Frame twist test shows importance of strong materials in big job pickups
DETROIT – How tough are heavy-duty trucks? A recent frame-twisting test found that the use of roll-formed steel in its bed allowed the tailgate of the 2015 Silverado 2500HD pickup to be lowered on uneven terrain while greater twisting of one competitor's frame kept its tailgate from being lowered.
AMCI Testing, a third-party research firm hired by Chevrolet, recently subjected the 2015 Silverado 2500HD and a Ford F-250 Super Duty to a rigorous frame twist test, in which the truck was driven onto two staggered ramps, where the wheels on one side of the truck hit the ramp before the other, placing a large amount of torque on the frame. Measurements were then taken for the distance of displacement of the cab body and the bed, determining the amount of twist to which the frame is subjected.
AMCI found that during the test, the Silverado HD’s frame allowed 0.26 inches of twist, while the F-250 Super Duty allowed 0.94 inches of twist, 262 percent more than the Silverado. The twist was so great on the Ford that when under stress, the tailgate could not able to be lowered, while the Silverado’s available EZ-Lift and Lower Tailgate operated normally. You can see the test here.
“The use of high-strength steel in the Silverado HD is what allows the Silverado to handle even the toughest of jobs,” said Jeff Luke, General Motors’ executive chief engineer for full-size trucks. “Paired with a fully boxed frame, high-strength steel is what makes the Silverado come from the family of the most dependable, longest-lasting full-size pickups on the road.”
Roll-formed steel in the Silverado HD vs. the stamped steel bed of most competitors involves using a higher-grade steel that’s stronger, lighter and more durable. The fully boxed frame provides a rigid foundation.
The Silverado’s body is also constructed using similar high-strength steel. Approximately 67 percent of the cab is constructed with high-strength and ultra-high-strength steels. They’re used in the A-pillars, B-pillars, rockers and roof rails, as well strategic sections on the interior structure.
Ultra-high-strength steel is used in areas of the rocker panels and underbody to help improve crash performance. The Silverado uses more high-strength and ultrahigh-strength steel than any competitor’s full-size pickup truck, according to market research firm Ducker Worldwide.
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world’s largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4.9 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design, and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.