GMC Adds Jackknife Alert, Other Trailering Features to 2021 Sierra

September 15, 2020 by Jerry Hirsch, @Jerryhirsch

GMC is adding some nifty options that will make it easier to tow trailers with the 2021 Sierra pickup truck.

The first is a jackknife alert that tracks the position of the trailer relative to the vehicle and warns the driver of a potential mishap.

The second is a trailer length indicator. It appears as a red overlay twice the length of the trailer on the dashboard screen when the turn signal is activated. It also shows when other vehicles are present that may interfere with changing lanes. But the system only works with compatible trailers.

By offering these features GMC is targeting the core of its consumer base. About 50 percent of the buyers of light-duty Sierras and 90 percent of the heavy-duty pickup customers tow a trailer, boat or some other equipment, the automaker said.

“There’s a lot of anxiety that is generated when people are towing, especially for those who do it for weekend recreation, as opposed to for work,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of global Buick and GMC.

“The two things that really scare people are changing lanes and then especially the prospect of jackknifing,” he said.

“We are attacking the two most significant issues for drivers for trailing by removing or reducing the big anxiety that’s associated with them,” Aldred said.

It is part of GMC’s initiative to add technology that is useful for truck owners, he said.

Other new trailering features available in the 2021 Sierra include:

  • The rear trailer view now has guidelines and a trailer-angle indicator. The system helps out a driver backing a trailer into place and it displays the relationship between the truck and compatible trailer. It requires a customer-installed auxiliary accessory camera.
  • In the 2021 GMC Sierra, drivers will have access to a split view of the left and right sides of the truck and compatible trailer that is automatically biased based on the trailer’s angle even when driving in reverse. That makes it easier to spot surrounding vehicles and objects while positioning a trailer. The forward-facing system already is available in the current Sierra trucks.
  • The 2021 Sierra also will have an optional cargo bed zoom view to help align and hook up a gooseneck/fifth-wheel trailer.

Carly Schaffner June 14, 2019
Hauling a 30-foot, 7,800-pound Airstream trailer with a light-duty Ford F-150 pickup proves challenging despite the truck’s 10,100-pound towing capacity.

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