Chevy Updates Silverado HD Towing and Payload Numbers, Besting Ford Super Duty

Chevy Updates Silverado HD Towing and Payload Numbers, Besting Ford Super Duty

The battle rages on. With Chevy‘s new Duramax 6.6-liter beating out Ford in the horsepower and torque competition, the new Silverado HD came up just short of its big rival in terms of payload and towing capability. Now Chevy has changed that, releasing new numbers that just edge out Ford’s Super Duty.

The 6.6-liter Duramax was rated to tow up to 20,000 lbs and had a payload rating of 6,335 lbs at launch. Ford’s F-Series Super Duty, however, managed towing of 21,600 lbs and a payload rating of 6,520 lbs. Revised numbers now give Chevy the edge with a 21,700 lbs tow rating and 6,635 lb payload capability.

“Our focus has consistently been on delivering customers the most capable heavy-duty trucks in the market,” says Rick Spina, GM Full-size Truck global vehicle line executive. “The first set of capability tests confirmed that the team had exceeded the payload and towing targets by a significant margin. Ongoing testing demonstrated a clear opportunity to increase the true capabilities of these trucks. Even pulling a combined weight of nearly 15 tons seems easy behind the wheel of a 2011 Silverado HD 3500 with the proven Duramax Diesel.”

In terms of power, the new 6.6-liter Duramax V8 is rated at 397-hp at 3000 rpm  and 765 ft-lbs of torque at 1600 rpm. This tops the F-Series Super Duty that’s rated at 390-hp at 2800 rpm and 735 ft-lbs of torque at 1600 rpm.

Official release after the jump:


Silverado HD Bests the Competition with 21,700 Pound Towing and 6,635 Pound Payload Ratings


DETROIT – Through ongoing development and testing, the 2011 Chevrolet Silverado HD capability ratings have been increased to 21,700 pounds of towing, and 6,635 pounds of payload. Based on these ratings, the Silverado HD will offer heavy-duty truck buyers the most power and most capability available in the segment.

According to Rick Spina, GM Full-size Truck global vehicle line executive, the increased ratings are a result of exceeding the original performance targets for the Silverado HD:

“Our focus has consistently been on delivering customers the most capable heavy-duty trucks in the market. The first set of capability tests confirmed that the team had exceeded the payload and towing targets by a significant margin. Ongoing testing demonstrated a clear opportunity to increase the true capabilities of these trucks. Even pulling a combined weight of nearly 15 tons seems easy behind the wheel of a 2011 Silverado HD 3500 with the proven Duramax Diesel.”

To certify increased payload and towing capacities for the 2011 Silverado HD, engineers conducted a battery of tests.

  • Based on extensive testing at maximum gross combined weight rating (GCWR) to validate the durability of the powertain, drivetrain, and brake components, the GCWR is increased to 29,200 pounds.
  • Based on further testing in varied terrain, grades, and climates while pulling the maximum trailer weight to confirm predictable and stable handling, the maximum 5th-wheel towing capacity was increased to 21,700 pounds, and conventional towing capacity increased to 17,000 pounds.
  • After higher-strength steel for cargo box cross sills was specified, the team conducted additional testing hauling maximum payloads to test the stronger cargo box and rear-axle components.  As a result, the maximum payload has been increased to 6,635 pounds.

Based on these improved capacities, the 2011 Silverado HD possesses segment-leading capability in horsepower, torque, conventional towing, 5th-wheel towing, and payload.

Starting production next week, it becomes the most capable heavy duty pickup on the market.

“We encourage consumers to test drive the Silverado HD against competitive models,” said Spina. “Based on our test results, we are confident the Silverado HD will prove to be the best choice for real-world towing and hauling needs.”

2011 Silverado HD 2010 Ram HD 2011 Ford F-350
Max. Horsepower

397 hp.

350 hp.

390 hp.

Max. Torque

765 lb-ft

650 lb-ft

735 lb-ft

Max. Conventional towing

17,000 lbs.

12,000 lbs.

16,000 lbs.

Max. Fifth-wheel towing

21,700 lbs.

18,500 lbs.

21,600 lbs.


29,200 lbs.

25,400 lbs.

29,100 lbs.

Max. Payload capacity

6,635 lbs.

5,130 lbs.

6,520 lbs.

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