In the never-ending salvos lobbed by one truckmaker after another, the latest from Chevrolet for its 2019 Silverado 1500 — just getting to dealerships as we write this — is called the Durabed. This new bed strategy includes several unique selling points and even a few new technologies and many more choices than ever before.
As we noted in our January report on its introduction, the new half-ton pickup truck from GM is full of unique technologies, upgraded materials and vastly improve ratings. Yes, they've made quite a few advancements to their powertrains, but at the business end of the vehicle in the bed, there are equally impressive changes, not the least of which is pushing out the walls of the bed to increase volume substantially.
2018 Silverado 1500 Vs. 2019 Silverado 1500
Short box: 53 cubic feet versus 63 cubic feet
Standard box: 62 cubic feet versus 72 cubic feet
Long box: 75 cubic feet versus 89 cubic feet
But the interior volume is only one part of a pickup bed, so the Chevy half ton will also include 12 separate, fixed tie-downs with the strength to hold between 250 to 500 pounds. The tie-down points, basically with a stack of three in each corner of the bed, are at different heights to accommodate different sized and different shaped cargo boxes. Additionally, there are nine different movable tie-down points around the rim of the truck, which adds up to 21 separate tie-down points if you like.
Chevrolet also wants to call attention to the material strengths of the bed itself, comparing its newly revised layers of high-grade steel in the bed floor, with the direct callout being the aluminum bed floor that the Ford F-150 utilizes. Chevy has upped its floor strength from 340 to 500 megapascals, an increase in the strength of how much pressure it can withstand over a section of area, making it more than 47 percent stronger.
Finally, in the bumper and tailgate, the new half tons will have a wider and more accommodating foothold in each of the bumper corners, as well as four different tailgate variants. Those include a standard, manually key-lockable gate without the benefit of any lift assist; a standard gate with lift assist; a gate with a power lock and lift assist; and finally, a power lockable gate with what Chevy says is an industry-first, push-button power up/down tailgate available on LTZ (standard on High Country) and higher trim levels.
We've already seen the unique features in the 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 in the form of a carbon-fiber bed and MultiPro (multi-drop) tailgate, but we're sure to see more truckmakers start to experiment and come out with their own split tailgates or multifunction bed features in response. No doubt Ford, Ram, Toyota and Nissan will respond. The truck wars just got a whole lot more interesting.