When you're carrying a payload and need to come to a sudden stop on the highway, you want to be damn sure your brakes are going to hold up. That kind of security is an absolute must for truck owners.
We conducted the braking portion of our test at the same wide-open blacktop facility where we performed our acceleration runs: the Chrysler Proving Grounds in Chelsea, Mich.
The conditions for this test were perfect, with temperatures around 75 degrees and a slight breeze. We drove each truck consistently, without any modifications to the controls or switching, and simply ran each truck up to 60 mph, getting to its top gear and then we dynamited the brakes.
We specifically used a section of proving grounds where the tarmac was very smooth with an even surface; it was different from where we did our acceleration runs. Of course, not all our stops were done on exactly the same portion of pavement but they were done on the same stretch, within 50 yards or so of one another.
We used a combination of readouts to know when we were at exactly 60 mph, which included a digital readout from our RaceLogic VBOX as well as the truck speedometer (some of which were slightly optimistic while others were pessimistic). We typically needed two or three tries to get a spot-on speed reading.
The truck with the shortest stopping distances in the shortest amount of time when empty (albeit with two grown men inside: one test driver, one data collector) was the Ford F-150, stopping in just 132 feet in 2.9 seconds. Right behind the Ford was the 2014 Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra, stopping in 3.0 seconds in 138 and 137 feet, respectively.
Things got more interesting when we duplicated the brake test with 1,200 pounds of 1-inch-thick rubber mats loaded in the bed. The winner this time was the GMC Sierra, stopping in the same amount of time (3.0 seconds) but in just 6 feet more. In fact, only one loaded pickup stopped in less time from 60 mph than it did empty. That was the Nissan Titan, which stopped just 3 feet farther along with all that weight over the rear end. Additionally, three trucks effectively tied for second place during our loaded braking test with the same statistical score.Overview | Judges' Impressions | 0-60 Acceleration | 60-0 Braking | Mileage Drive | Hill Climb | Autocross | Payload and Towing | Results