Aaron Bair of Phoenix, wanted what we all want—a custom truck that stood out amongst the bevy of daily driven pickups. His starting foundation was rock solid, as he left the dealership with a 2011 GMC Sierra HD equipped with the Duramax diesel. With rugged good looks and an engine pumping out nearly 400 hp and 765 lb-ft of torque at 1,600 rpm, the new Sierra HD is a beast, but leaving the dealer’s lot, Aaron wasn’t satisfied with the end product GMC had to deliver. He went on a mission to modify his new truck with bolt-on parts that wouldn’t break the bank or void the warranty. What he ended up with was a rock-crushing Heavy Duty that looks as good as it performs.

Ordering a 4- to 6-inch lift kit from Cognito Motorsports, Aaron set aside all plans with the Misses for one weekend and proceeded to fill his driveway with handtools. Cognito designed the new 2011 lift kit without lowering the torsion bars, so they still tuck up nice and neat in the frame. To gain the added height, Cognito uses lift spindles and a 4-inch front differential drop to keep proper CV axle geometry. A 3⁄16-inch–thick front skidplate adds good looks and keeps the front diff protected. Fox Racing Shox, both front and rear, help damp the load of the extra-large truck and with the added room provided by the lift, Aaron bolted on 22-inch black machined RBP 96R wheels mounted inside 35-inch Toyo Open Country M/T tires. The newfound look completely changed the personality of the GMC, but Aaron was far from done.

Keeping with the clean is mean mindset, on went black Recon projector headlights, black Recon LED taillights, and Recon LED cab marker lights. Also bolted onto the Sierra is a paint-matched RBP RX-3 grille and black mesh bumper insert. Speaking of the bumper, people constantly want to know who provided the bumper. That’s an easy answer for Aaron because it’s the factory Sierra HD bumper, only painted to match the truck for a clean aesthetic. A black RBP exhaust tip rounds out the GMC’s exterior mods.

For now, Aaron is enjoying his rock-crushing truck, but he tells us his Sierra HD is far from complete, as he’s planning on upgrading the interior and getting even more power out of the turbo diesel. We’ll keep our eyes open for this one.