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Vehicle Truck Classification

In the United States, commercial truck classification is determined based on the vehicle's gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR). The classes range from 1-8.[1] It also done more broadly under the US DOT Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Vehicle Inventory and Use Survey (VIUS) standards, which groups Class 1, 2 and 3 as "Light Duty", 4, 5 and 6 as "Medium Duty", and 7-8 as "Heavy Duty".[2][
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Class 1
The Class 1 truck gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) ranges from 0 to 6,000 pounds (0 to 2,722kg).[1] Examples of trucks in this class include the Ford Ranger and GMC Canyon.[4][5]


Class 2
The Class 2 truck gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) ranges from 6,001 to 10,000 pounds (2,722 to 4,536 kg).[1] Examples of vehicles in this class include the Dodge Dakota and the Ford F-150.[6][5]


Class 3
The Class 3 truck gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) ranges from 10,001 to 14,000 pounds (4,536 to 6,350 kg).[7] Examples of vehicles in this class include the Dodge Ram 3500, Ford F-350 and the GMC Sierra 3500, both dual rear wheel and single rear wheel.[5] The Hummer H1 is another example of a single rear wheel Class 3 truck, with a GVWR of 10,300 lbs.


Class 4
The Class 4 truck gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) ranges from 14,001 to 16,000 pounds (6,351 to 7,257 kg).[7] Examples of vehicles in this class include the Ford F-450 and the GMC 4500.[5]


Class 5
The Class 5 truck gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) ranges from 16,001 to 19,500 pounds (7,258 to 8,845 kg).[7] Examples of trucks in this class include the International MXT, GMC 5500.[8] and the Ford F-550


Class 6
The Class 6 truck gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) ranges from 19,501 to 26,000 pounds (8,846 to 11,793 kg). Examples of trucks in this class include the International Durastar, GMC Topkick C5500.[9] and the Ford F-650


Class 7
Vehicles in Class 7 and above require a class b licence to operate in the United States.[10] Their GVWR ranges from 26,001 to 33,000 pounds (11,794 to 14,969 kg).


Class 8
The Class 8 truck gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) is anything above 33,000 pounds (14,969 kg).[11] These include all tractor trailer trucks.


TON RATING

When domestic light-duty trucks were first produced, they were rated by their payload capacity in tons (e.g., ½-, ¾- and 1-ton). This has led to categorizing trucks similarly, even if their payload is different. Therefore, the Ford Ranger, Chevy S-10, and GMC S-15 are called quarter-tons (¼-ton). The Ford F-150, Chevy 10, Chevy/GMC 1500, and Dodge 1500 are half-tons (½-ton). The Ford F-250, Chevy 20, Chevy/GMC 2500, and Dodge 2500 are three-quarter-tons (¾-ton). Chevy/GMC's ¾-ton suspension systems were further divided into light and heavy-duty, differentiated by 5-lug and 6 or 8-lug wheel hubs depending on year, respectively. The Ford F-350, Chevy 30, Chevy/GMC 3500, and Dodge 3500 are one tons (1-ton).

Similar schemes exist for vans and SUVs (e.g., a 1-ton Dodge Van or a ½-ton GMC Suburban), medium duty trucks (e.g. the Ford ton-and-a-half F-450) and some military vehicles, like the ubiquitous deuce-and-a-half.

Throughout the years, the payload capacities for most domestic pickup trucks have increased while the ton title has stayed the same. The idiosyncratic ton rating is nothing more than just a colloquial way to designate and compare common trucks and vans.