Size Does Matter: The Chevrolet Silverado/Sierra
The Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra trucks have been essentially the same for their entire history. The Silverado today is generally advertised as the “standard” version and is more aimed for use in agriculture, while the Sierra is aimed for industrial workers but can be ordered as a well equipped luxury truck. There are some trim and option variations as well. Early models included variations in the engine and equipment, but the present differences are slight. The 1999 redesign included different grilles and interior trim, and certain features (e.g. Quadrasteer) were included at different times on the two trucks.
The GMT800 Silverado/Sierra 1500 (light pickup trucks) were released in 1998 as 1999 models. The “classic” light-duty GMT400 C/K trucks were continued in production for that first year alongside the new models, and the Heavy-Duty GMT400 pickups (alongside the GMT400 SUVs) were continued through 2000, with the new GMT800 Silverado/Sierra HD (Heavy Duty) introduced in 2001.
The HD variant is a heavy-duty light truck. It is a strengthened version of the Silverado/Sierra light-duty, and is available in the 1500HD, 2500HD, and 3500 models. The 1500HD, introduced in 2001, offers a Vortec 6000 V8 with 300 hp (224 kW) at 5200 rpm and 360 lb·ft (488 N·m) of torque at 4000 rpm with a Hydra-Matic 4L80E four-speed automatic transmission. The 2500HD also offers an available Duramax V8 with 300 hp (224 kW) at 3100 rpm and 520 lb·ft (705 N·m) of torque at 1800 rpm. Also available is the Vortec 8100 V8 with 340 hp (254 kW) at 4200 rpm and 455 lb·ft (617 N·m) of torque at 3200 rpm.
The 2500HD has an available five-speed (six-speed for 2006-2007 models) Allison 1000 transmission. The Silverado 3500 offers the same engine/transmission features that the 2500HD does, however it is usually equipped with “dually” twin wheels at the rear and has a stronger suspension. The HD models are primarily used for towing and high-weight cargo.
Towing capacity for the 1500HD is rated at 10,300 pounds (4,700 kg), and can haul 3,129 pounds (1,419 kg) in the bed. The 2500HD ups these ratings to 16,300 pounds (7,400 kg) with the 8.1 liter engine or 10,600 pounds (4,800 kg) with the 6.0 liter engine, and 4,058 pounds (1,841 kg), while the 3500 can tow 16,700 pounds (7,600 kg) and haul 5,511 pounds (2,500 kg). The addition of 4 wheel drive tends to reduce the towing and carrying capacity by 200 to 400 lb (181 kg), depending upon year and model. Other factors, such as options, can also affect these numbers.
|PRODUCTION||1998 – Current|
|ENGINE||Vortec 4300 (4.3 L) V6 Vortec 4800 (4.8 L) V8 Vortec 5300 (5.3 L) V8 Vortec 6000 (6.0 L) V8|
|DESCRIPTION||The GMT800 Silverado/Sierra 1500 (light pickup trucks) were released in 1998 as 1999 models. The “classic” light-duty GMT400 C/K trucks were continued in production for that first year alongside the new models, and the Heavy-Duty GMT400 pickups (alongside the GMT400 SUVs) were continued through 2000, with the new GMT800 Silverado/Sierra HD (Heavy Duty) introduced in 2001.|