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A black 2021 GMC Sierra 3500HD is towing a large gooseneck trailer up a hill.

6 Things You Need to Know About the 2021 GMC Sierra 3500HD

Heavy-duty pickup trucks are never out of style. Even though they may not be the biggest mainstream attractions in the auto industry, they’re a reliable facet that represents the hard-working American who needs something durable and tough to deal with the daily workloads of life. In the case of the 2021 GMC Sierra 3500HD, the truck comes packed with noteworthy features and some great driver content. If you haven’t been following the news closely related to GMC’s heavy-duty line of pickup trucks, we have you covered here with a short list of some of the 2021 model year’s best and most interesting features. Read on to find out exactly what you need to know about the 2021 GMC Sierra 3500HD.

6: Max Towing Capacity

If you want a heavy-duty pickup for work or commercial purposes, one of the most important elements of making that happen is a truck’s maximum towing or trailering capacity. The heavy-duty line of pickups is designed specifically to address this issue, and the 2021 GMC Sierra 3500HD does just that. With the proper trailering/towing packages, the GMC Sierra 3500HD is capable of a maximum towing capacity of 36,000 pounds. This max capacity is possible when the 2021 GMC Sierra is paired up with the V8 turbocharged diesel powertrain and configured as a two-wheel, rear-wheel drive unit with a regular cab. The 36,000-pound mark also requires the proper trailering equipment, but it makes it possible to trailer lots of heavy-duty equipment, tools, or other utilities, with a gooseneck hitch attached.

A black 2021 GMC Sierra 3500HD is towing a large gooseneck trailer up a hill.

5: Max Payload Capacity

With the V8 diesel equipped on the 3500HD – and if you select the SLE or SLT trim in a regular cab setup with a dual-rear-wheel drive configuration and a long box bed – you can achieve quite an impressive margin with the payload capacity for GMC’s heavy-duty pickup. The exact figure for the 2021 model is 7,442 lbs. That’s quite a leap up from the 2021 GMC Sierra 1500, whose maximum cargo capacity tops out at 2,280 pounds. So you have a massive upgrade with the 3500HD that puts in an entirely different class when it comes to payload capabilities. If you were looking to use the Sierra for work such as construction, hauling, or transporting heavy cargo, the highlight for the Sierra 3500HD is that not only can it trailer up to 36,000 pounds, but it can carry just shy of 7,500 pounds in the back of the bed, which is quite the feat.

4: Interior Space

With the 40/20/40 split-bench seat and an upper armrest storage space now standard on all base Sierra HD models, you have room for you and your passengers with a little extra space for whatever you need to store in the cabin. The interior of the 3500HD features up to 43-inches of headroom and up to 66-inches of shoulder room while providing 44.5-inches of front legroom. So you have a lot of material space to move around in. And with the Crew Cab configuration, you can seat up to six people with the new split-bench setup while also using 10-way power front driver and passenger seats with lumbar support. With many other amenities to round out the interior features – such as SiriusXM Satellite Radio being a standard feature on all SLE models, along with 4G LTE Wi-Fi connectivity and a full suite of apps via the infotainment system – you have access to not only a roomy interior but a technologically enticing one as well.

3: Trailering Technology

While towing and trailering capacity are important facets of a heavy-duty truck like the 2021 GMC Sierra 3500HD, there is also the additional technology required to make it an effective element of the truck. For instance, what good is a high tow capacity if you don’t actually have the equipment attached to tow up to the designated capacity? Well, with the Sierra 3500HD, the towing capacity is highly usable thanks to a bevy of technology, ranging from 5th wheel support to a gooseneck hitch; you’re in capable hands with the 3500HD when it comes to supporting the physical means to trailer or tow extremely heavy loads.

Improved trailering technology with additional camera views to glimpse the bed and its cargo have also been implemented. This includes new rearview camera angles, an HD Rear Vision Camera so you can see directly behind you thanks to HD rendered digital imagery, and HD Surround Vision support so you can get additional camera angles on the bed and any auxiliary trailer equipment.

Additional standard trailering features across all trims include hitch guidance, giving you a full view and guidelines on how to align the truck’s hitch to a trailer, as well as allows you to view the status of the hitch setup while you’re driving. To top off the trailering tech, there are extra tire sensors so that you not only have data on the Head-Up display about the Sierra’s tire pressure, but the trailer tire pressure and temperature sensors also relay information about the trailer. That is an indispensable tool for anyone who is into heavy-duty trailering.

A closeup shows the MultiPro tailgate on a black 2021 GMC Sierra 3500HD.

2: MultiPro Tailgate

During the 2019 model year outing, GMC included some new technology for the Sierra called the MultiPro Tailgate. This flashy bit of tech contains six main functions for your tailgate, including slow-open dampening with manual and remote-based functionality. It also comes standard with a series of built-in functions that help with the Sierra’s impressive payload capacity. For instance, there is a cutout at the top-end of the tailgate that can be raised when the tailgate is down. This creates a new kind of barrier, with the tailgate now working as an extension for the bed itself. This is perfect for carrying large items that are longer than the tailgate itself and require extra length. This multi-functional piece of equipment can also be used as a makeshift step-up into the bed, as a footrest, or even as a place to sit for a short while.

You can even turn your tailgate into a work surface to utilize while you’re out on the job. The MultiPro Tailgate for the 2021 model is available as a standard feature on all the trims, including the base Sierra HD, the SLE, SLT, AT4, and even the Denali. So whether you wanted the Sierra 3500HD for pure work-related purposes or to add a bit of luxury to your life, you still have access to the six-function MultiPro Tailgate,

1: Diesel Powertrain

Probably the most important component for the 2021 GMC Sierra 3500HD is the available turbocharged diesel powertrain. While there is a 6.6-liter direct injection gas engine for the Sierra 3500HD, if you want the most out of your truck, you are going to want the 6.6-liter Duramax turbo-diesel V8 engine with 445 horsepower and 910 pound-feet of torque. The Duramax comes with an exhaust brake, engine block heater, a 3.42 rear axle ratio for improved torsional performance, and an after-run feature for additional cooling. The Duramax is paired with the highly lauded Allison 10-speed automatic transmission, so you know that you’re getting the most out of the torque transfer generated by the diesel engine, perfect for large hauls and heavy trailering.

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