Three remarkable stories of durability beyond what can be expected from your normal everyday average Ύ and 1-Ton pickup truck.
Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG
- May 25, 2012
2012 GMC Sierra HD with the 6.6L DuraMax and 6-speed Allison Automatic - $37,290 to start and an easy 25 mpg when lightly loaded.
In a second GM release in as many weeks regarding the reliability of their HD pickup trucks, the miles racked up while doing real work is a testament to the men and woman behind the HD pickup truck program at the General.
When the new generation of the 2013 GMC Sierra Chevrolet Silverado fullsize pickup goes into production, it will have already accumulated hundreds of thousands of miles of hauling, towing, and abuse testing. That same testing on a previous generations GM HD Pickups has provided to those that use them one the best reliability records in the HD Pickup truck market.
Tammie Roeber, Dave Cleveland and Don Impson are three of those customers. Together, their trucks represent more than 2 million miles and two-and-a-half decades of GM HD Pickup engineering.
Case Study #1
“I signed the papers on my new Sierra 3500HD one-ton pickup in 2006, hitched up a trailer, and have been on the road since.”
“I had two Ford pickups prior to owning my GMC, but I was replacing a transmission every year. If that rate continued, I’d be through my sixth transmission with the miles I’ve put on the Sierra.”
Roeber has driven more than 1.2 million miles on the original Duramax diesel engine and Allison transmission in her GMC Sierra HD and makes a living transporting horses across the eastern United States.
Most of Roeber’s miles have been driven pulling trailers, including a 48-foot, 16,000-pound trailer holding as many as nine horses. She maintains her truck religiously, sticking to a 15,000-mile oil change schedule. At her pace, that’s just three weeks between service visits.
Among Roeber’s favorite features are the truck’s engine braking capability – she often encounters 6 percent to 7 percent grades that stretch for miles – that’s allowed her four-wheel disc brakes to last longer, as well as the comfortable crew cab. With most of her life lived on the road, the rear seat often doubles as a bed.
Case Study #2
(Non Duramax and Allison)
“This truck runs as good today as the day I bought it. The engine and transmission are original. I haven’t even replaced the brake rotors or shocks. Other than a rear pinion gear replacement and regular oil changes, it’s just had one major tune-up at 200,000 miles.”
Dave uses his 2002 Sierra 1500 extended cab to travel from his home near Chicago to trade shows as far away as Florida and Colorado. Between those travels and his daily 60-mile commute, he’s accumulated 420,000 miles over the past decade. The truck shares a driveway with his wife’s 2010 Sierra.
Too bad about that 60-mile commute unfortunately
Case Study #3
(Non Duramax and Allison)
“Everyone down around us owns trucks, but no one ever talks about this sort of mileage on one engine. I bought an 86’ red and white two-tone truck off the lot because the colors were done wrong for a local construction company, but it’s actually become somewhat of a calling card. Everyone knows my truck.”
In addition to the original engine, his manual transmission still has its original clutch.
Don Impson is a semi-retired veterinarian in Arkansas and has to date accumulating more than 520,000 miles on his 86’ mostly by making farm visits tending to animals in a three-county area around his home.
GMC has manufactured trucks since 1902, and is one of the industry's healthiest brands. And while some of us are eager to see what GM has brought to the table in 2013, it’s the GM HD Pickups on the road today that are providing real incomes to owners doing tough “work truck” work.