Today, the big guzzling trucks don’t receive so much attention like a decade ago, when the price of fuel didn’t mean such a big deal. However there are some jobs that still require the use of a powerful truck to get the job done and one of the vehicles that is fitted for this mission is the Chevrolet Silverado Chassis Cab.
Available with crew cab or single cab and with either two wheel drive or full wheel drive, the truck has anything it needs to carry its maximum payload of 7,293 lbs. with ease. Moreover, when equipped with the enhanced trailering package, the Silverado 1500 can tow up to 10,700 pounds. Slightly revised in 2011, the Chevrolet Silverado Chassis Cab has a starting MSPR of $29.125 and is available with a range of strong V8 engines.
The Chevrolet Silverado Chassis Cab has a tough design that accents a broad-shouldered stance to give it a confident, firmly planted appearance. The power dome hood, the flared fenders and the massive wheel enhance the rugged nature of the vehicle.
The vertically stacked reflector-optics headlamps and Chevrolet’s iconic bow tie emblem mounted into the vertical grille complete the utilitarian design of the truck.
The Chevrolet Silverado Chassis Cab is also available with a chrome bumper which is standard on LS, LT and XFE trim levels, while the LTZ trim level models receive body-color front bumpers. The side body panels feature a clean design and are fitted with large, grab-style door handles which are especially build for easy use with gloves.
The Chevrolet Silverado is offered with three interior trim levels namely the WT, LS and LT. Rear access doors open 170 degrees for easy entry at the back of the extended cab models, while the power-operated rear side windows lower completely into the doors.
If you aren’t disturbed by the dull design, you’ll like the overall ergonomy and the large controls which were especially designed to be easy to use even with gloves. The instrument cluster sits right in your face and those big round gauges are easy to read without needing extra efforts.
As you’ve probably expected, the cabin offers a lot of space and there is plenty of head and legroom for every passenger. As we are talking about a commercial vehicle the abundance of cheap and hard plastics dosen’t disturb us too much, and we can say the same thing about the unsupportive seats as well. Talking about the seats they offer a wide range of adjustments, while the steering wheel can be also adjusted for reach and rake so you’ll make yourself comfortable pretty fast. Though, don’t get too enthusiastic, as after a few miles the seats will start to feel a bit uncomfortable.
A stadium-style rear seat with a 60/40-split design and folding center armrest is standard on crew cab models. It can be easily folded up with one hand, without using a release handle, to provide an uninterrupted load floor. Alternatively, either section of the split seat can be stowed independently, allowing room for both cargo and a rear-seat passenger.
The storage department is also pretty well represented with a large-capacity, double glove box mounted in the dash, and a big cubby hole fitted in the center console which offers 20.1 liters of undivided storage.
|Dual-zone automatic climate control|
|AM/FM stereo with CD/DVD/MP3|
|Bose premium speaker system|
|SiriusXM Satellite Radio|
|Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity|
|Driver Information Center|
|Two 12-volt power outlets|
|Remote vehicle starter system|
|Vinyl seat trim and rubberized floor|
|Premium cloth seat trim|
|Leather-trimmed front seat trim|
|Leather-wrapped steering wheel|
|Steering wheel audio controls|
|Power-operated sunroof is available|
|Power-operated rear sliding window|
Engines and transmissions
The Chevrolet Silverado chassis cab is available with a lineup of Vortec and Duramax V8 engines. The engines are combined with a host of technologies to optimize thei performance and efficiency, such as Active Fuel Management (AFM) and variable valve timing (VVT). Three FlexFuel engines are also available and combined with fuel-saving AFM offer a choice of E85 ethanol, gasoline or a combination of both fuels.
The Vortec 6.0L V8 gas engine with Variable Valve Timing (VVT) develops a maximum output 360 hp and 380 lb.-ft. of torque, while the Duramax 6.6l turbo-diesel V8 engine received a few tweaks for 2011 in order to make be more efficient. Its maximum output was raised to 397 hp and 765 lb.-ft. of torque, while the fuel economy was improved with more than 10% compared to the previous unit. As a result the engine can run with a full tank of 360 gallons of fuel, 680 highway miles.
All that power is kept in leash by the Allison six speed transmission that has been around in heavy duty trucks for nearly a decade.
Ride and suspensions
The truck is bolted to an independent front suspension which allows each front wheel to react independently to rough terrain, helping keep each wheel in a vertical position and more firmly planted on the road. This system is better than a conventional solid front axle design where movement on one side affects the wheel on the other. The new rear suspension is stronger than before and includes 20 % wider leaf springs with an asymmetric design that reduces wheel hop on acceleration, and results in bigger Gross Vehicle Weight Ratings.
It’s true that these technical details sound great on paper, but in reality the ride is harsh an unforgivable, as the truck transmits every road bump directly in your spine. On the other hand, when the truck is fully loaded the ride is a bit better and the truck gets a better balance.
The steering however, is sharp and even if it doesn’t offer a great feedback, its precise nature help it to make a compelling case for itself.
As most of the commercial vehicles built by GM, the Silverado is also equipped with the Hill Start Assist and the StabiliTrak electronic stability control. The Stabilitrak improves vehicle’s stability, particularly during emergency maneuvers. The StabiliTrak control module compares your steering input with the vehicle’s actual response and then, if necessary, makes small, individual brake and engine torque applications to enhance control and help you keep on track. Moreover, the system also intervenes automatically when it senses loss of lateral traction, understeer or oversteer.
As most of its rivals, the Chevrolet Silverado is offered with a wide range of body styles and engines. Thanks to this variety of models, the half tone truck is among the most flexible vehicles in its segment. Its heavy worker character is also enhanced by the strong engines and the heavy duty suspensions which can deal with any payload without too much fuss. Compared to the previous generation the fit and finish was also improved and the cabin is now more appealing. On the other hand, the ride is a bit harsh and Ford offers more powerful engines in the same segment. Other than that, Chevrolet Silverado remains a solid option no matter what it’s used for.