We talk about trucks a lot on this site, but we rarely take a look at the commercial vehicle side of the truck market. And we’re not discounting them in the least, as these vehicles play a huge role in the industrial backbone of the United States. Whether it be the people building your home or the newest high-rise downtown, commercial vehicles are going to be involved in the process. For the 2021 model year, General Motors have made a number of improvements to the Chevrolet Silverado medium duty, low cab forward trucks, and Express cargo van lineups.
The biggest change coming to the GM commercial vehicle lineup in 2021 is the addition of the 6.6L V8 engine from the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD models in the Express and Low Cab Forward trucks. In the Express chassis, the big gasser is rated at 401 horsepower and 464 lb-ft of torque, which represents gains of 17 percent more horsepower and 24 percent more peak torque than over the outgoing 6.0L motor. For the Cab Forwards, the motor is rated at 350 horsepower and 425 lb-ft of torque, bringing nearly 18 percent more horsepower and 14 percent more peak torque than before.
Updates have also been made to the Silverado 4500 HD, 5500 HD and 6500 HD chassis cab trucks that originally debuted back in 2018. Focused on customer requests, General Motors has made a number of changes to improve performance and usability for 2021. Buyers can expect hauling capacity to go up by 23 percent, with a new maximum gross combined weight rating of 37,000 pounds. There is also a new mechanical locking rear axle out back to help increase traction when driving off-road or on a muddy job site. GM has even made the axle-to-end-of-frame ratio longer on the short wheelbase models to give buyers more flexibility with upfitting bodies.
The Chevrolet Silverado medium duty trucks also see some livability improvements inside, thanks to longer mirror arms, a headliner mounted auxiliary switch bank with six additional switches, and even a left handed PTO port for ease of access regardless of which side of the truck you’re on. The commercial vehicle and medium duty truck segments are a key part of any truck maker’s portfolio, even if they get talked about less than their smaller siblings. General Motors’ commercial vehicle business has seen a 67 percent increase in sales since 2013, which they hope to continue into 2021 with these updated models.