‘Nother lovely day, and more blogger mischief to get into. Noted that GM’s much vaunted new full size pickup appeared at the tiny Tyler Chevy dealer yesterday, wasn’t greatly impressed, then went online to study it some more and was even less impressed. Here’s the link so you can see for you’self: http://www.chevrolet.com/silverado-1500-pickup-truck.html

Note the huge interior, rooming enough for the four morbidly obese 99% percentile american males. They’ll be well catered too, with big gulp swallowing cupholders aplenty,  heated steering wheels and cooled seats to warm and cool the target market despite their clogged arteries (you don’t even want to see the varicose veins). Too lazy to turn your head and check the mirrors? GM has thoughlessly provided a wide screen rear view camera right in the dash. About the only thing they forgot was the in seat massagers to stave off deep vein thrombosis, and no doubt GM “Engineering” is on that case. And that’s just the front seat, the back seat is big enough to take up residence in.

All that vastness and those features end at the business end, with a box that puts crew cab mini pickups to shame. For now the “long box” is only six feet and change long, in fact a few inches shorter than my Ranger’s 7 foot box. And weight capacity? If you order the maximum payload package you’ll have a ton of payload, providing you’ve got a very skinny driver who packs a light lunch. Worse yet, the garden variety models you’ll find on a dealers lot seem to have but a 7200 pound GVW rating… Seat 6 big boys in their and you’ll have to drink light, ’cause there may not be enough weight capacity left for a case of beer! Optimistically, GM claims a 12,000 pound tow rating… With the minimum recommended 10% hitch weight, that’s 1200 pounds hanging abaft the back axle, not a good weight distribution for a target market whose blood pressure is already in the danger zone.

So what we have here folks is the supersized 2014 edition of the 1964 Impala 4 door, neatly packaged to cocoon aging boomers in comfort from Social Security eligibility to grave, with a handy OnStar button to push when “the big one” happens. Heck, I suspect it’s already prewired for a defibrillator. Kinda surprising to see such a backward looking product from GM, a company that’s had it’s own recent near death experience. A new pickup for the remains of the big three is a billion dollar investment, essentially betting the company given the huge share of their production these full size pickups amount to.

Looking at Chevy’s “find a vehicle page” I found no listing for the new Silverado, but noted that the Cruze diesel was reputedly on the ground at the dealership in Brookings. Wanted to stop by and harass Motorvation today, but looked like slight chance of rain so I rode to Brookings instead. Sure ‘nough, no Cruze diesel in stock in Brookings, reputedly in transit… Wonder if Lordstown even built it yet?

Grabbed the obligatory burger at Nick’s, then backroaded to three more dealers. All had the “all new” Silverado in stock, all talked down the new one and talked up the old one, and none offered a test drive. So GM, after “investing” a billion taxpayer dollars, this supersized ’64 Impala remix is all you got to show for all those dollars? GM’s future rides on this new truck, and that future’s lookin’ bleak…

Having finally bagged the elusive South Dakota 17 axle 170,000 pound or so double trailer rig a couple months back, I though further spotting of such species would be unnecessary. Then going the other way… How many axles was that? Couple minutes later I got a side view at lower speed- 4 axle tractor, twin 6 axle trailers, and a 4 axle dolly. That’s 20 axles, and punching those numbers into the bridge formula gives a legal gross weight of around 190,000 pounds! Have to see if I can get a picture of one standing still…

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