No CDL, no sweat in driving new Silverado
By Stephen Groessel
The 2013 Silverado LT Crew Cab

I thought perhaps I would need a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) to test drive a 2013 Silverado HD 3/4 ton crew cab but Vogel Chevrolet (Kiel) sales consultant Kelly Johnson assured me that would not be necessary.

Behind the wheel I quickly discovered that he was correct. Handling the 3/4 ton crew cab was easy enough. I did need a little practice, however, backing it into a parking space when returning to the dealership. I forgot to use the rear vision camera which really comes in handy when needing a clear view for trailer hookups.

The Silverado comes with the regular cab, extended cab, and crew cab. The crew cab can accommodate up to six passengers.

The Silverado HD work truck is no wimp. It is designed and manufactured to haul stuff and tow stuff. Johnson was quick to point out that it is a favorite machine for towing campers, especially fifth wheel campers where pulling is easier from the middle of the box than from the truck’s rear hitch. Construction workers, roofers, road crews, and landscapers will find it a practical vehicle both for hauling crews to work destinations as well as towing trailers carrying heavy duty equipment.

Johnson said the Silverado truck is popular and convenient with local veterinarians who find the box the right size for holding their equipment and supplies.

The 2013 3/4 ton crew cab Silverado is also an excellent truck for mounting a snowplow and doing commercial plowing.

The 3/4 ton crew cab 2013 Silverado has a chassis built to get the job done— a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) payload capacity and trailering capacity that makes it a consistent and reliable work horse. The Silverado HD has the capability of towing up to 23,100 pounds.

Different from the one-half ton model, the 3/4 ton crew cab Silverado’s heavy duty suspension is designed to handle lots of weight from front to back. The Silverado HD has a best-in-class maximum payload rating of 7,222 pounds. It has a suspension that is capable of handling heavy loads and rough road, while at the same time providing a smooth ride. It is built both for comfort and weight. Johnson said the full box frame was introduced in 2011 which made it a better riding truck.

The Silverado has truck-rated tires, a choice of highway tires or off-road tires with an aggressive thread.

Its standard gas engine is a Vortec™ 6.0 liter v8 armed with 360 horsepower with Variable Valve Timing and 380 pound foot of torque, and the Duramax 6.6 liter turbo-diesel V8 with 397 hp and 765 lb.-ft. of torque, known for its heavy duty six-speed Allison transmission.

A feature described in the 2013 Silverado brochure tells how one can avoid overuse of the braking system on steep inclines. “Diesel exhaust braking helps slow heavy loads being towed downhill. The system evaluates load and grade and uses the turbo to create the necessary back pressure to slow down one’s rig and help reduce brake use. This is included with the available Duramax Turbo Diesel engine and Allison transmission.”

Johnson and I wanted to drive somewhere where the truck would feel at home and where a photo could be taken depicting it in a work setting. We found a huge dirt pile in Kiel which served as a proper background for the truck’s photo.

When it comes to amenities, what you find in the Silverado truck you will find in a passenger car. For instance, the map (touch screen navigation) system is available; also available are the Onstar directions and connections® plan and Bluetooth; the 30 GB hard drive, CDs, an MP3 player or a three-month trial of Sirius XM Satellite Radio.

Following are a few different facts that may be helpful to the buyer:

Johnson said this is the third year that the Silverado has maintained its newer style with a facelift on its front.

Although step boards are optional, Johnson said most Silverados are ordered by the dealer with them.

One can order the one ton truck, typically used by cattle trailer haulers with dualies.

Camper mirrors slide out for better sight. Signal lights on the mirrors are optional.

Silverado HD is backed by a 100,000-mile/five-year Powertrain Limited Warranty, along with roadside assistance and courtesy transportation programs.

Literature on the Silverado says the complete vehicle is covered (including towing to one’s nearest Chevrolet dealership) up to 36,000 miles/three years. Repairs will be made to cover any vehicle defect, and most warranty repairs will be made at no charge. In addition, rust-through corrosion will be covered for 100,000 miles/six years.

For more information and to arrange a test drive contact Kelly Johnson at 894-2227 or visit