By on August 29, 2019

2020 GMC Sierra HD

Heavy-duty truck buyers tow things often. So do many light-duty truck buyers. So perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised to be be asked, shortly after stepping off an airplane, to get behind the wheel of an HD truck towing something like 13,000 pounds of RV.

This, despite having trailering experience that hovered near zero. I can count on one hand how many times I’ve trailered. I did it years ago in Maryland on another GMC event, and last year in the same region (Jackson Hole, Wyoming) with the light-duty Chevrolet Silverado, but until last week, that was about it.

Gulp.

GMC would tell you that the combination of its trucks’ capability and some high-tech doodads make trailering easy, even for the novice. GMC would be correct on that count, but there’s more to the story when it comes to this year’s crop of trucks.

We were turned loose in a variety of GMC Sierra trucks over the course of two days – and not all had a mobile home’s worth of weight behind them. Still, towing and hauling were a bit part of this particular junket; even when we weren’t towing, we were driving trucks with beds full of logs. We also did a bit of light off-roading.

(Read More…)

By on December 6, 2018

Image: GM

Unless you took the past couple of days off to ruminate about our collective existence in a Scandinavian steam hut, you probably noticed there’s a new heavy duty General Motors pickup on the way. We’ve thus far seen only the Silverado LT with the butch Z71 package.

“Polarizing” best describes the vehicle’s looks, but Z71s are traditionally meant to be the most visually striking versions of Chevy’s full-sizers, if only by the smallest of degrees. Well, what happens when the new Silverado HD dresses up for the country club? You have this — a Silverado HD that tones things down and might change a few minds. (Read More…)

By on September 28, 2017

2018 Ram Southfork and Lone Star

People allege that everything’s bigger in Texas. At the State Fair, they’re probably right. Ram chose the long-running extravaganza to show off a couple of new trim packages now available on their pickups.

The current list of Ram trim levels reads like a menu at a good restaurant: lots on it and plenty that you want. Ahead of next January’s Detroit show, where we will presumably see a brand-new Ram 1500 pickup, the FCA team has dropped two new models into their lineup.

(Read More…)

By on September 23, 2017

2017 Ford F-450 Super Duty Platinum Crew Cab 4x4

Say you’re on the Ram website, perusing a new 2500 heavy-duty pickup. On the specifications page, you scroll down to the fuel efficiency table to see how many Andrew Jacksons you’ll be forking over at the pumps. The verdict? The Ram 2500 has a 32-gallon fuel tank. Thank you for visiting.

Unlike passenger cars and light duty trucks, heavy-duty trucks with a gross vehicle weight above 8,500 pounds aren’t required to flash fuel economy data on a window sticker. Searching the fueleconomy.gov database turns up nothing in the way of information. Now, Consumers Union wants Congress to change that. The consumer advocacy group is calling on the federal government to place fuel economy information on window stickers for the benefit of large truck buyers.

As it awaits a response, the group’s Consumer Reports publication went ahead and tested some heavy-duty pickups. (Read More…)

By on August 11, 2017

2018 Ram 3500 Cummins towing, Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

Healthy competition lowers the price of consumer goods, the economists tell us, but it also raises torque ratings. Nowhere is this more apparent than among the Detroit Three automakers, with Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles locking horns, crossing swords (keep it clean…), and firing arrows at each other in a heavy-duty pickup war that’s only heated up in recent years.

It comes down to stump-pulling, gravel-hauling, trailer-towing twist. In 2015, the Ram 3500’s 6.7-liter Cummins inline-six turbodiesel topped the Ford F-350 SuperDuty’s 6.7-liter turbodiesel V8 by 5 lb-ft of torque — 865 to Ford’s 860. This clearly couldn’t stand, so for 2017 Ford upgraded the Power Stroke’s torque rating to 925 lb-ft, kiboshing Ram’s 2016 attempt to stay ahead with a 900 lb-ft rating.

With 2017 came further aggressions. This year saw GM pulling ahead to second place with its 6.6-liter Duramax V8, now upgraded to 910 lb-ft, knocking Ram down to third place.

Well, FCA’s having none of it. Just a day after Ford’s unveiling of a newly powerful second-generation 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 and 5.0-liter V8, Ram fires this salvo: a Cummins with more grunt than any other rival. (Read More…)

By on December 12, 2016

2016 Ram 2500 Heavy Duty Laramie Limited

Another week, another pushed-back launch date for a next-generation Fiat Chrysler Automobiles product.

Last week, supplier sources claimed the range-topping Jeep Grand Wagoneer SUV was on hold, but this morning brings news of a delay for the next-generation Ram Heavy Duty truck line. (Read More…)

By on October 13, 2016

2017 GMC Sierra 2500HD All Terrain X, Image: General Motors

Do you want heavy-duty work truck wrapped in black sheetmetal fit for a henchman? You’re in luck, my productive and sinister friend.

GMC has expanded its All Terrain X series to include the Sierra 2500HD. It joins the midsize Canyon and full-size Sierra 1500 in offering the X trim, but it’s squarely aimed at its offroad-ready, crosstown rival — the Ram Power Wagon. (Read More…)

By on October 7, 2016

2017 Chevrolet Silverado HD, Image: © 2016 Matthew Guy/The Truth About Cars

At the end of September, some of my auto journo colleagues busied themselves with the French delights of Paris, covering new reveals at the Paris Auto Show.

Me? I was somewhere much more in line with my personality, surrounded by heavy-duty trucks at the 1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway. With both Ford and Ram cresting the 900 lb-ft of torque mark, the General needed to play catch-up.

Enter Chevy’s new 6.6-liter Duramax Diesel.

(Read More…)

By on June 3, 2016

2017 chevrolet silverado 2500HD

You remember the hood scoop on that teased 2017 GMC Sierra 2500HD? The one General Motors really wanted you to notice?

Well, GM spilled the beans on the mystery inlet, explaining that all of its diesel-powered 2017 heavy-duty pickups will receive the scoop to force-feed air into the 6.6-liter Duramax engine. (Read More…)

By on June 1, 2016

2017 GMC Sierra Denali 2500HD

GMC’s got a secret, but it’s keeping it hidden under the hood of its 2017 Sierra Denali 2500HD for now.

The company released photos today of the their updated heavy-duty pickup, and made sure everyone noticed the functional hood scoop above its massive grille. (Read More…)

By on June 4, 2015

Heavy Truck Rollover Circa April 2006

Two years from now, all heavy trucks and large buses will be required to equip electronic stability control per a new rule from the NHTSA.

(Read More…)

By on August 11, 2014

2014 Chevrolet Silverado HD 2500 long box

The next time you visit a Chevrolet or GMC showroom to check out a full-size or mid-size pickup, you may find the truck’s curb weight to be heavier than once advertised. That’s because General Motors has decided it will no longer remove items to make payload.

(Read More…)

By on July 17, 2014

2014-ram-3500-laramie-longhorn-front-three-quarter-03

The Society of Automotive Engineers recently introduced a new designation standardizing maximum towing ratings, with the aim of sorting out the mess automakers have made with their internal measurements of towing capacity. Called J2807, the new system’s first champion is none other than Ram, who have gone all-in with the standard.

(Read More…)

By on February 19, 2014

International LoneStar

Before a gathering at a distribution warehouse in Maryland, United States President Barack Obama announced that his administration has set March 2016 as the deadline for the next round of fuel efficiency and emissions standards for medium and heavy trucks to meet compliance.

(Read More…)

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