The SLT trim
on truck three included GM’s second interior option, importing the
"luxury inspired" low and forward instrument panel from the
Yukon. Car-like in appearance with sleek, handsome wood trims, only the
Ford King Ranch Super Duty interior tops this one in indulging driver
navigation system was embedded in the dash. It provided a clear and intuitive
interface and map presentation.
feedback received when pushing and turning buttons and dials was high
quality but larger control surfaces to accommodate a gloved hand are needed.
of the cab has been nicely improved with stadium seating and a flat load
floor to help store items levelly behind the front seats.
pickup number three, we swapped from the 4WD Sierra Crew Cab unloaded
Duramax into a 2WD Silverado 3500HD regular cab long box. Like the previous
truck it was also equipped with a Duramax, but added 2,375 pounds of shot
in the bed.
in for this truck is just shy of 4,000 pounds, so we were at a GVWR of
approximately 7,700 pounds, well short of the 9,200 GVWR max payload rating.
is a stellar engine. Still using a rear axle ratio of 3.73 but paired
with the excellent and durable Allison 1000 6-speed tranny, the Duramax
started off with gusto from a dead stop and its torque curve started giving
early to help, peaking at 1,600 rpm, and continuing to give and give through
all the gears. So smooth was this transmission that you barely felt the
shifts as it climbed gears and had to look at the tach to confirm the
RPM dropped with each one.
If you’re going to haul big loads often, you’re going to
want the Duramax.
was king of the hill, quite literally. After an excellent, down home lunch
at the Miner’s Diner in Julian we hopped into a jet black Chevy
Silverado 3500HD Crew Cab Dually equipped with the Duramax and headed
for Interstate 8 via the winding roads of Cuyamaca State Park.
Unloaded, this DRW pickup handled almost every twist and turn as though
it were on rails. The quad footprint of the back wheels ensured that traction
wasn’t going anywhere except from the tires to the pavement.
New for 2007 on GM duallys, and unique in the segment, is a bed that
includes hydroformed shoulders over the rear wheels, eliminating the need
to graft wheel covers to the box on DRW HDs. The single piece sculptured
sheet metal also eliminates another source of rattles and squeaks as the
By the final leg of our trip we were ready for some real world trailer
towing on I8 with the Vortec and Duramax up and down a 6% grade near El
Cajon. To make it interesting, GM provided competitive products from Ford