There are many functions to the 2022 Chevrolet Silverado HD, work being the primary among them. For a vehicle that can handle a maximum payload of 7,442 lbs and tow up to 36,000 lbs, you’d think that subtlety might be lost on such a brute. Think again.
While other truck makers were focused on increasing performance and creature comforts, GM, having all that sorted, was focused on something else. GM was focused on reinventing something that nobody really thought needed reinventing: the pickup tailgate.
For many, this is akin to reinventing the wheel. Wasn’t the tailgate perfect already? Couldn’t you already use it to increase bed length, as a workbench, or as a seat upon which to enjoy a beverage as the sun goes down over the lake? Of course you could, but what if it could do more?
The Multi-Flex tailgate, which is available on all trim levels of the 2022 Silverado HD, has six separate functions, all of which make it the most unique tailgate on the market. It’s something we didn’t know we needed, but now that we have it, why isn’t everyone doing it?
Opening the Gate
The number one function of any tailgate is to act as the barrier between the payload and the road behind. Therefore, it should be able to act like any other door: open and close. On the Silverado HD, this is accomplished in three ways. First, from the keyfob. A touch of a button not only unlocks but opens the gate. The tailgate opens smoothly and gently, not heavy and clanking like the tailgates of old. This ease of opening is achieved with the combined use of a spring and a damper, which act to slow down the heavy tailgate and also make it easier to close back up again.
The other two ways to open the tailgate come in the form of conveniently placed buttons. One exists on the main instrument panel inside the truck, the other on the tailgate itself. Both are one-and-done pushes, which open the tailgate smooth as silk.
The Multi-Flex tailgate is actually two gates: the primary gate and the inner gate. The inner gate is a smaller gate incorporated into the primary gate and is what unlocks the majority of the features of this multipurpose tailgate. One such function is one Chevrolet calls Easy Access. Essentially, the inner gate folds down at a 90-degree angle while the primary gate is open, which gives you closer access to the main truck bed without straining as you would if the opening was not there.
This allows you to reach farther into the truck bed, putting what was once well out of reach within the stretch of your arms. This also negates the extra step of climbing up into the bed just for that extra centimeter of reach, making it easier to grab tools, gear, or whatever else you can fit into the configurable 6.5′ or 8′ bed.
Speaking of needing to step up into the bed, the Silverado makes it easy for us by use of, once again, the inner gate. The gate can fold out into a step capable of holding up to 375 lbs. While the truck bed on the Silverado HD does come standard with steps integrated into the rear bumper and underneath the fuel filler cap, having a step built into the tailgate not only makes loading the bed easier, but can also have some pretty positive effects on the strain work puts on your body.
Typically, in order to access the bed via the tailgate, you’d need to make a big step up onto the gate, which stands around three feet off the ground. Not only is this a step that most people of average height find impossible, but for those who can make it, the step certainly adds unnecessary strain. This problem is solved, of course, if you have someone already standing in the truck bed to help place the load, but if you’re loading your truck alone, this fold-down step could be indispensable, not only for the time it takes to load the truck but for the amount of added stress you’d be putting on your body were it not there.
Your Mobile Workstation
Okay, here’s something that’s just plain fun. The inner gate can also fold out to create a mobile work desk. There are many contractors, architects, and landscapers who utilize their truck’s tailgate as a makeshift desk, and the Multi-Flex tailgate makes it more convenient. This feature also makes loading second-tier items far easier. By second-tier, we’re referring to anything loaded above the wheel arches. This could be lumber, pipes, firewood, camping gear, or anything you need immediate access to. This function makes it so that you don’t have to open the entire tailgate and risk jeopardizing your already perfectly stored cargo.
The Load Stop
Rounding out the functions of the inner gate is the second-tier load stop. The inner backing of the gate can be pulled into a straight-up 90-degree angle, acting as the new back of the truck bed. Once again, this serves its purpose when the items in question have been loaded above the wheel arches, provided they are longer than what’s already stored below.
Similarly, this inner gate load stop also functions as the primary gate load stop. However, the entire tailgate needs to be lowered in order for this feature to function. There are very few things longer than 8′ that would typically need to be stored in a truck bed, but if you have a particularly bulky cargo, the primary gate load stop will help you keep it safely in place.
This load stop can certainly come in handy if you know you need to pass over rough terrain with steep climbs. A leading concern amongst other drivers is when they see pickup loads that look as though they could fall out at any minute. Yes, gravity dictates that the items in question, when on a level surface, would move forwards toward the cab. Still, a well-secured cargo that’s protected from falling out via the load stop can provide peace of mind not only to your fellow drivers, but also to you. There’s many a truck driver who has lost something important driving from A to B because they didn’t take the time to secure their load.
How it All Works
By now, I’m sure you’re wondering how all these functions work. Well, there’s a touchpad on the back of the tailgate just above the Chevy logo. There are two buttons, an upper and lower, which operate exactly as you think they would. The upper button controls the inner gate for easy access, the step, the workspace, and the second-tier load stop. The lower button controls the primary gate for full gate access.
With the whole tailgate down, pulling up on the inside portion of the inner gate will bring up the load stop, while pressing the upper button will drop the inner gate, allowing you to utilize the easy access and step functions.
As everything these days comes with features within features, so too does the Multi-Flex tailgate. Chevrolet offers an optional speaker to be integrated into the inner gate. This is a Bluetooth-connected speaker and can operate while the truck is cold, meaning you won’t have to keep the engine running in order for it to work. There is also a USB connection.
The system produces 100 watts of sound thanks to the coaxial drivers and a small amplifier. Built-in buttons allow you to play/pause, switch tracks, and control volume. So, after a long day’s work, you can take your Silverado HD down to the lakefront where your friends are gathering and play tunes to your heart’s content.
Changing the Truck Market
It may seem silly to write about the numerous functions of a fancy tailgate, but the fact of the matter is that it’s caused a shake-up in the truck market. Ford is looking to introduce a multifunction tailgate of its own, as is Ram. We know the 2022 Silverado HD is a tough truck, and the Multi-Flex tailgate makes it even more capable of doing the work that needs doing. It’s a clever solution to a problem we didn’t know existed.