Turnabout is fair play in the automotive business, so after Ford and then Dodge gave their heavy-duty pickup lines a top-to-tailgate remodel, truck buyers could guess that it wouldn't be long before General Motors' fleet of HD work vehicles would get an overhaul as well.

And indeed, in March The General announced that "significantly" remodeled 2500HD and 3500HD pickups for both Chevy and GMC were on the way – and these vehicles will hit showrooms just as this issue goes to press. Highlights include a brawny new 6.6-liter Duramax diesel (397 hp with 765 pound-feet of torque) matched to a fuel-conserving Allison six-speed transmission and a "smart" exhaust brake system. Standard towing capability has been increased to more than 21,700 pounds and payload to 6,635 pounds for the 3500HD trucks and 4,192 for the 2500HDs. Also, a posh four-wheel-drive crew-cab Denali model has been added to the GMC Sierra 2500HD series.

We'll have an opportunity to drive and test the new GM HDs in the months ahead, so watch for a more complete report in the next Tools of the Trade.