Chevy Silverado Heavy Duty Beats Competition in Manufacturer Testing

Chevy Silverado Heavy Duty Beats Competition in Latest Round of Manufacturer Testing

The rivalry and chest-beating among heavy-duty truck manufacturers continues as strong as ever. This time, Chevrolet is calling out both Ford and Ram by comparing three-quarter-ton and one-ton trucks in seven feats of strength in a series of “HD to HD” videos on Chevy’s website.

"We wanted to get away from spec-sheet comparisons and show how these trucks perform in the real world," said Rick Spina, global vehicle line executive for General Motors full-size trucks. "To do so, we engaged an independent company to test the Silverado HD with the [6.6-liter] Duramax [V-8] diesel and Allison transmission head-to-head with the competition, and record those tests for everyone to see."

The tests include acceleration comparisons at sea level and at 6,000 feet, highway-speed passing, brake fade and exhaust brake performance on a long downgrade, plus squat measurements under load and gauging frame stiffness during twist-ditch simulations. All the tests were conducted with cargo in the truck beds or heavy trailers or both simultaneously.

Most of the tests we’ve done ourselves, during the Heavy-Duty Shootout and last year’s Rumble in the Rockies. The real eye-opener is the twist ditch test (below). The Super Duty’s open c-channel frame shows a significant amount of torsional bending compared to the Silverado’s fully-boxed chassis.

To ensure none of the testing was rigged in the Silverado’s favor, the Chevy team hired AMCI to manage all of the testing. AMCI has been used as an independent neutral party to validate multiple manufacturers’ claims for over 30 years. Ram recently used AMCI to test its 4500 and 5500 chassis cab trucks to verify bragging rights for best-in-class braking and cost of ownership.

The only things we can critique about this round of testing are that it didn’t include fuel economy -- which Ford claims the Super Duty is best in class for diesel mileage -- and the new High Output version of the Ram 3500 isn’t used (it’s not on sale until June).

We’ll fix both of those issues this summer. Until then, take a look at the videos:


Zero to 60 MPH Acceleration

Acceleration at Altitude

Bumper Sag

Passing Ability

Wheel Brake Fade

Exhaust Brake Test


Frank What makes me a troll?

Frank, What makes me a troll?


lol, AMCI really is an advertising company, GM will become an as seen on TV product, great job, we'll see how they hold up in the real world,

Frank, you can't handle the truth or these test results because your ford trucks lose! Nice results on the twist ditch test frank. GM wins and ford loses. Some things never change eh Frank?

Have fun with your 2nd place truck Frank.

I know Howie is not the best advertisement guy, but at least GM does everything legit buy having a 3rd party do all the recordings. This test confirms that fords numbers on paper don't match in the real world, makes me wonder, what else don't match the real world numbers? payload? max towing?

I figured the test results would be the same as the RITR test, though I wasn't expecting to see the Ford do what it did in the twist ditch test.


Doesn't really matter, in the end people buy the best.

"And it also says it invites any automaker to try and recreate these tests. So what does GM do? Ask a third party to recreate these tests and do more tests, only to prove that GM is indeed the winner. Proving ford's test to be untrue. Good Job GM"

Sorry, Bob. Chevy did not recreate any of Ford's tests. I just reviwed all of Ford's tests and they still hold true for what was tested.

1) Fuel economy test. Ford was the winner. They retested when the new Chevys came out. Ford won again. Chevy did not do a fuel economy test. I wonder why? If Chevy would have gotten better fuel economy, they would have shown the results.

2) Power and Torque tests. These test was from a year ago before Chevy came out with a new truck. As you will remember Chevy was late coming ou with their new truck. Now Chevy's video uses the new truck and was faster. Congratulations, Chevy, you win the prize. But Ford's video is not untrue.

3) Trailer sway control test. Ford had better trailer sway control. I don't see a trailer sway test here from the Chevy videos.

4) 5th wheel hitch. Ford is still the only one to have it integrated from the factory.

5) Hill descent control. Class exclusive to Ford. No hill descent control on Chevy.

6) E-locker. Class exclusive to Ford. No e-locker on Chevy.

So that wraps it up. All Ford tests are true. Sure Chevy can come out with some of their own tests that show their strengths, but they did not recreate any of Ford tests. The main test was fuel economy, which is the #1 reason buyers switch brands and Chevy did not touch the subject.

All Ford tests...true.....see for yourself:

if you were to read all the info given to you, it would be true that ford does have the highest payload and towing rates they are from the F 450 though, the others don't make a pickup that heavy. all there ratings are with the F 450, that is why the Chevy 3500 has higher towing and payload, not to mention that the are around 200lbs. lighter.

Re: the numbers on paper and accuracy

There is more to it than just hp and torque. How about weight? RPM's? How the power is managed?

Chevy is lighter and manages their power in a way that makes them work harder, scream, whine, and go faster 0-60.

Ford trucks are heavier and they manage the hp and torque in a manner that is more composed.

From Ward's test:
"With the trailer attached, the Duramax feels (and sounds) like it needs to work harder than the Power Stroke to do the same job. Under heavy acceleration, the Duramax sounds downright shrill.

In one back-to-back test, the Duramax needs about 2,000 rpm to tow the trailer up a moderate grade. The Power Stroke in the Super Duty conquers the same grade at the same speed at about 1,300 rpm. The Ford engine feels like it is barely working at all."

Becasue a lighter, screaming Chevy truck is faster doesn't mean Ford's numbers are not accurate.


Exactly, that Chevy squeals like pig when you spank on the throttle. The Ford is mute.

@ Mark,
Ford tested 2010 Silverado VS 2011 Superduty
ford rolled out in March of last year as 2011, and Chevy in May of last year as 2011 (thats only 2 months difference) ford wanted to use that opportunity and made those videos, comparing 2011 Superduty to 2010 Silverado and 2010 Ram.
Ford does not have better sway control, none of 2010's models had them. So when 2011 Silverado showed up (2 months later) it did had a sway control and Hill assist with better power and torque. Now ford new that new Silverado was coming and to fool people, they made those tests (which were not apples to apples to apples as they stated).
Why won't they make more tests with 2011 models?

"it would be true that ford does have the highest payload and towing rates they are from the F 450 though, the others don't make a pickup that heavy. all there ratings are with the F 450, that is why the Chevy 3500 has higher towing and payload...."

Not true.

A Ford F-350 has a higher payload than a F-450.

Ford can use their F-350 to beat the max tow of the Chevy crewcab.

Chevy does have 63 lbs more payload in a crewcab. I will give them that.

Nice one, Chevy is what 200 pounds lighter....
Thats why in the Rockies test, PUTC had 4 guys in a Chevy and 3 guys in a ford to be fair. thats a lame excuse. makes me laugh.

You have to do the tests in advance and have to test what is available. You can't wait for everyone to come out with their trucks. Order banks opened in fall of 2010. That power test was a year old and not even on Ford's website anymore. Why are Chevy fans still whining about it?

More tests. Why won't Chevy do a fuel economy, durability or reliability test? Because they only want to show their strengths. If you think ANY manufacturer is going to show a test where they are not the winner, you are a moron.

In the HD shootout the Ford trucks were about 500 lbs heavier.

Mike, Did GM not supply the trucks for both these tests? Not saying PUTC rigged the RITR at all. Saying that these trucks were not purchased off the lot by a 3rd party. GM handled the acquisition. I would have preferred to see PUTC acquire the trucks from the get go. No cherry picking or manufacturer influence.


It is very easy to tweek a truck at the dealer. I have seen this many of times. Nothing new.

Hey Mike.L, when PUTC does their tests, please include the Ram in ALL tests. I am pretty sure that in some of the tests the Ram was excluded from (frame twist, exhaust braking, sag, brake fade) it would have out done the Silverado. It sure makes a person suspicious when it is left out of certain tests.

I can understand GM leaving out the Ram if it would have beat the Silverado in some tests - after all, they were paying for the commercial. However, I don't think the Ram (in current form of 350hp/650tq) could have or would have won ANY of the acceleration based testing. I think the Ram will do MUCH better in those kinds of tests once the 350/800 version of the Cummins is out.

And, BTW, even if the Ram doesn't "win" your next set of shootouts, I won't be calling your integrity into question. :)

So in your other words, if ford can't go head to head with 2011 models, they can just tackle the older models and get their title? This is one of the reasons that I don't drive a ford any more.

In the Rumble in the Rockies test, Mike Levine used trucks purchased from the dealer lot, but he did not buy them anonymously. GM set up the purchase. GM arranged the transport. Thus GM could have done some rigging if they wanted to. I'm saying did, but it is possible. When Consumer Reports does a test, they buy their vehicles anonymously from dealers. One reason they were so close in equipment/weight was because that was the condition Mike gave.

There was no 2011 Chevy available to go head to head with. It was a test from a year ago. It's not on their site anymore. Get over it. Ford has since provided trucks for multiple tests against the 2011 Chevy.

I second everyone on why can't GM show the RAM trucks beating them in the FRAME TWISTER and EXHAUST BRAKING. Thats just another example of "If you don't like the results change the rules" mentality that every manufacture goes by.

Can't wait to see Ford's answer to getting their butts completely whipped by GM!!!! I'm a FORD man and sure hope ford can pull their head out and build the superduty we all want to see them build.

Also, the Ram/Cummins combo is a strong platform that with a little bump in HP/TQ could dominate these tests. Notice GM doesn't make any claims about having a better history than Dodge and the Cummins. The Cummins is a proven engine that the Duramax could never compete with in longterm durability. My Dad's got over 700,000 miles on his 2004 cummins, I'd like to see a Duramax do that.

How many times are these ford fans going to insuate that the tests were not fair or impartail or that the trucks were not anything except stock condition??? The test that was run was 2011 model trucks, Chevy Silverado, Ford Super duty and Dodge Ram HD. shootout, Rumble in the Rockies, Motor Trends Truck of the Year, and now this test all had the same result! GM'S HD'S won period end of story and the results were independently varified!

Face it ford fans, you big bad ford that you all ass umed would beat the Chevy Silverado's Duramax with Fords new power and torque figures got it's a double s handed to it by the Duramax!

Now eat a nice big cup of humble pie and repeat after me,
the Ford Powerstroke was beaten by the Chevy Silverado Duramax and all the tests prove it to be true! There, feel better now????

Hay s for brains djd, They did run the Ram in this test and it wasn't even competitive you nink cum poop. Now when Dodge has the super duper super duper high out put cummins available, we can run theses tests again.

Ford is the brand that brags about horsepower, torque, towing capacity, payload capacity, best fuel economy, etc, etc etc and that is why GM wanted to show real world results prove otherwise. I am also looking for another rumble in the rockies test with the upgraded cummins. Won't matter though, the Duramax Diesel and Allison transmission will defeat all it's competitors. Nostradamus predicted it!

I noticed a few notable items throughout this video series.
First, in the "Acceleration at Altitude", all three trucks tested were one-ton duallies (unlike the SRW's used for the sea level test). However, when the results were shown on the screen at the end, the chart showed 3/4 ton results. Even if these were the true numbers, the oversight of a marketing department the size of GM's leads me to question the validity of some of these results.

Secondly, in "Passing Ability" around 45 seconds into the video, the AMCI tester verbally describes the 30 to 55 mile per hour test of the 3/4 ton trucks pulling a 9750 pound trailer. He goes on to say the Chevy won by a "significant" margin. Why was this test not shown? They put up plenty of videos, so time was not the issue. And, the significant distance was 1020 feet vs Ford's 1174 feet. 154 feet is nothing compared to the 1712-1866 feet the Ford and Chevy beat the Ram by.

Thirdly, in "Wheel Brake Fade", during almost every single run, the Ford accelerated faster and stayed in front of the Chevy. How come this was not shown as an acceleration test? GM was so focused on proving their braking ability that they overlooked a "real world scenario" in which the Ford was faster.

Fourthly, in regards to "Exhaust Brake Test": While it is well known that the Ford's exhaust brake is lagging when compared to the competition, I have some doubt as to whether they engaged it properly. Even though Ford claims the EB to be completely integrated with tow/haul mode, I believe that there is a process involving tapping the brakes first at the speed that is desired. It is quite possible (since the video never clarified) that the two trucks were brought to fifty miles per hour and then just let to run down the hill themselves. This is where the EB button is beneficial for the Chevy.

Although these tests were very well presented (AMCI), the credibility of all of them would be greatly increased if more detail was shown to the viewer. Yes, these are advertisements, but the level of detail was lacking. I don't know if this was to hide anything or just a imple marketing demographic decision. For example, the axle ratios of the trucks were never shown, and anyone who knows anything about trucks is aware this plays a major factor in acceleration, towing, and fuel economy (why wasn't this tested?).

Anyway, thanks for listening. Not trying to bash GM, but there were many things in these tests that bothered me (the aforementioned lack of detail, selectivity of tests shown, inconsisticies in trucks used [3/4 tons for some tests, 1 ton for others] and especially that guy Howie.

The No. 1 unmet need for full-size pickup truck owners has been fuel economy.

Chevy is MIA on fuel economy in these videos.

2) All of the big trucks use an open frame. Why doesn't Chevy explain how a frame that has some flex is actually a good thing for a Heavy Duty from a weight to strength perspective?  Without some flex you end up with a far greater chance of metal fatigue among many other things.

It's pathetic that so many posters on here don't actually read the information about the test and/or previous tests to get the information before they make stupid claims about what or wasn't done.

Rigging the tests?? You read it on the internet and bring it up here? Are some of you really this stupid?

I've been a big fan of the SD's for a long time but GM has finally beat them. It's good for competition. Lets' get over it already.

@Mike Levine, hat is off to you, your patience is inspiring. Keep doin what you're doin.

Our new Duramax arrives Monday, and next weekend we are going to haul 3 of us, our gear, and a Suzuki Samurai to KS to chase turkeys. I can't wait to see how the new Silverado rides and performs.

How does GM "beat" the SD? Fuel economy, dependability, reliability? Those are the top needs of Heavy Duty truck owners.

"It's pathetic that so many posters on here don't actually read the information about the test and/or previous tests to get the information before they make stupid claims about what or wasn't done.

Rigging the tests?? You read it on the internet and bring it up here? Are some of you really this stupid?

I've been a big fan of the SD's for a long time but GM has finally beat them. It's good for competition. Lets' get over it already."

Smartest thing anyone has said so far. Couldn't agree more

Fuel economy tests were not shown here but it has been proven over and over that GM'S Duramax is the fuel economy leader and YES beats fords powerstroke for fuel economy.'s own test proved this to be the case.

Dependablity, Well the Duramax is definitley been more reliable than the powerjoke. Only time will tell how reliable the new 6.7 liter is because it's all new.

so once again we have ford fans like Frankie trying anything he can to nullify the test results and change the subject. Ford fans are constantly trying to challege these test results because there favorite truck lost. Well I'm not going let them get away with this bs. GM won and ford finished behind GM. so let it be written, so let it be done!

I would add a fourth really important figure that is "capability"
1. fuel ecomony: This year ford finally is competitive with it's fuel economy, some tests show that ford has the best MPG so test show that Chevy has bast MPG = Both are good (Ram not so good)
2. Dependability
3. Reliability
Only time can give us a good answer to this 2 questions
as they say "powerstroke is a rookie". early Duramax's had their issues with injectors, 5.9 cummins was bullet prove.
I say the most trusted diesel engine today is Duramax and it confirms with it's mate Allison.
4. Capability: So far all tests show that Duramax is capable of moving any load faster, Duramax is capable of braking to complete stop sooner that requires less distance, Silverado has the strongest frame out there, and toughest suspension.
So capability goes to Silverado.
No wonder why it's Motor Trends Truck of the year.

Do some of you Ford guys even read your excuses? A slow 4 year old would be able to competitively argue against them. Get over it, Ford's SuperDuty is well behind GM's HDs this year.

Good for GM.

I would like to know why the Ram wasn't shown in all of the tests though. It does show a bit of cowardice on GMs part, if they left the tests out because it got outperformed.

Top 5 reasons for full-size truck buyers to switch brands are:
1) fuel economy
2) operating costs
3) durability (lasts a long time)
4) how far on a tank of gas
5) relliability (doesn't break down)

Hate to break it to you Chevy fans, but GM does not have Ford beat on any of those.

Ford F-series #1 truck for 34 years and counting.

See you in the sales thread. F-series sales up 25% in March!

The phrase "Ford and operating costs" is not the best way to describe a Frod advantage.

My SD experience has been great as far as reliability but O&M costs are ridiculous.

All heavy duty trucks have rediculous costs to operate. The question is are GM operating costs less than a Ford? No. Therefore they have not beat Ford. Durability and reliability tests from JD Powers show Ford is the best heavy duty truck.

They exclued the Ram is the torsional rigidity test. That's not really fair. They had all three trucks on hand.

I don't know why people feel personally threatened when one brand wins on a certain test over another. I feel the same way about other people gloating about "their" victory too. It's stupid. I wish I had the need for this kind of truck, because they are all awesome. What next Ford or Dodge comes out with a titanium boxed frame? I am looking forward to the tests on the EcoBoost.

Cant wait for the CUMMINS H.O for the Dodge Ram !!


Check this out:

Yup, the F150 Ecoboost owned the Cummins.

I can't believe how everyone is arguing about this. Simple fact is, every make has their strengths and weaknesses, and of course each manufacturer is going to play up the strengths. Ford has the highest raw numbers, but GM has a better power to weight ratio and a transmission that transfers that power more efficiently, hence the better results in these tests.

Ford brags about the best mileage, but the trucks compared for that test were a Ford with a 3.31 rear end, Chevy with 3.73, and Dodge with 3.42, that's not exactly an apples to apples comparison.

The bumper sag test looks bad, but I heard that crew cab F250s have one less leaf spring than other Super Duties for a softer ride because so many of these trucks are used as family vehicles.

I also realized that the twist test may have been influenced by Ford's longer wheelbase. I realize that some flex is essential, but you have to ask, does the Ford have too much, or does the Chevy have too little? I think it's a little of both.

I stopped watching when I saw howie long.
Seriously, save the GM infomercial for somewhere else.

Can someone post a link that shows what test the Ram won. Cannot find it on the web. And FYI anytime a vehicle is not included in a test is because it either performed similar or won the test. A manufacturer will not include a vehicle that makes their own vehicle look bad.

The frame test is a great visual but it won't happen often in real life or we'd be seeing a lot of used trucks with folded tailgates.

But, it does show the the torsional stiffness of the GM. Why is torsional stiffness only acceptable in an F150? Is the SD a wet noodle Tundra? It's too bad we could'nt see that same uneven road test Ford used for the 1/2 tons 3 years ago.

The reality is every truck produced can take pretty much anything anybody will lay on it in real life. They are all pretty good, I think.


I really enjoy reading your articles, and I do not believe that you are biased towards any manufacturers. I cannot wait until you flog these vehicles in the future looking for their weak points and exposing their strong points. Keep up the great reviews!!!

First of all, Bob and Frank enough now! you waste so much post space over your high school arguements. and where do you get? well nowhere!

To me, the only test that matters in these videos is the frame flex and have to say pretty cool coverage.

Im personally done buying GM vehicles because of the luck i've faced. But the part that bugs me is I don't bag drive my vehicles, and i still have sht for luck.

maybe i should buy a 2012 caddy hd ;)

I cant believe I just watched all those videos. What a waste of time. The only tests that Ram was in were the acceleration tests which it obviously was going to loose because they tested the low output Cummins. Maybe the HO Cummins would still have lost but we'll never know. Fair and unbiased testing means showing all the data whether it makes your brand look bad or not. You can hire all the 3rd party testers you like but the numbers can be skewed very easily even when using factory trucks. So the Ford squated more with a big load, does that make it less stable? They didn't say. As for the brake test. There is no way the GM had 0 brake fade. If read many brake tests in many magazines. The only vehicles that don't have break fade are typically sports cars and even many of them have fade to some degree. B!!!!S!!!!!.

I just prefer the truck built by people who refuse to take tax payer money to save their business.

Oh and SFA beats IFS, lol i'd take a dented tailgate over busted tie rods. Also did I see some drag racing in those tests? Why, WHY do people insist that the fastest truck is the best truck?

Big Rigs use c-channel frames to save weight btw, its not about rigged frames more likely to crack.
Ford probably didn't switch to a fully boxed frame due to the fact that they really didn't need too and that they dont get handed billions of dollars, they work for it.

The comments to this entry are closed.