two-wheel drive mode (rear) and in high range.
Some may ask, what's the point of running diesel pickups through the 1/4-mile? Isn't the point of a diesel better towing, hauling and fuel economy over a gasoline engine? You'd be absolutely correct except for one circumstance where the 1/4-mile test almost always comes in as a handy measurement - getting on the freeway.
The tests below represent a reasonable scenario for those drivers interested in learning how quickly they can accelerate up to 60-mph to join the flow of traffic on a freeway, without holding other drivers up behind them or causing an unsafe situation in a slow moving vehicle towing a trailer.