Precision driver Matt McBride had his work cut out for him in "Killer Heat." The stunt would be dangerous if he were simply towing a heavy load up a spiral incline -- an incline with an inside grade of 16 degrees and an outside grade of 19 degrees. Unable to see his front wheels and the edge of the steel road, it would only take the slightest slip to send the truck and load of concrete cinder blocks tumbling off the side. Then add a tunnel of fire and temperatures exceeding 285 degrees Fahrenheit (140 degrees Celsius). Even after a dozen test runs, McBride still found the run "scary."
If the truck failed to perform and the transmission overheated, the results could have been truly dangerous. A transmission stall because of overheating in a tunnel of fire 80 feet (24 meters) up isn't a good thing. After testing and numerous practice runs, McBride was able to pull the stunt off without a hitch. The Tundra climbed up and around the tight corkscrew with the transmission intact. When it reached the top platform it got a welcome, cooling bath from fire hoses mounted on cranes flanking the finish line.
Check out the links on the next page to learn more about towing, cooling systems and trucks.