Chevrolet 2500HD ute

Check out the latest offering from the USA – the King of all utes – the Chevrolet 2500HD Duramax Diesel 4X4

  • Heavy duty towing capacity
  • Smooth, quiet and clean engine
  • Six-speed Allison automatic transmission
  • Reversing camera
  • Large tray
  • Huge amount of options to suit any buyer

Taupo business man Neil Keen of Neil’s Tyres, allowed me to test drive his 2009 Chevrolet 2500HD, which he had recently taken delivery of. Using his Chevy to haul a 3.5-tonne mobile tyre changing set-up on a fifth-wheel trailer, Keen is able to come to the rescue anywhere in the Central North Island.

Left-hand to right-hand drive

Neil purchases his Chevy trucks from Bunce Motors in Glenfield, Auckland. Bunce specialises in importing and converting the trucks to right-hand drive, and does a very tidy job of the conversion. The only giveaway is the convex wing mirror on the right-hand side, and the bonnet lever remains on the left.

Engine and power

The Chevy’s huge 365hp/272kW is courtesy of the small (by American standards) Duramax Diesel 6.6L V8 Turbo engine, which has common rail, electronic fuel injection and a variable geometry turbo. The lack of turbo lag was especially noticeable when taking off from a standstill; the truck just bursts into life even with the 3.5-tonne trailer hitched on.

The 895nm of torque available at 1600rpm made getting around the farm, the road, and even climbing up steep hills, easy.

Emissions from the engine are taken care of by an exhaust recirculation system, as well as a diesel particulate filter system that cleans the exhaust emissions so much that there is no trace of smoke from the exhaust at any time.

Even though the Chevy is a big diesel truck, the engine runs smooth, quiet and clean.


All that power is controlled via the heavy duty six-speed Allison automatic transmission, which has a handy towing mode that locks the torque converter in lower gears to prevent heat build-up in the transmission. There is also a grade braking system incorporated into the transmission, which has multiple settings, and in conjunction with the exhaust brake, keeps the big rig under control on the down hill without touching the foot brakes.


The four-wheel antilock disc brakes were very smooth to operate. And being an American truck, the Chevy has electric trailer brakes to match up to the big fifth-wheel trailer.


Regular servicing has been enforced by way of a computerised system that monitors kilometres traveled and fuel used. When the truck is due for a service, the computer de-rates the power output until servicing is complete.

Getting parts and service for the Chevy is no problem, with most common parts available overnight. If you have a fault with the truck it can be taken to your nearest Holden dealer, which can us a diagnostics computer and diagnose the problem in no time.


The big four-door crew cab on this Chevy is very well equipped, starting with leather seats and 10-way power-adjustable heated front seats. Duel-zone climate air conditioning and a colour reversing camera in the rearview mirror are great features.


When tackling the offroad terrain, the Chevy is easily changed into 4WD by the flick of a switch on the move, but requires stopping to change to low range. The big truck holds its own when driving down slippery farm tracks and roaming around rolling hill country on the farm. However, the truck’s three-tonne weight and long wheelbase restrict it from going anywhere too crazy.

Suited to…

With its high dollar value, the Chevy is suited to large-scale farmers and contractors that want a versatile vehicle with a towing capacity that will save on transport costs when shifting their own stock and supplies.

I could see this being very useful to horse owners as the Chevy has the capability to tow multiple horses while the owners drive in style.

This is also an ideal truck for motorsport teams to haul their race hardware around.


Neil opted for a 5″ big bore exhaust from the particulate filter to the back, an upgrade from the standard 4″. He also optioned a cold air box and bigger air filter to further improve performance. There are many more options available depending on the needs of the owner.

See the latest issue of Farm Trader magazine for in-depth farm vehicle reviews.


Cargo volume 2.1m³
Payload 1780kg
Fuel tank 129L
Seating 5
Trailer weight rating 7167kg
Gross vehicle weight 4173kg
Overall length 6.21m
Overall width 2.03m


Photography: Robert Crafar

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