• 2019 Chevy Silverado 4500, 5500, and 6500: New Big Boy Trucks Are Finally Here

    The Chevy Kodiak name is no more. Chevrolet introduces the all-new 2019 Chevy Silverado 4500, 5500, and 6500 series medium duty trucks to the world at the 2018 Work Truck Show.

    The new class 4, 5, and 6 trucks have been redesigned from the ground up in collaboration with Navistar. A new factory-painted frame come in seven cab-to-axle lengths (or wheelbase options). There are also five unique axle-to-back-of-frame (AF) length options to accommodate long up-fit options, such large moving/van box trucks.

    The frame is stiffer than some other trucks in this segment, and Chevrolet paid special attention to cab mounts to ensure comfort and durability.

    Under the hood is the latest version of the 6.6L Duramax V8 turbo-diesel engine. This is the only engine available. It’s not the identical L5P engine that you will find under the hood of consumer-grade Silverado HD 2500 and 3500 trucks. In this case, the medium duty engine is rated at 350 hp and 700 lb-ft of torque. Why doesn’t the bigger trucks get the full 910 lb-ft of torque? It has to do with a engine dyno (not chassis dyno) power rating and more stringent emissions requirements for this class of truck. The medium-duty Duramax V8 has unique injectors, tuning, and ability to power additional accessories such as an air compressor.

    The Duramax is paired to either an Allison-1000 or Allison-2000 6-speed automatic transmissions, depending on the class and weight rating. A Power Take Off (PTO) unit is optional.

    Both regular two-door and four-door crew cab options will be available. The new big boy trucks will be offered in 2WD and 4×4. The 4WD trucks are nearly three inches higher than their 2WD counterparts.

    The trucks have front-hinged clamshell hood and front steering system that offers up to 50-degrees of wheel cut. This makes for easier access to the engine bay and better maneuverability.

    The 2019 Silverado medium duty trucks will also offer factory-installed rear air suspension option. This is unique in the segment. The trucks roll on 19.5-inch wheels, which is the same as competitive Class 4 and 5 trucks.

    How do these trucks compare against competition? We do not have all of the specifications yet, such as the GVWR, payload, and towing ratings.

    Ford offers F-450/F-550 medium duty trucks (6.7L Power Stroke diesel V8 with 330 hp and 750 lb-ft of torque), and distinct much bigger F-650 and F-750 trucks (with 6.7L diesel V8 or 6.8L gas V10 engine options).

    Ram offers 4500 and 5500 trucks with the 6.7L Cummins diesel I6 or 6.4L HEMI V8 options.

    Order guides will be available in the spring 2018. Pricing will be available in the summer, and trucks will begin production in late 2018.

    Please join us on our TFLnow Youtube channel for a live debut of the new 2019 medium duty Chevy Silverado trucks.

    Andre Smirnov
    Andre Smirnov
    Andre Smirnov is an Automotive Enthusiast, Producer, Reviewer, Videographer, Writer, Software Engineer, Husband, Father, and Friend.

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    39 thoughts on “2019 Chevy Silverado 4500, 5500, and 6500: New Big Boy Trucks Are Finally Here

    1. No gas engine option means they are giving away a ton of fleet sales! Around here the electric and gas companies, telephone companies, as well as most local town’s newer 4500 and 5500 trucks are gasoline powered, not diesel powered like 10 or more years ago. Even local contracters like masons and landscapers now are buying more and more gas powered trucks every year. This is a major error in “reading the tea leaves” by GM! I’m sure FORD and RAM are laughing to themselves!

      1. I was thinking of the same thing. For what many of these trucks do, gas is a much better option for companies. A diesel is great if it is on the road all the time but you let that thing sit on high idle for 8 hours running a boom, PTO or whatever, it is not good. My guess is that is the only engine they can use for now. The 6.0L is to small for this use. I have to wonder why they don’t use the International 8.8L since this is a joint venture.

      2. Couldn’t agree more. For me, the appeal of diesel dropped dramatically with the advent of DEF tanks. All the new exhaust bs is a bear to maintain.

        Diesel motors will run forever, sure, but when they have $3k in leaks to repair at 50k, their turbos need to be replaced at 100-150k, their emissions systems are a gamble…it doesn’t matter much how long the engine will be good for.

      3. I would imagine a new HD gas engine will debut in the 2020 2500 and 3500 next year and these will get it too. 6.0 runs forever but is a little low on power for one of these big boys.

    2. This truck will do well as time goes on. The straight one-piece frame is going to have upfitters loving this chassis. No bolts/rivets, etc to worry about re-routing to fit boxes. Plus having so many frame and cab to axle lengths will really allow for customization for various industries. Factory rear air suspension should be great as long as they have it prepared for cold weather situations (cough-RAM-cough). The Dmax provides very good power for this class of truck. The clam hood provides great serviceability especially with the 50 degree wheel turn so a tech can stand right beside the motor. This also allows them to keep the current style cab in use without tying up next generation GM truck cabs for their medium duty trucks. As for not having a gas motor, I’m sure they will be watching their sales compared to other brands and if it demands a gas variant, they will have one. The 6.0L is getting long in the tooth and is great in 3500HD and lower trucks, but I doubt it would work that well in this level of medium duty truck with these kinds of GVWR’s.

      1. We will have to see about serviceability when it is shown. The Kodiacs sucked balls to work on. To replace a water pump you had to remove the crank damper for one bolt. The damper was not easy to access with the radiator in the way. We had to lower the engine down to replace injectors. The way the wiring was routed was absolutely terrible. So we will have to see how serviceability will be with a newer emissions engine.

      2. With regards of air suspension. As long as they use what International currently uses with manual height sensors and use air dryers, it will work just fine. I suspect they would use a mechanical engine powered air pump vs electric.

    3. I wonder how the exterior dimensions compare to a regular 1 ton.

      As far’as the hood. When I looked at pics with hood open.

      It reminded me of opening a stuffed suitcase. You still have to remove everything to get to the things on the bottom.

      Stuff is sure packed in there.

    4. Off to a good start but i hope you guys will sit this next to the international version since i Know International Will Offer at least 4-5 different Power/TQ ratings with cummins 6.7 and the 9 which will slot it a bit higher than these Chevys and the biggest suprise was to see International Not Offering the the Duramax just yet so i am betting on some more engine options in the future once they get some rolling out the dealers lots

      1. I don’t think the international version has been released yet. The released some other trucks (that are cummins powered) but it’s not their version of this truck, it’s a completely different series of truck.

        I’m gonna guess the international version will be the same truck and same engine as the silverado just with a different front grille.

    5. These would be Light Medium Trucks here. The 22,000 GVWR is very light.
      Also a convential cab is non existent for light/ medium duty truck outside NA

    6. I’m a bit disappointed, was really hoping to see a 4500 that was identical to the 3500’s but with beefed up suspension.

      GM’s 3500 tow ratings have been falling far far behind the competition and the excuse was that they were coming out with a 4500/5500 soon and want to push customers that tow heavy to those trucks.

      I’m sure the silverado 4500/5500/6500 will be great work vehicles but absolutely not what someone would buy as a dual purpose vehicle to drive daily and haul the big trailer on the weekends. Plus it’s a all new truck and they stayed with the previous generation cab. Why not build with the new cab?

      I guess most commercial outfits won’t care but I know many consumers wanted basically a 3500 with normal bed, higher weight ratings, and maybe some new features like the air suspension, a lower axle ratio, bigger fuel tank, 19.5 wheels,

      Ford offers a f450 platinum that gives customers increased capabilities (crewcab can tow 32,500, the silverado 3500 crewcab is limited to 23,100lbs) in a package the same size, styling, construction, and all the luxury features of the f350.

      I’m a gm fan and I really hope the 2020 HD line up offers more excitement and capability because if not the competition is looking better ever.

    7. If you want to tow 32k in a 1 ton..(once or twice ever- cuz who really does?), go buy a Ford or Dodge…
      If you want to tow what most normal people will tow daily with a 1 ton, comfortably and confidently, and better than the competition, then go buy a GM…
      It’s really that simple… Let the .05% have the max towing bragging rights and live to fight another day..

    8. I’m with Toycrusher,

      I like the body styling much better than the new 1500’s 1/2tons.

      This is much cleaner yet more truck like especially with the big rig fender style and ROUND WHEEL WELLS!!!

      With GM’s 1/2tons it’s almost like their trying too hard to be more macho, and everything ends up looking like a video game or transformers movie!

    9. They need to bring back the big block 8.1L that they stopped making in 2006. That is a great motor with a ton of torque. My buddy has a 2500 suburban with that motor and pulls a dump trailer with a Bobcat and it pulls it great. It was a sad day when they stopped offering big block’s. Those things were tanks. I think his 8.1£ has 275,000 miles and still running strong. I bet Ford feels stupid about replacing the 460 with that kinky V10 they had. GM still builds performance big block’s. They should re-tool one of those for commercial use.

      1. I’m betting since Ford has been making the V10 continuously since 1997 and has it in their current F650’s they don’t feel stupid about having it. It has been a rock solid engine in the commercial world for a very long time. So is it old,yes. Is it out dated, yes. Is it dependable, yes. Should Ford retire it for a modern engine with more power? I think so. But they hardly feel stupid for having it.

    10. This is very interesting. It has some pros and some cons. On the positive side, it will finally allow GM to compete in this segment again, and these are actually good looking trucks. But there are some oddities, too. For one thing, it appears GM is offering a 6500 series truck lumped in on this same platform. The “Class” for this size truck is 4500/5500 (at least that’s what Ford and RAM are doing). That means 19.5″ rims. Ford’s 650 and 750 run 22.5″ rims, just like an 18-wheeler. It doesn’t appear those are available on this truck. Now, Ford and RAM use identical cabs to their pickups for 4500/5500. This uses the outgoing 2014-style cab with a custom nose. Ford uses the old Super Duty cab (2011-2016) on their 650/750 trucks, but not 450/550 trucks. GM apparently plans to run the de-rated Duramax and an Allison 2000 in the 6500 truck with a standard Allison 1000 in the 4500/5500 trucks. Interestingly, Ford offers the 6R140 (same transmission found in a diesel F-250) all the way up through the 750. In previous years, Ford ran a Cummins 6.7L and Allison 2000 in their 650/750 trucks.

      I think where GM really fails on this one is the lack of the gas engine. Majority of sales in the 4500/5500 class are gas engines. Nobody needs speed and towing power to move a telecom bucket truck that will also sit and idle most of the day. The gas engines are a much cheaper buy-in, much cheaper maintenance, last pretty much as long nowadays (300k miles is totally fine), and don’t mind idling like a diesel. If you do go diesel, I’m surprised GM (knowing Ford’s specs for some time) offers an engine with significantly less torque than Ford. The RAM 6.4L is not that great, but the Ford V10 has proven to be a very reliable workhorse. Ford even offers the V10 in the 650/750 trucks.

      1. There is nothing wrong with the RAM 6.4 Hemi it is a very fine engine, I have one in my 2016 2500 4×4 crew cab short bed. The engine is a work horse and was durability tested the same as the Cummins for 300,000 miles.

        The 6.4 Hemi is more robust than the 5.7 Hemi.

        1. @Black Sheep, my biggest complaint with the RAM 6.4L is how poorly it performed…twice…in TFL’s extreme IKE Gauntlet testing. Both the Ford 6.2L *and* the ancient GM 6.0L performed better. When TFL inquired of Chrysler to find out why their engine (which at the time had the most torque of any gas HD pickup engine) performed poorly, Chrysler explained the engine would limit RPM to prevent the engine from running near redline for extended periods…like, for example, towing a max load up a steep hill. In other words, the engine cannot withstand extended high-load, high RPM running. For most users, this presents no problem. But for some, it might. And this engine in a 5500 C/C might make good torque for lugging around a heavy truck, but if the truck was heavily laden to near max capacity it seems it would also perform poorly.

          Note how Ford uses the old modular V10 in their big trucks, not the newer 6.2L. The V10 is likely more reliable in the heavyweight category.

    11. Looks like GM phoned in the new Top Kick as it looks like it is nothing more than a minor refresh of old Top Kick trucks that stopped production in 2010.

      1. That’s entirely false. This is a brand-new chassis, and brand new cab compared to the old trucks. The old TopKick used a Savanah van cab; this uses a 2014 Silverado cab. Big improvement.

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