Tom Quimby | December 26, 2018
Despite all the electric truck and van news this year (and it’s still coming), it was diesels that easily dominated the Top 10 list of the most popular articles of 2018 for Hard Working Trucks.
Oil burners snagged four of the ten most-viewed stories this year with headlines focusing on emissions tampering, the Diesel Brothers F-450 flatbed, Achates two-stroke diesel demo (one of our favorites) and a court order requiring the Diesel Brothers to stop modifying emissions equipment.
Only one EV made the top 10 and that was Rivian’s reveal earlier this year of its electric 800-hp chassis for its R1T pickup and R1S SUV. The June news preceded the full reveal at the LA Auto Show last month.
It’s no secret that the Diesel Brothers have attracted a huge following on their hit show on Discovery Channel. And it’s also no secret that they’ve attracted the attention of some influential folks (namely the Utah Physicians for Healthy Environment) who would like to shut them down over alleged emissions violations. The Diesel Brothers deny the accusations. In June, a district court in Utah issued an injunction requiring them to pull the plug on emissions modifications.
It’s not every day that a chassis attracts this much attention, but when it’s serving as the foundation for an 800-hp electric pickup and SUV, and it’s got impressive-looking suspension, disc brakes and battery packs sandwiched in between one rail of the chassis and another, it will definitely grab your attention. And torque?! Each motor—and it’s got one per wheel—delivers 2,581 foot pounds. Did we mention zero to 60 in three seconds? It’s a good thing it’s got a bed so it can catch you when you floor it.
It’s one thing to see computers shrinking and getting more powerful as they drop in size—but an engine?! For those of us raised on the old adage “There’s no replacement for displacement” watching these small V6 engines lighting up their tires and beating up on their big brothers is almost sacrilegious—impressive, but bordering on sacrilegious. In all seriousness, it’s yet another sign of how technology can sneak up and blow you away.
This is the only story headlined with a video that made the top 10—but then again, it’s the only two-stroke diesel we’ve seen in an F-150. With no valvetrain, 270 horsepower, 480 lb.-ft. torque, 42 mpg combined, and pesky two-stroke emissions challenges gone, Achates’ 2.7-liter opposed-piston engine shows that the internal combustion engine still has plenty of impressive fight left.
Hey, when an iconic brand like Cooper has two new pickup tires to offer, it’ll turn plenty of heads.
The Diesel Brothers cracked our Top 10 again this year for their 2017 F-450 Lightning Ultimate Platinum Alumiduty SEMA Build. Yes, the title is nearly long as the truck and a buyer on eBay was willing to plunk down $125,000 to have her. Dave Sparks, a.k.a. Heavy D called the truck his baby and gave it up for his new F-550.
Years ago in California we knew this guy who would—okay, enough of that. Emissions tampering is a serious offense that can land you in the pokey. The Rockwell employees charged here were facing five years of prison, a term of supervised release and a fine. When it comes to a tailpipe, the feds don’t play, which is odd when you consider what D.C. spews every—okay, I’ll shut up for now.
This was a follow-up to a very popular article we ran in 2016. Sometimes it just makes good sense to not only opt for a rebuilt engine and tranny but also get a new paint job, interior and anything else that comes to mind. Vehicle Reman will rebuild to order at half the cost of a new truck or van and offer a 100,0000-mile warranty to boot.
Put F-150 and Harley Davidson in the same headline and watch what happens. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does… Seriously hoping that they’ll come here to Panama City Beach, Fla. for Thunder Beach.
What else can we say about the Retro Big 10 Chevy package on the 2018 Silverado? It was easily our most popular story of 2018. The old school two-tone paint job and Big 10 badging even had Dale Earnhardt, Jr. writing on Twitter, “Damn, this is a great idea.”