Diesel-Powered Pickup Truck Beats Big Rig On This Snowy Highway

Truck YeahThe trucks are good!

Highway 490 around Rochester, New York was absolutely inundated with snow this week with everything from buses to big rigs getting stuck and stopping plows. As we always love to see; some good samaritans went above and beyond their truck’s tow rating to get people going again.

Chris Johnson, identified on this Time Warner News broadcast as a local welder, apparently hooked his diesel Ford F-250 to a few vehicles to pull them out of bogs—including this Freightliner big rig and its trailer, which the Power Stroke-powered pickup truck seemed to actually extract pretty easily.

You can skip straight to 01:10 if you want to see the pull but bypass all the great commentary local news so loves to deliver; (“What’s it like being stuck out here in traffic?”).

If that big rig were loaded, it could have weighted close to 80,000 pounds. The Ford looks to be about 15 years old, which means it probably would have weighed around 6,000 pounds been rated to tow 12,500 pounds or less.


Of course whether it was built before or after 2003 would make a big difference; that year, the truck switched from a 7.3-liter engine to a 6.0 with about 100 more horsepower. Both Ford diesel engines were made by International.

But whatever. I think we all understand that the important takeaway here is: smaller truck pulling bigger truck always equals awesome. I might not try this too many times, though. New York state road salt would have been hard on that pickup’s frame in the last 10-plus years.

Contact the author at andrew@jalopnik.com.

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Dr. Strangegun

Eh, the truck is going to be fine

That rig may weigh 80klbs but it’s also exerting it’s own forward thrust, and the F250 isn’t able to give it’s full tractive effort either. I can’t say how *much* force it’s contributing, but you also have to remember that a tow rating is based largely on stability concerns and braking ability, not outright pulling force.

It works not because the F250 is pulling 80Klbs, it works because it’s giving an extra 10Klbs (guessing) of force in a useable direction and actually steering the rig away out of the low traction area into where it’s own tires can get some more grip and start working again.

The proof would be what’s used for the towing attachment... there’s no way in hell what they’re using would take the full 80,000 pound load, nor would you expect the attachment points to survive.