Feast your eyes on the 2019 Silverado Medium Duty Trucks – the 2019 Silverado 4500HD, Silverado 5500HD, and Silverado 6500HD. Unveiled today at the NTEA The Work Truck Show, the three commercial trucks slot in the chassis cab Class 4, 5, and 6 medium duty conventional cab segments, respectively and represent GVWRs (Gross Vehicle Weight Ratings) from 15,000 for the Class 4 truck and 22,900 pounds for the Class 6 truck.
The new Silverado Medium Duty line slots above the Silverado 2500HD and 3500HD which, despite having Heavy Duty in their name, slot in the light duty category GVWR and associated capability. Notably, the Silverado Medium Duty also serve as the spiritual successor to the Chevrolet Kodiak and GMC TopKick that were discontinued in 2009. Since then, Chevrolet hasn’t offered a medium-duty chassis cab truck.
Chevrolet says that the new Silverado Medium Duty trucks are supremely capable, while also being the most customer-focused trucks of any major competitor.
“Chevy’s designers and engineers were obsessed with making this Silverado the most customer-focused medium duty truck of any major competitor,” said Ed Peper, U.S. vice president, GM Fleet. “By customer-focused, I mean work-ready trucks that are easy to upfit, easy to drive, easy to service and easy to own.”
The three Silverado Medium Duty trucks will be available exclusively as chassis cab models – meaning that they will ship without a bed, thereby being ready for up-fitters to customize as per customers’ requirements. Chevrolet says that the 2019 Silverado Medium Duty trucks were developed with input from fleet managers, truck drivers, upfitters, technicians, and Chevrolet dealers.
“It’s not just numbers on a spec sheet that make us different and better,” said John Schwegman, director of Commercial Product and Medium Duty at GM Fleet. “These new Silverados are designed to solve the most common upfit and ownership challenges fleets have with many of today’s medium duty trucks.”
For instance, in order to reduce cost and complexity of upfits – such as frames that rust as well as rivets, brackets and fluid lines that interfere with body mounting, the 2019 Silverado Medium Duty feature a factory-painted frame with one-piece frame rails as well as smooth, unobstructed top sections and through-the-frame fuel fill lines. To accommodate longer cargo boxes without extensions and reinforcements, the Silverado Medium Duty will be available in seven cab-to-axle (CA) options ranging from 60 to 162 inches in length, as well as five unique axle-to-back-of-frame (AF) lengths in 8-inch increments.
In order to remove service obstacles that force technicians to use ladders or remove vehicle components to access under-hood components for maintenance and repair, the 2019 Silverado 4500HD, 5500HD and 6500HD uses a lightweight, front-hinged “clamshell” hood that, when combined with a 50-degree wheel cut, allows easy “walk up” access to under-hood components. To address the common dissatisfier of conventional medium duty trucks in that they are difficult to drive, with a poor downward perspective for the driver as well as poor low-speed maneuverability due to narrow wheel cuts, and wide turning radiuses, the 2019 Silverado Medium Duty trucks feature 50-degree wheel cuts and a precisely-crafted and contoured hood that optimizes the driver’s perspective of the road.
Noise, vibration and harshness issues are also common in this segment. So much so that many owners and operators resort to retrofitting aftermarket air suspensions to improve the ride, while having to live with loud and uncomfortable cabins. The new Silverado Medium Duty addresses this with an available, factory-installed rear air suspension that’s not offered by Ford and Ram. What’s more, the Silverado Medium Duty also offers triple-sealed, inset doors to help reduce wind and road noise while using huck bolts throughout the frame for superior clamping force.
Lastly, many Medium Duty suffer from poor diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) tank placement, which can lead to refueling errors. In the 2019 Silverado 4500HD, 5500HD, and 6500HD, the DEF tank is located on the passenger side of the truck, which is the opposite side of the fuel fill. The placement seeks to minimize putting diesel fuel in the DEF tank, and vice-versa.
Chevrolet developed the Silverado Medium Duty in conjunction with Navistar, which will sell its own version of this truck under the International Trucks brand.
The 2019 Silverado 4500HD, 5500HD, and 6500HD will be powered by a 6.6L Duramax diesel engine making 350 horsepower and 700 pound-feet of torque mated to a choice of Allison transmissions with a Power Take Off (PTO option). We have confirmed with Chevy that the Duramax engine is a variant of the Duramax L5P called L5D.
The trucks will be available in 2WD and 4WD drivetrains.
“When you consider all of the flexibility, capability and durability we have engineered into the Silverado, along with the proven power of Allison transmissions and the Duramax diesel engine, we have a medium duty truck line that will appeal to both Chevrolet loyalists and competitive owners alike,” said Schwegman.
Chevrolet has labeled the 2019 Silverado Medium Duty as “the most-connected Medium Duty Truck”. That’s for good measure, since the trucks will be the most connected commercial truck available – thanks to options that include OnStar and Commercial Link, a built-in OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi Hotspot (which requires a paid data plan), as well as wireless cellphone charging and Bluetooth.
The trucks also support Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Production & Ordering
Production of the new 2019 Silverado Medium Duty trucks begin in late 2018 and order guides will be available this spring. Pricing will be announced in the summer of 2018.
GM Authority has confirmed with Chevrolet that the vehicles will be produced by Navistar at its plant in Springfield, Ohio.
GM expects that over 400 commercially-focused Chevrolet dealers will carry the new 2019 Silverado Medium Duty line.