The purpose of a pickup truck is to get hard jobs done right. But for extraordinary tasks, there are extraordinary trucks. The 2021 Chevy Silverado 4500 is one such truck. Considered part of Chevy’s “Medium Duty” series, the Silverado 4500 was introduced in 2019, alongside even bigger siblings, the 5500 and 6500. As a collaboration with Navistar, who produces massive work vehicles, it was immediately clear that the Silverado Medium Duty series was a force to be reckoned with.
Each of the Medium Duty Silverado vehicles has been designed with intense work in mind. In fact, they’re specifically engineered for the potential to be upfit into a variety of commuter and industrial vehicles. Much like the first trucks Chevrolet manufactured in the early days of automobiles, the Silverado 4500 may seem to be an unfinished project at first glance. In reality, the Medium Duty series is just the basis for unlocking an unbelievable amount of potential. Those interested in adding a chassis cab to their fleet should get a feel for some of the updates and changes for the 2021 Chevy Silverado 4500.
There’s no mistaking that the 2021 Chevy Silverado 4500 is a big truck with a big engine and a significant amount of power. Drivers have a choice between a regular cab or crew cab body style. The regular cab has seating for 2-3 passengers, with a 40/20/40 bench seat standard. The passenger seating can be removed completely, depending on upfit configuration requirements. Crew cabs provide seating for up to five passengers and include the availability of heated and adjustable front bucket seats in some instances. The rear passenger seating can be omitted from the crew cab body style upon request, as well.
Depending on the configurations chosen, expect a wheelbase measurement of between 141 and 243 inches for regular cab models and between 175 and 235 for crew cab models. The Silverado 4500 Gross Vehicle Weight Rating is gauged at between 14,001 and 16,500 pounds. For rear-wheel drive models, the standard rear axle ratio is 4.10, which increases to 4.30 on all-wheel drive models. A variety of configurations can be chosen, depending on the job at hand and intended upfitting.
The powerhouse of the 2021 Chevy Silverado 4500 is a 6.6L Duramax L5D V8 engine, which provides 350 horsepower and 700 lb-ft of torque. The standard transmission is an Allison 6-Speed Close-Ratio Automatic With Double Overdrive. However, this can also be customized to meet the needs of duty with transmissions that match the upfitting package chosen at the time of purchase.
The Silverado 4500 is a master of all trades when properly upfitted, and drivers can select from a variety of packages to help them get started. Choose from an ambulance package, motor home package, non-conforming shuttle bus package, emergency service vehicle package, or snowplow prep package to ensure the 4500 is ready for the job intended. You’ll also have a variety of cab-to-axle selections to make the upfit easier, along with a clean top-of-rail design and corrosion-proofed painted chassis. Power Take-Off provides auxiliary power set up from either side of the transmission for left-hand access.
Despite its massive size and impressive capability, the 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 4500 is easy to drive. The hood has been specifically engineered to slope away from the driver, allowing greater visibility of the road that lies ahead. The wheels are also designed to cut up to 50 degrees, which improves overall maneuverability, whether pulling through a tight spot on the job site or navigating city streets.
Two fuel tanks hold up to 65 gallons of diesel fuel, and the Silverado 4500 does its best to be as easy to maintain as it can be. The battery box is conveniently located below the driver side door of the cab, along with an auxiliary jump start stud. The diesel exhaust fill is easily accessed from the right front fender, so checking and replacing fluids is a breeze. After all, the 4500 is supposed to be a workers best friend, so Chevy has tried to make using every aspect of the vehicle as simple and accessible as possible.
Most of the 2021 Chevy Silverado confirmed updates are mechanical in nature, designed to enhance the 4500’s compatibility with a variety of jobs. These updates are sure to help the Silverado 4500 become the ultimate work partner for many different jobs. For instance, StabiliTrak is now standard on all models, offering a greater sense of security when hauling heavy loads or precious cargo. Chevy has also added FuelSense 2.0 transmission shift control calibration for greater efficiency and performance.
Neutral-at-Stop is a feature now standard on all models, as well. Neutral-at-Stop allows the transmission to shift into neutral automatically when the vehicle is at a complete stop with the service brake fully depressed. Once the service brake is released, the transmission shifts seamlessly back into gear. An exhaust brake is now standard, along with the Upfitter Switch Kit. These were previously offered as part of the optional Emergency Service Package, which also includes dual alternators, a backup alarm, and end-of-cab wiring provisions.
These new standard features allow for easier upfitting of the 2021 Chevy Silverado 4500 into its future business suit. Up to 13 available auxiliary switches are conveniently installed within easy reach of the driver to help control upfit functions. An open rear axle with non-locking rear differential is standard, with the 2020 limited-slip Dana Spicer axle as an available option, instead of standard.
When it comes to driving a vehicle as powerful as the 2021 Chevy Silverado 4500, drivers often expect the privilege of getting the job done to be the main prize. Instead, Chevrolet throws some comfort and convenience features to help drivers get the job done in style. For example, the shocks and cab mounts have been specifically tuned to offer drivers a smooth ride, something that is often passed over when creating a Chassis Cab vehicle. Additionally, the doors are triple-sealed to keep out road and site noise, allowing drivers a little peace and quiet while at work.
Of course, if peace and quiet aren’t ideal, take advantage of the available Chevrolet Infotainment system, featuring compatibility with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as the myChevrolet mobile app. Drivers can even opt for a 4G LTE WiFi hotspot to ensure a connection for all crew members, no matter where the road leads. Bluetooth connectivity is standard, along with a USB port and auxiliary jack.
Drivers can also take advantage of available features such as cruise control, air conditioning, and heat settings with defrost. Power locks, windows, and mirrors are also available to make going about your day a little bit easier. Finally, the touch screen infotainment system can range in size from 4.2 to 8 inches, depending on the packages and fittings chosen. Chevrolet understands that drivers and passengers come first, so safety is a priority. The 2021 Silverado 4500 is equipped with seat-mounted side-impact airbags, along with head curtain airbags for driver and outboard passengers.