By Jade Brasher
LIGHT-DUTY WORKTRUCK SHOWCASE
Known for their toughness and ability to work long and strenuous hours, a snowplow driver’s job is to keep the roads safe so the rest of us can go about our daily routine. As simple as the job may sound, it’s definitely a challenge, and I got to experience it firsthand. Back in February of this year, Chevrolet and BOSS Snowplow hosted a crew of journalists to experience a day in the life of a snowplow operator, and I’m here to report.
We were flown into Marquette County, Michigan—a place the National Weather Association deems as one of the snowiest places in the United States with an average snowfall of 141 inches per season.
The journalists were split into groups of two, and Chevrolet loaned each group a Silverado HD to drive to the event. Just as luck would have it, it snowed the morning of our plow activity. Being from the South, I had never driven in the snow. When it snows where I’m from, we all just stay home. However, I was feeling very up to the challenge—especially in the Silverado HD.
BUILT TO PLEASE
Thankfully my driving partner was from New York and was able to give me pointers on driving in the snow. But even with my lack of experience, the drive was easy, and I attribute that to the machine I was driving. Even though I was behind the wheel of a vehicle that is thousands of pounds heavier than my everyday vehicle, I didn’t feel panicked by the snow on the roads as the truck handled very well. I enjoyed my driving experience in snowy Marquette country.
But in reality, I’m sure what constitutes the Silverado HD as a pleasure to drive depends on who’s driving and why they’re driving. I can’t help but to think that when a snowplow operator is in the cab long hours of the day in inclement weather, perhaps they’ll most appreciate the Silverado HD’s large, comfortable interior. The HD Crew Cab adds about 3 inches in length, which gives the driver and the back seat passenger more legroom. Drivers are also seated at a higher position in the HD, giving them a better view of the plow and the road ahead.
Features that I personally appreciate in the Silverado HD are its wide uses of technology. The trucks are equipped with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto with built-in 4G LTE Wi-Fi. They also feature eight available cameras that give drivers 15 different views (including transparent trailer view and Surround Vision).
With the Silverado HD’s use of helpful technology (and a little bit of patience with an inexperienced snow driver) my partner and I safely made it to our destination to try our hand at plowing snow.
BUILT TO WORK
This trip to plow snow in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula wasn’t my first time imitating work in the Silverado HD. I guess you could say I’ve been around the truck a bit. Last year, I towed heavy equipment around Mt. Bachelor near Bend, Oregon, with the truck. I was also at the Silverado HD reveal in Michigan back in February 2019. Each time I get behind the wheel, I’ll admit, I do get a little excited. When sitting in the driver’s seat of the Silverado HD, work feels a little less like work (hence, the “imitating work” above) and more like pleasure.
The Silverado HD truly adds a sort of “effortless power” to work truck operations. When hauling equipment in the mountains last year I was able to enjoy the scenic views and wasn’t stressed when traveling steep grades. Then when the folks at BOSS wanted us to ram into snowdrifts it felt more like play and less like an essential function to keep lives moving in the North (more on that on
BUILT TO PLOW
The Silverado HD is, from my perspective, a great truck for plowing snow. The Silverado HD features an independent front suspension. This gives operators a better ride and better drivability—with or without a snowplow. This also gives the truck a 43% increase in half shaft torque capacity.
The truck also features a two-speed active transfer case with Autotrac mode. This allows the truck to seamlessly shift between two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive based on road conditions. Another feature of the HD that isn’t new to the Silverado but worth noting is the truck’s cornerstep bumper and bedsteps. These features come in handy in snowplow applications, allowing easy load and unload of salt bags or access to tools and equipment in the bed.
What’s more, no more dangling cords! The Silverado HD features an integrated engine-block heater outlet. This feature is absolutely perfect for trucks used to plow snow. Simply use the outlet placed on the driver’s side front bumper, placed specifically for easy access even with a snowplow installed. This integrated outlet is standard on Silverado HDs with a Duramax diesel and available with the 6.6-L gas engine. Aside from or in addition to snowplow applications, Chevrolet offers a factory-installed power take-off for the Silverado HD—a first in the segment. This also includes a factory warranty.
Chevrolet also gave the Silverado HD front fascia a few upgrades for cold weather use. The front fascia is now designed for more easy removal of air dam and skid plate. The Silverado HD also features more intuitive mounting of the plow hardware—no drilling or cutting required.
Chevrolet also equipped the Silverado HD with a snowplow prep package. This includes a 220-amp alternator, pass through for plow wiring, skid plates for transfer case and oil pan, and emergency roof light provisions. There are also multiple options for a snowplow application in the Silverado HD, including available aux switches. The Work Truck trim also includes available standard-size mirrors for forward visibility and available power fold mirrors and task lighting, which allows operators to direct light forward or sideways.
Finally, Chevrolet wouldn’t be outdone when it comes to creating the best truck for plowing snow. With its special edition Alaskan Snow Plow package, owners enjoy the snowplow prep package plus roof marker lamps, all-terrain tires, 18-inch aluminum wheels, and fierce Alaskan decals.
HOW’D IT FARE
Now that you’ve got a rundown of the truck’s cold-weather, plow-prepped features, I’m sure you’re wondering how well it performed driven by a crew of inexperienced snowfighters. Read on to find out.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jade Brasher is the editor of Modern WorkTruck Solutions magazine. A graduate of The University of Alabama, Jade resides in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and enjoys writing about her town, travel, and of course, work trucks. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find out more about the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD, visit www.chevrolet.com.