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Top Truck Challenge 2013 - Tow Test With Video Update

Posted in Top Truck Challenge: 2013 on October 7, 2013
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Photographers: Jeremy Cook


Four Wheeler’s Top Truck Challenge, or TTC as its most often referred to, celebrated its 21st anniversary in 2013 with two significant changes. One was that all competing rigs had to be recognizable as production 4x4s. In other words, no buggies. The other big change was the termination of the Mini Rubicon event, which was replaced by the brand-new, wicked Coal Chute event. The Coal Chute joined TTC’s six other legendary off-road events, the Tow Test, Frame Twister, Mud Pit, Obstacle Course, Hill Climb and Tank Trap, to form the seven-event program.

Each of these events tests the vehicles and competitors in different ways. TTC is legendary for being tough. Each competitor is being timed or their distance measured in each event. This adds significant pressure one doesn’t find in recreational wheeling. Endurance is also a key factor in TTC and competitors must weigh the desire to do well in each event with the critical need to hold their rig together so they can compete in the remaining events. Add to all of this the scores of video and still cameras tracking competitors every move, and the incredible pressure is obvious.


This is the only event in TTC’s seven-event repertoire that doesn’t require mud bogging, rockcrawling, or deep water navigation. Nonetheless, this kickoff event instills fear in competitors because it has the potential to annihilate weak components. The Tow Test is like a truck pull that drank a case of energy drinks. It takes place on a dirt hill that climbs approximately 13 feet in elevation over its 150-foot length and it has a maximum angle of approximately 16 degrees. Each competitor’s rig was fastened to a 36,000-pound cement mixer and each competitor was allowed one pull. There was no time limit and a pull was completed when forward momentum ceased or the front axle of the cement mixer crossed the finish line. This event favors heavy rigs with big power and grippy tires.


The Tow Test at Top Truck Challenge is one of the wildest truck pulls you'll ever see. The Tow Test pits our challengers against a 20-Ton cement truck up a steep grade. This challenge pushes axle-shafts and engines to their absolute limit. So how does the Tow Test work, well, it's really quite simple. We tether each Top Truck Challenge rig to a 36,000-pound cement mixer that dwarfs the TTC machines and we have ’em attempt to pull the mixer as far as they can from a dead stop. Uphill! Yep, you read that right, uphill! We give ’em a short run on flat ground to gather some momentum and then our nasty dirt slope climbs 13 feet in altitude over its 150-foot length at a maximum angle of 16 degrees.

This year, we were all in for quite a surprise. The official caterers of TTC, Mansmith's Barbecue, brought out their clean 900-plus horsepower 1971 GMC K30 pull truck to show everyone how to properly pull a 40,000-pound cement truck up a steep grade. Needless to say, it was probably one of the loudest things we've ever heard and it definitely got the cement truck up the hill quite a ways. Most of the competitors made it pretty far up the hill but the only one who was able to make the full pull and get the cement truck across the finish line was TTC Alternate Brad Daffin in his 1978 Ford F150. Since we know that you guys love pictures, we've compiled a photo gallery below for your viewing pleasure!

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