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A black 2024 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD High Country is shown parked near a house.

Adventure Is in the Eye of the Beholder: Chevrolet’s Heavy-Duty Bigfoot

“Heavy-Duty.” These words are commonly used in the truck industry to describe trucks that can tow heavy loads without breaking a sweat. And by heavy loads, I mean more than a standard pop-up camper; think ski boat, horse trailer, or something with a gooseneck. Of course, these behemoths are larger and more potent than their full-sized counterparts. Still, models like the 2024 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD challenge the stereotype in a modern and unconventional way.

Off-road trails across the country are dotted with Jeep Wranglers and Toyota Tacomas, two favorites renowned for their versatility, longevity, and capability. Plus, they’re easy to customize because they’ve seemingly been around forever, and aftermarket parts are readily available. Over the last few years, these off-road staples have learned to share the trails with larger trucks that roll off the factory floor with stronger builds, beefier tires, and the capacity to carry more gear. We know how much off-roaders love and rely on their gear.

Chevrolet acknowledged the trend when it introduced the Colorado ZR2 and later expanded the “ZR2 treatment” to the Silverado 1500. For 2024, the ZR2 enjoys another addition, this time with the Silverado 2500 HD. Now, I know what you’re thinking: a heavy-duty truck on the trail sounds about as agile as Bigfoot walking through a China shop. I thought so, too, at first.

A black 2024 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD High Country is shown parked near a garage.

Part Work Partner, Part Bigfoot Adventurer

Nearly every off-road meetup I’ve attended is littered with Tacomas, Wranglers, and Cherokees. So, it took me a minute to wrap my head around the idea of a heavy-duty truck with a penchant for adventure. I understand the “work hard, play hard” mantra, but Chevrolet’s latest attempt is intriguing and forces me to shift my perspective and rethink the heavy-duty stereotype. Perhaps “heavy duty” isn’t limited to the pavement after all.

Heavy Duty Power

For Chevrolet, the 2024 Silverado 2500 ZR2 Bison offers a no-compromise combination that proves just because it’s a large truck doesn’t mean it’s limited to where it can go. In this case, heavy-duty capability meets adventure, and it’s apparent throughout the truck’s design. First and foremost, it’s a reliable workhorse powered by one of two 6.6L V8 engines–Duramax or gas, the choice is yours. Depending on the powertrain, the truck’s towing and hauling capability is exceptional, with a maximum payload of 3,397 pounds and a maximum towing capacity of 18,500 pounds. These numbers put the “HD” in the Silverado’s name.

Heavy Duty Capability (Redefined)

Chevrolet made a bold statement when it announced, “The Silverado HD ZR2 is for those who want it all: for when you need to haul equipment to the job site during the week, then the camper and family off the beaten path on the weekend. It’s for those who want their tow rig to be just as cool as the toys it’s hauling.”

Chevrolet’s boldness is founded. The automaker doesn’t simply redefine capability with the 2024 Silverado 2500 ZR2; it extends the definition to make it more inclusive. The truck isn’t solely meant to tow heavy loads, nor is it destined to live on the pavement. Instead, it has the heart of a warrior, channeling its inner Bigfoot to explore the possibilities of adventure after the pavement ends. It knows the importance of punching a time clock, but it’s the first to celebrate the end of the workweek because it means exploring the unknown.

A gray 2024 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD ZR2 is shown towing a trailer.

The Proof Is in the Parts (And the Performance)

The proof is in the pudding or, in this case, the Silverado HD 2500 ZR2 Bison’s parts. The ZR2 Bison is the product of Chevrolet’s ongoing partnership with AEV, a brand that elicits plenty of appreciative sighs in the off-roading realm. For 2024, these components run the entire spectrum of the truck and complement an already impressive lineup of ZR2-related features. So where the ZR2 is tough, AEV makes it tougher.

The Silverado 2500 HD ZR2 Bison gets an exclusive ZR2 grille with red badging and a red accented bowtie. The accents draw your eyes to the truck’s high-approach front bumper made of stamped steel, a high-strength build that’s distinctly AEV. It features integrated recovery points, winch provisions, and an integrated block heater plug if you opt for the Duramax. The rear bumper mimics the design with its recovery points and knockouts that make adding extra lighting straightforward.

Chevrolet and AEV ensure the Silverado 2500 HD ZR2 Bison is fully protected behind the scenes. The truck features stamped steel underbody skid plates that protect the front, exhaust, transfer case, and steering rack. These skid plates complement the truck’s taller stance, a product of the front and rear suspension lift and beefy 35-inch tires. Since these items are must-haves in the off-road realm, that left me to wonder, “What else makes the ZR2 Bison so unique?”

The black and gray interior and dash of a 2024 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD is shown.

The ZR2 Bison’s Best Weapon

Chevrolet outfits the ZR2 Bison with the revolutionary Multimatic Dynamic Suspensions Spool Valve (DSSV) Technology, ultimately transforming how the Silverado 2500 HD performs in every condition. DSSV dampers are typically used in high-performance models, but Chevrolet has been quick to add them to its lineup to give trucks like the ZR2 a distinct advantage. But what is that advantage? It’s the very premise on which the ZR2 Bison was designed: to work hard and play hard.

The idea behind shock absorbers has been relatively the same for the last century, with improvements or advancements limited to high-performance models. After all, why reinvent the wheel? A traditional shock absorber works fine in most conditions, forcing a piston through pressurized hydraulic fluid in a chamber. Openings in the piston direct how the fluid flows, while the shims control the rate of flow. Simple and effective.

Like Chevrolet’s partnership with AEV, the automaker teamed up with Multimatic to develop new dampers for the 2014 Camaro Z/28 and, later, the Colorado ZR2. The concept behind the design is simple: it uses spring-loaded spool valves instead of a piston and shims. Since the valves are spring-loaded, the rate at which they close is variable based on the damper’s shaft. Multimatic takes the design further by making the openings, officially known as orifices, in the spool valve adjustable.

The configurable design of the Multimatic DSSV dampers ensured their compatibility with the 2024 Silverado 2500 HD ZR2 Bison. Chevrolet tunes the dampers to heighten their sensitivity so you have more control on and off-road. When you’re behind the wheel of a heavy-duty truck like the Silverado 2500 HD, it ensures optimal performance in every condition because the dampers are position sensitive. As a result, the ZR2 Bison adopts a no-compromise approach because it doesn’t sacrifice performance or handling when moving between arenas, from the highway to the trail, or from towing a heavy load to pulling another rig out of deep mud. After all, why not safely test those recovery points and the Silverado’s low-end grunt?

The wheel of a 2024 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD is shown.

From the Track to the Trail, From Your Weekday Commute to the Weekend

Chevrolet does something remarkable with the 2024 Silverado 2500 HD by unveiling its wilder side with models like the ZR2 Bison. By making the idea of a “heavy duty” truck more all-inclusive, Chevrolet proves the importance of moving beyond what we imagine a trail rig to be, encouraging us to think in terms of possibility. Instead of assuming anything but a midsize truck can navigate technical terrain, the Silverado 2500 HD ZR2 Bison inspires us to ask, “Why can’t it?” or “Why not?”

By expanding the idea of a heavy-duty truck, Chevrolet delivers an exceptional workhorse with a penchant for adventure. The combination is incredible, with Chevrolet outfitting the truck with all the functional tools expected of a work partner, like the Multi-Flex tailgate and the industry-leading DuraBed. However, those tools also serve a purpose beyond the pavement and enhance the truck’s high-strength build. It’s an outstanding package that offers off-roaders a one-time investment that can handle every demand and answer the call of the wild without missing a beat.

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