For most people on either end of the United States, especially along the coasts, a light duty truck is enough. Sure, a big burly pickup is fun and in some cases, a way to overcompensate for various insecurities, but really, most of us don’t ever do much more than take a run to Home Depot to pick up a water heater, or carry a bunch of landscaping pavers to make a new driveway out of. Occasionally, we may have to tow a boat, jet skis, or maybe a trailer hitched to a rented mini-tractor (got to dig up that driveway somehow, right?) In which case, if you’re in the market for a new pickup, getting truck like the GMC Sierra and adding the Max Trailering Package to it, will more than suffice. With that package, you get a towing capacity of 12,200 pounds — more than enough for even the biggest water heater.
But for those of us that don’t just want a serious work truck, but actually need one because they have things like an RV to two, plus a horse trailer and then maybe some serious farming equipment, or even one of those new fun tiny homes, GMC has decided to step their game up for 2020 and introduce the Sierra HD, which it claims is the most capable heavy-duty truck every built. Big words, right? Well, this HD has the numbers to back up all that bravado.
How about starting with what matters most — a very serious 6.6-liter turbodiesel Duramax V8 that puts down a locomotive-like 445-horsepower and stupefying 910 lb-ft of torque. Those Olympic power numbers get funneled through a 10-speed Allison automatic transmission. Official tow numbers aren’t out yet, but we are promised the HD should be very capable of towing ‘more than 30,000 pounds’ by GMC, perhaps just in case you need to tow a dump truck off some train tracks.
There has been a growing trend of Sierra buyers, and that is that even though they need a rugged, tough, kick-ass truck on the outside, owners still prefer to be comfortable inside. Gone are the days of rug-burn-inducing interior fabrics and roll down windows for the sake of looking tough. Nope, more than half of the HDs sold by GMC come with the Denali package checked off, meaning comfort is a priority. So, with the new HD for 2020, GMC decided to take the hint and improve the interior of its newest edition. Aluminum trim, beautiful wood trim, and almost plush leather seating provide an incredibly satisfying ride, even on the longest jaunts down the interstate. Head and leg room are more than enough for just about anyone, and GMC tacked on a heads-up display to compliment its touchscreen infotainment system, making the HD the only truck in its class to offer such an option.
The options do not stop there though. Despite the ability to tow an apartment building, GMC also offers up a very legit off-roading package code-named the AT4 package. Check off that box, and you will be graced with a somehow-even-more capable truck than before. 18-inch wheels shod in all-train tires come standard, while 20-inchers are optional. Those meats sit on an off-road suspension sporting Rancho shocks as well as a locking Eaton rear differential and not-just-for-show skid plates as well. The transmission gets an off-road mode that adds in a surround-view camera (for seeing just how much clearance you might have traversing that ravine or fording that river), hill start assist, and a very helpful hill descent control. The surround-view camera has up to 15 different angles allowing not just to see whats going on with the road around them, but also what’s happening out back with whatever they’re towing, adding to the peace of mind of the weary farm worker wondering if his horses are still back there.
Pricing has not been announced yet, but we expect the new indomitable Sierra HD to start at just under 40 grand and climb from there depending on options. Official specs as well as the announcement of a gas-only engine are expected to come out later this year. So whether you’re towing your prized stud to make you some money in the breeding world, or if you really are just trying to offset those insecurities by looking like a stud yourself, it seems that your truck, has arrived.