The event, hosted by Chevrolet and John Deere, featured Silverado HD trucks towing John Deere...

The event, hosted by Chevrolet and John Deere, featured Silverado HD trucks towing John Deere equipment of various sizes. (PHOTO: JESSICA WALKER, COURTESY OF CHEVROLET)

Chevrolet and John Deere offered automotive journalists the opportunity to test out some of their latest models at a press event in the Quad Cities in Illinois and Iowa.

Attendees experienced a day-in-the-life of a Chevrolet customer, testing the Chevrolet Silverado’s driving and towing capabilities on the Interstate 80 in Iowa as it trailered John Deere equipment.

The 2017 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD and 3500HD were featured at the event, and both models featured the Duramax 6.6L Turbo-Diesel engine, which offers 445 hp, the segment’s highest diesel horsepower rating.

Stable Movement Up & Down Hill

Chevrolet engineers were available onsite to provide more information about the Silverado HD’s capabilities and answer any questions.

Half of the trucks were driven without a load, and the other half towed various John Deere equipment placed on Big Tex trailers. However, there was little difference in handling the trucks with or without a trailer. Although towing a trailer made for a bumpier ride, it was not an inconvenience or hindrance to driving.

The steering wheel and brake pedals offer more resistance than previous models, which make for more stable movement. Adaptive steering also adds to a smooth ride.

Accessory cameras were placed under side mirrors and behind the truck, which allow the driver greater visibility of the road and the trailer.

The active diesel particulate filter keeps the coolest possible air in the engine, allowing the truck to continue operating at its maximum torque longer than similar trucks with passive regeneration.

In addition, the Duramax engine was very quiet, and little noise was heard in the cab.

Engineered for Powerful Towing

The Silverado trucks trailered cargo of varying weights, which allowed attendees to test out several different cargo weights. The heaviest load on the Silverado 2500HD was a 2,740-pound trailer and 8,745-pound compact track loader. The heaviest load on the Silverado 3500HD was a 7,300-pound gooseneck trailer and 14,669-pound backhoe loader.

In showcasing its towing capabilities, Chevrolet also highlighted three key features on the Silverado:

  • Tow/Haul mode adjusts the shift schedule in the automatic transmission so it isn’t hunting for the correct gear while towing or trailering.
  • The diesel exhaust brake system uses the turbo to create engine braking, which helps reduce the amount of conventional braking when driving with a trailer or driving downhill.
  • Integrated trailer brake control within the electrical system, antilock braking system, and StabiliTrak allows the trailer’s brakes to operate simultaneously with the vehicle’s brakes.

Testing out John Deere Equipment

As part of the day-in-the-life experience, John Deere demonstrated how easily users can unload a piece of equipment after trailering, and how quickly it can be set up for use.

Attendees were also given the chance to test several types of John Deere construction equipment, including loaders, backhoes, excavators, and a dump truck. 

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