Here’s What the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado Looks Like With 30 Bags of Mulch in Its Bed


A 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Trail Boss is meant to be driven off-road, but I recently put a little off-road inside the truck while carrying a bed load of garden mulch. I loaded 30 bags of mulch (2.2 cubic yards) to find that, whoa, the weight of these little chips adds up — I was quickly approaching the payload capacity of this crew-cab, short-bed Trail Boss LT to fill my suburban front yard’s flower beds.

Related: Chevrolet Reveals 2019 Silverado 1500 Z71 Trail Boss 

A single 2-cubic foot bag of mulch tipped my scale around 40 pounds (give or take a little for weight added by moisture), so the 30 bags plus my 175 pounds used up around 1,375 pounds of the 1,681-pound payload capacity imposed on my Silverado Trail Boss LT test truck — all for an afternoon prettying up the front yard. During the loading and unloading, I had flashbacks to numerous payload tests spending 90-degree days moving rock salt bags on blacktop, though this time there wasn’t any help.

chevrolet-siverado-crew-lt-trailboss-4wd-2020-03-detail--exterior--red.jpg Chevrolet Silverado trailering information label | photo by Joe Bruzek

The weight of the mulch bags alone dropped the back end of the truck about 2 inches, raising the front. But other than feeling slightly slower (yet still snappy thanks to the crisp 10-speed transmission), the truck handled the extra weight with aplomb. In fact, the usual hard, binary-like brake pedal from the brake-by-wire system felt more natural during stoplight-to-stoplight braking, and the formerly stiff ride smoothed out. All of these are things you’d expect with more than 1,000 pounds in the bed. The Tow/Haul mode took me a second to find because it’s activated by a drive mode dial selector on the left hand side of the dashboard on trucks with the optional Driver Mode Control; on trucks without the dial, it’s in the lower center dashboard button stack. I appreciated that the mode stayed engaged when I turned the truck off and back on, and the Tow/Haul mode will reengage up to four hours after shutting down the engine.


I had enough payload capacity for about seven more bags, though not much more space in the 5-foot, 8-inch bed. However, you can get more payload and bed out of a 2020 Silverado 1500, which maxes at 2,250 pounds; the Trail Boss’ maximum payload is 2,050 pounds. The Silverado Trail Boss is a plus version of the Z71 off-road trim with all the goods of the Z71 package plus a 2-inch lift. It’s available with a 4.3-liter V-6, 5.3-liter V-8 or 6.2-liter V-8, and it can come in a few body configurations: double cab with standard 6.6-foot box, crew cab with 5.8-foot short box and crew cab with standard box. Note that the 1,681-pound payload is specific to the Trail Boss I tested with the 355-horsepower, 5.3-liter V-8 offering 383 pounds-feet of torque that also featured a 10-speed automatic transmission, a short box with 147.5-inch wheelbase and optional equipment.

Now, the backyard is calling — but with twice the amount of mulch needed, I called in delivery for that one.

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Managing Editor Joe Bruzek’s 22 years of automotive experience doesn’t count the lifelong obsession that started as a kid admiring his dad’s 1964 Chevrolet Corvette — and continues to this day. Joe’s been an automotive journalist with for 16 years, writing shopper-focused car reviews, news and research content. As Managing Editor, one of his favorite areas of focus is helping shoppers understand electric cars and how to determine whether going electric is right for them. In his free time, Joe maintains a love-hate relationship with his 1998 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am that he wishes would fix itself. LinkedIn: Email Joe Bruzek

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