Silverado has no trouble hauling the mail.

Proving that outright torque numbers aren’t necessarily the ticket to towing supremacy, Chevrolet has announced their new 2020 Silverado HD will be able to haul a maximum of 35,500 pounds. Alert readers will note this is 400lbs more than the freshly renewed Ram HD and a massive 52% increase in towing capability from the old truck.

Before diving in, let’s compare the trio of new HD trucks from the Detroit Three. We’ll update this chart when Ford spills the beans on their new power ratings.

As expected, this latest salvo in the never-ending numbers war is achieved in a Silverado equipped with the 6.6L turbo-diesel mill. This Duramax V8 makes 445 horsepower and 910lb.-ft of torque, very impressive numbers but stopping short of the 1000lb.-ft in Ram’s new HD. According to Chevy, however, the bottom line torque number isn’t the only factor in determining a towing and hauling champ.

2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD LTZ

“We set out to make the best HD trucks on the market, bar none,” said Jaclyn McQuaid, chief engineer, Silverado HD. “We increased towing capabilities across the line, not just for dually buyers. We added class-leading towing technologies, such as 15 available camera views, to make trailering more convenient, whether pulling a large cargo trailer or fifth-wheel camper. And we made a host of changes to make tasks easier.”

Breaking it down, payload maxes out at 7466 pounds on certain gas-powered regular cab versions of the 3500HD, while the magic 35,500lb towing number is for fifth-wheel towing in the same truck but with the diesel. Conventional towing is capped at 20,000lbs.

2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD High Country

2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD High Country


In terms of more common versions of the truck, a gas-powered 2500HD Crew Cab features a max payload rating of 3879lb and a top towing capacity of 18,500lb (fifth wheel). A single rear-wheel 3500HD Double Cab Duramax can haul 21,500lbs on the gooseneck with a payload just south of 4200lbs.

The 2020 Silverado HD increases towing capability across the lineup compared to the 2019 model year. This greater capability is driven by chassis and suspension enhancements and new propulsion combinations that are said to offer performance and durability, particularly when towing. An enhanced version of the Silverado HD’s ladder-frame design, with boxed rails that improve strength and contribute to a smooth ride, is the foundation for the new 2020 truck. It is a heavier-duty frame compared to the current model, designed to handle the truck’s higher loads. Think of a weightlifter who never skips leg day and you get the picture.

2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD LT

This newly-fortified frame allows for a new Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR), which is the combined maximum mass of the pickup and trailer, to now sit at a towering 43,500 pounds.

To handle the increased towing capability, the upgraded driveline includes larger and more robust axles, a standard 11.5-inch ring gear on 2500HD models, and a mahoosive 12-inch ring gear on 3500HD diesel models. Prop shaft are 30-percent larger on the round, providing greater strength with the high torque output of either the 6.6L gas engine or the Duramax diesel.

The 2020 Chevy Silverado HD will be offered in five trim levels ranging from Work Truck and on through to Custom, LT, and LTZ, before topping out with High Country. GM is mum on pricing but says these beasts will go on sale in late summer of 2019.