I’m excited to announce that Four Wheeler’s Real Truck Challenge competition is slated to return in the fall of 2017! This incredible off-road event will offer the opportunity for you to have some fun showing off your driving skills and your rig’s functionality in a grassroots, friendly, and exciting event.
“What the heck is Real Truck Challenge?” Well, Real Truck Challenge was a popular Four Wheeler–sponsored annual Midwest-based off-road competition that began in 2003 and ran until 2006 (search “Real Truck Challenge” at fourwheeler.com to read about past events). It initially debuted under the name Real Truck Challenge, but morphed into Real Truck Club Challenge beginning in 2004 when the event rules were changed to require 4x4 club membership. Formal names notwithstanding, the event was most often referred to simply as Real Truck. Real Truck underwent several changes through its four-year run, but one thing that didn’t change is that it was a grassroots competition with requirements in place to ensure that the competing vehicles didn’t cross the line into pricey, full-blown competition 4x4s. “RTC is an effort to feature competitive trucks that are real-world in nature, vehicles that you might actually see on the trail,” we wrote in the Mar. ’04 issue. One of the ways this was accomplished is that all competing vehicles had to be street legal. In 2003, Real Truck had 10 competitors. We increased that number to 20 from 2004 onward. In 2006, competitors were split into two classes based on tire size. There was a 34-inch-and-under class and a 35-44–inch class. There were four off-road challenges held during the two-day event, which included the Obstacle Course, Mud Course, Rock Course, and Buzzard’s Roost. Buzzard’s Roost was a challenging course that was the Real Truck equivalent of the legendary Tank Trap at Top Truck Challenge.
Real Truck Challenge 2017 is in the early planning stages, but here are some of the goals. First, it needs to remain centrally located in the Midwest, and we want the event to be held at a public off-road park. We have a few parks in mind, but if you have suggestions, we’d love to hear ’em. The park will need to contain enough diverse terrain to support four events that reflect different disciplines of wheeling, including a Buzzard’s Roost-like premium challenge. Second, we’d like the event to be held over the course of a weekend, with a Friday check-in and a Sunday wrap-up, so that folks don’t have to take a bunch of days off work. Third, we want to keep the event geared for daily driven, real-world rigs, so there will be no tube-chassis, mega-modified rigs allowed and maximum tire size will be capped.
Many of you have contacted us over the last few years to let us know that you want to see Real Truck return and that feedback has been a big reason why it’s coming back. Personally, I’m thrilled to see Real Truck Challenge on the docket for 2017, and I hope you are too. It’s going to be a blast! More info, including the venue, event dates, and how you can enter your 4x4, will be forthcoming so keep an eye on Four Wheeler!