A great truck can be many things to different people: a way to get to work each day, relax and enjoy yourself on the weekend, and a never-ending commitment to help friends and family move furniture. For many of us, however, a great truck isn’t just a vehicle that transports us to work; it’s a partner that helps us get our jobs done. Whether that means hauling a ton of lumber or drywall in a trailer behind you, loading up the bed of your truck with tools and equipment, or filling your truck bed with old cabinets and demo’d bits of installation that you have to take to the dump, you need a truck that you can count on day in and day out.
To me, that’s the very definition of a great work truck: something that you know you can always count on to help you get your job done. With this in mind, looking at the 2024 Chevy Silverado 1500 vs 2024 Ram 1500 reveals two amazing options for handling these kinds of tasks. You can’t go wrong with either of these trucks if you need a workhorse designed to keep going and working hard as long as you do. That being said, things aren’t always equal in this world, and as we look a bit closer at them, I can’t help but feel like Chevy’s offering pulls ahead and comes out on top. Let’s check out both trucks, and you’ll see what I mean.
Engines and Performance to Get the Job Done
A great work truck needs a powerful engine that can handle what you need and, perhaps most importantly, that you know you can rely on for a long time. You’ll find four different engines on offer with the Silverado, while the Ram 1500 has just two (there’s technically a third, but it’s only available on the TRX model, which most won’t use as a work truck). The Ram 1500 has a starting 3.6L Pentastar V6 that offers 305 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque or a 5.7L HEMI V8 with 395 hp and 410 lb-ft of torque. Don’t get me wrong, those are solid engines, but they feel incredibly limited for the flagship full-size truck in Ram’s lineup.
By comparison, the Chevy Silverado has four engines available, starting with a 2.7L TurboMax I-4 beast that delivers 310 hp and 430 lb-ft of torque. From there, you can choose a 5.3L V8 or a 6.2L V8 that puts out a very impressive 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque, far surpassing what Ram’s HEMI can offer. Finally, Chevy has a 3.0L Duramax Turbo Diesel with 305 hp and a massive 495 lb-ft of torque. You might’ve noticed the total lack of a diesel option from Ram, which is a shame because many people count on diesel engines for their muscle and incredible long-term reliability. Ram and Ford have eliminated diesel engines from their light-duty trucks, leaving Chevy as the only brand that still understands the value of a great diesel.
Serious Muscle: Towing and Payload
Horsepower and torque aren’t everything, of course. We all enjoy looking at those big numbers, but what matters even more is how those numbers deliver actual capability. For many of us, this is the single most important aspect of any work truck we’re interested in—what can it do to help you get your job done? These are both full-size, light-duty options with pretty similar numbers overall, but with key differences to keep in mind.
For starters, the maximum towing with the Ram 1500 is 12,750 lbs, while the Chevy Silverado can handle up to 13,300 lbs of maximum trailering capacity. That’s not a huge difference, but it’s worth noting, and Chevy’s engineers have worked hard to reach this number with their 6.2L V8 engine and their diesel. More importantly, the standard Ram 1500 engine tops out at 7,730 lbs of maximum towing, while the Silverado’s starting TurboMax engine can handle up to 9,500 lbs of towing—that’s a significant difference.
When it comes to payload, the Ram 1500 has a slight edge with up to 2,300 lbs of maximum payload capacity with its standard engine, while the Chevy Silverado 1500 tops out at 2,260 lbs of max payload with its starting engine. Technically, Ram is higher, but the odds of you ever utilizing 40 lbs of difference is pretty slim; plus, you’re also getting almost 2,000 lbs more towing with the Chevy and that engine compared to Ram’s truck. Chevy takes another win in this category with superior towing, particularly with its starting engine.
Truck Beds Functionality and Size
We just saw that Ram has a slight (very slight) advantage regarding maximum payload, but what about the space available for you to load stuff into? A great truck bed needs more than just high weight ratings; it needs a practical design and plenty of space to load up. The 2024 Ram 1500 has two bed options: a five-foot-six-inch bed with 53.9 cu.ft. of total cargo volume and a six-foot-four-inch bed with 61.5 cu.ft. of total cargo volume. That’s good, but we’re about to see one more way that Chevy comes out on top…
With the Silverado 1500, Chevy offers three bed lengths, rather than Ram’s two, and they can hold more than what the Ram 1500 has across the board. For starters, you have a five-foot-eight-inch bed (comparable to the smaller Ram bed) that offers 62.9 cu.ft. of cargo volume—almost 10 cu.ft. more space to utilize. Then, there’s a six-foot-six-inch bed with 71.7 cu.ft. of cargo space—again, over 10 cu.ft more volume to use, which is a lot of space. Finally, Chevy offers an eight-foot-two-inch long bed with more than 89 cu.ft. of total cargo volume. This is absolutely massive and much larger than anything Ram offers. Do you tend to load long lengths of lumber, drywall, conduit, or anything else into your truck bed? This can make a tremendous difference.
Not only that, but Chevy also has the most functional bed out there, seeing how it’s been designed and its tailgate. You’ll find 12 standard tie-downs in Chevy’s Durabed, rated at 500 lbs per corner, giving you great options for stowing and securing items in your bed. The available power up/down tailgate is incredibly convenient, plus Chevy’s available Multi-Flex Tailgate takes things even further. This has six different functions, including a primary gate and load stop, a fold-down inner gate for easy access, a full-width step, and an inner-gate load stop that can keep a second tier of items in your truck bed secure. All this comes together to create a truck that constantly works with you and helps you get your job done.
Chevy Silverado Gets It Done
I like both the Chevy Silverado 1500 and the Ram 1500 for their great features and impressive power. It’s hard to ignore how far Chevy has gone to deliver more with their premier truck. Word is, Ram will be replacing their legendary HEMI engines with a new wave of “Hurricane” engines, helping to explain why their current HEMI V8 lags behind what Chevy offers, but that’s no excuse for how much better the Silverado 1500’s standard engine is. Besides a better engine, Chevy offers a much larger, functional bed with a lot more space for taking things to a job site, not to mention the much-improved towing capability and other great features. The Ram 1500 has a lot to offer, but Ram needs to step up their game if they want to compete with the Chevy Silverado 1500 and all the ways it can make your job easier.