Texas has a unique position in the automobile industry in that 1 out of every 5 trucks sold in the United States is sold right here in the Lone Star state. We love our trucks, no doubt, so it makes sense that Texas has a group of automotive journalists who gather each year, test drive practically every major truck on the market and collectively vote on which truck will be named “Truck of Texas.” The event is called “Truck Rodeo” and this group of journalist, known as the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA), gathered this week in the hill country west of Austin to participate in the event and crown one truck as the 2018 Truck of Texas. After days of test driving, evaluating and voting, TAWA has officially announced that the 2018 Ford F-150 is the new Truck of Texas.
“The competition was incredibly fierce at this year’s Texas Truck Rodeo,” said Nic Phillips, auto journalist and President of TAWA. “More than 70 member journalists put in more than 300 hours of driving time evaluating the vehicles presented. The results in several categories are separated by the narrowest of margins, just tenths and hundredths of a point, confirming just how competitive the trucks and utility vehicles are today.
All the major truck manufacturers including Ford, Chevrolet, GMC, Ram, Nissan, Toyota and Honda transport their latest and greatest truck line-up to Texas specifically for this event each year. Journalists are allowed to take each available vehicle through several on-road and off-road closed courses that give them a sense of the truck’s capability in both situations. These courses are no joke; sections of the predetermined paths have trucks climbing steep, rocky terrain while other sections traverse through slick muddy streams.
At the same event in 2016, TAWA awarded Ford’s Super Duty as Truck of Texas, making this year’s award a consecutive one for the manufacturer.
“With the new 2018 F-150, we’re honored to earn back-to-back Truck of Texas awards for F-Series, a recognition that speaks to the truck team’s dedication to our hardworking customers,” said Raj Nair, Ford Executive Vice President and President, North America. “That’s especially true in Texas – truck capital of the world.”
The Truck of Texas award is the prestige award at Truck Rodeo, but journalists also consider all vehicles for other various categories including technology, personal appeal, and even a special category for Sports Utility Vehicles. For instance, Ford’s F-150 Raptor also came away with several recognitions including TAWA’s pick for the 2018 Off-Road Pickup Truck category, Highest Overall Personal Appeal score, and Best Overall Exterior score across all participating vehicles.
Is it fate that TAWA crowns the “Truck of Texas” during the State Fair of Texas when that truck is likely to be on display for all to admire? Who can say. But of course, the new reigning Truck of Texas – the 2018 F-150 – is on display right now at the Texas Auto Show. You can see the King Ranch and Platinum Editions of the F-150 inside the Automobile Building or outdoors in the Truck Zone Ford exhibit; a row of 2018 F-150s are proudly showcased. Head over to the Texas Auto Show, climb into one of the F-150s and then let us know how it feels to sit inside the Truck of Texas. #TXautoshow