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A white 2022 Chevy Silverado 3500HD Chassis Cab is shown parked at a construction site after leaving a commercial truck dealer.

Buying a Commercial Truck or Van? Read This Handy Chevy Buyer’s Guide

Finding a quality commercial truck dealer to help business owners navigate fleet buying or other commercial truck transactions is critical. Why? Acquiring a vehicle for your business couldn’t be more different than buying a passenger car for your personal use, and the complexity level doubles when the vehicle that’s on your list is a heavy-duty truck.

Aside from choosing the right truck for your specific business needs, you’ll also want to consider the tax implications of buying larger commercial vehicles. There’s also insurance to consider, along with the usual registration hassles. When you work closely with a commercial dealer that’s familiar with these types of transactions, life gets a whole lot easier, and you can focus on the most important part: product selection.

Chevy’s lineup of commercial trucks includes everything from the Colorado and Silverado 1500 to the Silverado 2500 HD and 3500 HD pickups to Cutaways, Chassis Cabs, Low Cab Forward models, and panel vans. The heaviest duty 4500 HD, 5500 HD, and 6500 HD round out Chevy’s expansive commercial truck lineup, and they’re ready for upfitting to suit just about any job. Here’s the lowdown on a few of Chevy’s popular commercial trucks and info on how to find a qualified dealer.

A red 2022 Chevy Silverado 3500HD is shown towing heavy machinery.

Silverado 2500 HD and 3500 HD

At first glance, moving up to a 2500 HD or 3500 HD Silverado seems like a small step up from the half-ton Silverado 1500 pickup, but it’s actually a very significant one. The 2500 HD three-quarter-ton and 3500 HD one-ton pickups are both commercial sized, which means they each sit on a heavy-duty chassis. The 2500 HD can tow up to 18,510 pounds, and the 3500 HD manages a max trailering capability of 36,000 pounds.

Although these two trucks are beginning to show up in some driveways as daily drivers and family vehicles, they’re most at home on the job site or supporting commercial contractors. The 2500 HD comes in single rear wheel only, while the larger 3500 comes in a single rear wheel or dual rear wheel configuration. Buyers can choose from four different trims if they opt for the 3500 HD: the base WT, LT, LTZ, or the High Country, the latter of which is only available in four-wheel drive.

Chevy’s HD pickup series starts in the mid-$30,000s, and buyers can choose from multiple cab and bed configurations. The 2500 HD comes in regular cab, double cab, and crew cab body styles and either a regular or long bed. Silverado 3500 HD buyers receive a crew cab on all trims and can select either a standard or long bed. The regular bed measures 80.2 inches in length, and the long bed comes in at 96.3 inches.

Two powerful engines make up the powertrain options for the Silverado HD lineup; one is gas-powered, and one takes diesel fuel. The 6.6-liter V8 gas engine delivers 401 horsepower and 464 lb-ft of torque, and it’s mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. The available and more powerful Duramax 6.6-liter Turbo-Diesel V8, which is paired with an Allison 10-speed transmission, makes 445 horsepower and 910 lb-ft of torque.

Silverado 3500 HD Chassis Cab & 4500 HD, 5500 HD & 6500 HD

Subtract the truck bed from a Silverado 3500 HD pickup, and what do you get? The upfit-ready 2022 Silverado 3500 HD Chassis Cab. It’s a blank canvas for your business, easily converting into a dump truck, a utility truck, or whatever you need to keep your company working efficiently out in the field. With an available fuel capacity of 63.5 gallons, your crew won’t waste time making multiple refueling stops.

Available in a two-door regular cab or a four-door crew cab, the 3500 HD Chassis Cab comes in with a 14,000-pound GVWR and a max payload of 7,571 pounds. Regular cab models offer between 60.0-84.5 inches from cab-to-axle, and crew cabs will get you a length of 60 inches of space to upfit.

The Silverado Chassis Cab lineup continues with the 4500 HD, the 5500 HD, and the 6500 HD. The 4500 HD offers a GVWR of 14,001-16,500 pounds, depending on the configuration. GVWR on the 5500 HD spans 17,500-19,500 pounds, and the largest 6500 HD Chassis Cab stretches that range to 21,500-23,500 pounds. All three models come in both regular cab and crew cab.

Larger 4500 HD, 5500 HD, and 6500 HD Chassis Cab models only come with Chevy’s Duramax diesel and companion Allison transmission. Buyers looking to upfit to a school bus configuration can choose the available Allison PTS transmission. These trucks are designed for utility and accessibility; they’re even available with Chevy’s connected services, which includes a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot.

A white 2022 Chevy Express Van is shown parked outside of a warehouse.

Chevy Express Vans

Freight handling companies are currently one of the fastest-growing businesses on the planet. It makes sense – someone has to deliver the 4.2 billion packages that leave Amazon’s fulfillment centers every year. If your company needs a dependable fleet of cargo vans, or if yours is one of many businesses that rely on the popular commercial van, such as party planners, tour operators, caterers, or airport shuttle services, Chevy’s Express Vans might be your answer.

It’s a simple two-van lineup consisting of a Cargo Van and a Passenger Van. Starting in the low $30,000 range, either one is an affordable addition to your fleet. Capability is consistent with other vans in the category, with a max payload of 4,280 pounds, max 401 horsepower, and a max 464 lb-ft of torque. Three available engines––a 4.3-liter V6, a 6.6-liter V8, or a 2.8-liter Duramax 4-cylinder––are available.

The passenger van can seat either 12 or 15 people and features rear air conditioning and an available Thule storage container that attaches to the hitch. The storage option is perfect for tucking passenger luggage away from the main cabin area during airport shuttle rides. Cargo van buyers can outfit the interior with available equipment packages tailored to specific trades, like electrical and plumbing.

Two models make up Chevy’s commercial van series, the Express 2500 and the Express 3500. Both have either a 135-inch or 155-inch wheelbase and up to a 16,000-pound GCWR. The 2500 van’s GVWR is 8,600 lbs, and the 3500 comes in at 9,900 pounds. We’ll do the math so you don’t have to: cargo payload max is 3,280 pounds on the 2500 and 4,280 pounds on the 3500, and passenger max is 2,550 pounds on the 2500, and the 3500 can handle up to 3,540 pounds.

Buy From a Chevy Business Elite Dealer

If your company relies on one or more commercial vehicles to get the job done, it makes sense to align with a qualified dealer for fleet management support. Chevy’s Business Elite program is uniquely suited to commercial buyers, and only a handful of Chevy dealers can claim Business Elite status. You may still find a smattering of commercial truck and van inventory on other dealers’ lots (especially 2500 HD and 3500 HD pickups), but seeking out a true Business Elite dealer is ideal.

Business Elite dealers staff trained commercial sales personnel who are fluent in fleet sales and know the product inside and out. This is a huge advantage for any business buyer but especially helpful for newbies or those who purchase infrequently. Business Elite salespeople also understand upfitting. Whether you run an electrical business or an airport shuttle service, they’ll be comfortable helping you build out your rig.

Commercial buyers will feel more comfortable in a Business Elite dealership environment not only because these dealers are well-versed on the sales side but because they offer business-friendly owner perks. These include longer service hours and even equally capable loaners when your vehicles are in for maintenance or repair.

Running a business is hard enough––hit the easy button and build a fleet of reliable and capable vehicles supported by a dealer that’s specially trained to work with commercial customers. It’s one less hassle you’ll have to deal with in the long run.