The pickup truck has long been a staple of the American workforce. The truck has jobs to do, things to haul and places to venture through. Some of those places can include slushy snow and mud ready to stop the pickup truck from completing the task at hand. Thankfully, engineering is ready to overcome these obstacles.
That’s where the Chevrolet trucks G80 locking rear-differential comes in handy. Simply, the G80 differential locks automatically if one tire begins to spin, thus enabling both wheels to propel the truck forward. This particular locking differential provides superior traction over a traditional limited-slip differential in most situations, according to Chevrolet.
A standout feature of the G80 differential is its capability to engage automatically, rather than require input from the driver through a toggle switch. The system utilizes an open differential until the system recognizes excessive slip at one wheel, at which point it automatically triggers the locking mechanism. This provides optimal amounts of torque, rather than a limited-slip differential which may allow the wheels to turn at different rates in a low-traction environment.
Once the slip is detected, a flyweight-type governor engages causing a cam plate to ramp against a side gear, which finally compresses discs to cause both rear-axle shafts to rotate at the exact same speed. All of this happens instantly, and makes for a smooth ride since, as mentioned earlier, the G80 operates as an open differential for the greater portion of a drive.
The G80 technology was pioneered 40 years ago, and with incremental improvements along the way, has become a staple across the Chevrolet truck lineup. That includes the 2015 Chevrolet Silverado family, standard on LTZ and Z71 versions of the Silverado 1500 and all Silverado 2500 and 3500 HDs, and the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado, standard on the Z71. Additionally, Chevrolet’s body-on-frame Tahoe and Suburban also take advantage of the G80.
Next time your off putting a Chevrolet truck to work, think about the immense engineering miracle working instantly right before your eyes.