Each October, the 40-plus members of the Texas Auto Writers Association gather the latest herd of full-size pickups, SUVs and crossovers to compete in the Texas Truck Rodeo, with one earning the title of "Truck of Texas." The trucks are tested on- and off-road for two days before the jury votes for its favorite rig.
This year's Truck of Texas winner was the new 2009 Ford F-150. Upon hearing the news, Ford rightfully announced its claim to the honor and roped the bragging rights that go along with getting such a distinction in the largest truck market in the U.S.
Chrysler, however, said, "Hold it right there, partner!" The all-new 2009 Dodge Ram 1500 was named Full-Size Pickup Truck of Texas by TAWA. The Ram's optional RamBox weatherproof, lockable storage system available for the cargo box also won Best Feature.
So what gives? Which half-ton truck do Texas auto writers prefer if they're announcing different winners for seemingly identical awards?
Think of it like the Grammy Awards, where different genres of music get their own award, like Best Country Album or Best Rock Album, but an overall winner is awarded Album of the Year.
In the Texas Truck Rodeo, Full-Size Pickup Truck of Texas designates a specific class, as do Crossover of Texas and SUV of Texas, while Truck of Texas is considered the highest honor of all the vehicles TAWA tested. And that's no bull.