The GMC Sierra 3500HD Dually claims a truly spectacular truck heritage. The history of the GMC is almost the history of the truck. Rapid Motor Company began making trucks in 1901. Their original model sported a one-cylinder motor with a chain drive and plunged through the streets at almost 10 miles per hour. General Motors bought them out in 1909.
In 1911, GMC bought another truck company and the next year merged the labels under the name GMC trucks, and a tradition, perhaps a legend, was born. Within a few years, the chain drive was replaced by a gear drive. These first trucks were large for their day, and GMC has remained a big truck company, but GMC was already getting into light trucks, too. For the first few years, prior to 1916, they were driven by electric motors. Talk about shades of the future.
In the early day, GMC did not make bodies. Owners made or bought their own truck bodies, usually out of wood. Often the owner of a new truck simply removed the body of his old truck and transferred it to his new truck.
From 1918 General Motors was actually making two lines of light trucks. One was Chevrolet, the other started out as Pontiac, but was soon converted to GMC. While there have been differences through the years, they have gradually grown closer and closer together. By 1967 the two trucks were built at the same plant. To this day, however, GMC carries the reputation of being the real work truck of the pair, which is interesting since they also are the most upscale.
Sierra 3500HDs may or may not be duallies, but generally are, and have been for much of their history. On the other hand, four wheel drive did not become popular until after World War II. But it soon made its way into the light truck field. The Sierra name was used in various ways for the GMC light pickup trucks over the years, but was standardized as the name of the line from 1999.
From the first of the new style Sierra, the body has not changed much; however, in 2007 the second generation Sierra added a number of improvements to their hauling and towing capacity. At the same time, they cut both the engines and the transmissions from three to two. Currently the 3500HD comes in either a 6.0 liter gasoline with 353 horsepower or a 6.6 liter diesel motor pushing 375 horsepower, each with its own six speed automatic transmission.
However much they have changed over the years, one thing remains the same. There are few things on earth that give the same feeling of power as getting behind the wheel of a Crew Cab GMC Sierra 3500HD Dually 4WD pickup truck with a long bed. It is truly a man's vehicle (even if women can drive it).