Photo courtesy of Freightliner
Freightliner's M2 106 is offered in a variety of configurations, including day cab, crew cab, and extended cab.

2018 Medium Duty Truck Update

Feb. 12, 2018
A compilation of newly available 2018 medium duty commercial vehicle offerings.

When it comes to the medium duty market in 2018, vehicle manufacturers note that while there may not be significant growth this year, the market is stable and will see at least modest growth..

"Barring any unforeseen events, we anticipate growth in the 2018 medium duty market, albeit fairly modest," Ram Truck's Communication Manager Nick Cappa says.

A division of FCA, Ram Trucks ( is a U.S.-based brand of light and medium duty commercial vehicles.

"While interest rates will continue to rise, the cost of capital will be reasonable enough to encourage additional small business investment. Uncertainty regarding the political climate of the country lingers, though, and this will more than likely temper any expectations of significant growth in the medium duty market."

Ramses Banda, International Trucks’ director of medium duty product marketing, agrees that "infrastructure investment and government funding will be a key factor for a solid year."

International Trucks (, part of Navistar, is a producer of medium duty, heavy duty and severe duty trucks.

Freightliner Trucks' Director of Product Marketing Kelly Gedert anticipates a "stable and healthy" year across all segments, but says the construction and government fleet sectors in particular will be most "consistent."

Freightliner Trucks (, a division of Daimler Trucks North America, is a manufacturer of Class 5 to Class 8 trucks.

"Medium duty fleet buyers in the pickup and delivery segment will continue to renew their fleets, [and] the addition of electronics that provide driver coaching, as well as collision mitigation, will continue to grow," International's Banda says.

While the outlook for 2018 remains largely unchanged from 2017 for Kenworth (, a Paccar company and manufacturer of heavy and medium duty trucks, Marketing Director Kurt Swihart, agrees there will be an increased focus on safety.

"This includes safety systems such as collision avoidance, blindspot warning and lane departure warning, as well as increased focus on driver visibility and maneuverability,” Swihart says.

As technology continues to advance, and the topic of alternative fuel and autonomous vehicles continue to dominate conversation, gas engines are still expected to have a strong year, Ford's Medium Duty Truck Marketing Manager, Kevin Koester, says.

The U.S.-based Ford Motor Co. ( sells automobiles and commercial vehicles.

“We’re seeing continued movement toward gas engines in medium duty trucks," Koester explains. "Much of this is driven by the advantages of not needing diesel emissions equipment. If the application doesn’t require high mileage or high idle, many fleets are choosing gas engines.”

Furthermore, Koester says there is a trend of fleet managers "wanting to de-rate some higher GVWR vehicles to get higher durability while not pushing into weights that require operators to have a CDL.”

This article serves as a resource of available Model Year 2018 medium duty trucks to help fleets determine which new vehicle, or product offering, is best for their specific applications as they start the new year.

Note: Medium duty trucks in this article are defined as Class 3 (10,001 to 14,000 lbs GVW) to Class 6 (19,501 to 26,000 lbs GVW). While some classify Class 6 vehicles as 'light heavy duty,' in this article we are following Federal Highway Administration classifications.


After expanding its range of Chevrolet Low Cab Forward trucks with the Class 6 6500XD late last year, Chevrolet is following it up with another late-year release of its all-new Class 4 and 5 trucks, the Silverado 4500 and 5500.

Chevrolet ( is a division of General Motors and manufacturer of cars, trucks and commercial vehicles.

“The Silverado 4500 and 5500 will stand out because we’ve designed the trucks around how customers work," John Schwegman, Chevrolet’s U.S. director of commercial product, says. "They will be powerful, highly maneuverable and among the easiest trucks on the market to upfit with specialized bodies, such as dump bodies, rollbacks, freight boxes and more.”

Both the Silverado 4500 and 5500 will be available in Regular and Crew Cab models, with 4x2 and 4x4 capability and a wide range of GVWRs and wheelbases. Chevrolet will also offer these trucks with optional OnStar with 4G LTE connectivity provided by AT&T, which fleet management companies are embracing to help improve safety and productivity.

Silverado 4500 and 5500 models will be powered by a Duramax diesel engine and Allison transmission.

The 2018 Chevrolet Low Cab Forward 6500XD, features:

  • Standard equipment includes a 5.2L 4-cylinder turbodiesel that delivers 520 lbs-ft of torque, an Allison 2500 Series 6-speed automatic transmission (with PTO), Dana axles and a straight-rail frame.
  • Front and rear axle ratings are 12,000 lbs and 19,000 lbs, respectively. Maximum GVWR is 25,950 lbs.
  • Eight wheelbases are available and bodies up to 30’ long can be accommodated.


Ford's new 2018 F-450 Super Duty 4x2 Crew Cab pickup, with 34,000 lbs of towing capacity, is now available for fleet customers.

The truck features a steel box frame, integrated gooseneck hitch mounts, and added load capacity due to its aluminum-alloy body.

In addition to the new model, Ford also upgraded the 6.7L Power Stroke diesel engine for its Super Duty customers this year.

The 2018 engine includes redesigned cylinder heads for added strength under higher loads, and optimized fuel and turbo boost calibrations to take advantage of the increased cylinder head capacity for more horsepower and higher torque.

Ford also made additional updates to the 2018 F-650 and F-750, which will be available at dealerships this fall. Electronic stability control and traction control brakes now come standard on all 2018 F-650 and F-750 tractor models. The updates will initially be optional on certain F-750 diesel air-brake equipped straight trucks with high-center-of-gravity-body upfitting.

For applications with high electrical demands – such as tow trucks, road service vehicles and other well-lit work trucks – a high-output 240A alternator is now available with the 6.8L V10 gasoline powertrain.

Ford offers an optional automatic regeneration inhibitor on 2018 diesel trucks to give the operator more control over when the engine goes into regeneration to clean the diesel particulate filter (DPF).

To limit potential hood wear and front-end collision damage, an available bumper extension moves the full-width front bumper from flush with the grill to three inches in front of it. This provides additional protection to the grille and components behind it in case of a collision, potentially reducing repair expenses.

The F-650 and F-750 diesels also have relocated dipsticks that can be accessed from ground level. The transmission fluid dipstick has also been moved to provide ground-level access on gasoline models.

Freightliner Trucks

The Freightliner M2 106 is offered in a variety of configurations including day cab, crew cab, and extended cab versions with GVWRs up to 66,000 lbs.

In 2018, the M2 106 engine offerings include Freightliner’s proprietary Detroit DD5 as well as a larger horsepower Detroit DD8.

"Detroit engines come standard with Detroit Connect Virtual Technician, which provides engine diagnostics, insights into vehicle performance and helps customers make informed service decisions," says Freightliner Trucks’ Gedert.

The M2 106 can also be spec’d with Cummins B6.7 and L9 diesels. Transmissions for the M2 include Eaton Fuller manual gearboxes, the Eaton Procision and UltraShift AMT as well as the Allison 1000, 2000 and 3000 Series automatic transmissions.

Other options available for the M2 include active safety systems from Meritor Wabco, such as OnGuard and OnLane, which provide collision mitigation and lane departure warning systems; and the SmarTire Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) from Bendix, which provides real-time pressure and temperature status.

Hino Trucks

Hino Trucks (, one of the largest truck manufactures in the world, relocated the rear shock upper mount on all 2018 conventional models.  

Additionally, there is an extension harness for air tank pressure sensors and suspension dump valves; a 300 RDS transmission option; EnerSys battery options; and a battery disconnect switch and jump-start stud.

International Trucks

In 2018, Navistar, through its International brand of trucks, will expand its vehicle lineup in the medium to light commercial truck range.

The introduction of the new MV Series in 2018 will replace the 4300 and 4400 series Durastar, and International will also add a "medium duty version" of the recently launched HV Series severe heavy duty truck.

Specs for the MV Series include:

  • Payload capacity: Minimum 23,500 lbs; Maximum. 54,600 lbs.
  • Vehicle configurations available: 4x2, 6x4
  • Intended use/market: Pickup and delivery, construction, utility, government, landscaping, general freight, sanitation, towing, municipal, etc.

"All of our trucks have been refreshed or completely redesigned to provide the best driver experience, while providing the tools necessary to increase driver productivity and retention," says International’s Banda. "Safety has been a focus of International. Collison mitigation system(s), driver coaching technology and driver protection system(s) in the event of a rollover, have been integrated in the new MV series.

"Keeping the driver safe is important, and the best way to achieve this objective is to avoid the accident altogether. If you have a safe truck operation you will have an efficient fleet that delivers consistent profits."


Marking its first move into the medium duty segment, Isuzu recently released its FTR Class 6 low cab forward truck, highlighting fuel efficiency and maneuverability.

Isuzu Commercial Truck of America, Inc. ( is the U.S. distributor of Isuzu medium and heavy duty vehicles manufactured by parent company Isuzu Motors Limited.

The model is powered by Isuzu’s 4HK1-TC 5.2L turbocharged 4-cyl diesel engine that generates 215hp and 530 lbs-ft of torque. With a GVWR of 25,950 lbs, the Dana-supplied axles on the FTR will have a front axle capacity of 12,000 lbs and a rear axle capacity of 19,000 lbs.

In comparative tests conducted by Pro Formance Group, Inc., a third-party evaluator, and certified by the Sports Car Club of America, the FTR measured a curb-to-curb turning diameter of 49'. Isuzu says this allows the FTR to carry a 24’ dry freight box on a wheelbase of 212".

"When we introduced the FTR last spring, some naysayers thought a four-cylinder Class 6 truck could never compete with the six-cylinder models you typically find in this segment,” said Shaun Skinner, president of Isuzu Commercial Truck of America. “But the results [of the Pro Formance Group evaluations] demonstrate that the FTR exceeds expectations against the top vehicles in its class—and beats them all for maneuverability and fuel economy.”

In the braking evaluation the FTR averaged a 55 to 0 mph distance of 180’ and a 30 to 0 mph distance of 53’.

The model offers a choice of eight wheelbase lengths, ranging from 152” to 248”, accommodating bodies from 14’ to 30’. Standard tire offerings for the 2018 model include Bridgestone or Continental 11R22.5 tires fitted onto 22.5” by 8.25” steel wheels.

Isuzu will also make previously optional features standard for the 2018 model year for the FTR, as well as the N-Series ranges (which include the NPR and NPR HD in gas and diesel options) including:

  • A new radio with Bluetooth capability, USB iPod compatibility, reverse mute function and integrated microphone for N-diesel and N-gas lines.
  • A rear body dome lamp switch on all N-series and FTR chassis for 2018 and 2019 model years.

The N-gas will also integrate innovation already found on Isuzu diesel models. For example, the electronic control module is switching from E38 (a discontinued version) to E78. This transition includes changes to the air intake ducting and brake apply sensor. The electronic brake pedal override has been enhanced to limit axle torque when the brake and accelerator pedals are applied simultaneously. The 2018 models will include final gear ratio changes to improve fuel economy by an average of 3 percent as compared to the 2017 model year.


All conventional and cab-over Class 6 offerings from Kenworth will continue in 2018, with safety additions and new axle offerings.

“Kenworth continues to focus on offering medium duty trucks that are the most versatile and reliable trucks on the road," said Kurt Swihart, Kenworth marketing director. "A wide option content is available and new options are constantly being introduced to make our trucks even more capable."

The Kenworth T270 conventional Class 6 medium duty truck features a sloped hood, single rear or tandem drive axle and optional cab corner windows. The series has a GVWR up to 26,000 lbs. It has either PACCAR PX-7 and PX-9 diesel engines, 200-350hp to 1,150 lbs-ft of torque. The series is available in manual, automated manual or automatic transmissions. An in-dash Kenworth NavPlus HD system is also available. 

The most recent product offerings for the T270 includes the Bendix driver assistance and side object detection systems, and the availability of Dana’s Spicer S140 single rear axle.

Bendix Wingman Fusion integrates radar, camera and brakes into a comprehensive driver assistance system, and includes the following safety systems and features:

  • Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC)
  • Collision Mitigation Technology (CMT)
  • Stationary object warning
  • Stationary object braking
  • Enhanced collision mitigation braking (up to 35 mph)
  • Over speed limit warnings
  • Lane departure warning (above 37 mph)

Antilock Brakes System (ABS), Air Traction Control (ATC) and Bendix Electronic Stability Program (ESP) are required for Bendix Wingman Fusion on the T270 and T370.

The Dana Spicer S140 Series single-reduction, single-drive axle is also now available for the Kenworth T270 and T370 medium duty conventional models. The single-drive axle family is composed of the S17-140, S19-140, S20-140 and S21-140 axles for the T270 and T370. The axles are available with 16K, 17K, 18K, 19K, 20K and 21K lbs. gross axle weight rating (GAWR), respectively.

The Kenworth K270 Cabover Class 6 cabover engine truck comes in a 4x2 configuration, with 55-degree wheel cut, automatic transmission and single rear drive axle. It features PACCAR PX-7 diesel engines, 200-260hp and 520-660 lb-ft of torque. The model has a GVW of 26,000 lb. It comes standard with front and rear drum brakes with 22.5” tires and wheels. Front air disc brakes and rear air suspension are both optional. The cab comes standard with an air suspension driver seat and two-person passenger bench seat. There are 19.5” tire and wheel packages available and wheelbases in 12” increments from 142” to 242”. This accommodates bodies from 16’ to 28’.

Mitsubishi Fuso

The new gas-powered FE single- and crew-cab models (FE140, FE160 and FE180), with Allison 1000 Series 6-speed automatic transmission and 11,945-lb payload capacity, from Mitsubishi Fuso will launch this spring.

Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corp. ( is a manufacturer of trucks and buses.

Gasoline options are being added to the company's 2018 model year chassis, including E, G, H and K wheelbase formats.

Mitsubishi Fuso says it is also updating the diesel exhaust fluid tank cover, increasing corrosion protection, heightening cold-weather engine performance and improving the turbocharger gate control on its 2018 models.

The cab is getting some attention this year, too, with an upgraded driver's seat with more padding, contouring and lumbar support. There will also be collision avoidance technology options.


The Peterbilt medium duty Model 220 was redesigned in early 2017 to be lighter weight per unit. The updated design features a vertical exhaust that saves up to 100 lbs per unit, a 6” increase in the cab-to-axle distance and a smaller battery box in the exhaust configuration.

Peterbilt (, a Paccar company is a manufacturer of on-highway, vocational and medium duty trucks.

The Model 220 is ideal for urban pick-up and delivery, refuse, landscaping, street sweeping and striping.

Rainier Truck and Chassis

Established in 2014, work truck manufacturer Rainier Truck and Chassis (, is taking orders for all new models in its truck lineup.

The three medium duty models available include:

  • Class 4 RT 1600
  • Class 5 RT 1950
  • Class 6 RT 2600

These cabover trucks come standard with a Cummins ISB 6.7L 300hp or 325hp diesel along with Allison six-speed automatic transmissions. RT 1600 and RT 1950 models also offer a second standard option with a 6.4L HEMI V8 gasoline engine.

The model year 2018 trucks offer a variety of standard features including load leveling rear air suspension with no upcharge.

Production is set to begin this spring, with delivery for new truck orders happening mid-year.

“Rainier is targeting this summer to ramp up production in Yakima, Washington,” Gary Jones, founder of Rainier says. “The company is experiencing robust sales and lots of interest from dealers and customers who want a work truck that offers lower acquisition costs, more power, is simpler to service and comfortable to drive.”

Ram Commercial

Ram Commercial's 2018 3500 Chassis Cab model, rated at 10,000 lbs GVWR, now offers a rearview back-up camera standard.

The single- or crew-cab model, intended for construction, agricultural, landscaping, delivery and towing, has a payload capacity of 12,480 lbs (equipped with 6.4L HEMI gasoline engine) and a towing capacity of 30,600 lbs (equipped with 6.7L Cummins diesel engine).

Ram also enhanced their security gateway module to isolate unauthenticated communication to their 2018 vehicles.


As truck manufacturers develop new technologies, vehicle performance and driver safety will continue to remain the top priorities. While significant growth isn’t expected this year, most manufacturers in the medium duty market are confident in stable, healthy growth as fleets continue to renew and update aging vehicles.

About the Author

Vesna Brajkovic | Associate Editor - Vehicle Repair Group

Vesna Brajkovic is associate editor for the Vehicle Repair Group.

Brajkovic has covered the transportation industry for a number of trade publications, with a focus on the vehicle maintenance and automotive aftermarket industries since 2016. Prior to that, she covered the global aviation industry as assistant editor for Endeavor Business Media's, and held a number of editorial positions at an award-winning community newspaper.

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