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Top Truck Challenge 101: Tow Test

Posted in Top Truck Challenge: 2014 on May 20, 2014
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Top Truck Challenge 2014 is only a few weeks away, so it's a good time to trot out an overview of each of the seven events that comprise Top Truck Challenge (TTC). Let’s start with the first event of TTC, the Tow Test. Others will follow over the next couple weeks.

The TTC Tow Test is normal in that it has a maximum length (approximately 150 feet) and a very heavy load to tow (usually a cement mixer that weighs approximately 36,000 pounds). What’s NOT normal about the Tow Test is that unlike other pulling events that take place on flat ground, ours is on an uphill climb that gains approximately 13 feet in elevation over its length and has an approximate max angle of 16 degrees. The composition of the track is tightly-packed dirt. At least for the first few pulls.

The Tow Test is the very first event in TTC and it has the innate ability to weed out weak driveline components. Power and traction is key, and we’ve seen competitors utilize various tricks over the years to gain an advantage in both of the aforementioned areas. Each competitor is allowed one pull and there is no time limit. A pull is completed when forward momentum ceases or when the front axle of the cement mixer crosses the finish line. We've seen the Tow Test pretzel driveshafts and even destroy the innards of Rockwelll 2 1/2-ton axles.

Here you can see Brian Waddell getting it done at Top Truck Champions’ Challenge 2012 in his 502ci V-8-powered ’72 Chevy Suburban.

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