Apart from the obvious increase in capability (towing, horsepower, torque, payload, etc.), there are a few other things that you need to learn about heavy duty trucks. First and foremost, it’s important to understand that the 2017 Chevy Silverado 2500HD falls into the Class 2 segment, whereas the 2017 Chevy Silverado 3500HD falls into the Class 3 segment.
A Brief Overview of Truck Classes
What does the government’s classification of truck size have to do with the 2017 Chevy Silverado HD 2500/3500 models? Everything, actually.
The US DOT ranks trucks by GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) from class 1 to class 8 — smallest to largest. The GVWR refers to the maximum operating weight a truck is allowed to carry while driving, which includes the truck itself, regardless of what aftermarket parts you’ve thrown on to beef up its capability. Class 1 trucks weight 6,000 pounds or less. This designation represents trucks like the 2017 Chevrolet Colorado, which is sitting at 5,400 pounds. Class 2 trucks weigh between 6,001 to 10,000 pounds, and consist of your typical full size trucks like the 2017 Chevy Silverado 1500. But, there is a Class 2B that is between 8,500 and 10,000 pounds, and that's the category the 2017 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD falls into. Class 3 trucks weigh between 10,001 to 14,000 pounds and consist of your larger HD models like the 2017 Chevy Silverado 3500 HD.
Why Does This Matter?
Why does this matter? It’s not like you’ll be getting pulled over at a weigh station on the highway, or are required to have a CDL in order to operate these vehicles, since neither the Silverado 2500 or 3500 exceed the CDL’s minimum required GVWR of 26,000 pounds.
It matters because as you go up in truck weight, you get more benefits, but also more drawbacks. Obviously, the fuel economy is going decrease with heavier vehicles, and you won’t be able to accelerate as quickly. On the bright side, you’ll be able to carry more (payload) and haul more in a trailer behind you (towing capacity). The availability of diesel engines also increases, since diesel is often able to balance out fuel economy and capability more so than a gas-powered engine.
Chevrolet Silverado HD 2500/3500 Additional Features
You’ll also find features on Chevy’s HD trucks that are not available on full size ones, like a trailering camera system to make lining up your trailer hitch to your trailer easier. A fifth-wheel trailer hitch can even be installed in the bed by the dealer to provide a stronger and more stable connection for big trailers.
If a diesel engine is required or just preferred, then the available Diesel Exhaust Brake system will help reduce the amount of conventional braking needed when towing a heavy load or traveling downhill by choking up on the exhaust to reduce engine output. Not only does this help with wear and tear on your brakes, but it will also make slowing down and stopping safer for you and everyone else around you.
Another additional feature is Trailer Sway Control, which can be found on the Silverado 1500 as well. This system is able to detect when your trailer is swaying and apply the truck’s brakes and trailer brakes (if the available Trailer Brake controller is equipped, which is not available on the 1500 model) in order to bring it back in line.