Well, I just took a major step for Diesel Resource. I became a member of the “fake news” media. Chevrolet invited me to attend their 2020 Silverado HD reveal as a member of the press core. While I’ve been to several truck shows and large auto events, I’ve never been to the exclusive reveal of a diesel truck before. It was AMAZING and I absolutely plan on attending more truck events just like this one. Don’t worry though, I won’t feed you any political BS- just insightful truck information.
Prior to the Event
It’s hilarious honestly, I believed it too good to be true. I’m a young guy, 24 years old to be exact, so of course I told my parents. The first thing my mother said was, “the whole thing is probably a sex trafficking scheme Kamil.” Oh yeah, mom, I’m sure I’m the ideal candidate for abduction by a trafficking organization. Sadly, the conspiracy theorist in me led me to call around to make sure it was legit anyways. As you can probably guess, it was legitimate!
But really, what an opportunity this was for me. I’ve owned several Duramax trucks already, and I know quite a bit about them. However, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect with this event. Was I as knowledgeable as everyone else? Would I fit in? How would my writing compare to others? Who knew. As Im sure you all would agree with me, no man should back down from a challenge or uncertainty. So I went, and here’s what happened.
Upon arrival, a member from Chevrolet greeted us. They helped us load our bags, and we departed to the hotel in a brand new Chevrolet Tahoe. When we arrived, I got the keys to my room, went upstairs, and relaxed for an hour. Around six, I went downstairs for dinner. Chevrolet had a bus waiting to take us to the Tap House. Waitresses guided us to several long tables reserved for our party in the back of the restaurant when we arrived.
Initially, I was nervous. This was my first, BIG-TIME networking opportunity and I didn’t want to screw it up. Fortunately, the guys and gals around me were amazing. I met some really inspiring people that gave me some terrific advice and insight. Some of them had been doing this for around 40 years- that is almost twice as long as I’ve been alive. If you’re reading this, I can’t thank you enough, Dave, Russ, and Mike. Be sure to check them out by clicking their respective links. They are some incredibly insightful guys that do some really neat stuff in the automotive industry. I tried to soak in every granule of information and advice possible. The bus took us back to the hotel after dinner.
According to the itinerary, we had to meet downstairs no later than 9 AM for transportation to the event the next morning. Originally, with the intent of waking up early and being extra productive, I set 10 alarms between 6 and 7 AM. There was no way I was going to be late to this event. Then, I spent a little bit of time working on some articles and posts, and I went to sleep.
Not a single alarm went off the next morning. Thankfully, I’m a morning person. I woke up at 8:15, tried to get my $h!t together and proceeded downstairs. I made it down to the lobby at 8:55.
After all of us- the media- had taken a seat on the bus, we were taken to the Chevrolet manufacturing center where the underbodies for heavy duty trucks were built. There was a Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD dually conveniently placed right in front. The truck had a digital white/grey camo color scheme and I’m convinced it was put there as a tease, because we would only see SRW Silverado HDs that day.
After snapping as many pictures as possible, we were escorted to a large conference room in the facility. Chevy had set up an impressive reception for us. There was an abundance of food and drinks and even a staff of waiters. They gave us around 30 minutes to network before we were led to the location of the debut.
The 2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD Debut
Several new 2020 Chevrolet HD trucks attached to massive trailers sat next to a huge screen that displayed the beginning of the presentation that was about to take place. Many of the higher-ups from Chevrolet were there, including the President of GM. I took a seat in the third row, and I awaited the start of the presentation.
By this time, I could hardly contain my excitement. I was literally shaking. My heart was beating out of my chest and I won’t lie, I was really nervous too. So nervous in fact, I was sweating bullets. If you watched my first ever IG TV and YouTube videos covering the new HD trucks you may have noticed.
After a couple of minutes, the presentation started. The 2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD was introduced in style. Hype music, accompanied by the arrival of the presenters included the upper echelon of Chevrolet who listed facts, specifications, and highlighted some of the critical changes in the 2020 Heavy duty Silverado trucks. Upon conclusion, we had access to five sparkly, new trucks in varying trims, and two huge trailers.
The 2020 L5P Engine was on display along with the all-new 10-speed Allison Transmission that will be featured on 2020 Duramax trucks. Engineers and product specialists surrounded every single item of interest so we could ask questions and interview them about pretty much anything we wanted to.
Because I’m the primary writer for a Diesel blog, DieselResource, I focused on the Diesel Trucks. I took over 700 pictures and videos in the course of maybe two hours. I talked to the engineers involved in the New L5P engine and the 10-speed Allison Transmission, and I took my very first live video for Facebook and Instagram. After watching it, to my surprise the video wasn’t as awkward as it felt while filming. No one starts out perfect; I’m just glad I did it. Once I finished, I returned to the conference room for lunch. That was it for the debut!
Touring GM’s HD Truck Facilities
The only thing cooler than the debut of the new truck was seeing the manufacturing process for Chevy HDs. The three facilities we visited were massive- millions of square feet between them to give you an idea. Our guide told us to stay with group before our visit because we could easily get lost, for instance.
We began our tour with the Underbody facility. This facility is home to hundreds of machines and incredible robots responsible for assembling the foundation of the trucks. Now, while we did get to see the machines replicate their intended duties, they weren’t assembling any trucks. We met with several engineers who guided us through their respective roles.
Next, we went to the state-of-the-art paint facility responsible for applying paint to the heavy duty trucks. Our first part of the tour took place where the HDs received their base layers. My initial theories of the painting process were completely wrong. Paint being applied categorically by color was how I had always envisioned it. In other words, X amount of white trucks would be painted, followed by Y amount of black trucks etc… Instead, machines paint the Silverado HDs one after the other in all different colors. Quality control workers scrutinize the trucks after every step of the paint process. They re-route trucks with defects for correction. Trucks move to the next facility when they have successfully passed all QC measures.
Mechanical Assembly Facility
Next, we visited the mechanical assembly plant. This is where the trucks receive their final assembly. This was by far my favorite part of the tour. There had to be hundreds of workers assembling all the different trucks. I remember one particular station, where we watched workers assembling multiple types of trucks.
I thought there would be a separate line for each distinct powertrain combination. This was not the case! Major props to GM’s workers for having the know-how to assemble every truck they put out. Workers wasted no time when putting together HD trucks. In true assembly line fashion, workers complete their designated portion of the truck. The trucks hardly stop, they just proceed along inch by inch. By the time the truck had left two workers, it was inching into the space of another pair, who proceeded with their role. It was teamwork at its finest.
HindSight And The Road Home
After the event, Chevrolet took me to the airport. My mind was full of ideas for future events, and how I could better serve my audience. All it takes is one big break. Chevrolet made that happen for me. If you’re reading this Chevrolet, I can’t begin to tell you how much I appreciate the opportunity. Everyone I met from Chevrolet was wonderful, and willing to help. I am looking forward to working with you in the future!
Find Out More About the 2020 Silverado HD
The 2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD had exceeded my expectations. It was definitely Chevrolet’s most unique heavy duty truck to date, featuring a multitude of new features and a redesigned body. Check out the full article covering the new trucks by clicking here. Make sure you subscribe to our Diesel Blog! We are actually going to Las Vegas next week for our first look at the new Ram 2500! Don’t Miss Out!