On December 4th, 2010, St. George, Utah was the horsepower capital of the country, as power-packed rigs and hundreds of spectators gathered for PDI’s first-ever dyno competition. It was a different kind of event than we usually attend, as it did not have a lineup of shiny trucks or vendors in booths – it was just regular guys, with normal trucks (for the most part), looking to show off the extraordinary amount of muscle they were hiding under their hoods.
After a long night of driving, we arrived a little early to Performance Diesel Inc. (PDI) in St. George, Utah to find many of the participants already there and getting their trucks ready. We found no wax or polish rags, but plenty of elbow grease and wrenches. PDI had just completed the building housing their new dyno, and this event, the First Annual Customer Appreciation Dyno Competition, was its big debut.
PDI is known for their high-performance diesel engine products, so to better meet the needs of their customers, they decided to add a dyno to their menu of services. This new dyno will allow PDI to do state-of-the-art testing and tuning, help them to diagnose any problem, and to quickly find the best possible solution.
Putting a truck on the dyno is a bit of a process, so it took about 15 minutes to set each truck up. After backing into the dyno building, the truck’s rear wheels are positioned over a set of rollers in the floor. The truck is then strapped down tightly with chains in the front and back, and then the dyno is hooked up to the truck’s computer. The operator then lets the truck warm up for a few minutes before finally applying a hard load, via the dyno, to the truck’s engine.
After a long, noisy day of revving trucks, the big finale came when PDI put their “limo” truck on the dyno (our July 2010 cover feature). After diverting the exhaust through a tube out of the building, the demonstration began and black smoke started billowing out the tube. After a few heavy loads were applied to the limo’s juiced-up Cat, it laid a solid 1,408 hp (at the tires)!
In the end, Bill “Stovepipe” Weissenfluh’s KW log truck from Oregon was awarded the top prize after his 3406E Cat produced 1,118 hp. Bill won a Dura-Lite Intercooler and a $300 fuel card from Antrim Diesel. 2nd place went to Brett Hamilton’s Cat-powered Freightliner that made a strong 1,005 hp. Brett won a Big Boss ECM Tune from PDI. The favorite to win, Kurt Murray from Oak Hill, Virginia, had to settle for 3rd when his Peterbilt had clutch and injector issues – but he still produced a respectable 970 hp, and walked away with a Big Boss Manifold from PDI.
Other sponsors who donated prizes to the event included Chrome Shop Mafia, FASS and Lipe Clutches. Everyone who attended got a free event shirt, as well as breakfast and lunch. We would like to thank Jerad and his crew at PDI for making this event an awesome day! We’d also like to thank our friend Jeff Botelho for inviting us to “carpool” with him to Utah. Good times!