I confess to not ever being a blue-collar type of guy. I learned this early in my youth when I spent a summer as a “masons’ helper” a job that entailed my mixing concrete by hand, and carrying many, many concrete blocks. After that long hot summer I vowed to avoid any type of career that involved copious amounts of sweat; and so far at least I’ve managed that quite well. The only real physical exertion I endure these days is carrying my empty Big Mac wrapper from the den to the trashcan in the kitchen.
Not being a blue-collar guy means I’ve never had occasion to even consider buying a pickup truck, much less one that is “heavy duty.” My lawn guy however is the quintessential blue-collar guy. His name is Henry (“Hank” as he prefers it, being the blue-collar guy he is). He does own a pickup; one he uses to haul his trailer full of lawn equipment around. After looking inside that trailer once by the way, I had no idea what most of it is used for, other than all sort of magical things to a suburban lawn.
Recently after he finished my ½ acre of lawn I went out to do the hardest part of my own lawn work: giving him his check.
He stood in the driveway staring at my most recent press vehicle. He wasn’t so much staring, as ogling it. Worshiping it as though it were some sort of sacred deity. I turned back towards my front door, knowing I’d have to get the key so he could take a closer look.
That’s because the press vehicle in my driveway was a 2021 Chevrolet Silverado HD 2500. And while to me it was just another big truck, to Henry, sorry “Hank,” it was a thing of beauty.
The 2021 Silverado can be had as a 2500 or 3500 with available dual rear wheels. There are gas or diesel V-8 engines with the largest beds in the class or in regular, extended, or roomy crew cabs.
My tester for the week was the 2500 with the crew cab and standard bed. The Silverado 2500 is available in Work Truck, Custom, LT, LTZ, or High-Country trims. Mine was the LTZ trim and had the Z71 Off-Road package which adds 18-inch wheels, all-terrain tires, spray-in bedliner, upgraded suspension and underbody protection.
Under the hood the Silverado HD gets a standard gas-powered 6.6-liter V-8 that makes 401 horsepower and 464 lb-ft with a six-speed automatic. My tester had the optional Duramax diesel 6.6-liter V-8 carries over from the previous generation. It continues to make 445 horsepower and 910 lb-ft, but it gets an Allison 10-speed automatic. I had a few days with the 1500 a few weeks ago and the 2500 is indeed bigger, and the diesel is something that can only be had with the 2500 and 3500.
I was in for a bit of a nice surprise.
Yes, the inside is cavernous, as in you could lose your kids cavernous. But on the road, I was surprised not only at the smooth ride, but the pep the 2500 had in its step. You can’t lose sight of the fact that this is indeed a big truck, but on the road, and more importantly in parking lots, it didn’t feel like a big truck.
When I drove the 1500, it’s smaller size seemed to suit me better. But the 2500 was surprising in that it seemed to be just as easy to wheel around town. Yet, looking at the bed in the 2500 you could probably have enough room to plant an entire season’s corn crop; and best of all, with the diesel the 2500 can haul up to 36,000 pounds. And with the four-wheel drive and off-road package it could tow that load just about anywhere you need it to.
While I certainly don’t have any sort of desire to own a pickup truck, much less a big one, if I did the Silverado lineup would be top among those I’d consider. Hank on the other hand is a different story. Turns out he owns a Silverado, a 1500. An older model with many, many miles on it. When he climbed up into the 2500 in my driveway, he looked like a man possessed. He touched the dash like a teenage boy fondling a high school cheerleaders’ breast. He pointed out things I didn’t notice,” It’s got an engine brake!” he exclaimed breathlessly. I had no idea what that is, but it seemed important to Hank. “And it’s got the diesel!” I thought he would move in and take up residence inside.
So while I don’t have plans to buy a pickup truck anytime soon, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Hank pull up to my house one day soon hauling a bigger trailer with even more magical lawn equipment inside towed behind a Silverado 2500. When he does, I’ll make sure and run out shouting “” It’s got an engine brake!”
2024 UPDATE: Chevy sent me a 2024 model for a recent week. In the few years since my week with the 2021 version Chevy has made a few minor changes. For 2024 the Silverado HD got a styling refresh to the grille, headlamps, and front bumper. The interior gets a new 13.4-inch infotainment display and a 12.3-inch digital gauge display along with a redesigned center console with an integrated wireless smartphone charging pad. The diesel gets a bump to 470 horsepower and 975 pound-feet of torque, and the gasoline engine now comes with the same 10-speed automatic transmission that’s standard on the diesel truck. My most recent tester again had the Z71 off-road package with the upgraded suspension, skid plates, and hill descent control and 20-inch aluminum wheels. This all gave the 2024 model an MSRP of $73,935.
The 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 4WD LTZ
MSRP (as tested): $71,110
Engine: Duramax 6.6L V-8 Turbo-Diesel 445 hp @2800 rpms, 910 lb-ft. torque @160 rpms
Transmission: 10 speed Allison automatic
Fuel Mileage (EPA):
Base Curb Weight: 7721 pounds
Exterior Dimensions (inches)
Width, without mirrors: 81.85
Ground Clearance, Front: 10.12
Passenger / Seating Capacity 6
Front Head Room (inches): 43.03
Front Leg Room (inches): 44.53
Front Shoulder Room (inches): 66.02
Front Hip Room (inches): 61.18
Second Row Head Room (inches): 40.12
Second Row Leg Room (inches): 43.4
Second Row Shoulder Room (inches): 65.3
Second Row Hip Room (inches): 60.24
Cargo Bed Length (inches): 82.25
Cargo Bed Width at Floor (inches): 71.4
Cargo Bed Width Between Wheelhousings (inches) :51.85
Cargo Bed Height (inches): 21
Cargo Space/Area (cubic feet): 69.5
Maximum Towing Capacity (pounds): 18500
Maximum Trailer Weight, dead weight hitch (pounds): 5000
Maximum Tongue Weight, dead weight hitch (pounds): 500
Maximum Trailer Weight, weight distributing hitch (pounds): 14500
Maximum Tongue Weight, weight distributing hitch (pounds): 1450
Basic: 3 Years/36,000 Miles
Drivetrain: 5 Years/100,000 Miles
Corrosion: 3 Years/36,000 Miles Rust-Through 6 Years/100,000 Miles
Roadside Assistance: 5 Years/100,000 Miles
Maintenance: 2 Years/24,000 Miles
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