Jon Acuff Occupation: Audi mechanic, because Audi owners pay a lot more money than brok
Frank Gilliland Occupation: Owner of South Bay Truck & 4x4 Experience: Frank's dad ow
Alex Whitaker Occupation: Benchmade Knives advertising sales representative, loves kniv
Larie Tales Occupation: Owner of Jeeps R US Experience: Ex drag racer, switched over
Jerrod Jones Occupation: Feature Editor, 4-Wheel & Off-Road Experience: Spent a day o
At the end of the program everyone was asked to answer a few questions about their favorite suspensions in a few different categories. Now this was based solely on the opinion of each judge/rep, and how they felt about the truck at the end of the week. This has nothing to do with any of the actual judging and scoring that went on, but we realize that sometimes a person's overall impression can't just be summed up with numbers. If we were buying truck stuff, we'd value an experienced opinion on it almost as much as a bunch of numbers some field test came up with.
We think this spot might really have come down to whoever had the most impressive valving in the shocks. And the CST truck had the valving in its Fox shocks just right on. The valving abilities no doubt comes from experience in off-road racing, which seems to have paid off in the form of a very good riding kit. Superlift earned a very close runner-up position. The kit had displayed excellent ride characteristics as well, thanks to some very impressive bumpstops and remote-reservoir shock combination.
Why would you own a truck if you didn't have stuff to haul? Therefore we wanted to simulate driving on road with a loaded bed, and we did this using the Shur Trax water bags. Loading down the beds actually improved the rides of most trucks but made them a little less manageable around tight corners. The Pro Comp and Superlift kits tied for top honors here, both showing admirable driving abilities with loaded beds that seemed to have had many judges and reps impressed. These two might be especially appealing to guys who constantly use their trucks as a loaded-down workhorse, and demand a suspension that can handle it.
This portion almost felt like a gimme for the Rock Krawler kit. With coilovers front and rear and a converted rear link setup, this suspension stood out as more radical than all the others. There was pretty trick stuff on some of the other trucks too, but coilovers, new upper A-arms, and new rod-end steering links helped cinch the deal. Rough Country was right on its tail though. The NTD kit impressed many judges, and the machined-billet upper A-arms were not only strength overkill, but also looked incredible.