The 2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD is the strongest pickup in America...for now

The king is dead. Long live the king. But for how long?

Less than a month after Ram claimed the pickup towing crown with its new line of heavy duty trucks, which have a maximum tow rating of 35,100 pounds, Chevrolet has usurped the throne with its all-new 2020 Silverado HD.


The Silverado 3500 will be able to pull up to 35,500 pounds when it goes on sale later this year. That’s for a regular cab, rear-wheel-drive dually powered by a 6.6-liter turbodiesel V8 with a gooseneck hitch receiver.

The news came as a bit of a surprise because the Silverado’s engine is rated at 910 lb-ft of torque just like the outgoing model, while the Ram’s 6.7-liter straight-six cranks out a record-setting 1,000 lb-ft.


But there’s a lot more to towing than just torque.

Trucks are rated on a combination of factors that includes structural strength, acceleration, braking, handling and the ability to climb a grade without overheating while towing a target load.

Chevy chalks up the Silverado’s increased strength to a beefed-up chassis and powertrain that includes a 10-speed Allison-brand transmission, plus improved cooling for the engine courtesy of a new front end design with lots of air intakes and a massive 28-inch radiator fan.


Along with the diesel, the Silverado 2500 and 3500 are available with a new 6.6-liter gasoline V8 rated at 401 hp and 464 lb-ft of torque. Both models get the same cabin that was introduced on the 2019 Silverado 1500, but the only bodywork they share is the roof.


The Silverado HD also has plenty of new features, including a side step for bed access that can support 500 pounds and a 360-degree camera system with 15 views that can make a trailer virtually transparent by depicting what’s behind it in a composite picture.

As far as how long the Silverado HD will stay on the top of the towing heap is concerned, the answer could be coming soon. The updated 2020 Ford F-Series Super Duty was also revealed this week and Ford says it will have a higher tow rating than the outgoing model’s 34,000 pounds, but is waiting a little longer before it says exactly what it is. FORD F-SERIES SUPER DUTY DEBUTS WITH NEW 'GODZILA' 7.3-LITER V8