For 2018, GM has added more electronic helpers to its HD trucks as they continue the quest for HD weight supremacy, the name of the game for Landscape fleets.
The next benchmark was 2015. Weight capabilities increased to a max payload of 7,374 lb (3,345kg). Conventional towing climbed to 19,600 lb (8,890kg). Fifth-wheel and gooseneck towing rose to 23,200 lb (10,523kg).
For 2018 the max numbers are once again hiked. Now the max payload is 8,070lb (3,661kg) while conventional towing has risen to 20,000 lb (9,072kg) and on the 5th wheel, again, up to 23,300lb (10,569kg)
For landscaping applications, capacity is good for business - for 2018 this last set of numbers demands a truck that can handle them, power-wise as well as safety-wise. GM delivers here, as most of the new safety improvements are all standard equipment, even on base models.
Power-wise the standard engine is the 6.0L V8 that makes 360 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque. It drives a Hydra-matic six-speed automatic transmission; a veteran combination. If you upgrade to the diesel you’ll get the new 6.6L V8 turbo-diesel that’s been redesigned with a new cylinder block and heads. Oil and coolant flow capacity has increased and the turbocharging system is now electronically controlled. Horsepower has increased to 445 and torque now reaches 910 lb-ft. Ninety percent of both numbers are achieved at just 1,550 rpm; a great feature for plowing.
A unique new feature is a redesigned air intake system. Using an integrated hood scoop (on 2018 HD Silverado and Sierra) a trap for snow, sleet and rain allows cool dry air to get to the engine without clogging up the intake.
A new two-piece oil pan also makes the Duramax quieter and houses an integrated oil cooler with 50% greater capacity than the current engine. Of particular interest to Canadian businesses will be Duramax’s new cold-weather performance. With microprocessor-controlled glow plugs the engine requires less than three seconds to preheat in temps as low as -29C. These new ceramic glow plugs adjust current to each plug based on outside temperature. This new engine continues to be coupled to the Alison 1000 six-speed automatic transmission which has a stellar reputation.
Visual help is found in the Chevrolet MyLink with an 8-inch-diagonal touchscreen. Of particular interest is the camera system that broadcasts on this centre mounted touchscreen (now standard on all models with cargo box). It shows reversing images that make hooking up easy – whether it’s to the bumper hitch or in the bed’s 5th wheel. An around–the–truck view assists in parking maneuvers.
While driving the turn signals now activate cameras in the mirrors showing images down the side of the truck, highlighting the blindspot Other improvements include: an available Gooseneck/5th Wheel Trailering Prep Package will includes a spray-in bedliner. Electronic upgrades include wireless phone charging and remote locking tailgate.
For those that plow GM’s Snow Plow Prep Package (which adds HD front springs, forward lamp harness, 220amp alternator and cab mount for beacon) can be ordered on both gas and diesel powered trucks. The truck does have to have 4WD but trim package is not important. And speaking of trim packages – it’s easy to dress up a truck by spending more money, but Chevy has made a point of offering all the key necessities in a WT (Work Truck) convenience package that outfits a base Silverado/Sierra with the most important extras like: tinted windows, 110V outlet, keyless entry, locking tailgate, heated power adjustable mirrors and power windows. Standard Crew Cabs seat six and space is ample.