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2011 Chevrolet Silverado HD – Click above for high-res image gallery

General Motors has just announced the hauling capacities for the 2011 Chevrolet Silverado HD and GMC Sierra HD pickups. The new trucks can now pull up to 21,700 pounds in fifth-wheel configuration and lug around 6,635 pounds worth of payload, thereby making them the new best-in class champions. The traditional tow rating sits at 17,000 pounds. What did GM change to give the trucks their new credentials? The company says that it extensively tested the trucks' systems, including the engine, transmission and brakes at the new gross combined vehicle weight and found that the thing could handle the abuse.

Both the Silverado HD and the Sierra HD now come with tougher bed rails, though. GM specified a new high-strength steel that can take more of a beating compared to last year's pieces. The new tow ratings best the next closest competitor, the 2011 Ford F-350, by 1,000 pounds on the conventional towing front and a more modest 100 pounds under fifth-wheel conditions.

How did we ever live in a world where pickup trucks couldn't tow three Bentley Continental GT coupes and a gooseneck car trailer? Hit the jump for the press release.

  • 2011 Allison 1000 (MW7) Six Speed RWD Automatic Transmission for Chevrolet Silverado HD and GMC Sierra HD. X11PT_AT002 (02/10/2010)

[Source: GM]

Show full PR text
Silverado HD Bests the Competition with 21,700 Pound Towing and 6,635 Pound Payload Ratings
DETROIT – Through ongoing development and testing, the 2011 Chevrolet Silverado HD capability ratings have been increased to 21,700 pounds of towing, and 6,635 pounds of payload. Based on these ratings, the Silverado HD will offer heavy-duty truck buyers the most power and most capability available in the segment.

According to Rick Spina, GM Full-size Truck global vehicle line executive, the increased ratings are a result of exceeding the original performance targets for the Silverado HD:

"Our focus has consistently been on delivering customers the most capable heavy-duty trucks in the market. The first set of capability tests confirmed that the team had exceeded the payload and towing targets by a significant margin. Ongoing testing demonstrated a clear opportunity to increase the true capabilities of these trucks. Even pulling a combined weight of nearly 15 tons seems easy behind the wheel of a 2011 Silverado HD 3500 with the proven Duramax Diesel."

To certify increased payload and towing capacities for the 2011 Silverado HD, engineers conducted a battery of tests.

* Based on extensive testing at maximum gross combined weight rating (GCWR) to validate the durability of the powertain, drivetrain, and brake components, the GCWR is increased to 29,200 pounds.
* Based on further testing in varied terrain, grades, and climates while pulling the maximum trailer weight to confirm predictable and stable handling, the maximum 5th-wheel towing capacity was increased to 21,700 pounds, and conventional towing capacity increased to 17,000 pounds.
* After higher-strength steel for cargo box cross sills was specified, the team conducted additional testing hauling maximum payloads to test the stronger cargo box and rear-axle components. As a result, the maximum payload has been increased to 6,635 pounds.
Based on these improved capacities, the 2011 Silverado HD possesses segment-leading capability in horsepower, torque, conventional towing, 5th-wheel towing, and payload.

Starting production next week, it becomes the most capable heavy duty pickup on the market.
"We encourage consumers to test drive the Silverado HD against competitive models," said Spina. "Based on our test results, we are confident the Silverado HD will prove to be the best choice for real-world towing and hauling needs."

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Somewhat of a healthy sign that Ford and GM are fighting each other for the 'lead' in model segments.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Sorry but

        F350 Super Duty
        "The new Super Duty® has impressive numbers to back its claim of being best-in-class in both towing and payload.* Maximum 16,000 lbs. conventional towing. Maximum 24,400 lbs."

        That's 24,400. GM is "21,700" Seems the F350SD Beats this!

        • 5 Years Ago
        Some may look for refinement, but HDs (IMO) are more about getting the task done, and being able to brag about hauling or towing the most does win minds and hearts.

        For most people, any of the Big 3 HDs will get the job done well, and in comfort and style. And though being able to tow no more than an additional 5% over a rival does not matter in the long run, it can sway people.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It is healthy, indeed! And it also shows GM's ability to quickly react to competitive situations such as Ford's new F350/450.

        Now I simply can't wait for the GMC Sierra Denali - the earthmover in a tux!
        • 5 Years Ago
        The U500 Unimog will pull 1000 metric tonnes. Now beat that. GM, Ford, Dodge now reviewing their trucks towing capability as we speak. Wait for the update due to new paint.
        • 5 Years Ago
        But what are they fighting for? How many people are towing 7.5 tons these days?

        I guess I know the HD versions are plenty tough. Now, I'm looking for content such as radio/communications, work box-storage configurations, and maybe adjustable seating. These days, content and refinement may trump the max ratings.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I love how engineers magically pull additional capability out of their hats several years into the life cycle as soon as they're one-upped. I guess they design with this in mind.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yeah, I figured he just didn't have the whole story and understand where hi is coming from. I didn't mean to come across as blaming him.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "I love how engineers magically pull additional capability out of their hats"

        A new frame is magic?
        • 5 Years Ago
        you almost can't blame him keith... the way the article is written is does sound like some BS changing the numbers ala the v6 camaro HP rating. it's just poor writing.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It's a constant game of one-up-manship these days. I imagine most folks will tow or haul that much, but I guess it's good for business.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I think you meant to say "most folks may NOT to or haul that much..."

      • 5 Years Ago
      Its all a joke, anybody who uses a vehicle for this kinda stuff will test all 3. Ford, dodge, chevy. The GM options dont have as good ride feel. Even if the GM can pull more.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Looks great.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Dammit! I've got 21,728.4 lbs. I need to move. I know because I weighed it myself at home. I guess I'll have to wait for GM to "extensively test" another few magic pounds out of their trucks.

      Looks like all the "extensive testing" took place during a meeting in the marketing conference room:
      "Ours does this number. The competition does this bigger number. So starting today, ours now does that number plus, oh, let's say a hundred."
      • 5 Years Ago
      Heres to ford coming out with that power increase that was rumored a while back. 400hp now allows you to pull 22000 ibs ;). This is the same old GM make numbers to out do others. They all do it just gm does it kinda odd some time camaro with 8hp more and not a .01 increase to show for it lol.
      • 5 Years Ago
      MATH WARS!

      number adjustments and addition everywhere!

      first the camaro was upped from a pathetic 304hp to a mustang v6 slaughtering 312. now the HD pickups have been upped to a superduty murdering 21,700 lbs towing capacity.

      They should up the number of doors the impala has in their specs, too. Say the impala has the most doors in class with 5, besting the taurus and 300 who have a pathetic 4. hey, the trunk works like a door, right?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Is this a new model? Did GM make Heavy duty trucks before this one? I don't think I've ever seen one before. Seen plenty of Super Duty Fords and Heavy Duty Rams though.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm sure this towing war will increase the amount of fine print proportionately too..

      "Now with Best-in-Class towing at 35,000lbs !! * "

      * Fifth-wheel applications only. For distance of 100yds. Downhill.
      • 5 Years Ago
      but will it get 26 mpg like ford's powerstroke?
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm only getting one if it supports full 1080p HD...I don't want that half HD 720p junk. :)
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