Fuel Con­sump­tion

STRAPPED ON­THE ROLLERS TO TEST DRIVE ABIL­ITY, EF­FI­CIENCY, AND SKILL

Diesel Power - - Contents - Words by BRETT T. EVANS + Pho­tos by DIESELPOWER STAFF AND BEN COOPER PHO­TOG­RA­PHY

AF­TER BE­ING pho­tographed, com­peti­tors grabbed a quick lunch (and a nap, if they were lucky) and headed to­ward ATS Diesel Per­for­mance in Ar­vada, Colorado. There, each truck was strapped onto the firm’s Mus­tang dy­namome­ter, which was then loaded with a 20-minute drive pro­gram sim­u­lat­ing the De­part­ment of Trans­porta­tion’s emis­sions in­spec­tion. Ev­ery driver gave the pro­gram a go, but not all of them fin­ished.

Un­for­tu­nately, ris­ing en­gine tem­per­a­tures on the slow, me­thod­i­cal test cycle were enough to side­line four com­peti­tors: Shayne Mer­ri­man

(’74 Ford F-250), An­drew Mor­ri­son (’94 Dodge Ram 2500), Kodi Koch (’01 Chevro­let Sil­ver­ado 2500HD), and Zach Scoles (’04 Ford F-250). In fact, Zach and Shayne’s trucks left a lit­tle blood on the dyno in the form of coolant, but their teams worked hard to get the rigs ready to bat­tle in Day Three’s con­test, the power dyno.

The process tests more than just fuel con­sump­tion—it also eval­u­ates a truck’s drive­abil­ity. Few trucks stood out for bet­ter or worse. Kody Pulliam’s ’04 Sil­ver­ado 2500HD was a smooth op­er­a­tor, and the driver com­pleted the en­tire fuel-

con­sump­tion course with just one penalty. On the other hand, Al­lan Burk’s ’07 Chevro­let Sil­ver­ado 2500HD was dif­fi­cult to con­trol on the slow-mov­ing rollers, lead­ing him to 13 un­for­tu­nate faults.

Most of us were duly im­pressed with Travis Richards’ per­for­mance, as he han­dled his ’07 Dodge Ram 2500’s six-speed man­ual trans­mis­sion very well. He faulted sev­eral times, but that’s to be ex­pected when wran­gling mas­sive power and mod­u­lat­ing a clutch—and he never stayed in the penalty zone long.

Kody Pulliam came out on top in the fuel-con­sump­tion seg­ment, thanks to his truck’s easy drive­abil­ity and his smooth in­puts.

Shayne Mer­ri­man and An­drew Mor­ri­son were two of the fuel con­sump­tion dyno’s ca­su­al­ties. Ris­ing en­gine tem­per­a­tures forced both drivers to shut down be­fore the end of the test.

DPC and ATS Diesel Per­for­mance staffers pre­cisely mea­sured diesel fuel thanks to the speed shop’s auto-shut­off pump.

Af­ter see­ing a stick shift sprout­ing from the cen­ter tun­nel of Travis Richards’ truck, every­one was keen to see how he’d han­dle the dif­fi­cult, pre­cise test cycle. All things con­sid­ered, Travis did OK.

The dyno’s fuel econ­omy pro­gram mir­rors that of Colorado’s emis­sions test­ing. Drivers must keep their wheel speed (green ar­row) within test pa­ram­e­ters (blue line). The test repli­cated idling, high­way cruis­ing, and the cut-and-thrust of city traf­fic.

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