In the world of HD trucks, concerns such as styling and fancy features play second fiddle to durability and raw capability. Towing and payload ratings are bandied about as Ford, GM and Chrysler continue the race for the ultimate workplace machine. To that end, Chevrolet has completely redesigned its Silverado HD lineup for the 2015 model year, featuring many of the improved creature comforts found on the standard-duty Silverado 1500 plus carefully considered features to make the workingman’s life easier and safer. Within that lineup, the 3500HD represents the burliest truck GM sells at the consumer level.
If you’re reading this, you likely want to know just what this workhorse can do when the going gets rough. Maximum towing capacity, which you’ll find with the dual-rear-wheel diesel model with optional towing package, rises for 2015 all the way to 16,000 lbs. with conventional trailers or a full 23,200 lbs. with 5th-wheel trailers. Max payload is up to 7,374 lbs. A new Trailer Sway Control system uses the truck and trailer’s brakes in conjunction via the Integrated Trailer Brake Controller to bring things back in line should swaying occur.
Engine options carry over from 2014 with some minor improvements, but that’s not a bad thing as GM’s truck engines have proven to be the longest-lasting and most dependable on the road in recent years. A 6.0-liter gasoline V8 makes 360 horsepower and 380 lb-ft. of torque and comes paired with a 6-speed heavy-duty automatic transmission.
Optionally, this engine comes in a bi-fuel configuration with the ability to run off clean natural gas. Most HD truck buyers go diesel, though, and GM has you covered with its 6.6-liter Duramax turbodiesel packing 397 horsepower and an Earth-wrinkling 765 lb-ft. of torque, coming mated to stout Allison 1000 6-speed automatic transmission. Diesel models even come with an exhaust gas braking system, providing added safety when descending hills and prolonging brake life. Either engine choice sends power to the rear wheels, with 4WD available as an option.
A clean-sheet new interior has been crafted with the workingman in mind, with all towing functions within easy reach of the driver and large buttons and dials designed to be easy to use with gloved hands. Doors are now triple-sealed for better isolation, and the rear doors are forward hinged for ease of entry. Chevy’s combo of Forward Collision Alert, Lane Departure Warning and Safety Alert Driver’s Seat helps keep occupants safe and sound.
An available 8-inch touchscreen navigation and infotainment system runs the latest in OnStar and MyLink apps including Pandora radio, and a secondary 4.2-inch Driver Information Display shows customizable info that’s easy to read while driving. When it’s time to load up the bed, the new CornerStep bumper features useful foot indents, and an EZ Lift and Lower tailgate features shock absorbers to prevent it from slamming down suddenly.
With so many improvements for 2015, the Silverado 3500HD makes a fine choice as a truck that’s ready for any job, yet comfortable enough for a night on the town. Available now, pricing starts at $32,805.