In spite of continued demand for lighter, more fuel-efficient passenger cars, truck owners are demanding increased towing and cargo capacity from their light trucks. That makes truck builders’ jobs ever more difficult. After all, how do you increase cargo and towing capacity, decrease weight, increase torque and power and decrease fuel consumption?
That’s the dilemma of the day, and it is most critical to boaters who must move their rigs efficiently and safely from driveway to launch ramp. To meet the demand, Chevrolet is the latest of the Big Three to retool their heavy-duty towing machine.
To test the new truck, Chevy came to Boating to see if we could suggest a challenge for the key advantages engineered into the vehicle. I had just the spot: Arizona State Route 88. Known locally as the Apache Trail for its early use by raiding tribes moving from the Salt River basin into Phoenix, the trail in 1903 became a service road to haul supplies and materials for construction of Roosevelt Dam. Since then, it has been only partially paved, making the mountainous, switchback trail rocky and rutty. In many places the roadway edge drops into canyons hundreds of feet deep. This would be the perfect 2011 Silverado 3500HD road test in my book.