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. 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".[
The Class 1 truck gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) ranges from 0 to 6,000 pounds (0 to 2,722kg). Examples of trucks in this class include the Ford Ranger and GMC Canyon.
The Class 2 truck gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) ranges from 6,001 to 10,000 pounds (2,722 to 4,536 kg). Examples of vehicles in this class include the Dodge Dakota and the Ford F-150.
The Class 3 truck gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) ranges from 10,001 to 14,000 pounds (4,536 to 6,350 kg). 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. The Hummer H1 is another example of a single rear wheel Class 3 truck, with a GVWR of 10,300 lbs.
The Class 4 truck gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) ranges from 14,001 to 16,000 pounds (6,351 to 7,257 kg). Examples of vehicles in this class include the Ford F-450 and the GMC 4500.
The Class 5 truck gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) ranges from 16,001 to 19,500 pounds (7,258 to 8,845 kg). Examples of trucks in this class include the International MXT, GMC 5500. and the Ford F-550
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. and the Ford F-650
Vehicles in Class 7 and above require a class b licence to operate in the United States. Their GVWR ranges from 26,001 to 33,000 pounds (11,794 to 14,969 kg).
The Class 8 truck gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) is anything above 33,000 pounds (14,969 kg). These include all tractor trailer trucks.
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.