A Chevy Silverado 6500 HD gets a thorough examination from attendees at this year’s NTEA Truck Product Conference.

GM bolsters entire lineup of Chevy Silverado, GMC Sierra trucks, chassis

Dec. 9, 2019
NTEA Truck Product Conference 2019 coverage

John Schwegman, director for commercial products, introduced GM Fleets’ most recent product updates to attendees of the 2019 Truck Product Conference.

GM is keeping its truck lineup fresh with five new trucks in four years, including the Chevrolet low cab forward 3500, 4500, 5500 and 6500 in 2016; Chevrolet Silverado 4500HD, 5500HD and 6500HD; and Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500 in 2019; and the Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD and GMC Sierra 2500HD; and Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD and GMC Sierra 3500HD in 2020.

GM says the full-size pickup transition now is complete and production is underway for HD regular cabs and double cabs. The transition includes three all-new truck engines: a 2.7-liter turbo with 310 horsepower and 348 pound-feet of torque added for the 2019 model year, a 3.0-liter Duramax turbo diesel with 277 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque for the 2020 model year, and a 6.6-liter V8 with 401 horsepower and 464 pound-feet of torque for 2020.

Schwegman indicated the company is keeping its big vans competitive with new powertrains across the board, including the 2.8-liter Duramax turbo diesel with 181 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque added in 2017, the 4.3-liter V6 with 276 horsepower and 298 pound-feet of torque added in 2018, and the 6.6-liter V8 coming in 2021.

Van features include full frame and body-on-frame; 10,000-pound towing capacity; three engine options; available safety features like side blind zone alert, lane departure warning and forward collision alert; and 4G mobile LTE office WiFi.

Chevy gas low cab forward (LCF) 3500 and 4500 updates for the 2020 model year include adding a cab tilting warning sensor, replacing TY213A Yokohama tires with TY213B tires on 3500s, and adding a receptacle for engine block, oil pan and fuel filter heater options. Diesel LCF updates to the 4500HD/XD and 5500 HD/XD models in 2020 include standard A/C, a new cold weather pack and a new transmission assembly that provides a 2% improvement in fuel economy.

Port installed option (PIO) changes for 2019/2020 include Mobileye collision avoidance systems, which are available on all models. GM says Mobileye calibration must be performed by an upfitter or dealer to complete setup. The process requires putting the chassis or upfit truck through a drive cycle of 5 to 15 minutes at speeds greater than 22 mph.

Another PIO change postponed from 2020 model year introduction by an earthquake in Japan adds a new 35- or 55-gallon port-installed, left-side aluminum tank for 4500HD through 5500XD models, deleting the rear tank.

The 6500XD LCF boasts a new air suspension option for 2021. The Hendrickson HAS Air Suspension (23K) is available in all 6500XD configurations, compatible with all wheelbases, tires and fuel tank options, and must be factory ordered (it’s not available as a PIO).

For Chevy Silverado 4500HD, 5500HD and 6500HD, running changes for the 2019 model year include new Continental tires with higher weight ratings. Continental’s XDV and YAP are rated to 3,875 pounds each with a maximum of 15,500 pounds in the rear. The change also allows for ordering J27 15.5K GAWR rear axles.

For the 2020 model year, changes include UF3 high idle PTO idle-up capability on non-PTO trucks, providing higher RPMs for clutch pumps and other accessories, G80 locking rear axles (expected mid-2020) and six additional upfitter switches (SEO-UEH).

The 2020 model year Silverado and Sierra heavy-duty body boasts all-steel construction, a larger cab structure shared with new LD models, and standard trailering mirrors with all trims. The pickup box features best-in-class volume, increased width (by 6.75 inches), 12 welded tiedowns, 110-volt/400-watt power outlet, improved LED lighting and standard side step. The updated chassis includes improved short-long arm independent front suspension, wheelbases that are 5 inches longer than in previous generations and four-point mounting for aftermarket bodies.

GVWR and payload increases across every HD model reach as high as 950 pounds for the 2500HD regular cab (now at 10,450 pounds GVWR) and 896 pounds for the 3500HD crew cab (now with a payload capacity of 6,657 pounds).

All 2020 model year Silverado and Sierra HD trucks also received trailering improvements, including across-the-board gains in towing capacity up to 35,500 pounds. All dual rear wheel diesel models feature trailering capacity greater than 30,000 pounds, GM said. The 3500 HD crew cab dual rear wheel four-wheel drive diesel enjoyed the largest gain, with an additional 8,500 pounds giving it 31,200 pounds of towing capacity for 2020.

Finally, the new integrated power take-off (PTO) for 2020 model year Silverado and Sierra HDs is chain driven, so an aftermarket PTO gear box no longer is required. The PTO, with an MSRP of $995, is available on all diesel pickups, box deletes and chassis cabs but must be ordered with the truck (no retrofits).

GM makes available all types of information for upfitters at gmupfitter.com, including electronic math data. Upfitters can request a version with 3D diagrams to be delivered electronically, via compact disc or person-to-person by clicking on the ‘Contact Us’ page.

Recent upfitter integration bulletins include “Adding an Aftermarket Trailer Brake Controller-MD Trucks,” “Upfit Body Mounting/Chassis Wiring Harness Routing” and “Adding or Installing a Rearview Camera-FST New Body Style.”

Online body builder manuals for the 2020 model year include general instructions and electrical manuals for multiple models, and special applications for Silverado/Sierra trucks covering the snowplow prep package and pickup box removal.