2012 GM HDs new tow ratings

2012 Chevy Silverado HD pickups boost towing capacity

DETROIT Redesigned for 2011, the Silverado heavy-duty lineup rolls into 2012 with even greater towing and payload capacities to lead the segment, including:

  • Best-in-class 1-ton fifth-wheel towing capacity of 23,000 pounds (10,430 kg)
  • Best-in-class conventional towing capacity of 18,000 pounds (8,164 kg)
  • Best-in-class payload of 7,215 pounds (3,272 kg)

“The 2012 Chevrolet Silverado HD builds on the award-winning foundation created for 2011,” said Rick Spina, vehicle line executive.  “We worked to raise the bar even further, developing engineering updates and conducting additional validation with the goal of making the new Silverado HD the most capable heavy-duty pickup ever.”

Thanks to a major update for 2011, Silverado HD won a number of awards and competitions, including 2011 Motor Trend Truck of the Year. Silverado HD also performed well in several head-to-head tests conducted by media such as PickupTrucks.com’s “Rumble in the Rockies.”

“The heavy-duty truck segment is one of the industry’s most competitive.  The customers know what they need and how the competitors stack up,” said Spina. “When they compare the 2012 Silverado HD, they’ll find everything they’re looking for and more – including capabilities the competition can’t match.”

Also new for 2012 are an available navigation radio with a built-in hard drive, heated/cooled seats for LTZ models, and a Z71 Off-Road appearance package.  Four new exterior colors: Silver Ice Metallic, Mocha Steel Metallic, Carbon Flash Metallic and Graystone have been added.  Two new interior color combinations are available: Dark Titanium/Light Titanium and Dark Cashmere/Light Cashmere.  For 3500HD dual rear wheel models, a new forged polished aluminum wheel is standard on LTZ models

Strategic enhancements

Silverado HD’s greater capability for 2012 comes from strategic enhancements incorporated into the chassis. Updates to the trailer hitch receiver (available in the fourth quarter), for example, enable the increase in conventional towing to 18,000 pounds from 17,000 pounds for 2011.

For greater fifth-wheel towing capacity, engineers strengthened the pickup box sills and other box structures along with the rear springs, U-bolts, and box mounts. The also revised the shock tuning, all of which contributed to the Silverado 3500 HD best-in-class tow rating of 23,000 pounds, up from 21,700 pounds in 2011.

Here is how Silverado’s capabilities compare with the competition:

  2012 Silverado 3500HD 2012 Ford F-350 2012  Ram 3500
Max. Fifth-Wheel Towing 23,000 lbs. 22,700 lbs. 22,700 lbs.
Max. Conventional Towing 18,000 lbs. 17,500 lbs. 12,050 lbs.
Max. Payload Capacity 7,215 lbs. 7,110 lbs. 5,190 lbs.
Max. GCWR 30,500 lbs. 30,000 lbs. 30,000 lbs.


Similarly, Silverado leads the class in payload, with a 7,215-lb. capacity. And as Chevrolet demonstrated in its recent HDtoHD video series, Silverado HDs strengths are evident on the road as well as the spec sheet. 

“We encourage customers to test drive the Silverado HD against the competition,” Spina said.  “Based on our testing, we are confident that the Silverado HD will prove to be the best choice for real-world towing and hauling.”

Chevrolet offers 10 2500HD models and eight single- and dual-rear-wheel 3500HD models, including regular cab, extended cab and crew-cab body styles offered in 2WD and 4WD. All share key architectural and performance features, including:

  • Fully-boxed, high-strength-steel frames
  • Available 6.6L Duramax diesel delivers 397 horsepower and 765 pound-feet of torque and B20 biodiesel capability
  • 36-gallon fuel tank and engine efficiency to enable up to 680 miles (1,090 km) between fill-ups with the 6.6L Duramax turbo diesel
  • Smart exhaust brake feature provides greater control on grades and reduced brake pad wear
  • An array of standard and available control features, including trailer sway control, integrated trailer brake control, hill start assist, automatic grade braking, intelligent brake assist, and large brakes.

Purposeful technology

For 2012, Silverado HD offers a number of technical features that enhance the capability of the truck for both work and recreation, including a new navigation radio. It offers an enhanced display and now has a hard drive that eliminates the need for discs with map data. Silverado also continues to offer segment exclusive OnStar Directions & Connections with Turn-by-Turn Navigation and Automatic Crash Response, SiriusXM satellite radio, Bluetooth for phone and USB connectivity.

Chevrolet WiFi powered by Autonet, available through Chevy dealers, turns the Silverado HD into a mobile hot spot and an office on wheels, providing multiple users with full internet access inside the vehicle or up to 150 feet from the exterior of the vehicle.

For work sites, Chevy WiFi offers instant access to online ordering sites, municipal sites with building permits and building code information and more. For families on the go, passengers can connect with friends on social media sites, stream videos, find maps, check weather or search for fishing and camping sites.

Silverado HD also offers comprehensive confidence and control features. Trailer Sway Control, which uses the truck and trailer brakes and the powertrain controls to keep the vehicle and trailer on the intended path, is now part of StabiliTrak, as is Hill Start Assist, which avoids roll-back before accelerating on inclines.

New Z71 Appearance Package

Even trucks that work for a living should look good while doing it, so for 2012 Silverado HD will offer a HD Z71 appearance package for LT and LTZ models that includes a body-colored grille surround with a chrome mesh grille, body-colored bumpers and lower fascia, 18-inch polished forged aluminum wheels and other details.