Company says it used a variety of different tests to prove its bed is superior.

Chevrolet is doubling down on claims that the high-strength steel bed in the Silverado is stronger than the stamped aluminum bed in the Ford F-150.

Following the release of controversial videos this morning, the company has revealed its methodology and testing behind the claims.  Chevrolet says it conducted 26 real-world demonstrations and a handful of laboratory tests which showed the Silverado’s bed "consistently outperformed" the competition.

While Chevrolet has a vested interest in proving its truck bed is better, the company purchased 12 pairs of truck beds through retail dealerships and all demonstrations were conducted without bedliners.  The company goes on to say that in the real-world demonstrations, scratches and dents that did not affect the utility of the truck bed were classified as surface damage.  Fractures, ruptures, and holes were considered puncture damage if they could allow small items - such as nails or gravel - to pass through them.

For the lab tests, General Motor's Research and Development Laboratory used a Dynatup 9250HV machine fitted with a 17 pound wedge striker.  Engineers cut 6.3 x 6.3 inch samples of both truck beds and then dropped the striker on the raised rib of each sample.

The tests showed the following:

  • At 20 joules, both samples deformed but remained intact.
  • At 30 joules, the aluminum sample exhibited hairline fracture while the steel sample showed only increased deflection.
  • At 40 joules, the striker punctured the aluminum sample while the steel sample showed increased deflection. To confirm this finding, 20 pairs of samples were tested at the same level, with consistent results.
  • Steel samples were then subjected to progressively higher impact targets with the first pinhole puncture observed at 90 joules.

Check out the press release for additional information

Source: Chevrolet

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Chevy truck bed tests

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CHEVROLET SILVERADO IMPACT STRENGTH ENGINEERING OVERVIEW AND DEMONSTRATION METHODOLOGY

DETROIT — Chevrolet released two videos today demonstrating the customer benefits of the Silverado’s roll-formed, high-strength-steel bed floor. In laboratory testing, as well as 26 real-world demonstrations, the impact strength of the Silverado’s bed consistently outperformed the stamped aluminum bed of the competition.

All of the comparisons were conducted on 2016 model year Chevrolet Silverado and Ford F-150 trucks. A total of 12 pairs of truck beds were used for video demonstrations, all purchased through retail dealerships. All demonstrations were conducted without bedliners, in order to compare the impact strength of each vehicle’s bed construction.

For the real-world demonstrations, scratches or dents that did not affect the utility of the truck bed were classified as surface damage. Ruptures, fractures, or other holes were classified as puncture damage if they could affect the utility of the truck bed by allowing gravel, nails or other small items to leak onto driveline components, the roadway below, or vehicles behind the truck; snag heavier cargo, making it harder to load/unload the truck; tear or split further, exacerbating the issue.

Laboratory Testing
Scientific testing was conducted in GM’s Research and Development Laboratory using a Dynatup 9250HV machine fitted with a wedge striker measuring 0.7 inch (18 millimeters) wide and weighing 17 pounds (7.7 kilograms).

Samples measuring 6.3 x 6.3 inches (160 x 160 millimeters) were cut from new pickup truck beds and fitted to a support fixture in the Dynatup with a 4 x 4-inch (102 x 102-millimeter) opening. The striker was dropped on the raised rib of each sample, with a new sample used for every test. For each test, the Dynatup was calibrated to identical impact-energy targets (measured in joules):  

  • At 20 joules, both samples deformed but remained intact.
  • At 30 joules, the aluminum sample exhibited hairline fracture while the steel sample showed only increased deflection.
  • At 40 joules, the striker punctured the aluminum sample while the steel sample showed increased deflection. To confirm this finding, 20 pairs of samples were tested at the same level, with consistent results.
  • Steel samples were then subjected to progressively higher impact targets with the first pinhole puncture observed at 90 joules.

Landscaping Block Demonstration
For an extreme demonstration of the relative impact strength of the two different bed materials, 55 landscaping blocks weighing a total of approximately 825 pounds (374 kilograms) were dropped into the bed of each truck.

For the demonstration, blocks were randomly loaded into skid-steer loaders and dropped from an identical height of 5 feet, measured from the bed floor to the bottom, rearmost point of the bucket. 

The drops were conducted simultaneously with two trucks, and each truck was fitted with a new bed without a bedliner. To ensure consistency, each set of blocks was used for a maximum of four drops, and then replaced with new.

A total of 12 demonstrations were conducted for video. In 12 out of 12 drops, the Silverado’s roll-formed, high-strength steel bed exhibited only surface damage with no punctures. In 12 out of 12 drops, the stamped aluminum bed exhibited significant puncture damage, averaging 4.3 holes per demonstration (see table 1).  

Toolbox Demonstration
For a more commonplace demonstration of the impact strength of each bed material, a steel, handheld toolbox was pushed from the side rail of each pickup truck bed. This was done after each truck bed had been subjected to one drop of landscaping blocks.

The toolbox used for one of the videos featuring Eric Stanczak and Howie Long was a McMaster-Carr 6571A1 toolbox loaded with tools for a total weight of 32 pounds (13.6 kilograms). The toolbox used for the “Real People, Not Actors” campaign was an empty Snap-On KRA21G toolbox weighing 28 pounds (12.3 kilograms). In every case, the toolbox was pushed diagonally off the side rail of the truck bed.

For the Silverado, the toolbox merely dented the roll-formed high-strength steel bed in 12 out of 14 demonstrations. In the remaining two demonstrations, the toolbox left a small, pinhole puncture on the bed floor. The toolbox dented the F-150’s stamped aluminum bed once out of the 14 demonstrations. In the remaining 13 demonstrations, the toolbox left a sizable puncture in the bed floor. (See table 2).

Table 1: Landscaping Block Demonstration Results

Landscaping Block Demonstration

Roll-formed, high-strength steel Silverado bed
Punctures

Stamped aluminum F-150 bed
Punctures

“Eric Stanczak/Howie Long” Drop

0

5

“Real People, Not Actors”
Drop for Group 1

0

3

“Real People, Not Actors”
Drop for Group 2

0

6

“Real People, Not Actors”
Drop for Group 3

0

5

“Real People, Not Actors”
Drop for Group 4

0

3

“Real People, Not Actors”
Drop for Group 5

0

5

“Real People, Not Actors”
Drop for Group 6

0

6

“Real People, Not Actors”
Drop for Group 7

0

1

“Real People, Not Actors”
Drop for Group 8

0

3

“Real People, Not Actors”
Drop for Group 9

0

6

“Real People, Not Actors”
Drop for Group 10

0

5

“Real People, Not Actors”
Drop for Group 11

0

4

TOTAL

0

52

 

Table 2: Toolbox Demonstration Results

Toolbox Block Demonstration

Silverado Punctures

F-150 Punctures

“Eric Stanczak/Howie Long” Push

0

1

“Real People, Not Actors”
Push for Group 1

0

1

“Real People, Not Actors”
Push for Group 2

0

1

“Real People, Not Actors”
Push for Group 3

0

1

“Real People, Not Actors”
Push for Group 4

0

1

“Real People, Not Actors”
Push for Group 5

0

1

“Real People, Not Actors”
Push for Group 6

0

1

“Real People, Not Actors”
Push for Group 7

1 (Pinhole dimple)

1

“Real People, Not Actors”
Two Pushes for Group 8

0
0

1
1

“Real People, Not Actors”
Push for Group 9

0

1

“Real People, Not Actors”
Push for Group 10

 1(Pinhole dimple)
0

0
1

“Real People, Not Actors”
Push for Group 11

0

1

TOTAL

2

13