How often do you think about the technology that powers a heavy-duty truck’s ability to achieve its tow and trailering rating? Most people probably don’t give it much thought, but there are a lot of ins and outs to towing and trailering that you probably don’t think much about that are extremely important. In fact, there are some really cool features that have helped vehicles like the Silverado HD, including the most recent 2022 Chevy Silverado 2500HD, achieve the impressive tow and payload ratings within its market segment.
We’re going to take a brief look at the top 5 most significant and recent trailering updates that have made their way into the Silverado 2500HD’s line-up. This will give you some idea of just how far along the Silverado 2500HD has come within the last few years in respect to its towing and trailering capabilities, as well as the technology and engineering that makes it all possible.
5: Integrated BedStep for 5th-Wheel Access
Each time there’s a new model year, Chevy adds something new, special, or unique to the line-up of every Silverado HD. In recent years, one of the more subtle but significant additions to the Silverado 2500HD’s ever-increasing list of features was the integrated bedstep that made its debut with the 2020 Silverado 2500HD. This may not seem like a big thing, but it plays a huge role in the convenience of setting and configuring gooseneck or 5th-wheel hitches.
The integrated bedstep is sort of a “blink and you missed it” feature, but it appeared with the all-new revamped 2020 model year of the 2500HD, seamlessly blending in with the rugged and work-ready exterior of the three-quarter-ton pickup truck. While the feature was somewhat announced in passing in the official press release, the promotional media for the 2020 model year heavy-duty truck made it abundantly clear how it would affect gaining access to the bed.
You’ll note that the integrated bedstep can be found just in front of the rear wheel well. It matches the fender lining that runs around the wheel well, so it’s not a conspicuous attachment to the vehicle. Even still, the blending of the feature doesn’t detract from its functionality, which is very easy to make use of, thanks to barely sticking out of the side of the truck. For anyone who has had to rig up a trailer with a 5th-wheel hitch while the rear bed of the truck is obstructed by the trailer, this small but significant feature makes it so that you can easily get into the bed without requiring a separate step ladder. This is especially useful when you’ve already made it to your destination, and you need to get into the truck’s bed while the trailer is still hooked up.
4: Duramax Made 19% More Efficient
Who doesn’t like more engine power? Well, that was the basic gist behind this move from Chevy. A few years back, one of the big new additions to the Silverado 2500HD was the increase in efficiency for the Duramax, 6.6-liter turbo-diesel. This made it so that the Silverado 2500HD was even more efficient and more effective at reaching its payload and towing capacity.
Specifically, this upgrade made its debut for the 2017 model year of the Silverado 2500HD. The model year included an increase in torque to 910 pound-feet, an increase of power by 19%. Delivering up to 445 horsepower and being one of the segment’s leading powertrains, the Duramax was turned into an instant go-to solution for anyone who wanted a three-quarter-ton pickup that could really move on the road and handle some of the biggest trailering tasks that you could throw at it.
The Duramax’s upgrade would also pave the way for several other updates that would come down the pipeline in the following model year outings. Chevy would continue to keep packing more and more high-end features onto the heavy-duty pickup, making it more and more efficient at towing and trailering. This would eventually lead up to the very well-rounded and feature-rich 2022 Silverado 2500HD.
3: New Gasoline Powered 6.6-liter V8
A turbo-diesel Duramax seems like that’s all you would need to get the job done when it comes to towing and payloads for a heavy-duty pickup, but Chevy thought otherwise. In a very interesting twist, they actually decided to replace the Vortec 6.0-liter V8 that used to come packed with the Silverado 2500HD for something a little bigger, a little beefier, and a little more apt for the workload that the Silverado HD had cut out for it.
The all-new 6.6-liter V8 L8T gasoline engine made its debut with the 2020 model year of the Chevy Silverado 2500HD. Featuring a direct fuel injection system and 401 horsepower with 464 pound-feet of torque, the new 6.6-liter V8 offered 10% more horsepower and a massive 18% more torque than the 6.0-liter V8 Vortec. The extra capability of the new V8 is what allowed for the Silverado HD’s payload capacity to increase over the years, thanks to a few other improvements in key areas as well.
The 6.6-liter V8 gasoline engine may not be as widely appreciated or talked about as much as Duramax, mostly because it doesn’t hit the same tow and trailering ratings as the turbo-diesel, but it still does a fantastic job when it comes to base conventional towing and payload capacity. In the end, when you need a three-quarter-ton pickup truck to handle lots of heavy loads, it’s better to have options for those kinds of tasks than to not have the option at all. Chevy was wise to update the gasoline engine and give trucker drivers something that has a very distinct and well-defined role both in the market and on the road, and the 6.6-liter V8 gasoline engine that was introduced with the 2020 Chevy Silverado 2500HD did just that.
2: Increased Tow Capacity Via Suspension Upgrade
When you keep increasing the under-the-hood power and improving on the size and handling of the vehicle, what else can you do to increase the towing capabilities? Well, it turns out that you go back to the drawing board and dig deep where some people might least expect it: the foundation. In this case, the engineers decided to go back and modify the Silverado’s suspension and chassis to better accommodate its role as a heavy-duty pickup.
For the 2021 Chevy Silverado 2500HD, the truck was given a suspension update and upgrade, featuring lighter materials of a higher caliber. This included an improvement to the suspension and axles to better handle heavier loads and more weight under strain. Improvements to the wheels and load-bearing all helped to improve the truck’s capabilities to achieve an all-new tow rating, allowing it to keep the competition sweating in a game of attempting to one-up one another.
The structural improvements were made more efficient, thanks to the improvements to the powertrain, which in turn allowed the chassis and finely-tuned suspension to handle the new tow ratings. So all of those incremental upgrades and updates over the years, including the improvements to the Duramax’s turbo-diesel efficiency and the new L8T V8, helped pave the way for this instrumental upgrade for the Silverado 2500HD.
1: Custom Trailering Profiles
What can you possibly add to a vehicle that has already seen the kind of improvements that the Silverado 2500HD has seen within the last few years? Well, you do something that most people probably wouldn’t expect: you give them a near-infinite amount of choices to customize their trailering experience. That’s right; the 2022 Chevy Silverado 2500HD lets you create custom trailering profiles. I bet you didn’t see that one coming.
The all-new Advanced Trailering System includes the ability to create your very own trailering profiles for all different kinds of trailering situations. Whether you’re trailering boats, campers, vehicles, or heavy equipment, you can literally use the infotainment touchscreen to easily setup and select custom trailer profiles that can be used for maintenance reminders, vehicle status reports, checklists, temperature and tire pressure monitoring, as well as trailer light sequencing. It may not seem like a huge deal, but it actually makes the process of trailering so much easier when you don’t have to waste time constantly configuring and tweaking all the minutiae to your liking for every time you need to hitch a trailer to the truck.
All These Enhancements Led to Where We Are Now
The 2022 Silverado 2500HD essentially takes all of the previous years’ advancements, rolls them into one, and makes it easier than ever to customize the tow and trailering experience. I can’t imagine anyone having an issue with the option to set up custom profiles in order to ease the burden of attaching large loads to their truck, but it’s there if you need it. It’s also a nice way to compliment all the other past iterations Chevy has made to the Silverado 2500HD so that it isn’t reinventing the wheel; it’s just making it easier to keep the wheel moving.