One of the main reasons to upgrade from a light-duty truck to a heavy-duty truck is to get more towing capacity. If you’ve got a huge boat or a heavy trailer, then upgrading to HD is pretty much a must. The people at Chevrolet seem to be well aware of their audience since the upgrades for the 2024 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD are largely focused on towing features.
While the maximum towing capacity figure may be the first thing that people think of when looking for a powerful truck, Chevy hasn’t just redesigned the Silverado HD’s powertrain. They’ve also added and improved upon a number of tech features that make the towing experience more convenient and safe. Put together, these changes make a big difference for truck owners who are bringing trailers along for the ride on a regular basis. Let’s take a closer look at what’s new for the 2024 model year.
Upgraded Diesel Powertrain
The Silverado 2500 HD has two different powertrain options for drivers to choose from. Those who prefer gasoline can stick with the standard 6.6-liter V8 engine, which produces 401 horsepower and 464 lb-ft of torque. With this engine under the hood, the 2024 Silverado 2500 HD can tow up to 18,700 lbs of weight, which is certainly nothing to sneeze at.
But those who want to unlock the truck’s full power will want to opt for the diesel option. The Duramax 6.6-liter Turbo-Diesel V8 engine on the 2023 Silverado HD was already impressive, bringing 445 horsepower and a whopping 910 lb-ft of torque to the table, allowing a properly-equipped 2500 HD truck to tow up to 18,510 lbs. For the 2024 model year, the engineers over at Chevy have updated this powertrain to deliver even better performance. It now produces 470 horsepower and 975 lb-ft of torque while also featuring more efficient combustion. Low-end torque production has been improved as well, which will make a difference in the truck’s performance, especially while trailering at low speeds or driving up steep inclines with a heavy load in tow. This engine now tops out towing at 22,500 lbs for 2024.
Allison Ten-Speed Automatic Transmission
For the 2023 Silverado HD, the base gas engine came standard with a six-speed automatic transmission. For the 2024 model year, the top-of-the-line Allison ten-speed automatic transmission will be standard equipment on all Silverado HD trucks. More gears mean smaller steps between each gear, making for smooth shifts even under difficult conditions. The transmission also allows the engine to hold peak power for longer, which can certainly come in handy when you’re near the upper end of your truck’s towing capacity.
Because the newly standard ten-speed transmission also works to channel torque effectively from the engine to the wheels, the gas powertrain’s maximum towing capacity is higher than it used to be. Even though the engine itself carries over from last year, the maximum towing capacity on a gas-powered Silverado 2500 HD is 18,700 lbs on a 2024 model, up from 17,370 lbs on a 2023 model. So whichever fuel floats or boat (or, rather, runs your truck), you’ll be getting a noticeable powertrain upgrade in the 2024 model year.
Pulling a heavy trailer can add a lot of complications to any drive, even if it’s a short trip down the road to the local lake. But there are some situations that make things extra tricky, like driving on the highway at high speeds. It can also be difficult to keep track of the truck’s maximum capacity when you need to account for not just the weight of the truck and the trailer, but also any cargo and people that might be inside one or the other.
To make trailering smoother sailing, Chevy has upgraded a few tech features that were already available on the Silverado HD in order to make them better suited to towing heavy loads. They’ve also added a new feature that’s designed for those who need to carry weights that are closer to the high end of the truck’s upper limit. The enhanced and new features for the 2024 model year include:
Adaptive Cruise Control with Trailer: Adaptive cruise control allows you to set a programmable following distance between you and the vehicle ahead of you. Instead of driving at a set speed no matter what, cruise control can automatically slow the truck down and speed it back up to match traffic around you. New for this year is the system’s ability to account for the weight of your trailer so that it can brake earlier and be aware of extra drag.
Enhanced Transparent Trailer: Transparent trailer uses rear-facing cameras to allow you to “see through” the trailer and keep track of the vehicles around you on the highway. The newly enhanced version of this feature is compatible with gooseneck and fifth wheel trailers.
Trailer Side Blind Zone Alert: Blind zone alert gives you a visual warning whenever a vehicle enters your blind spot, as well as an audio alert if you start to change lanes while your blind spot is occupied. But when you’re towing a large trailer, that little blind spot can turn into a big blind zone. The new feature on the 2024 Silverado HD extends your blind zone accordingly.
GCW Alert: Experienced truck drivers know that you can’t max out your truck’s maximum towing capacity, maximum payload capacity, and maximum passenger occupancy all at once. There’s a Gross Combined Weight Rating that your truck cannot exceed, including the weight of the truck itself plus everything it’s bringing along for the ride. This new feature gives the driver a warning if the GCW has been exceeded, so you don’t try to drive off while loaded down with a dangerous amount of stuff.
Larger Screens Are Available
Many of the new trailering features use the truck’s infotainment display to convey important information to the driver. Being able to see warnings quickly and easily gives the driver more time to react to them, and with camera views like Transparent Trailer, bigger and higher-quality graphics are always better. So the 13.4-inch touchscreen display and 12.3-inch digital driver information center that now come standard on the LT, LTZ, and High Country trim levels are certainly an upgrade.
The touchscreen can be used to control settings and to view the up to 14 camera views available on the Silverado HD. That means that already existing features like hitch view, which can help you line up with your trailer, and HD surround view, which lets you see a bird’s-eye view of the area around your truck while you’re parking in a tight space, are bigger and easier to see. The driver information center is located behind the wheel, directly in the driver’s line of sight, and it can be configured with three different views, so you can choose which vital information you want to put front and center and change things up from drive to drive as needed.
2024 Is an Exciting Year to Get HD
Where some companies just obsess over endlessly increasing their maximum towing capacity figure like it’s the only thing that matters, Chevy has provided a well-rounded update that does a lot to improve the trailering experience. The mix of improved powertrain options and modern tech makes the process of towing simpler and safer, from the moment you hitch up to the end of the journey when you need to park. We think that heavy-duty truck buyers will have a lot to appreciate with this new Silverado, and we’re eager to see what Chevy has up their sleeves for future upgrades.