Knapheide - We Build The Best

Since its humble beginnings in 1848, The Knapheide Manufacturing Company has continually worked to improve its processes and manufacturing capabilities.  Due to this commitment of continual improvement, Knapheide stands today with the most highly automated and technologically advanced equipment and processes in the industry. Knapheide's Westphalia facility houses the majority of our manufacturing processes.  The Westphalia plant was completed in 1997 and covers a staggering 480,000 square feet.

A recent highlight in the continuing history of The Knapheide Manufacturing Company is the company receiving ISO 9001:2008 certification.  ISO is a quality management system that is recognized globally.  While the core of this certification is focused on product quality, Knapheide took the process a step further and utilized the processes to improve virtually every area of the company from how orders are received and processed to the shipping of the product to the end customer.


Our dedicated manufacturing employees are a huge asset to our company, and receive on-going training for continuous improvement.  Knapheide delights in the fact that many of its employees are multi-generational and have a long tenure with the company.   Knapheide’s training program for its welding operations is second to none. Six AWS certified CWI and CWE’s conduct a forty hour program that all welders must complete prior to joining the assembly team.  Of its team of welders, over 100 are AWS certified.

Raw Materials

Over its history, Knapheide has strategically aligned itself with leading raw material suppliers and has developed long term relationships with them that mutually benefit both sides of the partnerships.   As a result of these partnerships, cutting edge supply chain processes have been developed that cuts down lead times, enhances the quality of the products, and helps to control costs.  This enables Knapheide to continue to provide to its customers the highest quality and superior end products available in the industry.  Some of our most common raw materials include:

    A40 Galvanized Automotive Quality Steel
    Hot Rolled Steel
    Cold Rolled Steel
    Tread Plate
    Automotive Quality Finishing Products

Fabrication Equipment and Machinery

As Knapheide has evolved over the last 164 years, so has the technology in equipment and machinery.  Knapheide continues to cultivate a long term strategic alignment with The Amada Company to continually update and modernize its fabrication capabilities.  This allows Knapheide to remain the most efficient and technologically advanced company in the industry.  Knapheide utilizes the following machinery and equipment within our manufacturing facilities:

    CNC Shears
    Plasma Cutters
    Laser Cutters
    CNC Turret Punches
    CNC Press Brake
    Roll Formers
    Automated Steel Processing Cells

Assembly Process

After all of the engineering and fabrication of the prime unit parts is complete, the assembly process begins.  Knapheide’s assembly procedures and multiple progressive lines allow them to be very flexible, highly efficient, and produce the highest quality product in the industry.  Knapheide has a large offering of catalog products that is quickly available and meets a large portion of our customers needs. However, while most of the industry shy’s away from custom built products, the Knapheide Company prides itself in its ability to build product that is designed to meet specific customer requirements and needs.  Rather than limit the product available to their customers to standard product, Knapheide’s motto is “Dream it, and we will build it”.  Some of the assembly processes include:

    MIG & Resistance Welding
    Automated Robotic MIG & Resistance Welding
    Flexible Product Assembly Lines & Processes


The flagship of our manufacturing process is our automated “K-Coat” finishing system.  K-coat is a highly efficient electro-deposition coating process that is widely used in the automotive industry.  Through this process, Knapheide is proud to offer its customers the highest quality corrosion resistant coating available.

    Automotive Quality E-Coat System
    Automotive Quality Undercoating
    Automotive Quality Finish Paint

For over 166 years, Knapheide has always been a leader through our manufacturing superiority in the industries we serve.  With the ISO 9001:2008 certification, this is a new starting point for us as we meet our customer’s expectations into the 21st century.

Find out more at http://www.knapheide.com/


All-New 2015 GMC Canyon | Innovative Fuel Efficient Technologies

Discover the incredible innovations that went into making the Canyon supremely capable, yet efficient smaller pickup truck and takes professional grade engineering to the next level: http://www.gmc.com/canyon-small-picku...


2015 GMC Canyon SLE 4x4 Crew Cab: The Return of the Compact Truck?

I have to admit, I've been waiting for this one for awhile. In some ways I find it odd that a non-enthusist vehicle could matter so much. The reality is the mid-size truck segment has been left to whither over the last several years. GM's new midsize could just change all that.

As always, this is an independent, script-free review from an amateur car reviewer. I make these videos myself and am in no way affiliated or paid by the manufacturers or dealerships.

I hope this vehicle provides a valuable, real-world review for you.
thanks for stopping by.


Spied: 2016 GMC Canyon Denali

Finding good places to do cold-weather testing this winter is not a problem. Thankfully, our spy shooters have a warm truck to sit inside of while they wait for test vehicles to dart past. A thermos of hot coffee helps, too. Here's what they've sent us recently while on a stakeout outside Detroit.

    We've gotten our first look at a prototype for the GMC Canyon Denali package, which was running on a secluded industrial drive near GM's Milford Proving Grounds.

    The Canyon prototype's camouflaged front end hides a revised all-mesh grille design that is consistent with GMC's other Denali-trimmed models. Although blacked out on this prototype, the grilles will surely be finished in unmistakable brightwork to set it apart from lesser Canyon variants. The Denali's front bumper is also camouflaged, and it appears that it may be more chrome-intensive, with signs of the reflective stuff stretching across the full bumper's width. The interior shows signs of camouflaging, suggesting that some interior upgrades could also be in store.

    There have been some internet rumblings that the Denali might get a unique engine option to give the model more substance, but we have no firm confirmation of the extent of any mechanical upgrades that may distinguish the range-topping Denali from its lower-end Canyon siblings.

It's worth noting that a Denali package will likely be priced above the current top-of-the-line SLT All-Terrain package GMC has now, starting around $38,000 and climbing fast.

Photos by KGP Photography

Source: Pickuptrucks.com


GM Faces: Carolyn Lehmer.

Lehmer's Concord Buick-GMC in California has sold GM vehicles since 1936. This video was done in 2010 and has some great old photos of the dealership. It's been a family affair since they sold their first Oldsmobile and today a third generation looks to a brighter future.


A Drive-By Lesson on What Turns Your Wheels

DETROIT – Vehicles act differently on snow and ice depending on whether they have front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive and four-wheel drive. You may know which drive system your vehicle has, but do you understand how it works?

Here’s a brief spin through the options. Remember, almost every new vehicle includes an electronic traction control system that intervenes automatically to improve performance in slippery conditions.

Front-wheel drive (FWD): Simply put, engine power is channeled to the front wheels to propel the vehicle. Standard on all Buicks, FWD is the most popular and prevalent system in the market because its compact setup enhances fuel efficiency and frees up more room inside the vehicle. Plus, the weight of the powertrain is concentrated over the driving wheels, so it offers good traction when it’s slippery.

Rear-wheel drive (RWD): As the name implies, engine power is sent to the rear wheels to propel the vehicle. In passenger cars, RWD reigned until the advent of FWD in the early 1980s. But RWD can more effectively handle higher engine power and higher vehicle weights, which is why it’s still favored in large trucks, larger performance vehicles, purpose-built race cars and law-enforcement pursuit use. 

All-wheel drive (AWD): Don’t confuse all-wheel drive with four-wheel drive (below). Both engage all four wheels, but they’re designed and operate differently.

Generally, an AWD drivetrain operates as a FWD or RWD system – most are FWD. Buick’s AWD system pre-emptively sends power to front and rear axles on every launch to prevent wheel slip, then backs down if no slip occurs. Power is transferred automatically via a single-speed transfer case. (A transfer case connects to the transmission to split power between the front and rear wheels.) The beauty of AWD is no driver effort is needed to activate the system.

AWD scores high with buyers who want excellent on-road capabilities with the added traction on grass, mud, sand or gravel in light, off-road conditions where a front- or rear-wheel-drive vehicle may get stuck. Buick offers all-wheel drive on the Regal, LaCrosse, Encore and Enclave.

Four-wheel drive (4WD or 4x4): Four-wheel drive typically features a two-speed transfer case with high and low ranges for maximum traction. 4WD vehicles typically operate in RWD until four-wheel traction is required; and while most systems are driver-activated, many offer a setting that automatically engages the high range when it’s slippery. The driver must still engage the low range.

Found in large, rear-wheel-drive trucks and larger SUVs with additional ground clearance compared to passenger cars and crossovers, 4x4 still provides the best traction and capability in off-road conditions.

Buick is an international modern luxury brand offering vehicles with sculpted designs, luxurious interiors and thoughtful personal technologies, along with responsive-yet-efficient performance. Buick is attracting new customers with its portfolio of award-winning luxury models in North America and China. Learn more about Buick cars and crossovers at www.buick.com, on Twitter @buick, on Instragram, on Pinterest or atwww.facebook.com/buick


SpitzLift: Who We Are

The SpitzLift is the most payload efficient, material handling equipment available today.


Diamond Plate Package

Highway Products "Diamond Plate Package" consists of a diamond plate single lid aluminum tool box, a diamond plate headache rack with LED lighting kit, mounting hardware and installation instructions.


GMC Considering New Model—and It Could Be a Wrangler Fighter

GMC Jimmy (artist's rendering)

The Wall Street Journal reports that GMC is considering a rival for the popular (and profitable) Jeep Wrangler. During discussions with dealers, GM said it wants to leverage the experience gained from the Hummer brand as the market for SUVs rebounds in the face of lower gas costs.

We spoke to senior vehicle research analyst at Navigant, Sam Abuelsamid, about the notion of a GMC-branded off-roader. “I think it would actually make a lot of sense for GM to do something like this,” he said, pointing at the Hummer’s exploration of smaller, downsized models just ahead of the brand’s discontinuation. “They had the Hummer HX concept back in 2008 (pictured below), which surely would have been built as the H4 if Hummer had not been shuttered.”

GMC also has the relatively fresh Chevy Colorado/GMC Canyon platform now. Abuelsamid agreed that a shortened Canyon frame would be the perfect chassis to slip under a Wrangler competitor. Leveraging smaller pickup bones to create SUVs is a formula the company used to create the S-10 Blazer/S-15 Jimmy twins. The Canyon offers an inline-4, a V-6, and, soon, a turbo-diesel, all of which would be appropriate powertrains for a fun off-roader aimed at making Jeep sweat. And let’s not forget the Colorado ZR2 concept from this past November’s L.A. auto show. The appeal of a small SUV version of the concept truck is undeniable if you’ve ever enjoyed (or considered) tackling a trail.

There’s also the profit play. Abuelsamid points out, “The reason GMC survived the bankruptcy is that the auto task force looked at the numbers and saw that GMC customers were willing to pay a premium of several thousand dollars per vehicle compared to the equivalent Chevrolet models, which was mostly pure profit.” The Wrangler is a cash cow for FCA, with top-of-the-line models retailing for more than $40,000 against a base price of just $22,795 for the basic Wrangler Sport. Yet the death of the FJ Cruiser means that it’s basically unchallenged now. Competition is a good thing. A little nudge from GMC could help keep the Wrangler from getting any more civilized than it already is, and even if the GMC off-roader is a niche product, it still could prove to make money for the company.

Then again, the Jeep Cherokee could prove to be a model for GMC, too. GMC’s current Terrain is most definitely a soft-roader, but if Jeep can spin a hard-core Trailhawk version from what’s essentially a modified Dodge Dart chassis, surely GMC could turn the next-generation Terrain into something highly capable. That would perhaps also allow GMC and Chevrolet to better define and separate the Terrain and its platform partner, the Equinox.

Of course, there’s also a chance that all of this new-GMC smoke could make for a much less exciting fire in the form of a reworked, GMC-badged version of the wee Chevrolet Trax or even simply be a repackaged and reimagined next-generation Acadia to better align shared GMC/Buick dealerships, as speculated by this Ward’s Auto report.

What’s GMC’s take? We reached out to brand spokesperson Brian Goebel, who declined to comment on any speculation surrounding future GMC products.
  •     Monochromeo: Meet the Blacked-Out GMC Sierra 1500 Elevation Edition
  •     GMC Canyon Nightfall Edition: Like Skyfall, But with Far Less James Bond
  •     GMC Canyon Full Coverage: Reviews, News, Photos, Pricing, Specs, and More

Source:  http://blog.caranddriver.com/gmc-considering-new-model-and-it-could-be-a-wrangler-fighter-w-renderings/

A version of this story originally appeared on roadandtrack.com.

Research Vehicles


Watch as Bret works from sun up to sun down out of his Knapheide PGND Gooseneck Body.

Spend a few minutes with Bret Duesterhaus, ace diesel mechanic and farmer, to see how his recent upgrade to a Knapheide PGND Gooseneck Body has taken his daily productivity to a new level.  Bret puts in long hours with little time to spare so he relies on his knowledge, tools, and work truck to get the job done and move on to the next.


10 Reasons to Outfit Your Van with Sortimo Equipment

Inside Sortimo

You have decided to purchase a new vehicle?
Now all that is missing is the Sortimo equipment. Have a look at our standard solutions for your make of vehicle.

Branch specific add-ons and individual demands are absolutely no problem for us. Your local contact person will be glad to be of further assistance.

Sortimo offers real opportunities for your customers to save money and generate profits. The top advantages/benefits of Sortimo are listed below. While each benefit directly translates into a dollar value for your customer, the importance of each will vary according to individual customer needs.

1. Highest Safety

Since 1994, Sortimo equipment has been regularly crash-tested for safety with a full load. These tests have been conducted by independent agencies in Germany, UK, and France. Sortimo also offers various means of securing your cargo – from tool boxes to ladders to gas tanks – for safe transportation.

2. Lighter Weight

Sortimo equipment is up to 65% lighter than predominantly steel-made components available in the U.S. market which results in greater fuel efficiency.

3. Higher Resale/Residual Value
Sortimo’s equipment is installed without drilling into the vehicle resulting in greater resale value or residual value on a leased vehicle.

4. Transferable Upfit
Sortimo’s equipment can easily be transferred to another vehicle, extending the life cycle of our products, and eliminating the need to purchase new equipment for replacement vehicles.

5. Increased Productivity

Better organization means increased productivity of technicians who spend less time on each call, serving more customers each day.

6. Ergonomic Design

Tools and equipment are easily accessible – for working inside or outside the vehicle.

7. Mobility

Using a variety of Sortimo boxes, technicians can take their tools and parts from curbside to worksite.

8. Inventory Management

Sortimo bins and boxes can be labeled and are removable. This gives customers the flexibility to organize in the warehouse and/or van, making it easy to load all job-specific tools and parts before going out on service calls, reducing the amount of excess inventory.

9. Optimum Space Utilization

Locked-in drawers, bins, and tool boxes are arranged to optimize shelf space, allowing you to carry bigger payload in the same space, or the same payload in a smaller vehicle.

10. Versatility

Sortimo’s modular design enables customers to quickly and easily re-configure bins and BOXXes to accommodate changes in working conditions. Upgrades and modifications can be made to the existing system without having to uninstall or re-install.

Source:  http://www.sortimo.us/


2015 GMC SIERRA 1500

New for 2015:
  • ·         Hydra-Matic 8L90 eight-speed automatic transmission (6.2L V-8 models)
  • ·         Magnetic ride control suspension added to Sierra Denali
  • ·         Enhanced IntelliLink with Text Messaging Alerts and Siri Eyes Free
  • ·         Available OnStar with 4G LTE and built-in Wi-Fi hotspot (3GB/three-month data trial)
  • ·         Revised trailering ratings based on SAE J2807 Recommended Practices
  • ·         Spray-on bedliner now offered on all models – including three-dimensional GMC logo; standard on Sierra Denali (with Denali logo)
  • New, available up-level trailering mirrors with LED rear guidance lamps
·         USB port added to upper glove box on SLE models with 40/20/40 front bench seat
·         Exterior colors: Emerald Green Metallic and Stone Blue Metallic


After a complete redesign in 2014 that helped it earn a Consumers Guide® Automotive Best Buy award and Kelley Blue Book’s 5-Year Cost to Own award, the Sierra 1500 adds an all-new eight-speed automatic transmission to its powertrain roster, enhancing efficiency and refinement while maintaining capability. It’s included on models equipped with the EcoTec3 6.2L V-8 engine

Sierra’s new eight-speed automatic helps the pickup retain its 12,000-pound maximum trailering rating under newly adapted SAE J2807 Recommended Practices. Additionally, the entire lineup is available with a number of features engineered for serious towing, including the available NHT max trailering package, which features a 9.76-inch rear axle, heavy-duty rear springs, revised shock tuning, enhanced cooling and an integrated trailer brake controller to optimize capability and comfort when trailering.

The Sierra also enters 2015 with technologies that enhance connectivity, including Text Messaging Alerts, Siri Eyes Free and new, available OnStar with 4G LTE with a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot (standard on SLE, SLT and Denali). It provides a mobile hub for drivers and passengers to stay connected. The hotspot is on whenever the vehicle is on and comes with a three-month/three-gigabyte data trial.

Magnetic ride control is a new, exclusive standard feature for the distinctive Sierra Denali. Based on the real-time damping system that’s standard on the all-new, 2015 GMC Yukon Denali, it delivers more precise body motion control by “reading” the road every millisecond and changing damping in just five milliseconds.

Sierra Denali is the only full-size truck to offer magnetic ride control; and along with the available 6.2L V-8 and new eight-speed automatic transmission, solidifies its position as the most refined, technically advanced truck on the market. 

Sierra lineup
The 2015 Sierra 1500 range includes regular cab and two four-door cabs – the double cab and crew cab – body styles, all offered with 4WD. Models and trim levels the standard model, SLE, SLT and Denali (regular cab offered only in standard and SLE trims). The off-road-inspired All Terrain package is offered on double cab and crew cab models with SLE or SLT trim and includes the Z71 Off Road suspension.

Regular cab models are available with a 6’6” box or an 8’ box. Double cab models are offered exclusively with the 6’6” box, while crew cabs are available with a 5’8” box or the 6’6” box.

Along with configurations to suit just about every need, Sierra’s range of technologies is tailored to the way customers use full-size pickups, providing the power, efficiency, refinement and dependability they expect. Examples include:
·         The available 6.2L EcoTec3 V-8 is the most powerful engine offered in any light-duty pickup, with 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. It is matched with the all-new Hydra-Matic 8L90 eight-speed automatic transmission that supports Sierra’s capability with greater efficiency and refinement
  • ·         High-strength steel that makes the frames and cabs stronger and lighter, yet can take the pounding of towing, hauling and off-road operation, year after year – and helps Sierra deliver a 5-Star rating in the newest government crash test
  • ·         Strategic use of aluminum alloys to reduce the weight of engines, front suspension components, hoods and other parts
  • ·         Driver-focused interiors featuring ample storage, multiple power and USB connections
  • ·         Standard tie-down system in the rear
  • ·         The segment’s only standard projector-beam headlamps.

Additional new and enhanced features for 2015 include the available spray-on bedliner now offered on all models (standard on Denali); and a USB port is added to the upper glove box on SLE models equipped with the 40/20/40 front bench seat.

GMC backs Sierra customers with the ProGrade protection program. It includes two years/24,000 miles (whichever comes first) of scheduled maintenance, covering four services of an oil change, tire rotation and 27-point inspection. It complements the three-year/36,000-mile (whichever comes first) bumper-to-bumper limited vehicle warranty and five-year/100,000-mile (whichever comes first) powertrain limited warranty for peace of mind.

Sierra Denali details
The distinctive Sierra Denali delivers GMC capability with unique design cues and exclusive features. On the exterior it wears a signature Denali chrome grille, unique 20-inch wheels, unique interior decorative trim, a polished stainless steel exhaust outlet and body-color front and rear bumpers. Denali-specific interior details include script on the bright door sills and embossed into the front seats and real aluminum trim.

Sierra Denali’s high-tech interior also features an exclusive eight-inch-diagonal Customizable Driver Display – with unique Denali-themed screen graphics at start-up – that can show relevant settings, audio and navigation information in the instrument panel. Sierra Denali’s standard eight-inch Color Touch navigation radio with Intellilink, located above the center console, serves as the main hub for Bluetooth-connected phones and portable devices connected through five standard USB ports.

Other features standard on Sierra Denali include projector-style headlamps with LED signature daytime running lights, a factory-installed spray-on bed liner with a three-dimensional Denali log, a Bose audio system, heated and cooled leather front bucket seats, a heated steering wheel, front and rear park assist and a power sliding rear window with defogger.

And new for 2015 is third-generation magnetic ride control, which delivers more precise body motion control. Its sensors “read” the road every millisecond, triggering damping changes in as little as five milliseconds in electronically controlled shock absorbers that replace conventional mechanical-valve shocks. They’re filled with a magneto-rheological fluid containing minute iron particles and under the presence of a magnetic charge, the iron particles align to provide damping resistance. Changes in the magnetic charge alter the damping rate of the shocks, with changes occurring almost instantly. 

Off road-inspired All-Terrain
Sierra All-Terrain blends capability with unique style, including a painted grille and less chrome than other Sierra models. It is available on double cab and crew cab models with SLE or SLT trim.

The All-Terrain also includes the Z71 Off Road suspension, with Rancho monotube shocks, hill descent control, front recovery hooks, a transfer case shield and unique wheels and tires, along with an automatic locking rear differential that reacts in milliseconds in low-traction situations to improve safety and confidence on wet, snowy or muddy surfaces.

Sierra All Terrain is available exclusively with an ebony interior and with front bucket seats on SLE models. A carbon fiber-look seat accent is standard on SLT models.

Sierra design and exterior features
Sierra’s exterior design is refined and aerodynamic, helping reduce wind noise in the cabin and enhancing efficiency on the highway. Inlaid doors fit into body sides rather than wrapping over the roof and combine with triple door seals to reduce wind noise and turbulence, helping quiet the cab. Also, the front of the truck is carefully sealed to provide efficient cooling with minimal aerodynamic drag. An aluminum hood with twin power domes also enhances efficiency with lower weight than a steel hood.

The Sierra’s signature bold appearance is distinguished with the segment’s only standard projector-beam headlamps – and available LED signature accent lighting. All models have chrome grille surrounds and premium black wheel arch moldings. Different trim levels feature chrome belt moldings, mirror caps and door handles, as well as unique wheel designs and grille details. Chrome bumpers are included on standard, SLE and SLT trims, and body-color bumpers are included on All Terrain and Sierra Denali.

New, heated, power-adjustable trailering mirrors are offered on SLE and SLT – including All Terrain – and Denali, featuring segment-first LED rear guidance lamps. The large mirrors feature 51 square inches of flat mirror surface positioned over a 24.5-square-inch convex mirror surface (convex area not heated or power-adjustable). The new LED rear guidance lamps are integrated in each mirror to enhance trailer visibility when backing up, as well as an amber auxiliary clearance lamp.

When it comes to ergonomics, Sierra’s wide rear crew cab doors make it easier to get in and out of the truck, while the pickup box’s two-tier loading design, CornerStep rear bumper and ergonomically shaped handholds built into new box rail protectors make it easier to load and retrieve items.

Sierra’s design also includes a smart pickup box that’s strong and durable – and offers greater cargo flexibility. It features a two-tier loading design that allows customers to insert a platform to separate items during hauling or conceal valuables below, such as power tools.

The EZ Lift-and-Lower tailgate makes it easier to access the box. An internal torsion bar reduces the effort to raise and lower it, while a rotary damper allows for a controlled and more gradual lowering motion when opening it. The tailgate is also easily removable without tools. It is standard on regular cab SLE models, double cab and crew cab models with SLE or SLT trim, and Sierra Denali.

To ensure loaded items remain in place while the vehicle is in motion, four integrated cargo tie-down provisions are built into the lower corners of the Sierra’s pickup box and adjustable upper tie-down hooks are available. The patented upper hooks – each rated at 250 pounds – can be placed in several locations around the upper bed rails, providing flexibility for securing loads of all shapes and sizes. Moving them is fast, easy and requires only a simple hand tool. Four of the hooks are included with the optional package, with additional hooks available as accessories from GMC dealers.

A box light is standard and mounted above the rear window, while available under-rail LED lights enhance illumination and turn on with the standard overhead box lamp. They are standard on SLE and SLT.

Sierra interior details
The Sierra’s interior is roomy, quiet and functional, with a strong cab structure the foundation for its refinement. Nearly two-thirds of the cab is made of high-strength steel, while shear-style body mounts are used to tune out both up-and-down and side-to-side movement for a quiet, comfortable ride. Double and crew cab models have a set of hydraulic body mounts to further isolate the cabs.

All models feature an upright instrument panel with a six-gauge instrument cluster and multiple storage options tailored to the needs of customers who rely on their truck for more than simply hauling cargo. The controls are logically placed and easy to operate with work gloves on.

The instrument panel has a simple, intuitive six-gauge cluster. Standard models include a 3.5-inch driver information center display in the middle of the instrument cluster, with a 4.2-inch color driver information center display, for vehicle and infotainment data, standard on SLE, SLT and Sierra Denali. Ambient lighting highlights all functional areas, such as the “4x4” and headlamp switches, as well as the radio, for easier viewing at night.

All models have extensive interior storage, tailored to the way customers use their trucks. The center console – available on vehicles with front bucket seats – offers nearly 1 cubic foot (24.5 liters) of combined storage space, with the depth and width to conceal a laptop computer. Additionally, the locking console accommodates hanging files for owners who use their truck as a rolling office, as well as controls for overhead ambient lighting, map pockets along the side, movable cup holders and reconfigurable compartments. It also includes five USB ports, two 12-volt power points, a new 110-volt outlet and a cord management system, allowing owners to leave their phone charger plugged in for quicker access when it’s needed, but remains concealed and without a dangling cord when it’s not. Plus, there’s a location on the console designed specifically for cell phone storage.

The fold-down center armrest on standard models and other models equipped with the 40/20/40-split bench seat offers covered storage and connectivity, with two USB ports and two 12-volt power points.

Front seating configurations include:
  • Sierra – Standard 40/20/40-split vinyl bench seat with fold-down armrest that includes covered storage and three integrated cup holders. Cloth seating is available
  • SLE – Standard 40/20/40-split cloth bench seat with fold-down armrest that includes covered storage and three integrated cup holders. Heated, leather-trimmed bench seat available and heated, cloth front bucket seats included with All Terrain
  • SLT – Standard leather-trimmed 40/20/40-split bench seat with fold-down armrest that includes covered storage and three integrated cup holders, lockable under-seat storage compartment. Heated and cooled perforated leather front bucket seats available; heated, cloth bucket seats included with All Terrain
  • Denali – Full-feature leather-appointed bucket seats with 12-way driver and passenger power adjustments, including four-way power lumbar control and two-position driver memory.
Three interior trim colors are offered: Jet Black, Jet Black with Dark Ash accents and Cocoa with Dune accents. Sierra Denali is offered in Jet Black or Cocoa/Dune.  

IntelliLink and OnStar 4G LTE
The 2015 GMC Sierra’s next-generation IntelliLink infotainment system is better connected and offers passengers more choices for their increasingly plugged-in lifestyles. It provides easy, intuitive operation of basic functions, yet it is also highly customizable and capable of linking up to 10 devices such as smartphones, SD cards and MP3 players, giving customers more ways of staying connected.

Enhanced connectivity and convenience includes a new Text Messaging Alerts feature for smartphone users with Bluetooth profile (M.A.P.), which reads incoming texts through the vehicle’s speakers, and Siri Eyes Free for iPhone iOS 6 and iOS 7 users to enhance connectivity and convenience. Each enables voice-controlled connectivity, to help keep phones safely stowed and hands on the wheel.

Additional standard and available features include:
  • Eight-inch-diagonal color touch screen and multiple USB ports
  • Available OnStar with 4G LTE and standard built-in Wi-Fi hotspot
  • ·         IntelliLink enhancements with gesture recognition and natural language voice recognition
  • ·         Available navigation.
New OnStar with 4G LTE and standard built-in Wi-Fi hotspot provides a mobile hub for drivers and passengers to stay connected, making the Sierra a mobile, connected office on the go. The hotspot is on whenever the vehicle is on and comes with a three-month/three-gigabyte data trial.

4G LTE is the most current and fastest mobile data network – 10 times faster than 3G and 100 times faster than the previous generation of OnStar hardware. And with OnStar, it also offers stronger, broader coverage than smartphones on the same network and it’s easy to use: If the vehicle is on, the connection is on.

At the time of purchase, six months OnStar Directions and Connections includes all of OnStar’s advisor-based safety and security features, including Automatic Crash Response and Stolen Vehicle Assistance, as well as turn-by-turn navigation.

Five years of OnStar Basic Plan includes RemoteLink Key Fob Services, allowing owners to remotely start and lock/unlock a car (if properly equipped), and activate the horn and lights from anywhere with a data connection. It also includes OnStar Vehicle Diagnostics, which runs monthly checks of a vehicle’s engine, transmission, anti-lock brakes and more, and Dealer Maintenance Notification, which sends diagnostic report directly to a preferred dealer simplify service scheduling.

EcoTec3 powertrains
The Sierra’s trio of EcoTec3 engines – a 4.3L V-6, 5.3L V-8 and 6.2L V-8 – is designed to balance confident performance with efficiency. Each features direct injection, Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation) and continuously variable valve timing to make the most of power, torque and efficiency across a broad range of operating conditions:
·         The 4.3L V-6 is SAE-certified at 285 horsepower (212 kW) and 305 lb.-ft. of torque (413 Nm) – the most torque of any standard V-6.
·         The 5.3L V-8 is SAE-certified at 355 horsepower (250 kW) and 383 lb.-ft. of torque (519 Nm). With EPA-estimated fuel economy of 23 mpg highway (2WD), it offers the best fuel economy of any V-8 pickup, and beats the fuel economy estimates of the Ford EcoBoost V-6.
·         The 6.2L V-8 is the most power engine offered in any light-duty pickup truck, with SAE-certified 420 horsepower (313 kW) and 460 lb-ft of torque (623 Nm). It is available with SLT and Denali, and matched with the 8L90 eight-speed transmission.

At the heart of the EcoTec3 engine family is an advanced combustion system that maximizes the potential of the direct fuel injection system, cylinder deactivation, continuously variable valve timing and other technologies. The ability to more precisely control combustion also enables the engines to run with a higher compression ratio – 11.0:1 for the versions with regular fuel recommended. Higher compression is one of the best ways to simultaneously boost power and efficiency.

In the U.S. and Canada, the 4.3L and 5.3L engines are matched with the Hydra-Matic 6L80 six-speed automatic transmission, while the 6.2L is matched with the all-new 8L90 eight-speed automatic.

The GM-developed Hydra-Matic 8L90 is roughly the same size and weight as the 6L80 six-speed automatic. Its 7.0 overall gear ratio spread is wider than GM’s six-speed automatic transmissions. That provides a numerically higher first gear ratio, helping drivers start off more confidently with a heavy load or when trailering. The 8L90 also enables numerically lower rear axle ratios, which reduce engine rpm on the highway.

Confident driving experience
The Sierra 1500 was engineered to deliver great capability with great refinement, with a quiet, controlled ride, great steering and braking feel – attributes that provide driving confidence when using the truck’s capability to its fullest. 

A fully boxed frame with the main rails and major cross members formed from high-strength steel provides a rigid base for maximum hauling capability, great noise and vibration isolation and excellent crashworthiness.  The stiff chassis enables more precise tuning of the front and rear suspensions, for a more responsive feel with smoother performance and less vibration and shake, particularly on harsh terrain.

The 2015 Sierra benefits from a half-inch wider rear track and half-inch wider wheels introduced on the redesigned 2014 models to enhance stability and ride smoothness. The new geometry also contributes to flatter, more confident-feeling cornering whether the truck is empty, loaded or trailering. The wider wheels reduce tire flexing and new-design twin-tube shock absorbers at all corners improve low-speed damping for a smoother, more controlled ride.

All Sierra 1500 models – 2WD and 4WD – feature a coil-over-shock independent front suspension design, with forged aluminum upper control arms and cast-aluminum lower control arms on select models. They are 23 pounds lighter and 10 percent stiffer than comparable steel components.

A Hotchkiss-type axle/rear suspension design delivers the load-sharing strength and flexibility that truck owners have relied on for decades. A lineup of more robust axles is used with two-stage, semi-elliptical multi-leaf springs, complementing the higher-torque powertrains to deliver maximum strength under load. It includes:
  • An 8.6-inch axle with V-6 models offered with a 3.23 ratio in 2WD models and a 3.42 ratio with 4WD
  • A larger, 9.5-inch axle is used with 5.3L. A 3.08 ratio is standard with the 5.3L and a 3.42 ratio is standard with the 6.2L and optional with the 5.3L
  • A high-capacity 9.76-inch axle is matched with 6.2L-equipped models and is part of the available Max Trailering Package.

For owners whose work or recreation takes them off road, the Z71 Off Road package that’s part of the All Terrain package mixes aesthetic cues with greater capability, including 46mm monotube Rancho shocks, front tow hooks, a transfer case shield on 4WD models and standard 18-inch wheels with all-terrain tires. Twenty-inch wheels and all-terrain tires are also available.

Additional standard and available chassis and suspension features:
  • Hill descent control is engaged by the driver and uses the anti-lock braking system to enable a smooth and controlled descent in rough terrain. It is standard with Z71-equipped All Terrain models and available on other models.
  • Automatic locking rear differential reacts in milliseconds in low-traction situations to improve safety and confidence on wet, snowy or muddy surfaces. Without driver input of any kind, the rear axle engages when a wheel speed difference of 100 rpm or more is detected between the left and right wheels, providing instant traction for confident driving. During normal driving conditions, the differential functions as a conventional light-bias limited-slip axle. It is standard with the All Terrain and available on other models (included with Max Trailering Package).
  • Electric variable-assist power steering is standard on all models. It reduces steering effort at low speeds. Because there is no engine-driven pump, electric power steering also saves fuel and eliminates the maintenance associated with hydraulic power steering.
  • Four-wheel disc brakes. The large, vented front brake rotors measure 13 inches in diameter and are complemented by 13.6-inch rear rotors. An enhanced brake vacuum pump introduced in 2014 improves braking capability through greater brake system boost, while the brake pedal assembly itself is lighter, for a more uniform, linear feel throughout the entire pedal travel range.
  • Duralife™ brake rotors that offer up to double the service life. A GM-exclusive process protects against rust that, over time, can lead to steering wheel shudder. It involves super-heating the rotors to more than 1,000 degrees F (560 C) for an entire day in a special oven, where the nitrogen-rich atmosphere promotes nitrogen atoms to bond to the rotors’ surfaces, hardening and strengthening them.
  • StabiliTrak electronic stability control system is standard on all Sierra 1500 models, working in concert with the new four-wheel-disc brake system and four-channel ABS to provide more precise and controlled ABS stops, greater traction and excellent cornering stability. It also incorporates rollover mitigation technology, which anticipates tip-up conditions – such as fishtailing – on a flat road surface and rapidly applies brake pressure to help reduce the likelihood of a rollover.
  • Trailer sway control is also standard and works with StabiliTrak to provide an added measure of confidence when towing a trailer. It senses conditions of trailer sway and, without input from the driver, intervenes with braking and/or reduced engine power to bring the trailer under control and keep it on its intended path. The system will use electric trailer brakes when a trailer is plugged into the standard wiring harness. 
  • Integrated trailer brake controller and hill start assist are two more solutions that help owners do their work with greater confidence and less hassle. The trailer brake controller allows the driver to adjust the amount of output available to the electric trailer brake and to manually apply the brakes. With hill start assist, the brakes hold for about 1.5 seconds on grades of 5 percent or greater when the driver takes his or her foot off the brake pedal, preventing rollback for a more confident take-off on hilly roads or terrain – especially with a trailer.

The Max Trailering Package is available on 2WD and 4WD V-8 crew cab and double cab models and includes a 9.76-inch rear axle, heavy-duty rear springs, revised shock tuning for increased control, enhanced cooling and an integrated trailer brake controller. Also included is the G80 locking rear differential, a trailer hitch and bumper-mounted four- and seven-pin connectors.

Sierra safety
The 2015 Sierra’s safety systems incorporate technologies designed to protect the driver and passengers before, during and after a collision.

The available Driver Alert package, offered on Sierra Denali, regular cab SLE and double cab/crew cab SLT models, helps drivers avoid crashes with lane departure warning, forward collision alert and the segment-exclusive safety alert seat. Front and rear park assist is also included with the package on SLE and SLT (it is standard on Denali).

Forward collision alert tracks the vehicle ahead using a forward-facing camera and a three-step visual and sound alert, while the safety alert seat, uses directional vibrations to warn of crash treat. Lane departure warning technology alerts the driver when the truck drifts over a lane line when traveling at least 35 mph.

In the event of a crash, standard occupant protection features include:
  • ·         Three-point safety belts in in all rear seating positions
  • ·         Front outboard safety belt retractor pretensioners that automatically reduce slack in the shoulder belts, helping to keep occupants upright and reduce forward movement
  • ·         Energy management system retractors that gradually let out the front outboard pretensioned safety belt to manage occupant energy and limit forces to the occupant in a frontal collision
  • ·         Six standard air bags and 360-degree sensor system, including:
  • o   Dual-stage frontal air bags work with the safety belts and deploy in one or two levels to help reduce injury to the driver and outside front passenger in certain frontal collisions. A Passenger Sensing System helps detect the presence of a properly seated front passenger and determine if the frontal air bag should be allowed to inflate
  • o   Head-curtain side-impact air bags with rollover protection deploy from the roof rail area for outboard passengers
  • o   Seat-mounted side-impact air bags help protect the chest and pelvic regions of the driver and outside front passenger in a side-impact, absorbing as much crash energy as possible
  • ·         LATCH system helps customers properly install a child seat using a top tether anchor and two lower anchors located between the seat cushion and seatback.
Additionally, StabiliTrak electronic stability control with rollover mitigation technology, trailer sway control and hill-start assist are standard. A rear-vision camera is standard on SLE, SLT and Denali.