Heavy duty trucks are low-volume machines that, usually, don’t get much attention. But not this year. All three major manufacturers of big pickup trucks are making major improvements in their biggest, hardest-working, heavy-duty trucks. While not all the specs haven’t released, these towing and hauling monsters are getting the biggest upgrades they have seen in a long time.
What will we see in the new crop of Ram 2500 and 3500, the new Chevrolet Silverado HD, and Ford Super Duty trucks?
What is a heavy-duty truck?
The big numbers in these trucks, 2500 or even 3500, are payload numbers. In the 1980s as most truck owners wanted to haul more and the 1500 size became the most popular. Thus most trucks were named “1500” or “150.” That’s why the F-150 is the F-150, it could carry 1,500 pounds of payload.
Heavy duty trucks that have larger payload capacities have a 2500 or a 3500 in their name to denote that they can carry more. Today, the 2500 or 250 is heavy duty and can tow more than 35,000 pounds. The 350 or 3500 trucks can carry over 5,000 pounds. Payload and towing are tow different things, but you do need more payload capacity for a heavier trailer.
Ram trucks get a style makeover
Ram’s heavy-duty trucks, the 2500 and 3500, are getting a mild styling update with an available hood that mimics the monster TRX truck. The trucks are also getting new displays, a new digital rearview mirror. These big trucks are made for towing, so it makes sense that they are getting a technical-enhanced towing upgrade, too. The new truck will have a Trailer tow app (for the in-truck screen) with multiple views, as well as behind-trailer view and blind-spot view.
Ram engines should stay the same year. Ram should be proud of its 6.7-liter Cummins that makes 1,075 lb.-ft of torque, but Ford is saying that its new Power Stroke will get a boost over its 1,050 lb.-ft. With that engine, the Ram can tow up to 37,090 pounds.
Chevy HD gets new style, keeps the Duramax
While Ford’s and Ram’s new trucks will be here for the 2023 model year, Chevy is working to get its trucks ready for 2024. For 2023, the upgraded Allison 10-speed transmission is standard on all Silverado HD trucks. The new transmission allows the truck’s gross vehicle weight to increase by 2,000 pounds, from 24,000 to 26,000 pounds with the diesel. And, speaking of that diesel, the 2024 Silverado HD will continue to offer that engine, but it’s been boosted with more power to an impressive 470 horsepower and 975-lb.-ft of torque.
Like the Ram, it stays on the same frame, but the heavy-duty Silverado HD will get a new grille, headlights, and more. It also gets no C-shaped LED lights, new tow hooks, and new colors.
Ford’s Super Duty trucks are all new
While Ram and Chevy just updated their trucks, Ford’s F-250 and F-350 are all-new for 2023. The new trucks are a new generation of Super Duty trucks for Ford. Ford had a major announcement about the trucks this week, and shared a lot, but not all of the tech specs. Instead, Ford simply whetted our appetites for more info by saying that its engines will be more powerful, even its Power Stroke V8 diesel.
But, the new trucks get a ton of new tech to help these big beasts tow. The trucks get onboard scales to help you level your load, a 360-degree trailer camera system, and the clever Pro Trailer Hitch Assist that automatically backs the truck up to the trailer hitch. The trucks now come with built-in 5G, so they can get over-the air updates and the hot-spot can power up to 10 devices. We also can’t wait to see the new Tremor version of the F-250, and try out the new standard 4×4 system that is standard on XLT and higher-grade versions.