GM Increases Towing and Hauling Figures for 2011 Heavy Duty Trucks

GM Increases Towing and Hauling Figures for 2011 Heavy Duty Trucks

The battle royale among the titans of trucks continues. As expected, General Motors is upping the previously announced capability ratings of its new 2011 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra Heavy Duty pickups to reclaim several best-in-class towing and hauling figures from Ford's 2011 F-Series Super Duty lineup.

The two giants have been playing a fierce game of one-upmanship as each has slowly revealed the awesome capabilities of their 2011 HD pickups.

In a matchup of series versus series, GM says it now leads all HD segments in maximum conventional towing, with the one-ton Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra 3500 able to pull up to 17,000 pounds (up from 16,000 pounds) compared with the identical 16,000-pound max conventional towing rating for the one-ton Ford F-350 and one-and-a-half-ton Ford F-450. The Ram 3500HD is rated at 12,000 pounds.

GM's HD twins also claim series-best payload ratings across all segments. It's now able to haul up to 6,635 pounds (up from 6,335 pounds) compared with a maximum 6,520 pounds for the F-350 and 4,920 pounds for the F-450. The Ram 3500HD can carry up to 5,130 pounds.

Ford still holds onto the best overall fifth-wheel towing figure. The F-450 is rated to tow up to 24,400 pounds compared with a new maximum 21,700 pounds (up from 20,000 pounds) for the Silverado and Sierra 3500. Comparing apples-to-apples, the F-350 is only rated to tow up to 21,600 pounds.

Ford also retains the largest gross combined weight rating, at 33,000 pounds for the F-450. GM's one-ton 3500 trucks, however, are now rated at 29,200 pounds max GCWR vs. 29,100 for the F-350 and 25,400 for the Ram 3500 HD.

Heavy Duty Quick Comparison Chart

How has GM upped its work ratings after announcing lower numbers during the Silverado's reveal earlier this year at the Chicago Auto Show? It's all about improved confidence in the 2011 HD pickups, according to Rick Spina, GM's full-size truck vehicle line executive.

“Our focus has consistently been on delivering customers the most capable heavy-duty trucks in the market," Spina said. "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."

But it's not just extra testing and (ahem) magic spring dust that's giving GM its confidence boost. GM is also making further hardware changes underneath, in addition to the previously announced all-new fully boxed frame, updated suspension and bigger brakes. Stronger steel is being used in the cargo box cross sills that run transversely beneath the bed to handle greater payloads.

GM also continues to hold onto best-in-class power figures for its 6.6-liter Duramax V-8 diesel engine, which is rated at 397 horsepower and 765 pounds-feet of torque.

2011 Chevrolet Silverado HD

Production of the new 2011 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra HD pickups is expected to start May 25 at GM's plant in Flint, Mich, where regular and crew cab models are assembled.

Carl Hillenbrand, Chevrolet Silverado product manager, says it won't be too long afterward that the first trucks should arrive at dealers.

"We'll hold the first [2011] trucks for a three day inspection period after they come off the line," Hillenbrand told "If there's no issue, it's possible that nearby dealers may have trucks for sale by the end of May. That's the tentative plan right now."

We'll find out how the latest crop of HD pickups performs in the near future during our 2010 Heavy Duty Shootout in Michigan. And we'll wonder what Ford might be planning to do between now and then.


Mike look into the Ram's Figures also. It was recently reported at that the Ram's fifthwheel towing was increased to 22,000 lbs. I think an update of this story is needed.

@Controler: I dont think so. If anything, I may need to downrate the Ram based on the RamTrucks website.

The towing increase makes absolutely no difference when dealing with just a couple thousand pounds. Clearly GM is using it as a marketing tool and next model year Ford will up theirs higher and do the same. GM may see some more people choose their product due to their class leading towing numbers, but nothing significant to affect Ford. The 2011 Super Duty has been on lots for about 2 months now and I guarantee Ford has sold more in those 2 months then GM will sell the entire year. They are flying off the lots even with the sucky economy.

Currently, the Dodge Ram is transmission restricted - the Cummins I6 is capable of developing 900lb/ft of torque, maybe more, whilst the transmission can't take that power level. Dodge are developing a new HD transmission, based loosely on the A727 torqueflite.

Check out for the information.

The jealousy shown by ford girly men here is laughable. They can't stand to be beat by GM so they resort to bashing GM.

Face it ford girly men, your truck is only second best and the first LOSER!!!

so let it be written, so let it be done!!!

You need to have a CDL for anything over 26,001 lbs of weight. At this point both trucks are so damn close does it really matter? Most of these trucks will be used to go to the local Wally World than haul the kinda of stuff they were made for. Although it has been at least 2 or 3 years since I have been in a GM while towing I always liked the way a Ford towed more than any GM. Just my two cents... and with the newer technology like trailer sway control that Ford has I would feel way more confidant if I were to tow those heavy loads. No I'm not trying to burn GM here I'm glad they are finally starting to do something right for a change... but it will be just a matter of time before Ford ups them again.


GM has not learned from it's bankruptsy - Quote from TruckBlog "GM wants to finance more buyers with poor credit".


Would you mind being quiet. People are trying to have a civil conversation. Thanks!

Lou, let it go brother. It's not even worth it anymore.

if y have a choice to get a 450 ford or topkic to pull a trailer,y get topkic,use your head,if you serious to pull try to brake whit your 450 if something push your ass..or get anything is not a pickup to pull serious stuff..

Wye ford putt big number for towing and is always the last truck.. put ford and gm whit gm numbers and gm is better puller Wye ford put is number bigger if is as problem whit a smaller maybe or just stupid..

Well, numbers can say one thing ( and get everyone all pissed off at the world) , but trying the truck itself is different of course ! Come on guys, you can say what you want about all of the Chevy's or Ford's you have owned, and how good they may or may not have been, however no one will know for sure about these new trucks until they are put to the test ! I think theres a shootout coming up if i'm not mistaken... Just maybe attempt to keep quiet until then , I don't understand the bickering already when all of the new 11' trucks haven't been formally tested together. By the way Mike, if you read this, I hope you include an off road/traction control test just like the light duty test you did for the HD trucks ! Your video was awesome the last time, maybe next time around would be even cooler !

@Miath - GM doesn't make a TopKick or Kodiak. They shut down. It's ironic, they are now considering re-entering the medium truck business.
GM administration is still a mess.
I like the GM trucks but I don't trust the idiots in charge.

Looks good for GM, they sure have a good HD truck there. Funny thing with the towing numbers for the Dodge is that my 2010 3500 CTD CC 4WD SRW 4:10 axle is rated at 16,700 lbs not 12,000 pound max that is used on the chart. Not that numbers matter at all to me, it is all how the truck puts it to the ground and how it handles the big loads. I do love the stance on the GM Dually it looks super capable. I have a 2007 LMM DMAX and it hauls with ONLY (ha,ha) 365 hp and 665 torque. Can't wait to test out the higher powered Duramax, and i can't wait for an updated interior like the new Dodge Laramie ( the nicest interior of all now, including King Ranch which is overpriced). Anyone buying a new diesel now is sure to have a huge grin on his face when he hooks it up to a flatbed with a small escavator and pulls a hill like a champ, no matter which of the 3 he buys.

@ snowman
12000 is conventional towing. 16 700 is with a fifth wheel.

Oh I am sick of Bob's "let it be written, let it be done" crap. Shut up! Let it NOT be written! Don't you get sick of writing the same thing over again? I am sick of reading it! Grow up or get banned! Mike can we have a vote on Bob getting banned? I vote yes! :)

If the only reason you wanted a truck was for towing huge loads in a business, a big rig medium duty would be worth considering, but here is what Mike Levine had to say about the F-450 vs the medium duty. Basically, a big rig is good for towing but it doesn't do everything good. With both you make compromises but the F-450 is the way to go for most.

"Hammer the brake pedal with the truck pulling a massive 20,000 lb. fifth-wheel camper and it hums uneventfully to a stop in a normal-seeming distance. The truck’s brake pedal is long, as seems to happen with hydraulically boosted brakes on diesel trucks under heavy braking, but keep pressing and it keeps slowing the truck more. There was simply no indication of any activity from the trailer. It didn’t seem to push us onward, it didn’t wiggle, and it certainly didn’t smoke or flat-spot any of its tires. It just stopped.

The F-450’s precise steering is appreciated when pulling such a big trailer, making it easy to keep the rig in the center of the lane with no difficulty. On the open road without the trailer, the F-450 rides better than we have any reason to hope, its longer leaf springs working as advertised to soak up bumps without punishing the occupants. Broken pavement makes itself known, as should be expected, but in regular conditions an empty F-450 dually gives the driver no reason to wish for a payload.

The Super Duty F-450 still falls short of the tow rating of vehicles such as the Chevrolet Kodiak medium-duty truck with a pickup bed conversion performed by a an aftermarket company such as Monroe. The Ford would be easier to live with when unhitched, more comfortable and better-equipped with luxury features and at a lower price too. The massive commercial-duty rear axle and brakes, combined with the smart brake controller make the F-450 an impressive hauler. But if exorbitant towing capacity is the overriding issue, an almost-big rig like the Kodiak is the way to go."

GM doesn't make a TopKick or Kodiak. They shut down. It's ironic, they are now considering re-entering the medium truck business.
GM administration is still a mess.
I like the GM trucks but I don't trust the idiots in charge. - Lou



This is the key here:

"The Ford would be easier to live with when unhitched, more comfortable and better-equipped with luxury features and at a lower price too. The massive commercial-duty rear axle and brakes, combined with the smart brake controller make the F-450 an impressive hauler." - Mike Levine

@Alex - don't encourage him by saying it is annoying. That is why he does it.

@ Bob
@ bobby1971

AKA - the bobsie twins.

GMAC changed their name to Ally Financial Inc to distance themselves from the bailout fiasco.

GMC is following suit.
Ed Whitacre Jr states that the name change is a "Win Win" situation for everyone.
The new name is a public relations dream come true.

GMC will now be known as MOM.

Momma Obama Motors.

Ed Witacre went on to say:

We all love MOM

MOM is the greatest

No one would dream of being disresectful to MOM

Nothing is more American than Truth, Justice, Apple pie, and MOM

In a time of need, no-one would turn down their MOM

Make sure your support gets to MOM before April 15 of every year.

Love MOM

That would explain the Oedipus complex that the Bobsie twins have.

so let it be written, and let it be done.

2011 Rams will be rated at 22,000lbs.

man you guys have the worst arguments. does it really matter that ford is a so called "fleet queen" buisness is buisness and you cant argue with numbers. if they combine comerical and consumer numbers who cares. the only difference is color and quantity purchased at a single time. more trucks are rolling off of fords dealerships than gms !!! think about that "quagmire" you guys cant argue with that!! and also did anyone see the comparison did between the big three on their website. seems like a legitimate test to me, apples to apples to apples.

Lou- Read your posts, I have absolutely no problem with you saying you prefer something over a Chevy. It is, and will always be, your humble opinion. But when you come into a thread and completely disreguard the topic at hand and just lay out crap like you have been on this thread it really just makes you sound bitter, for whatever reason. So please, at least mention the topic at hand. Also, make sure you're informed before you post. GM wants to finance less credible buyer to become more competitive. Every other company finances the less credible, why shouldn't GM? There's no reason you should have to have a credit score in the mid 600's to buy a new vehicle. A house, yes, a car? No.

On topic. This is great news for GM. The more the truck can haul the more Ford and Dodge will answer and the longer the game will go on. Compared to just 5 years ago these new trucks are like something from space. Great job GM!

@mike levine have you heard any mpg numbers

GM trucks has trailer sway control for 2011 just like Ford for 2011. And with GM's new chassis, I would be more confident pulling with GM truck!

Ford fans, it's not too bad that your truck is #2, don't get depressed and kill your self now, I get the kick out of your jealous comments.

You try make it look like you don't have a favorite brand, but it's clearly Ford that you like, I never seen you provide negative things about Ford, they have alot you know? Also, I see you on every blog, where do you get all this time? do you not have anything else to do?

@bobsled80: Just what I included in the first look story from the Chicago Auto Show. I'll be driving the trucks the first week of June, with and without trailers, and will report back the mpg.

Blah, Blah, Blah....Ford is better than GM, GM is better than Ford. When it all comes down to it who really cares about weight ratings except for the DOT man.

Most of you that might drive a heavy duty truck will pull a lawn mower on a utility trailer on Saturdays. However, there are a few that will load up a trailer with whatever they need and go with it and give no thought to the weight capacity of the truck. Two questions are thought about for carrying a load - Can I get this up that hill down the road and can I stop this load on the other side of that hill.

As you continue to yell at each other for all further posts about GM, Dodge "Ram, or Ford, all of these trucks are out working their butts off getting the job done. And in reality that is all that matters, did my truck get the job done and the money in my pocket?

I have been a GM man all my life, but my work experience tells me that Ford builds the best "work" truck (get in it Monday morning and get out Friday afternoon and it gives you no complaints). GM trucks are great for hauling boats and campers, usually traveling a good distance with ride, power, and reliability being a necessity. But Dodge builds the farm truck. No better truck out there than a 4wd, manual Cummins for getting whatever job on the farm done.

Just my $0.02.

Obama is the President of GM, and Bob epitomizes who Chevy fans really are. That's what puts me off most about buying a Chevy, is I just don't want to blend in with that crowd. Look how they act!

@g-street - the bobsie twins made me do it;)
Like I've said before I don't see it as GM bashing but Bobsie bashing....
Sorry for getting sucked into their stupidity.

The (Dodge) Ram is currently limited by its transmission - the Cummins I6 can develop more than 900lb/ft of torque, but the five-speed won't take it. Chrysler is currently developing a new transmission with greater torque capacity. It's loosely based on the TorqueFlite 727, but will have at least six gears.

See for the information.


@ Lou,

While you're right no one listened, it's nice to see some objective comments like yours.

Well, when Dog the Bounty Hunter is used as a "class" expert and reason to buy a truck, I can't imagine a stranger thing. That lowbrow scuzbucket's endorsement of vehicles is as relevant as an fly's choice of dog poop to eat. In fact, if their group drives something, it would call some error of judgement into reason.

@Speedicus, the Dodge Cummins has a 6 speed auto, the Hemi has a 5.

@Zach J - Touché

Can someone tell me why adults argue like 5th graders of what is probably the best group of trucks that the auto industry has put ever? From Chevy to Toyota (despite their recall issues!) The modern truck has gotten stronger, tougher, and more economical. Yet People insist on crying. Why worry if GM, Ford, Ram, and everybody else are playing # games for marketing. A debate is one thing. But to go on and on about fleet queen this. And Obama Motors that. Or even Fiat owning Chrysler. If the Products are all good then guess what.... They are all good. I have already left one forum due to people that would rather argue opinions then debate facts. I would hate to leave this one for the same reason as it has the most current info on what is my favorite topic (just ask my wife she is beginning to hate trucks), which is trucks. So the fact that GM just upped the anti, Great that means that Ford and Ram will do the same!

@ G-Street, I agree on that part that if GM were to start providing financing to those with less than perfect credit would make them more competitive. I'll safely admit that I am one of the many Americans that has less than perfect credit, and I would love to drive a new pickup. But with not-so-great credit and/or no money to put down, it's impossible to drive something new and more fuel efficient. I think as long as a person has a steady monthly income, a person should be able to get auto financing.

to mention to all those GM HD lovers... Ford has always been conservitive with their horsepower and torque numbers on their diesels, the new in house built 6.7 powerstroke is a lot stronger than what Ford says it is, chalk it up to the 2 million plus miles of testing across the country... they def know what they are doing. fully boxed frame on the GM HD's, just means more weight, thats why Ford stopped that because their mileage numbers tanked, now only boxed in the front. but it is nice that a chevy can finally take the weight of a plow on the front end suspension, those things cried from that weight every time.

Hi Bob I though you had been kicked off of this blog??

"GM's powertrain warranty is 5 years or 100,000 miles. fords is 5/60,000 and that is 40,000 miles less!

I don't care what GM would come out with these ford men would try and tare it down. They can't handle the truth so like Obama, they lie, lie, lie, lie, lie and distort the truth.

GM is superior to ford and that is the TRUTH!"

Ford knows that when you already make the best trucks, you don't need to fluff up a solid truck by saying "we offer the best coverage in America"

Some one tell me why it is that the bobsie twins seem to always have to put the GM is the best crap. Ok I am a Chevy man when that is what you grow up with you get accustomed to that. now that i have gotten older I have drivin all makes of the big three and this is my conclusion they are all big they are all expensive and they all break down.

Go out on the road and see who has the most pickups out there, Ford has more than Dodge and Chevy combined. I dont know about sales numbers just what I see while driving. Drove 1800 miles through NM and TX this weekend, more Fords pulling trailers than either of the other two.

Hey fordguy,
135 lbs hauling and 1000 towing? Just enough to beat the Ford. What a joke. Here's an even better sound byte and an even BIGGER JOKE, "The ford f series pickup, the best selling pickup for the last 30+years??????????" You want to talk about jokes!!!!!!! Get real!!!!!!!!!

The ford f series pickup, the best selling pickup for the last 30+years


Thank you for reminding us. This fact is indisputable. Ask Lou.

@ Dave - your funny...... err?.. thanks for the endorsement.... I think???

@ Lou,
Once again the best selling truck is GM!!! You cannot deny this.

GM'S trucks are 3 year old designs and Ford has a brand new F-150 and soon will have a new Super Duty.

Now I suppose you are going to start bringing up government motors and all that bailout crap. Ford has been lying about best selling truck for years. Ford fans can't deny sales numbers no matter how they try to spin it.

@bobbie - another GM fanatic named Bob - where do you guys keep coming from. Dealing with you fanatics is like being a human in a Zombie movie but on acid.
Why don't you look at the sales statistics posted on this site.
Year to date:
Ford - total full size ========= 143,985
GM/Chev total full size(combined)=134,960

Now, if you want to include Avalanche,Caddy EXT, Colorado/Canyon - here is how those numbers play out-
(Taken from GM's website so you know they must be accurate)
Year to date:
Avalanche============ 5,550
Cadillac EXT===========929
Combined total=========16,072

Ford Ranger===========17,514

The lowly, ancient Ford Ranger outsold 4 GM models by 1442 units.

Therefore :

Grand Total (April-Year to date) :

FORD++++++++++++++++++ 161,499

GM/Chev/Cadillac----------------- 151,032

Ford OUTSOLD GM +++++++++ 10,469

In your exact words "Ford fans can't deny sales numbers no matter how they try to spin it."
Thank you for making that observation plain and clear for me.

You guys make it way too easy for me. It really and truly is pathetic.

Another momma's boy bites the dust.

Now is GM would offer a Class 4 and Class 5 truck for 2011 and a Class 6 and 7 for 2012 they would be back in business as a real truck manufacturer.

It seems that Ford traded their stake on the better frame and suspension to get the engine design on the Duramax...these motors and trucks are almost Identical. I would hate to say it but from a mechanical standpoint Ford can't really add much more to this motor...they had to add all the bells and whistles like GM just to make this motor as powerful as it is...any upgrade one does will be done to the other keeping them pretty much inline. So its your choice, If you like Ford buy Ford, If you like GM buy GMC or Chevy. They are the same freakin truck now.

American trucks ? Duramax is a Mitsibishi

The Duramax is at the end of it's limits whereas the Power Stroke is in it's infancy. G.M. (Isuzu) is going to have to do a major refresh of the current 6.6L or come out with the next evolution.


The Duramax is an Isuzu design NOT a Mitsubishi.

i am so glad this internet thing works and your article really helped me.

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