Some might call it the perfect storm -- a confluence of seemingly random events that work together to make something larger than the sum of its parts. Heavy duty truck-lovers have been waiting for this type of storm for quite a few years, and they'll likely have to wait a long while before something like this happens again. Last year the Ram HD made a dramatic debut and won our 2010 Motor Trend Truck of the Year. This year, both Ford and GM are bringing their best and brightest (and strongest ever) to the party. And now the table is set for battle royal...but we're getting ahead of ourselves.
We recently had the opportunity to drive the new Chevy Silverado Heavy Duty and Sierra Heavy Duty in just about every configuration they offer and the changes they've made seem right on target. In fact, to their credit, they've laser-targeted some key areas where GM trucks traditionally didn't match up too well with the competition. Recently, Ford's been doing a lot of bragging about their recently released Super Duty, and for good reason; in fact, it even won our head-to-head comparison when we pitted it against our 2010 Truck of the Year winner, the Ram HD. Now the ring is set for a full-scale smack down as all three big-truck makers have an all-new or recently-new heavy-duty player. But that comparison test will have to wait because we've just spent several days driving just about every configuration of new GM HD truck they have to offer and we've got a few things to say. Here we go.
To begin, although there is plenty new about the 2011 models, the most obvious aspect of the 2011 trucks is that both inside and out, they don't look much different at all. Maybe that makes sense given all the upheaval GM has experienced recently and this is just very focused example of a company being very careful with every dollar they spend. We can buy that. In that context, it makes sense to focus every available resource on those foundational pieces that matter most to truck customers. It just so happens none of those features can be seen from inside or outside the truck; in fact, the real magic to the 2011 GM Heavy Dutys is underneath. The cornerstone to this new truck is a brand new fully-boxed frame to give the new HDs a stronger foundation to build the new truck from, with its primary purpose to get much higher towing, payload, and GVW numbers. It's no secret this segment relies heavily on bragging rights and General Motors has been lagging against the competition.