• 2019 Chevy Silverado Medium Duty: Why the Low Weight Rating? (Ask TFLtruck)

    Chevrolet unveiled the new 2019 Chevy Silverado 4500, 5500, and 6500 medium duty trucks at the 2018 Work Truck Show in Indianapolis, IN this week. The company is returning to a segment they left after the 2009 Chevy Kodiak trucks stopped production.

    TFLtruck was there to bring all the latest information and details from the event (see our first highlights video below).

    We recently received several questions about the announced weight ratings of the new medium duty trucks from Chevrolet. We forward the questions to the Chevrolet team, and below are the comments we received.

    Question #1:

    The maximum Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of the new 2019 Silverado medium duty is 22,900 lbs. Why is this limit there? What is limiting the truck to this GVWR and not letting it get closer to the 26,000 lbs Class 6 truck limit?

    TFLtruck comments:

    It’s important to note that Chevrolet unveiled three (weight) classes of the truck: Class 4 is categorized at max GVWR of 16,000 lbs; Class 5 goes up to 19,500 lbs, and Class 6 is at 26,000 lbs. Chevrolet chose to span these three weight classes with one chassis. This means there are several factors, such as the frame, suspension, and wheel/tire combinations that can limited the vehicle’s gross weight rating. The 2019 Chevy medium duty is riding on 19.5-inch wheels.

    Chevrolet comments:

    Our frame design allows us to expand our GVWR into the Class 6 segment. Some competitors, like Ford, offer Class 6 trucks that are significantly more expensive because they’re on a different platform.

    We can meet the needs of many Class 6 customers with our truck design at a price point that will be thousands less than competitors’ Class 6 trucks, which are built for much higher GVWRs.

    Question #2:

    The max Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) of the new medium duty truck goes up to 30,000 lbs. What is its maximum towing rating of the 2019 medium duty? What limits the the GCWR to 30,000 lbs?

    TFLtruck comments:

    This is an interesting question because the GCWR relates to how heavy the truck is rated to tow. Competitive Class 5 trucks from Ram and Ford are have significantly higher GCWR (see screenshots below). The Ram 5500 has a GCWR of 38,500 lbs and the Ford F-550 is listed at a 40,000 lbs GCWR. For reference, the GCWR of a Chevy Silverado 3500 dually diesel is 31,100 lbs.

    Chevrolet comments:

    Yes, the [2019] Silverado has a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of up to 30,000 pounds, this is dependent on the application and the transmission selected.

    The 2019 Chevy medium duty trucks come with a selection of Allison 1000 and 2000 6-speed automatic transmissions.

    Chevrolet told TFLtruck that they are continously working to improve the product and increase the capability.

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

    Similar Articles

    27 thoughts on “2019 Chevy Silverado Medium Duty: Why the Low Weight Rating? (Ask TFLtruck)

    1. So……GM has rolled out a Class 4,5 and 6 trucks with lower GCWRs than it’s 3500s? What am I missing here? Seems like a big miss. I understand payload will be much higher which is beneficial for box trucks / dump trucks / RVs, etc, but this market also has to be built to tow. Any fleet operator that needs a Class 5 or 6 truck to tow heavy will clearly not be impressed with these.

      1. Epic fail. I’m not surprised though, the max tow of a 3500 dully is about 8,000 less than a RAM 3500.

        Chevy is simply trying to sell their trucks as if they were significantly more truck than they really are!

        The lack of a gas option and limited capacities are going to keep sales volume waaaaay low in this class.

    2. I am having a hard time with these numbers. For what I could find, a base International Durastar is 23,500 GVWR. GM’s maxed out truck is 22,900? Ford’s F550 maxed out at 19500. But the Chevy is a 6500 right? It sounds to me GM just went with a heavier hauling and bigger class 5 truck. The F650 Starts at 22,000 lbs and it should be the same sized truck as the GM 6500. It seems like a weird direction GM took. Maybe to not take sales from International and focus more on the class 4 and 5 market.

      1. My understanding is Chevy will have a Class 4 14k GVWR 4500, Class 5 19,500 GVWR 5500, and Class 6 22,900 GVWR 6500. So in terms of GVWR, they are only lacking in the Class 6 space that can go up to 26k. But it seems that all of them top out at 30,000 in GCWR, which is very surprising to me. The Ford F550 goes up to 40,000 GCWR. Heck even their F450 goes up to 33,000 GCWR. Meanwhile the F650 and 750 go clear up to 50,000 GCWR. I don’t understand the low GCWR ratings on these Chevy’s. A Silverado 6500 literally has less towing capacity than their 3500. Doesn’t make any sense.

        That being said, when towing is not required, I’m sure they will be solid platforms, such as box trucks, RVs, ambulance, etc. But the low GCWR is very baffling.

    3. Just a shot in the dark here, as to why the gm 6500 has a lower maximum gcwr rating than the maximum gcwr rating in the ford f650. It may be due to the rear axle ratios available. I believe ford offers ratios all the way down to 6.50. Maybe gm doesn’t offer such low gears (higher naumerical) in their new trucks. For years now gm has failed to offer 4.10 gears in their one ton dually, while both ford and ram offer the option of 4.10 gears, which if you check there towing guides greatly increases their gcwr numbers and leaves gm one tons in the dust.

      1. If that is the case then perhaps in a combination of transmission strength and lack of gearing? The more axle gear you have the less stress the components forward of the axle need to deal with.

      2. Well if you are talking class 6, the biggest reason that GCWR is vastly higher on Ford than GM is due to the chassis itself. Ford uses a bigger chassis for the Class 6 and 7 trucks. Whereas Chevy is basically using their Class 4/5 chassis and tip toeing into the Class 6 space. So I understand why there would be a gap between Chevy and Ford in Class 6. It’s a little apples/oranges. Even then, a 20k difference is just massive. Now if you are talking Class 4 or 5, the gaps are smaller, but we are stilling talking about a 10k difference in max GCWR between Ford and Chevy in Class 5. Even Ford’s Class 4 truck can be had with a GCWR 3,000 lbs higher than the Class 6 Silverado 6500. To me, axle difference alone does not account for this. In the past, the Allison transmission has been pointed at as the reason the one ton GM trucks have lower tow ratings than GM and Ford. Rumor has it that it can’t handle the higher weights. If true, it is likely responsible for these low GCWRs in the medium duty Chevy trucks. I would have thought that using the Allison 2000 would have solved this, but apparently not.

      3. Once you get into that class of truck you start buying DANA, Detroit axles. Maybe others too. But they supply the ratio the customer wants in most cases. Your still limited in certain areas but they are all off the shelf parts.

    4. Nice looking vehicles. Those stated weights are very low though. Even the Ford 750 at 50,000GCWR is very light indeed.
      Japanese Isuzu has a ” Medium Truck” with 100000lb GCVWR
      Cab Over with Air Suspension

    5. The reason(s) will become apparent when the trucks actually appear on dealer lots along with their spec sheets. But whatever! They will be far behind the competition! Not a good place to start.

    6. If I am reading between the lines of GM’s comments correctly, it seems like they are deliberately targeting a very specific segment of the market initially, while adopting a wait and see approach to building a competitive class 6 competitor.
      Prudent development strategy or missed sales opportunity?
      Time will tell.
      Maybe they they will roll out another surprise…

    7. @canoepaddler and @Jay M, I think you have touched on the marketing strategy. Target the largest market in the class 4 (I don’t have numbers so I’m taking your word on that) and get established there first.

    8. US market here, I see kilograms there Robert. Don’t get the fuzzy, seemingly over rated, specs across the way. gm uses the same cab forwarded Isuzu in US and it’s called “medium duty truck”.

    9. @Canoepaddler
      Correct 2.2lbs =1kg. You will notice the Isuzu uses “light trucks”for that link.
      The new Chevrolets would be LIGHT TRUCKs here. Isuzu builds a MDT in Canada I think, that is conventional, but uses the smaller 5.2 engine but has a GVWR of 33,000lb putting it into the MDT range in the US. One of the Isuzu Cabover Light trucks also has a 5.2 Diesel and a 33,000lb rating

      1. @Canoepaddler
        Correction now Cabover, still the small 5.2 engine, 30,000lbs,
        They used too have the larger 7.7Litre engine , Conventional Cab and 33,000lb
        5.2 is the next step up from the tiny 3litre NNR. 7.7 missing, 9.8 never introduced into NA

    10. @Canoepaddler
      From the Chevrolet Commercial Trucks. It is a rebranded Isuzu Light Truck. I can see why you would call them MDT’s as there is nothing heavier before you get to your Class 8’s
      “Standard equipment on the 2018 Chevrolet 6500XD includes a 5.2-liter four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine that delivers 520 pound-feet of torque. The trucks also feature an Allison 2500 Series six-speed automatic transmission, Dana axles and a straight-rail frame.

      The medium-duty truck has a maximum GVWR of 25,950 pounds. Its front and rear ratings are 12,000 pounds and 19,000 pounds, respectively. The truck features eight wheelbases and bodies up to 30-feet long, which are available on these Class 6 trucks.”

        1. Easy. What is defined as a MDT in the US is a Light Truck in Australia, Europe and Asia.
          Only when you are over the 33,000lb GVWR it becomes a MDT
          MDT’s outside NA range from 33,000lb GVWR to roughly 50,000 GVWR

      1. That is just a matter of semantics. It’s just like anyone in a tribe of pygmies is considered (large) if he is over say 5’7″ tall. While a member of the watusi tribe who stands only 5 ‘7″ tall is considered small. Whether you call a truck that has a gvw of say 28,000 pounds a light or medium duty doesn’t change that trucks capabilities at all. So what’s your point! I don’t understand!

        1. @Dan Bush
          No, different countries have ways of calling the same thing in different ways.
          Pickup Trucks are called Utes, Pickups or Cars in Australia or Europe.
          A Cabover Hino 500 Medium Duty Truck with a 8.9litre engine in Australia, NOW being introduced as a Convential Class7-8 by Hino in the United States. Hino 700 the top of the range in Australia with a 12.9litre engine

    11. The armchair CEOs and experts here have completely missed what these trucks are purchased to do.

      These are used for upfitting, not towing. They designed the trucks around how they will be used. It’s about having the right tools for the job and these are purpose built.

    12. I would disagree, many of the 6500 customers for example, are local contractors who need a truck that can pull their own backhoe, excavator, or bobcat, etc. As it stands with gm’s low tow rating. There choices remain only ford or ram. Again, why limit there audience when they are trying to re-enter thhe segment. They should instead try to be class leading in both payload and towing. Everyone wants to get more for the same money! That’s just common sense!

    Leave a Reply