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Mr. Truck

Chevrolet Kodiak upfitted by Monroe Trucking Equipment

There are so many improvements to GM’s heavy duty models’ all new platform. The 2007 Classic is the same truck as 2006. The other 2007 HD 2500/3500 is the new one that looks like the 2007 light duty, which is just called Silverado (Chevy) and Sierra (GMC).

There are level towing mirrors again, and the side terminal battery finally went away after 30 years. The seat belt is back in the roof where you can adjust it. There are no armrests in the seat, and the center console is wider with more padding. Fit and finish is improved, with the smallest gaps in GM history where the hood meets fender, and cab to bed gap in this new GMT-900 platform ” a dramatic improvement from the previous model.

The dually outside bed wall is hydro formed with sheet metal instead of the previous fiberglass. The Chevy model has a giant bumper. Both Chevy and GMC have a larger grill in the Heavy Duty compared to Light Duties (1500). The interior has two dash/door designs (luxury and pure pickup) with soft knobs and dash material. The dash has six gauges besides all the info in the digital readout.

The extended cab doors will open 170 degrees and the windows roll down in the door. Heated windshield washer fluid is nice for a Colorado winter. The hood, grill and fenders differentiate the Chevy from GMC.

New for 2007, GMC and Chevy have a factory trailer brake controller option in the HD2500/3500, manufactured by Continental (tire and electronics giant.)Their new controller has digital readout in the dash. When you apply the truck ABS brakes, it will reduce the gain to the trailer. The controller gain adjustment and hand control is on the left side of the steering column. It’s all electronic, not hydraulic like Ford Tow Command.

The two choices for engines are the 6.6L Duramax diesel and the 6.0L Vortec gas V-8 engine. Both with 6-speed automatics, the diesel gets the famous Allison Automatic. The 6.0L gas engine has a new Hydra-Matic 6L90. I’m impressed with the new 6-speed auto for the 6.0L gas engine. It has a double overdrive, but the gearing is spaced to where all 6 gears can help with towing and fuel economy. You can manually shift it also with a toggle switch and lock each gear like a manual transmission with grade shifting. The 6.0L gas engine has new variable valve timing for quicker throttle response.

The 6.6L LMM Duramax diesel engine for the new 2007 GM is almost identical to the 2006 and 07 Classic with the 6.6L LBZ Duramax, with the addition of the EGR cooler and Diesel Particulate Filter. Horsepower went up to 365 with torque at 660lb.-ft. The diesel option cost is $7,195. The cost of the Allison automatic is $1,200, though you can’t get it any other way. Over $1,000 is built into the price of Silverado’s and Sierra’s for the automatic, so true cost of the Allison is closer to $2300. Which seems like a bargain compared to the similar cost of the top navigation radio and CD option.

2007 GM C4500/5500

GM has a class 4 pickup truck too. It’s a Monroe conversion sold through all the GM truck stores. I drove the Cinch package in Kentucky horse country last summer. These were 2007 diesels, the new LMM Duramax. With a standard exhaust brake, these big looking trucks have the cab from the G vans. So they even have a doghouse (rear engine cover in the cab) and the rear window is large enough to see down to the gooseneck ball when the rear seat is down. The hood tips forward like the big rigs. It has 19.5 inch wheels, a 50k to 80k psi flat frame and even an air seat option.

The large mirrors take some getting use to. The 8 foot dually bed is very similar to its 3500 cousin. The Solo model has been lowered four inches. This model will have bedrail clearance like most 3/4 ton truck.

2007-08 Dodge Ram

An upgraded turbo diesel engine debuted at the beginning of calendar-year 2007. Replacing the previous 5.9-liter engine mid year in the 2500/3500, and last December in the HD 3500, the new 6.7-liter turbo diesel delivers 350 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque and comes matched to a new six-speed automatic transmission. An exhaust brake option debuts as well.

Not much changed for 2007 Dodge trucks, except the new 3500 Heavy Duty Chassis Cab with the new 6.7L Cummins diesel and optional 6-speed Aisin automatic transmission. The big news is the Dodge 2008 Ram 4500/5500 chassis cab model. We don’t have a release date yet. 3500 HD out now and 4500/5500 Chassis Cab offer two cabs, Quad and regular. The new 6.7-liter Cummins turbo diesel engine built since March, achieves 2010 NOx emission standards three years early.

The standard engine, the 5.7-liter HEMI V8 gas engine generates up to 345 horsepower at 5,400 RPM (330 HP in Ram 3500) and 375 pound-feet of torque at 4,200 RPM. Hemi comes with a 6-speed manual transmission or a 5-speed automatic.

2007 Dodge RAM Chassis Cab 3500 Heavy Duty offers their new 6-speed automatic, the Aisin AS68RC for $2,295. Diesel option is $6,100 for 6.7L in the 2500/3500 pickup. Out last December was the 3500 Heavy Duty Chassis Cab.

Towing capacity for the Ram 3500 Chassis Cab 2×4 Quad Cab is 16,050 lbs. One large fuel tank at 52 gallons, the fuel hose goes through the frame for upfitters to add an aftermarket bed. Oil changes intervals have gone up to 15,000 miles.

Kent Sundling (alias “Mr. Truck”) spent 20 years wearing out pickup trucks as only a farmer could. With over 1 million miles pulling trailers, Mr. Truck has a unique collection of truck and farm stories that will educate and entertain. Mr.Truck gave up his bib overalls and John Deeres in his quest to save the farm and moved to the big city to sell trucks. After selling trucks for 10 years, this farmer now writes for eight magazines and owns over two dozen Web sites, helping folks find the “Right Truck.” If you have a question for Mr. Truck, you may contact him at his Web site, http://www.mrtruck.net.


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