William C. Durant founded General Motors in 1908. Within two years, he was pushed out of the company. In an effort to get back into the business, he teamed with racecar driver Louis Chevrolet, and founded Chevrolet in 1910. Within five years, Chevrolet was a part of the General Motors Company, and within another year Durant was once again president of the company. Chevrolet built their first trucks in 1918, and one of them was a one ton, the direct ancestor of the Chevrolet Silverdo 3500HD Dually 4WD.
Initially, Chevrolet trucks were just chassis, cowl, fenders and hood. The buyer supplied the cab and bed. In those days the cab was made of wood. In 1927 Chevy offered their first factory cab one ton for $610. At that time they still only made the chassis, but the cab could be pre-ordered and fitted before delivery. In 1932 Chevy pickups got engines made just for them for the first time. The same thing happened with body styles in 1934.
During much of this time the larger Chevrolet pickups were actually one and a half ton, but by 1939 the one ton was here to stay. The modern one ton, designed just after World War II, has gone through a number of names: Advanced Design in the forties and early fifties, Task Force in the late fifties, and the C and K models for a forty-year period from the sixties through most of the nineties. Initially, the term Silverado referred to the high-end C models, but they took over the entire line in 1999.
From the beginning the Silverado 3500HD has come with or without duallys, but most of them sold have been with duallys. They have also been available in four-wheel drive from the beginning. Otherwise, they are the same as other 3500HDs.
The initial 3500HDs came with either a 300 horsepower 6.0 liter V8 gasoline engine or a 6.6 liter V8 diesel. The 8.1 liter V8 gasoline was soon added. The early years also saw three transmissions, all automatic: a four speed, a five speed and a six speed.
In 2007 the second generation was released. The outer changes were minor, but there were major changes underneath the hood and in the hauling capacity. Problems with the diesel engine caused it to be dropped, but another has been added. The transmission is now limited to a six speed automatic.
The Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD Dually 4WD, like all Chevrolet pickups has a storied past, and it appears to have a promising future. They are, in a large sense, what Chevrolet has been about since their early years.