GM Rejoins Conventional-Cab, Medium-Duty Market

The Detroit automaker calls its group of Class 4, Class 5 and Class 6 conventional cab trucks the most customer-focused offering in the market.

James M. Amend, Senior Editor

March 7, 2018

2 Min Read
GM unveils rsquo19 Chevy Silverado 4500HD 5500HD and 6500HD
GM unveils ’19 Chevy Silverado 4500HD, 5500HD and 6500HD.

General Motors unveils yet another group of all-new trucks, a trio of Chevrolet Silverado medium-duty workhorses targeting the fleet market.

The Detroit automaker calls its group of Class 4, Class 5 and Class 6 conventional cab trucks the most customer-focused offering in the market, and the ’19 Silverado 4500HD, 5500HD and 6500HD mark a return to the segment for GM after a decade-long hiatus where rivals Ford and the Ram brand from FCA US have played relatively freely.

The 6500HD is the biggest Silverado GM has built. GM revealed the trucks at NYEA The Work Truck Show, where commercial and government fleet owners gather for the latest products to upfit into big-trailer haulers, utility trucks and emergency services vehicles among others.

Production begins later this year at big-truck maker Navistar’s Springfield, OH, assembly plant. Order books will be available in the coming weeks, while pricing comes this summer. About 400 Chevy dealers will carry the trucks.

“Chevy’s designers and engineers were obsessed with making this Silverado the most customer-focused medium-duty truck of any major competitor,” says 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.”

GM says it answered several demands from fleet managers, truck drivers, upfitters, technicians and Chevy dealers, such as a factory-painted frame with one-piece frame rails, smooth, unobstructed top sections and through-the-frame fuel fill lines for reduced modification costs, complexity and greater durability.

The trucks will feature seven cab-to-axle options ranging from 60 ins.-162 ins. (1,524 mm-4,115 mm), GM says, along with five unique axle-to-back-of-frame lengths sized in 8-in. (200-mm) increments so it can accommodate longer cargo boxes without extensions and reinforcements.

A lightweight, front-hinged clamshell hood combines with a 50-degree wheel cut, which allows easy walkup access to under-hood components for more convenient maintenance. The wheel cuts also improve maneuverability, GM says, and the hoods of the trucks are contoured for a better view of the roadway.

A factory-installed rear air suspension, a technology not offered by Ford or Ram, improves ride quality and items such as triple-sealed insert doors reduce wind noise, the automaker says. The DEF is located on the passenger side of the trucks opposite the fuel tank to prevent refueling errors.

The big Silverados will be available in two-wheel and all-wheel-drive and are outfitted with the automaker’s proven 6.6L Duramax turbodiesel with 350 hp and 700 lb.-ft. (949 Nm) of torque.

GM has been making a push in the medium-duty market in recent years. Last year, the automaker delivered 2,094 units, according to Wards Intelligence, while longtime player Ford sold 70,958.

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