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Terry Woychowski Reviews the Tesla Cybertruck

View of the Tesla Cybertruck on a ranch.

Terry Woychowski, President of Caresoft Global and Former Full-Size Truck Vehicle Chief Engineer at General Motors, had the opportunity to get hands-on with the brand new Tesla Cybertruck. Terry and John McElroy, of Autoline Network, met up to drive the Cybertruck and give their honest opinions and expert insights on the vehicle.

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In action Cybertruck review.

In addition to the review with Autoline Network, Terry also got the chance to put the Cybertruck through its paces on his working ranch. He has given his honest thoughts on his personal experience of having one for a few days. Below is what Terry had to say about the Cybertruck, along with his pictures of the vehicle in action on his ranch.

A Cybertruck was delivered to my ranch, “Thunder Hill” on Sunday afternoon, 04FE24 so that I could get a little ‘stick time’ with the vehicle. Just walking up to the Cybertruck in isolation it seems huge, but parked beside our Silverado’s it does not appear as large. First impressions are a bit misleading in this regard. It may just be the impression generated by its massive panels and frontal area. My family’s impressions ranged from “Wow!” to “That is the ugliest vehicle I have ever seen!” Taste is what it is, and it is only an opinion. Driving it around town and on the roads and freeways I can attest that it sure turns heads and attacks attention. I had people taking my picture while driving it on the freeway and highways.

Tesla Cybertuck parked next to a Silverado.

Parked next to our Silverado, it does not seem so large and intimidating as the first exposure to the truck does. I am fairly sure it would fit in the garage. The back up camera has fantastic image quality. I felt I could easily backup a mile with the quality of the image.

I used the Cybertruck to do my morning chores at Thunder Hill. Approaching the Fire Ring horse pasture, the horses looked a bit puzzled. Usually, they are greeted by a grey side by side, or a white Silverado. They checked it out and seemed to be wondering what this strange beast was, but they quickly lost interest in the vehicle and were looking for their morning grain and hay.

Tesla Cybertruck in front of horses.
Tesla Cybertruck with a hay bale on the back.

A hay bale is no challenge and slides nicely under the power Tonneau cover. We had frost and icy fog conditions this morning and the tailgate and tonneau worked without a hitch. The gargantuan windshield was iced and frosted over but was quickly defrosted. It took about 90 seconds, and it was clear enough to drive.

Egg carton ready to collect the morning production of eggs from our chickens. Usually about a dozen a day. Best darn tasting eggs in all of Oakland County. A real time test for ride quality. Eggs all rode ok.

Tesla Cybertruck with a hay bale on the back.
Tesla Cybertruck with a hay bale residue on the back.

Hay always leaves residue. The texture of the spray on bedliner is accommodating and the hay easily wipes off or can be blown out.

Unfortunately, the tailgate is designed such that debris can easily fall in the gap between the pickup box and the tailgate.

Tesla Cybertruck with a hay bale residue on the back.
Tesla Cybertruck with gloves and a box of eggs on the back.

When it is dry this is not too bad, but when it gets wet it can start to grow or rot and can on occasion impede the closing of the tailgate.

In this case most of the debris fell out the bottom when the tailgate was closed. That helps, except for the poor motorcyclist driving behind you down the road.

Hay residue on the tailgate of a Tesla Cybertruck.

Different cup holders. Center console cup receptacles are octagon shaped. They are shaped like the wheel covers. I have never seen an eight-sided beverage container, (designers can drive you batty with this stuff). Not a big deal, and the “pour on football retention bulbs” held a coffee cup secure just fine.

Tesla Cybertruck door with a water bottle inside.

No place for a larger sized beverage, but the door trim panel has an inclined square shaped holder, that surprisingly retained the larger water bottle well during drives.

Traction was no factor in frozen or inclined areas. We have a lot of steep grades between pastures and the truck navigated them without issue.

Tesla Cybertruck parked on a grassy hill.
Crate of eggs on the back of a Tesla Cybertruck.

Of the eight eggs delivered early this morning – they all survived.

The Cybertruck ready to collect more hay from the loft.

Tesla Cybertruck parked in front of a barn.
View of horses out the window of a Tesla Cybertruck.

So long as the horses are happy, I’m happy. (They just got hooves trimmed yesterday so they are running around in good spirits).

About 1,000 lbs. of grain and feed are being loaded into the bed. The truck did not flinch, and the ride quality improved significantly with load. More to follow below in that regard.

Feed and grain loaded on the back of a Tesla Cybertruck.
Tesla Cybertruck parked on a steep hill.

Unloading grain and feed into feed bins. Steep grade up a frozen ramp. Some wheel spin initially but it caught traction and powered up the ramp for unloading.

Quick workout to unload about twenty 50-pound bags. (Why are there no wranglers around when it is time to unload?)

After driving on dirt and gravel roads on the ranch and to the feed store, the exterior is a mess. This stainless steel will always look smudged and dirty. Like a stainless-steel refrigerator door, every fingerprint will show from certain angles. (Ask my wife. Grandchildren are drawn to touching it). By the nature of the design, and the panel gaps, dirt, mud and road grime will defiantly accumulate.

For example:

And then it drips down on the front bumper facia from the wheel liners.

Dirt on the side of a Tesla Cybertruck.

View out of the windscreen of a Tesla Cybertruck.

The obscuration of the A Pillar is startling. Thank goodness they put a small porthole in there, but it is still terrible, especially with the windshield angle, it puts the blind spot directly in your eye line of sight. Also, the remarkable single windshield wiper takes on a noticeable ‘V’ gap to the A pillar and looks wrong and unfinished. I physically pushed the blade in line with the pillar, but it relaxed to this spot again on its own.

Other notable drive observations:

  • Steering wheel shape feels very odd at first impression, especially when making many tight turns on the ranch. The oblong/oval shape keeps putting the steering wheel in a different location with every degree of turning. One can get used to it, and it is not as obvious when driving on the road and steering angles are much less. Overall, it feels like an oddity or sophomoric. Automobile aficionados will rave about it, but I personally do not care for it.
  • At slow speeds the “on center feel” is twitchy and seems to require constant correction. The steer-by-wire detaches the steering wheel from the road and relies on electronic feedback. This takes some getting used to. The on-center feel improves at higher road speeds and seems comfortable. The overall effort is a little low from my perspective, but I am used to 50+ years of mechanical steering systems. The four-wheel steer works out of phase at slow speeds and in phase at higher speeds. It makes the turning radius much tighter in parking situations. It is a nice feature and seems to work well. The control algorithm needs to delay and hold off on any rear steering input from 0 mph, allowing you to pull out of tight parking spots without clipping the car next to you. Not sure this one does that.
  • There is an annoying gear whine noise centered around 45 mph. It is audible on both the drive and coast sides of the gears, with drive being worse. I would rate it a GMUTs 6.5. Can hear it over the radio at normal volumes. The driveline N&V performance needs to be refined and subdued.
  • There is a notable and annoying wind noise at highway speeds, 75 mph and up. The noise comes for the drivers A pillar area, and I would assume it is caused by turbulence caused by the ghastly windshield wiper. I was not able to remove the wiper and prove it to be the culprit, but it sounds like it emanates from that area. With the shape of the roof line and door cut lines, it could also be just aerodynamic turbulence. This design is not friendly for aerodynamic drag or CDA. Whatever NVH counter measures they have employed to address this are inadequate. I rated it a GMUTs 7.
  • At curb the ride is a bit harsh, with freeze cracks jarring and gravel road “wash board” potholes lighting up the vehicle. With 1,000 lbs. of cargo the ride improved considerably but did then pick up some ”wallowing” and a near constant “head toss” motion. (If I were at GM I know the exact R&H engineer I would put on the job. He has a long last name with no vowels in it…)
  • I could not find a way to initiate the lane change blinker that self-cancels after three blinks. Also, after 50+ years of using a stalk to indicate a turn, it is tough to find the right button on the steering wheel to press.
  • I have not yet found the windshield wiper switch. Will keep hunting, but such a switch should never be a mystery.
  • Another glaring issue is the gap and flush quality of the interface of virtually every panel. While the doors line up acceptably, most other panels have excessively large and uneven gaps and flushness variation. One might imagine that the Ford Model ‘T’ had better fits.
  • Also, many sharp edges are accessible, and worse yet, there seems to be some serious “pinch points’ in the design that could potentially prove very injurious. Ped Pro is seriously not in the equation on this vehicle. Obstacles beware.
  • The introduction of 48 volt low voltage architecture and 4WS are some of the notable technologies that will further benefit and add value to the company.

Here is a final picture of the truck taken by my daughter this morning. Somehow this vehicle just looks good on the ranch…

Tesla Cybertruck parked on a ranch.

These were just some of my initial observations. Overall, I enjoyed the vehicle. Now I just wish the A pillar would not knock my cowboy hat off every time I try to get in.

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