How Much Does a Truck Weigh?

Dustin Hawley | Feb 09, 2021

Pickup trucks are the icon of American roads, residing in the driveways and garages of millions of hard-working men and women across the country. 

how much do trucks weigh

But have you ever wondered how much they weigh? Trucks come in all shapes and sizes, and while its size plays an important part, it’s not the only determining factor. Let’s discuss how much trucks weigh by detailing what GVWR and Ton ratings are while providing general weight ratings for each truck classification. 

What Is the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating? - Find the best car deals!

Gross vehicle weight depicts the vehicle’s total weight, including its passengers, cargo, fuel, and a percentage of any attached trailer’s weight. A GVWR rating represents the limit of how much the vehicle can weigh in total while maintaining safety.

Exceeding the GVWR rating on a truck can cause damage to the vehicle’s suspension, transmission, and tires. Additionally, a loss of control over the vehicle can potentially occur when the trailer affects the truck’s balance point. Aside from safety concerns surrounding this rating, exceeding the GVWR limit can also lead to fines or more serious charges from governing bodies who enforce these regulations. 

What Are ‘Ton’ Ratings? - Find the best car deals!

The first pickup trucks made in the United States were classified by their payload capacity: 

  • Half-ton trucks.
  • Three-quarter ton trucks.
  • One-ton trucks.

Though payload capacities have increased over time, the classification has remained the same - used only to emphasize the size difference between truck models, not their payload capacity. 

Pickup Truck Weights And Classifications - Find the best car deals!

Commercial trucks in the United States are organized by their GVWR and given two classifications, the first being a class range from 1 to 8. The second classification, made by the Federal Highway Administration, categorizes trucks more broadly, dividing them into Light, Medium, and Heavy truck segments.

For context, conventional pickup trucks (a large, heavy-duty model or configuration) usually go as high as Class 4. Beyond this class, chassis cab trucks begin to take over the segment, and while they look like a pickup truck with a bare cargo bay, they’re two entirely different vehicles. 

Trucks and their weight ratings are broken down into eight specific rating categories.

Class 1 - Light Truck

Class 1 has a weight limit of 0 to 6000 pounds, with the average weight of pickup trucks ranging from 4000 to 4700 pounds. Examples of vehicles in this category include: 

Class 2a - Light Truck

Despite a higher weight limit to 8,500 pounds, Class 2a still belongs in the light truck category, with an average curb weight of roughly 5,000 - 5,500 pounds. The most notable Class 2a truck models include:

Class 2b - Light/Medium Truck

Class 2b is the tipping point between light non-commercial pickup trucks and heavy-duty haulers. GVWR is limited to 10,000 pounds, while the average curb weight ranges between 6,300 and 7,000 pounds. Examples of Light/Medium trucks include: 

Class 3 - Medium Truck

This category of trucks has some serious towing potential, with a weight limit of up to 14,000 pounds. On average, these trucks weigh 6,000 - 7,000 pounds with a GVWR more than double their curb weight. Models made in the United States dominate this category, with the exception of the Japanese-brand, Isuzu. Medium truck examples include: 

Class 4 - Medium Truck

Class 4 is the category where conventional heavy-duty pickup trucks reside. With a slightly increased weight limit from Class 3 (up to 16,000 pounds) and average curb weight ranges between 6,000 and 8,000 pounds, medium trucks are the bread-and-butter of the truck world. Keep in mind that different cargo bed configurations can affect the total weights of vehicles in this category. Common medium truck models include:

  • Chevrolet Silverado 4500HD/International CV
  • Ford F-450 Chassis Cab
  • Ram 4500
  • Isuzu NPR-HD

Class 5 - Medium Truck

You’ll begin to notice a more substantial deviation from the regular pickup truck in Class 5. While these trucks’ chassis and cabins remain largely the same as those in Class 4 (either a single or double-cab variant), the cargo bay changes the vehicle’s layout significantly. Despite their similarities in appearance, these are fundamentally different vehicles.

Used as utility vehicles by farmers and repair companies, Class 5 trucks have a maximum weight limit of 19,500 pounds. Curb weight of trucks in this category can vary dramatically, as these vehicles focus more on carrying the load than towing it, with a minimum weight around 8,000 pounds. Key examples of Class 5 trucks include:

  • Chevrolet Silverado 5500HD/International CV
  • Ford F-550 
  • Ram 5500

Class 6 - Medium Truck

Class 6 vehicles are chassis cab trucks that come in many variations, including flatbed, dump, bucket, and straight trucks, just to name a few. The conventional pickup truck practically disappears once you reach this category, making way for only the heaviest duty vehicles.

With a weight limit that reaches 26,000 pounds, an average curb weight of 8,000 to 9,000 is standard, depending on the configuration. In some instances, these trucks can easily reach a curb weight of 15,000 pounds. Recognizable pickup trucks are scarce within this class, but some examples include: 

  • Chevrolet Silverado 6500HD/International CV
  • Ford F-650

Classes 7 and 8 - Heavy Trucks

Pickup trucks have very little in common with these classes, as class 7 and 8 trucks are likely to come in the form of fuel tankers or dump trucks. Still, it is worth mentioning them to complete the classification list:

  • Class 7 has a weight limit between 26,001 and 33,000 pounds.
  • Class 8 is categorized as any truck weighing 33,001 pounds or more.

Summary - Find the best car deals!

Pickup truck manufacturers are faced with the challenging task of attempting to fulfill every customer’s wants and needs. As a result, they produce various truck models, each with unique sizes, characteristics, and focus on functionality. Therefore, it’s essential to know the different weight classifications, as they will provide a baseline that should help you establish an understanding of how much a particular type of truck weighs. Check out more of our guides and informative articles for additional information.

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