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2021 Chevy Silverado Medium Duty: Here’s What’s New And Different

The Chevrolet Silverado Medium Duty line – which includes 4500HD, 5500HD, and 6500HD models – was introduced for the 2019 model year after being developed in collaboration with Navistar. For the 2021 model year, the Silverado Medium Duty gets a few minor changes and updates.

Here’s exactly what’s new and different about the 2021 Chevy Silverado Medium Duty.

Model Line

The Chevrolet Medium Duty truck becomes available in Regular Cab and Crew Cab configurations with various wheelbases and GVWRs.

The 4500HD, 5500HD, and 6500HD are all available as either Work Truck (1WT) or LT (1LT) models.

Available models:

  • 4×4 Crew Cab Dual Rear Wheel (CK56043)
  • 4×4 Regular Cab Dual Rear Wheel (CK56403)
  • 2WD Regular Cab Dual Rear Wheel (CC56403)
  • 2WD Crew Cab Dual Rear Wheel (CC56043)
  • Silverado 4500 HD: 14,001-16,500 lbs. GVWR
  • Silverado 5500 HD: 17,000-19,500 lbs. GVWR
  • Silverado 6500 HD: 21,000-23,500 lbs. GVWR

Exterior

For the 2021 model year, the Silverado Medium Duty sees the addition of five exterior colors:

  • Smokey Quartz Metallic (not pictured)
  • Mosaic Black Metallic
  • Northsky Blue Metallic
  • Shadow Gray Metallic
  • Satin Steel Metallic

Satin Steel Metallic

Shadow Gray Metallic

Mosaic Black Metallic

Northsky Blue Metallic

A rear window delete option has also been introduced, and is available for all models. This option also requires either the Shuttle Bus Package, the School Bus (Non-Conforming) Package or the Emergency Service Package. The Emergency Service Package includes dual alternators, a backup alarm and end-of-cab wiring provisions.

Interior

On the inside, the 2021 Chevy Silverado Medium Duty sees the addition of an auxiliary A/C compressor for HVAC provisions. This available option includes an additional, bare A/C compressor mounted to the engine accessory drive. The upfitter is responsible for AC hose connections, plumbing and control circuit, which are not included.

Mechanical

Most of the changes and updates for the 2021 Chevy Silverado Medium Duty are mechanical. Off the bat, the truck sees the addition of the following features, which are standard:

  • StabiliTrak as standard on all models
  • Neutral-at-Stop, which is standard on all models standard
    • The functionality involves the automatic transmission shifting to neutral when the service brake is depressed while the vehicle is at a complete stop, and remaining in neutral until the service brake is released
  • An open, non-locking rear as the standard differential

Additionally, the exhaust brake is now standard. For the 2020 model year, this feature was only available for models equipped with the Emergency Service Package. Meanwhile, the upfitter switch kit is also now standard. For the 2020 model year, this feature was only available for models equipped with the Emergency Service Package, which also included:

  • Dual alternators
  • Upfitter box switchbank
  • Exhaust brake
  • Backup alarm
  • End of cab wiring provisions
  • Required DPF, diesel particulate filter, manual regeneration and Emergency Service transmission, (MBY), (MH1), (MHV) or (MG0)
  • Was not available with electronic speed sensor set to 55 MPH or with (G80) heavy-duty locking rear differential

The limited-slip Dana Spicer axle is now an available option. For the 2020 model year, this was the standard rear differential.

Lastly, the Medium Duty pickups also see the addition of FuelSense 2.0 transmission shift control calibration, which is available on all models.

Powertrain

The 2021 Chevy Silverado Medium Duty continues to be offered with a single engine and transmission choice, as follows:

Engine Fuel Aspiration Transmission Horsepower @ RPM Torque @ RPM Available Gear Ratios
6.6L L5D V8 Duramax Diesel Turbocharged 6-Speed Automatic 350 @ 2700 700 @ 1600 4.10, 4.30, 4.56, 4.88

2021 Chevy Silverado Medium Duty Availability

The 2021 Silverado Medium Duty trucks are assembled at the Navistar plant in Springfield, Ohio.

The plant has been producing 2021 models since the tail end of 2020. Looking ahead, we expect the Silverado Medium Duty pickup trucks to remain in production for the foreseeable future, with necessary updates and enhancements along the way, including the expected gasoline engine and rumored dock height model. The Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana are great examples of this strategy, as they have remained more or less the same for the past decade, if not longer.

To clarify, the Silverado 4500, 5500, and 6500 do not ride on the T1 platform or K2 platform, which are utilized by third and fourth-generation Silverado 1500, 2500, and 3500 models, respectively. Instead, Chevrolet Silverado MD pickup trucks utilize a unique platform that was jointly developed by Navistar and General Motors, while using a cab from the K2-generation Silverado HD. Note that the model does ship with a bed/box from the factory.

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View Comments (5)

  • Nice truck, but way too physically big for the construction industry and built on the old body style.GM has no interest in challenging ford in work trucks. They came out with the 3500 hd in 2000? and I still see them on the road today. Ford followed suit with the 450,550 and has never looked back! The company I work for has hundreds of them and they are solid trucks in a somewhat compact , easy to get in and out 50 times a day. F-ing clueless!

    • John, I sell GM / Ford / RAM and the GM MD is intended for a different market than Ford or RAM can handle. The Chevy is totally a 6500 even when you buy a 4500, just less spring and less axle. Has king pin front end, leaf spring front end, solid beam frame bumper to bumper, 6500 brakes, hydro-electric brakes (not vacuum boost which don't work without engine running), emergency brake on the drive shaft so brake failure doesn't affect it, everything about it is medium duty. My Fords and RAMs however are 1 ton trucks with a beefed up rear. Makes them better for towing, more comfortable ride, lower heights and better looking. I love them all but the Ford and RAM 4 & 5 series aren't true medium duty build. So we steer people to the appropriate chassis. You truly have to get to the F-650 to be comparable and RAM makes nothing comparable.

      • Great response Duane,and it is great for you as a salesman to point your customer to the appropriate vehicle that you sell. But what if you only sold Gm? Would you be happy sending him down the road to the Ford dealer? As I stated before , in the industry I work in, road , bridge, utility construction, we use these trucks on site,towing trailers,mixers compressors etc. We are in and out of the trucks all day long. The foreman takes them home to a residential area. The trucks are too big! I can appreciate the heavydutyness of it, but they need a heavy spec 35-4500.

    • Beyond Ford, GM will now have to compete with Kennworth, Mack and soon to arrive Peterbilt MD's, so the trucks size to me us good, but Powertrain and Chassis configurated options will need to be expanded further, I can't recall if the Silverado MD has a Box Truck Configuration or not despite it not being shown here or even a Cement Mixer along with a small Petroleum Based Tanker Option based on the competitive options that Kennworth is bringing , overall it's good to see the Sales Numbers picking up a bit for this truck, but beyond new color choices and GWR Improvements, more Configuration expansions need to be proposed soon to gain and equal footing in this elevated competition.

  • Porque a GM não assume a Navistar-International, há negociação com a Volkswagen, como pode deixar que isso venha acontecer. Cadê o orgulho dos americanos. Ninguém se mexe para que isso aconteça.