Whether or not you’re a fan of GM’s all-new 2014 Silverado or 2014 Sierra, the fact remains that the two pickup trucks are extremely capable. And besides the all-new Small Block engine range, the new exterior, and interior design, the two trucks feature the latest suite of technologies for trailering capability, from acceleration and control to safety and braking. And considering that 6 in 10 full-size pickup owners use their trucks for trailering, according to GM survey data, that’s a good thing.
So, what do GM’s completely re-designed and re-engineered K2XX-based trucks offer to those who like (or have) to tow? Quite a bit.
Hill Start Assist
Before moving, the trucks’ integrated systems are monitoring conditions and preparing the truck to perform. When the system detects that the truck is on a grade of roughly 5 percent or higher, Hill Start Assist automatically engages the Silverado’s and Sierra’s brakes for 1.5 seconds, or until the gas pedal is pressed, thereby keeping the truck from rolling backward.
The feature should prove particularly useful in key towing launch scenarios, such as when climbing a boat launch.
Tow/Haul helps the driver take full advantage of the Silverado’s and Sierra’s powerful EcoTec3 engines. Activated by a button on the shift lever, Tow/Haul modifies the shift mapping of the trucks’ standard six-speed transmission.
The result is higher shift points for more power under acceleration, and earlier downshifts to promote engine braking, thereby reducing wear on the vehicles’ disc brakes.
In addition, Tow/Haul mode activates Sierra’s Trailer Grade Braking when the driver lightly applies the brakes, thereby initiating downshifts to assist with braking on long downgrades. Auto Grade Braking not only slows the vehicle more efficiently, but can also reduce brake rotor temperatures by 100 degrees Celsius (212 degrees Fahrenheit) during a braking event.
And for those drivers who prefer to be in completely control of their truck’s shifting, improved TapShift controls on the shift lever are complemented by a patent-pending shift algorithm that improves shift response time by up to 60 percent compared to previous systems. Using TapShift controls deactivates the Trailer Grade Braking, since the driver is manually controlling gearshifts.
Trailer Sway Control
Trailer Sway Control works in conjunction with the standard StabiliTrak stability control system to deliver additional assistance when towing a trailer. When the system senses trailer sway, it intervenes by braking and/or reducing the engine power, thereby helping to bring the trailer under control and keeping it on its intended path. Trailer Sway Control is also capable of using the electric trailer brakes when a trailer is connected to the standard wiring harness of the truck.
Trailer Brake Controller
Speaking of braking the trailer, Silverado and Sierra owners can fine-tune a trailer’s braking performance from the driver’s seat. With an available high-mounted Integrated Trailer Brake Controller, the driver can adjust the level of output to the electric trailer brakes (otherwise known as or gain), using buttons to the left of the steering wheel. The Driver Information Center (DIC) on the instrument cluster displays the necessary system information.
In particular, the Trailer Brake Controller allows drivers to quickly alter trailer brake force based on the trailer’s weight. If, for instance, a trailer is loaded with heavy building materials, the driver can adjust the controller to higher trailer gain, and then lower it on the return trip after unloading the cargo, thereby minimizing the chance of locking up the trailer’s wheels.
Up To 12,000-Pound Towing Capacity
Equipped with the optional Max Trailering Package, the 2014 Sierra and 2014 Silverado are capable of a class-leading 12,000 pounds of maximum towing when powered by the optional 6.2 liter EcoTec3 V8 L86 engine.
Available on 2WD and 4WD crew cab and double cab models, the Max Trailering Package includes:
- Trailering package with seven-pin and four-pin connector
- Enhanced cooling
- Automatic locking rear differential
- Heavy-duty 9.75-inch rear axle with 3.73 ratio
- Increased-capacity rear leaf springs
- Revised shock tuning for increased control
- Integrated trailer brake controller
So, what are you planning on towing with your über-capable and highly-competent 2014 Sierra or 2014 Silverado? Talk to us in the comments.