Chevrolet is going after a larger slice of the commercial truck segment by jumping into the Class 6 market with a Silverado 6500HD.
Last Wednesday at the Work Truck Show in Indianapolis, the Detroit truck maker revealed its largest flagship pickup lineup to-date with the first-ever Silverado Class 4, 5 and 6 chassis cab trucks, which were developed in partnership with Navistar.
Available in 4500HD, 5500HD and 6500HD, in regular and crew cab models and in two or four-wheel-drive, the trucks will be powered by a 6.6-liter Duramax diesel engine with 350 horsepower and 700 lb.-ft. of torque and matched to an Allison transmission with a Power Take Off (PTO) option.
“There’s no mistaking our new truck for anything but a Silverado,” says John Schwegman, director of Commercial Product and Medium Duty at GM Fleet.
Ed Peper, General Motors’ U.S. vice president of fleet sales, says Chevrolet’s return to the conventional cab medium duty segment is part of a multi-year strategy to grow its commercial and government customers. Last year, GM Fleet delivered nearly 300,000 units to those segments – the most since 2008 – and gained almost 1.4 percentage points of market share.
Peper says the new 6500HD is rated up to 22,500 pounds, deep into the Class 6 GWVR and beyond where you would find a Ram. The heaviest Silverado is expected to compete a Ford Class 6 truck that is built on a frame unique to its other medium-duty pickups.
Peper noted the 6500HD frame doesn’t use extensions or alternative designs from its smaller siblings, making up-fitting simpler and improving ride handling and quality.
The new heavy-duty Silverado comes with a factory-painted frame and features one-piece frame rails, smooth, unobstructed top sections and through-the-frame fuel fill lines. Available are seven Cab-to-Axle options ranging from 60 to 162-inches and five unique axle-to-back-of-frame lengths sized in 8-inch increments.
A lightweight, front-hinged “clamshell” hood that, combined with a 50-degree wheel cut, allows easy walk up access to under-hood components. A precisely crafted and contoured hood optimizes the driver’s perspective of the road.
“In the truck, you’ll sit up high but visibility over the hood is great,” Schwegman says. “Best in class even.”
A factory-installed rear air suspension is available. Triple-sealed, inset doors to help reduce wind and road noise and huck bolts used throughout the frame for superior clamping force helps eliminates squeaks and rattles. The DEF tank is conveniently located on the passenger side of the truck, opposite of the fuel fill.
The Silverado will also be the among the most connected commercial truck available, thanks to options that include OnStar and Commercial Link, a built-in 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot (paid data plan required), wireless cellphone charging, Bluetooth and support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Jason Cannon is the equipment editor for Commercial Carrier Journal and Overdrive. Reach him at [email protected].