If you’ve got some heavy hauling to do, you’d be wise to check out the Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD before you back up to your gooseneck or fifth-wheel trailer.

The 2016 Chevy Silverado 2500HD has a conventional trailering rating of 14,500 pounds and a gooseneck trailering rating of 18,000 pounds. For Silverado 3500s with dual rear wheels, the conventional trailering rating is 20,000 pounds and the gooseneck trailering rating is 23,200 pounds.

Those are some serious numbers, enough to handle most loaded cattle/horse trailers, 28-foot offshore boats or even small to medium sized bulldozers.

Like most other truck manufacturers, Chevrolet has adopted SAE J2807 trailering standards, which means you can compare apples to apples when truck shopping. Customers comparing specifications can count on towing figures being accurate, and that’s important for heavy duty truck owners that haul very heavy loads.

We’re currently between model years, with the 2017s soon on the way. The 2017 Chevy HD diesel trucks will get a dramatic new hood scoop to gulp cooler air into the engine. Cooler air helps the engine run better under load, especially in our hot summers.

The 2016 models come in regular cab, double cab and crew cab models across the lineup. Regular cabs get an 8-foot box, while 2500HD double cab and crew cab models have a choice between 6-foot-6 or 8-foot boxes. The 3500HD double cab gets an 8-foot box, while the 3500HD crew cab has available 6-foot-6 or 8-foot boxes.

Trim levels include the base Work Truck, LT, LTZ and the premium High Country, which we drove earlier this year. Chevy also makes several special packages including the Z71 Off Road package, which is available on LT and LTZ 4WD models. With all the choices to make, it’s a good idea to do your homework when shopping. These bad boys are expensive, so you owe it to yourself to investigate all your options.

Silverado heavy duties are powered by a standard 6.0-liter FlexFuel V8 which can run on gasoline or E85. The V8 produces 360 horsepower and 380 lb.-ft. of torque and is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission.

The diesel option is a 6.6-liter Duramax turbo-diesel beast that kicks out 397 horses and a massive 765 lb.-ft. of torque, which allows the 23,200-pound maximum gooseneck towing rating on the 3500. The Duramax engine also comes with an integrated exhaust braking system to extend brake pad life. It also has special glow plugs that can heat up rapidly for cold weather starting similar to gasoline engines. An Allison 1000 6-speed automatic transmission is mated to the Duramax engine.

Cargo boxes of the heavy duty trucks have available LED lighting, and the corner step rear bumper is standard on all models. The EZ Lift-and-Lower tailgate that locks with the key fob is standard on LT, LTZ and High Country trims. A factory spray-on bed liner is available on all trims, and standard on High Country.

While the Chevrolet Silverado heavy duties are all business when it comes to work, their well-appointed cabins are quiet, roomy and functional with premium materials, especially in the premium High Country models. Silverado HD High Country models get full leather heated and ventilated seats with 12-way power as well as special logos on the seats and door sill plates.

Finally, connectivity is critical to owners of these big trucks. Chevy makes connecting and powering electronic devices easy with USB ports, two 12-volt power plugs, a 110-volt outlet and a cord management system at the bottom of the center stack. MyLink is the infotainment system and includes either a 4.2-inch or 8-inch touch screen.

2016 Chevy Silverado 2500 High Country 4WD


6.6-liter Duramax turbo-diesel


397/765 lb.-ft.


Allison 6-speed automatic

Base price:

$56,265 ($66,425 with Duramax diesel, options & freight)

EPA mileage estimates:

N/A for HD trucks