GM Planning To Increase Heavy Duty Towing and Hauling Ratings

GM Planning To Increase Heavy Duty Towing and Hauling Ratings

In the battle for power and performance bragging rights among heavy-duty pickup trucks, General Motors is already planning how to outmaneuver archrival Ford to claim the highest towing and hauling ratings in the segment. It could happen by next year, according to Jeff Luke, chief engineer for GM's full-size trucks.

During the past several weeks, GM and Ford have been playing a fierce game of one-upmanship as each has slowly revealed the awesome capabilities of their 2011 HD pickups.

GM went first, announcing towing and hauling numbers for its 2011 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 and 3500 HD pickups that beat comparable 2010 Ford F-Series F-250 and F-350 rigs. What was Ford's response? New best-in-class towing and hauling numbers for its 2011 Super Duty lineup that beat the 2011 Chevy Silverado (and 2011 GMC Sierra HD). Then, Ford upped the ante by also announcing segment-best power figures for its new 6.2-liter V-8 gas engine and new 6.7-liter Power Stroke V-8 diesel that beat GM’s comparable 2010 gas and diesel engines. Ford is still holding onto the gas engine crown, but GM just announced (you guessed it) best-in-class horsepower and torque figures for the 2011 6.6-liter Duramax V-8 diesel. Diesel engines are the heart of the HD market.

But GM says it’s not content to stop there. The 2011 Silverado and Sierra HD pickups feature all-new fully boxed frames and tougher suspensions and axles that give them headroom to up their work ratings as they gain confidence in the new platform and potentially make further structural or running gear revisions.

“There’s a lot of activity going on right now,” Luke said at the 2010 NTEA Work Truck Show. “It’s not difficult [to raise towing and payload]. The trucks are extremely capable, and we’re looking at a number of options. Any increase would probably come from both better confidence in the trucks and engineering changes. Whatever we do, we’ll be completely transparent.”

Could that happen in the next 12 months?

“That sounds reasonable,” Luke said.

What we’re not likely to see, though, is another giant increase in the horsepower and torque from the 6.6-liter Duramax V-8, says GM powertrain engineering manager Jim Minneker.

“We’ve stretched this rubber band pretty tight,” Minneker said. “It’s not going to happen in the short term.”

Even though 60 percent of the hardware for the 2011 Duramax diesel is new, the engine’s current architecture dates back to the 2001 GM Heavy Duty pickups.

Ford, however, appears to have plenty of performance headroom left in its clean sheet design 6.7-liter PSD V-8. We’re already hearing strong rumbles from sources that Ford is doing some planning of their own.


Is Ford coming to the party with updated power and torque figures now? Sounds like the Duramax is on the high end already, and the new Ford is just starting out with loads of room for upgrades.

A Duramax can make 500 with just tuning changes but the EGT's wouldn't be acceptable for heavy towing.

I knew that Chevy's chassis is underrated. Wow this gets me exited.

Break out the magic spring dust. Ford must have some lying around as well;)

It seems if this battle between Ford and GM with there HD trucks we can manage to see HD trucks within a few years with nearly 500bhp and 800+ lbs of torque.

If the GM's still have hydroformed frames and IFS, they should not be labeled outside the 1/2 ton class. Overpowered 1/2 ton?

Maybe GM should figure out how to keep their transfer cases from crapping out and making their customers wait 3 weeks for parts.

That would go a lot farther than stupid bragging rights.

"My truck has highest torque and towing but it's on week 3 at the shop!"

until GM gets rid of the IFS they will never compete with FORD & DODGE in the HD market......I don't care how much GM trucks can tow......Hey GM IFS belongs in half tons you MORONS

I'm not sure I understand your argument, Mitchell. Why would you not want a 3/4 ton truck to have hydroformed frame rails? This method of manufacturing is vastly stronger than a stamped c-channel frame. Also, some of the heaviest duty vehicles on the road have IFS...

Let me say this one last time, if you don't want a GM truck or a independent front suspension than don't buy one. is that so hard? I think alot of these morons bashing GM are just looking for something to nitpick about. If you like a ford or a dodge fine buy one. But there are plenty of happy GM owners who love the independent front suspension.

So anyone who says you can't have a IFS suspension on a heavy duty truck is a moron. If you don't think it will do the job buy something else. This is America and your free to buy the brand or truck of your choice. Leave the people that love GM and the IFS suspension alone and stop the bashing of GM'S trucks because you don't like it.

If you think that your brand of truck is superior than be happy and buy what you want. But don't be petty and try and bash GM or other people's choices.

Personally I love the fierce competition, it makes all involved build a better truck! I think it's funny to read all the brand loyalty comments, hell drive what you like, I don't think you can go wrong with either truck!

all three make great trucks that can pull close to or over the limit of needing a cdl. i think the one with the most bragging rights should be the one that can get an average guy into a decent trim level truck with a diesel and still be able to afford to use it. you can buy a nice house with 5 acres in my area for what they want for one of these trucks with some options on it.

I love all this GM bashing, because BOB hates it and he gets his panties all tied up. Keep it up you guys, the harder you bash the more mad BOB gets. GM SUCKS, FORD RULES!!!

Am I the only one who finds this leap frog game a bit insulting? Why not introduce the best truck you can build regardless the competition?

Rushing to increase horsepower, or capacity just for bragging rights reveals a true lack of respect for your customers in my opinion. As a Ford guy, I want Ford to build the best truck they can build based on the expertise and technology they have on hand rather than some trivial seeded need to throw it in the face of GM or Dodge. I'd demand the same from the other manufacturers as well.

Holding back on building the best truck you can build seems both petty and insulting to me.

Can't wait for the standardized towing and payload regulatioins to take effect. That is the only way to to see true apples to apples comparison's of each trucks capabilities. The way it is now, is nothing short of a numbers game.

The problem, Michael, is that there always needs to be balance between product and price. They could build a destructively amazing truck, but it would end up costing way more than anything else out there......and who wants to pay $100,000 for a 3/4 ton truck when you can buy a reasonably made 3/4 ton truck from the competition for $50,000?

Manufacturers look to other manufacturers for a baseline. They try to build a slightly better truck at a similar or better price. This leads to each one trying to out-do the other with each successive generation.

The IFS argument is getting old. It's a matter of personal opinion and I think it's great. Now what Furd needs to do is get rid of the butt-ugly design on the new super doodies. You must REALLY be trying to compensate for something with one of those...

it just a pickup war race.... dodge puts out huge numbers that best chevy and ford. then ford puts out bigger than chevy and dodge. then chevy puts out bigger than ford or dodge.... i guess the audience is never happy or grateful huh?

Certainly seems that way. And it seems that people just want numbers for bragging rights. Nobody is saying "I need to tow 25,000lb but the Ford only offers it up to 24,000." Or, I think my 390HP is going to be inadequate for my needs, Chevy has 397, if Ford had 398 that would help pull my jetski better." It's just all about numbers for bragging rights. Any of these trucks could rearrange the solar system. They're all comfortable, and reasonably priced. That's why it bugged me that people want the Mahindra to be available in the US.

Question, it's great that each brags who "gives you the most" but wonder how many folks really use their trucks to the MAX? For me it's the nice ride & everyday features that count as well as reliability. I only tow on occasion. Just wondering your thoughts.


thats why tow ratings mean nothing ! at the most 5% of people who buy these trucks use them at full capacity.. Thats why i like how PUTC does its diesel shoot-out, they perform real world towing tests.. that tells you alot more then max towing...

I would like to know what make IFS crap? It gives a much better ride on the highway than SFA, and ONLY in rock crawling SFA rules. MAYBE, ford and dodge should go IFS, or maybe they are just to cheap to upgrade to a better design.

Why doesn't the Tahoe have IRS? The Expedition has. The Super Duty is a real truck, so it has solid axles. Look just because The Chevy half ton and HD's are almost the same thing, doesn't mean it has to be that way with Ford.

Dont forget ifs is also garbage when it comes to alignment, I like to lift my trucks just a little, and a gm cannot hold up to bigger tires. All my friends that have them get hardly any mileage out of them, and are constantly replacing ball joints, and cv's. just garbage. I could kick the front end on their trucks and some thing would break.

The IFS argument is getting retarded here. A well designed IFS is always better than SFA (look at military humvees and champ trucks). Formally, yes Chevy IFS has been a little weak (ive worn mine out driving on logging roads up in Norcal day after day), but this new desing is looking very solid. They even offer the SAME FGVWR as ford and higher than Dodge; and its rides way better. Thats a plus in my book.

I posted it before, but I'll post here as well. If solid axles are so awesome, why weren't they designed into an M1A2 Abrams Main Battle Tank? Those tanks use all-indepent, all-torsion beam suspensions to drive them. One of those tanks weigh 60 tons. That's more weight than you'll ever see a 3/4 or 1 ton vehicle carry. Axle and independent suspensions have their pro's and cons to each. Pros about axles are articulation, awesome for rock climbing. Con is that you have more unsprung mass, and the pumpkin hangs low with the tires at all times. Independent is great if you don't need the articulation, and if you're only going to absorb many smaller bumps in rapid succession. That's why Baja trucks are all independent. There are far more arguments of solid axle versus independent front, but there's not time or patience to put all that on here.

New ford diesel has way too much crap to go wrong, dual water pumps, Urea tank and pump, wait before you purchase a maintenance nightmare.

Why doesn't GM put an independent rear suspension on the Heavy Duty pickups then? Oh let me guess. It's only tougher than solid on the front axle. Solid is best for the rear? Just like a smaller bed is better than a bigger bed because using a tailgate step is over the top.

Thats you're argument, Really? Good one. I tell ya some people just have things in their head and once its in there it can't be changed. Even when they've been given good facts and examples they just get defensive and the sh*t starts flyin. Typical Furd guys talkin, no wonder why its nick named the Furd; its not the trucks, well not only the trucks.

So you haven't got an answer do you Greg? I can understand logic getting you angry.

If you bring some facts instead of opinion to the table i will listen. To answer your question, its expensive and really not necessary to do so. There is no argument that an IRS would not be able the hold the weight, we've given you a lot of military vehicles that run all independant and outweight anything any of us will ever town behind our trucks.

Yeah I have known about these military vehicles for quite some time. But aren't the military vehicles, aren't the vehicles used specifically to tow other vehicles all fitted with solid axles? (The military gets enough money to buy vehicles that are dedicated to a specific purpose). Towing and hauling are the primary job of a pickup truck. I don't see the argument that because the military has some vehicles (which are not primarily used for towing) fitted with independent axles that it validates Chevy's front axle. It's like saying my wife's Sonata can do what a Humvee can because it has 4 wheels and fully independent suspension too. I'm yet to see evidence that the front end of a Silverado is tougher than the front end of a Super Duty or Ram HD. If GM is so convinced Independent is better than solid, then go fully independent!

All I can say is Ford better be careful and see if the 6.7L turns out to be reliable first. I remember how much testing went into the 6.0L Powerstroke before the first one went on sale. Ford has an awful lot of new unproven technology in that engine. Composite intake manifolds, CGI block that in places is scary thin, dual cooling systems. We will have to see, no way of telling until they have been on the road a couple of years.

Payload chev gotta beat is 6300. hace ive hauled that in my 95.

Numbers are just number and they don't mean much. All three trucks are fully capable of hauling that or more, as long as the operator can di it right and safely. Thats getting to be a big issue; theres a lot of idiots that don't know how to haul/tow that are being turned loose this these awsome machines. I think the big three should just get it over with and make these trucks so capable that you have to have a CDL to tow with them. If everyone had to do CDL training, or at least a pickup certification version of it, it would do a tremendous amount of good. I know personally that when you become CDL trained, it open your eye to how many idiots are out there.

for all the ford lovers out there, guess what? SFA doesnt make a truck a truck. Hell, there are 10-15k rated bread delivery trucks that use GM frames complete with IFS. Yes, they do have much less power than the current GM HD trucks, but still they do move a lot of weight and run a lot of miles over the years Even the M1A1 tank uses a torsion bars and it weights 65 tons or so!! The original,, military HMVEE uses a very heavy duty IFS If its good enough for the US Military to take into battle, it should be good enough to tow your boat down to the lake a few times a year

doesnt a BOF, torque and a bed make a pickup? haha, i have a contractor grade western on my 2008 2500 hd, not one problem with it, doesnt ssag or anything. all of you need to grow up, because im assuming your all teenagers with nothing better to do than argue over somthing as stupid 2 proven suspension systems

this is my personal experience..

1994 chevrolet cheyenne k2500

this trucks sits so low because of the dumb IFS!!

for offroad hauling or towing they suck!!

the torsion bars are sagging al'ready!!

one of the worst rigs and not so good for snowplow!!

only good thing about it was the 350 and the NVG4500.

Comparing military vehicles to HD trucks doesn't make any sense. Military vehicles are designed to run off road. Battles can't always take place on paved roads. When you need to get out of a dangerous situation the faster you can do it the better. There fore the need for indepedent suspension. Do you think a dogde or ford 1 ton 4x4 could keep up with a HUMVEE in an off road contest? Not likely. How well do you think that HUMVEE could could tow 16k lbs on the freeway? Each vehicle is designed for a specific purpose and each vehicle does its intended job well.
As far SFA or IFS being superior in HD pick ups. In my experience neither set up is very reliable. We see lots of worn out front ends from the Detriot 3. I spent the last 2 months driving 1/2 to school and back every day in my brother in law's 2500 chevy with a 6.0l. That thing rides no smoother than our Dodge 2500 diesel parts truck. And neither ride that bad in my opinion.

I'm driving a stock '07 GMC 2500 right now. The IFS sucks, but mostly because it cannot handle the long term abuse that a SFA "typically" can. I'll fully support the new IFS if it is as over-built as it sounds....having different options are good.

But I think you guys are missing the real real story here...Mr. Jim Minneke admits the Duramax is basically "maxed". I sure hope the new truck's awesome capabilities are not handicapped by a unreliable maxed Dmax.

I dont care what you guys say about IFS.......GM trucks are not HD's with IFS point blank.........Ford will always out sell GM in the 3/4 & 1 ton trucks......If IFS is so GREAT why didnt GM put them in the 4wd 4500 & 5500 top kick these trucks are HD's not the 2500 & 3500 and dont tell me that crap the 4500/5500 are medium duty trucks because the Ford 450/550 are still the same body style as the F 250/350 it's just the the 450/550 has more GVWR & lower gear ratio......

I'm convinced that there is no since in arguing the IFS vs SFA situation anymore. It's just one more thing Ford guys have to nit-pick at. I've yet to ever see a 1 ton truck that was struggling in the front end dept. from any brand. Chevy has completely redesigned the entire front end to be stronger and more durable. To say you wouldn't trust a Chevy for the IFS is simply crazy.

Chevyvan, everyone has their own opinion on what makes a truck a truck. Some people say it has to have solid axles. Some people say it has to have a diesel. Some say it has to have a stick shift.
The M1A1 may have independent suspension, but the TRUCK that carries it has solid axles!

ok enough with the retarded comments.

Solid axle suspensions are inexpensive to make.

Independent suspensions are more complex and thus more expensive to produce.

If both were designed with the same weight carrying metrics, the Independent suspension design would have a better ride, period.

Putting an IRS in a HD truck is wasteful on a cost basis, UNLESS comfort is more important than price. The military vehicles have IRS because NOT having it would be soldiers would be fatigued from driving it or being passengers in it, from the brutal ride quality in certain environments.

It all depends on what you call "Better" is better = price? Is better = duribility, on road performance, off road performance? What?

The false issue with IRS that one could suggest something like:
"IRS can not carry weight because all the *** I've seen with something in the bed look like they are sagging"

You don't get something for free kids. The IRS in that case was optimized for better comfort. If you built it to not sag, it wouldn t sag. It would just ride as rough as the solid axle version, and probably have MORE weight capacity and cost x3 as much as the solid axle version.

@Greg... I agree right on with your CDL comment. I have my Class A CDL and drive straight 6, 10, and 18 wheelers for a living. You would not believe the idiots I have to put up with who think a big loaded truck can stop on a dime. You would also not believe (okay maybe you can) the amount of times I see a improperly loaded truck or a truck that is clearly overloaded or does not have the weight distribution set right and the frame is riding on the axle, not safe at all. I will offer you all a point of advice. For those of you who purchase these new trucks, mainly the dualies, and plan on doing heavy towing with them you better start planning on making stops at the weigh scales just like the big trucks do. I have already heard of some stories where fully loaded dualies have been chased down by DOT and either giving the option of going through the scales or get a ticket by the DOT. Just because you are not doing commercial work with the trucks (such as a business would be) you are still subject to the rules of the DOT.

Oh and in case if you are wondering... If you get caught driving a truck that is over the CDL weight limit and you do not have a CDL expect a nice big fine and to be sitting for a nice long time. Also if you have and sons or daughters who are under 21 pulling over the CDL weight limit with one of these trucks they better not be pulling past the state line, doesn't matter if they have a CDL or not. Under 21 not allowed out of your home state. But this would be for only a heavy loaded truck that is over the CDL weight limit which is 26.001 lbs I believe.

Awesome!!! Competition is great!! I hope Ford, GM, and Dodge (Chrysler) keep playing the "one up" game!

This just means better and better trucks for us to drive :)!!

I think all 3 makers of HD trucks are doing a lot better now than just a few years ago. Ford has a lot to prove with this new motor. If it works than they will be the undisputed king in the HD market... if it fails then its all for GM's taking. Key point here is the Dmax is basically maxed out... so only a new motor will help GM out in the future which means they have reached just about as far as they can with the current motor. Ford on the other hand has a lot more wiggle room to upgrade and tweak their motor from what I have read. In fact I would say they could easily go over 400hp and 800tq if they so choose to do so, but I think they were going for MPG and reliability more than anything else. Did anyone see where they got over 30mpg with it today? Thats going to be a HUGE selling point even if the avg person gets 25mpg... The Dmax is a proven motor, even if it has been redesigned. Fords motor has a lot to prove. With GM's new frame it don't make no sense why they have such low tow numbers. And because Ford still uses open C channel frames on their pickups doesn't make it any less capable but I would feel more comfortable with the GM going off road. If you ever crawl under one and look at it even though its open C Channel in the rear its freaking thick and stiff! I have nothing against the GM/Chevy PU and wish them all the luck in the world. As I said before, competition spurs innovation! I do prefer Fords though. I was hooked when I pulled a fully loaded 18 wheeler out of a ditch one night with my SD. The truck driver could not believe it did it...

I don't see what the problem guys have with IFS. My brother used to be a Ford guy. The comany he works for bought a fleet of Dodges. He hated them until he drove one for a year or two. He decided he liked them. His company bought a fleet of GM's and he hated them as well. He complained about low frames, IFS blah, blah, blah. He's had one for 1 1/2 years and now thinks it's an okay truck.
I get the impression that the biggest problem with the GM front end is that the torsion arms don't have the same wieght capacity as a "conventional" truck. It looks like GM fixed that problem.
The whole one upmanship game going on is good for the consumer but who really needs a truck that pulls 24,000 lbs ?
Most of the HD pickups I see could easily be replaced by a 1/2 ton. THe owners would never miss the loss of capacity.

Buy the BRAND you like. Stick with it! And don't bother with what the other guy (or girl) has unless his (or hers) is BIGGER than yours!

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