Hauling Another Engine - 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 LT Crew Long-Term Road Test

2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 LT Crew Long-Term Road Test

2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500: Hauling Another Engine

October 7, 2013

2014 Chevrolet Silverado

I recently used our long-term 2014 Chevrolet Silverado to schlep an engine to Specialty Cars for a bit of fab work. Really, the bed of a pickup truck is the only way to move an engine from one place to another that's any more than a few yards away. In my experience engines are too dense, precarious and awkward to safely transport using any other type of vehicle.

After wheeling the longblock down my driveway (the Silverado's too wide for my narrow driveway, though a mid-size pickup would fit) on the hook of a hoist, I lowered it into the Silverado's bed. One thing is for sure: The beds of half-ton pickups have grown higher and higher over the years as trucks have incrementally grown more capable of hauling ever-heavier loads. I practically had to pump the hoist's cylinder to its max stroke in order to clear the Silverado's tailgate (a midsize pickup's lower bed height would have been welcome).

In fact, the loading height of half-ton pickups has grown so tall that GM now includes a corner step in the new Silverado/Sierra (and a few years ago Ford devised that handy pull-out tailgate step). They're handy, to be sure. I used our Silverado's corner step many times while finagling the engine into position.

Blocks of wood were plopped down to give a bit of cushion between the engine and the bed (unlike the last time an engine was hauled in this truck).

Once the engine was off the hoist, I shoved it and wood up against the tailgate, sandwiching a heavy-duty shipping box and slabs of that expandable packing foam stuff in between. One tie-down strap around the block anchored at the bed's rearmost tie-down hooks was enough to hold the engine in place with complete security. This is by far the best way I've found to secure an engine in a pickup's bed. The second strap over the valve cover is totally superfluous, but I felt better about having it there.

Once in place, I drove the 28 miles to Specialty Cars. Carefully. Easy over the bumps. Not too fast, and with plenty of space between me and the cars ahead in the freeways' slow lanes. The trip was entirely uneventful, which is the only way you want ones like this to go.

A meager payload such as this one didn't faze the beefy Silverado, of course. Even a midsize truck's payload capability still would have easily been capable of accommodating it (are you noticing a trend here?). I like this Silverado, and after this exercise I'm really intrigued by the potential of the GM's upcoming, all-new Colorado/Canyon twins.

Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor


  • stever stever Posts:

    Seeing the built-in step in my brother's '13 F-150 for the first time amused me - you really need step-ladders any more for these rigs. The way to go is to stick the engine on a pallet and then slide it into the back of my minivan with a pallet jack. And my van would fit in your driveway too. Seriously, I'm surprised that more pickups don't come with liftgates these days; it's way too hard to toss junk in the back of them.

  • noburgers noburgers Posts:

    I sense a logical addition to the future long term fleet will be a Canyon/Colorado. The first gen was kind of underwhelming compared to their big brothers, and safety rankings were poor. Yet people I know who own them love them.

  • agentorange agentorange Posts:

    Seems like the fullsize pickup market says "bigger is better; until you cannot reach". How nice!

  • hybris hybris Posts:

    It's a pity that Ford stopped making the Ranger or least isn't allowing their Global version in the US. Also I would like to note that climbing on the trucks tires is a good way to get in and out of these trucks, the alternative being getting a set of full length running boards.

  • hybris hybris Posts:

    @Stever While I can appreciate the idea of having truck come from the factory with lift gates there is the fact that most people wouldn't know how to use them safely and would wind up suing the truck companies. Until people get more common sense we all wi

  • duck87 duck87 Posts:

    I know what you mean about precarious engines. I remember transporting inline 4s in the back of a Civic hatch, and I always used copious amounts of tie straps and boxes to keep it from moving. Flat 4s are only slightly easier, surprisingly.

  • bankerdanny bankerdanny Posts:

    Speaking of engines, are the dwarves done mining and hand forging the new engine for the Miata yet?

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