The 2018 Chevrolet Silverado LTZ 2500, powered by a 6.6-litre V-8 turbocharged diesel engine, has topped the field of 10 entries to earn the overall title as the 2018 Canadian Truck King Challenge winner.
The big Chevy was also named the best entry in the Heavy Duty category, outscoring the Ford F-250 FX4 Lariat diesel and the Ram 2500 Limited Tungsten edition diesel.
Ford’s 2018 F-150 FX4 Platinum earned top honours in the light-duty full-size pickup category. It was competing against the Ram 1500 Limited Tungsten edition 4x4 Crew Cab, which finished less than a point behind the Ford in the final standings of this key segment. The Chevrolet Silverado Z71 1500 LTZ was third, followed by the Nissan Titan Pro 4X and Toyota Tundra 4X4 DBL Cab LTD.
Two entries comprised the mid-size pickup category, with the Chevy Colorado ZR2 outscoring the Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro for the segment win.
11th annual Truck King awards
This is the 11th year for the Canadian Truck King Challenge, which is organized by Canadian trucking guru Howard Elmer. The evaluations from this event have earned a high degree of credibility with truck buyers, thanks to its rigorous “real-world testing” methods.
A team of journalist judges first drive all the entries over a specific route with no load, then rerun the trucks over the same route with a payload. The final test involves towing a trailer, again using the same route.
Midsize trucks carried a payload of 227 kg (500 lb) and towed 1,814 kg (4,000 lb), while the half-ton entries hauled a payload of 272 kg (600 lb) and towed 3,175 kg (7,000 lb).
The heavy-duty entries carried a 454 kg (1,000 lb) payload and towed 4,540 kg (10,000 lb). (The payload and towing weights never exceed the manufacturers’ published capacities.)
All the testing runs are made back-to-back so the judges are able to make immediate comparisons with all the entries in each category.
This year, the judges drove more than 3,000 kilometres during testing while scoring each truck across 20 different categories. Those totals are then averaged across the field of judges and converted to a percentage out of 100.
As part of the testing process, electronic data recorders capture real-world fuel economy. The fuel consumption data is collected throughout the all three phases of testing – no payload, with payload and while towing. An outside company, FleetCarma, collects and translates the data gathered from each truck, providing a unique fuel economy report.
Silverado HD crowned Truck King
The results of the 2018 models tested will be available later in February on the Canadian Truck King Challenge website: www.truckking.ca. Video of this year’s testing can also be viewed through the website.
For now, however. Elmer has revealed that the Silverado HD, in the opinion of the judges, is the best 2500-series HD hauler on the market. He noted that Chevrolet has been refining its Silverado HD year after year, adding technology and improving its diesel engine. The 2018 version is the culmination of those efforts.
The 2018 Silverado HD features a new generation of the 6.6-litre Duramax V-8 turbo-diesel. It’s been redesigned with a new cylinder block and heads. Its oil and coolant flow capacity has been increased and the turbocharging system is now electronically controlled. Horsepower has increased to 445 and torque now reaches 910 lb-ft. Ninety percent of both numbers are achieved at just 1,550 rpm. A new two-piece oil pan makes the Duramax quieter and also houses an integrated oil cooler with 50% greater capacity than found on the current engine.
Elmer said Canadian buyers will be especially interested in the new Duramax’s cold-weather performance. With microprocessor-controlled glow plugs, the engine requires less than three seconds to preheat in temperatures as low as -29C. These new ceramic glow plugs adjust current to each plug based on outside temperature.
Also new is a redesigned air intake system that uses an integrated hood scoop. It traps snow, sleet and rain, then drains it away from the intake, allowing cool, dry air to get to the engine.
Chevrolet has added a number of electronic driver-assist features, including a new digital steering assist that improves road handling; a new tire pressure monitor system that includes a tire fill alert; a driver alert package lane departure warning, forward collision alert, safety alert seat and front and rear park assist.
As well, GM’s StabiliTrak stability control system has been updated to include rollover mitigation technology, a tie-in to the trailer sway control and hill start assist.
Chevy’s MyLink system, with an 8.0-inch, centre-mounted touchscreen, includes a camera system that shows reversing images to make hooking up a trailer easier, whether it’s to the bumper hitch or the in-bed fifth-wheel hookup.
There’s also a 360-degree view around the truck that’s helpful when parking maneuvers. Cameras in the mirrors are also activated when signalling a lane change, providing a view along the side of the truck to eliminate blind spot issues. Other improvements include an available gooseneck/fifth-wheel trailering prep package that includes a spray-in bedliner; wireless phone charging; remote locking tailgate and a 4LTG Wi-Fi hotspot.