On-Highway Truck Classifications

Light vs Medium vs Heavy Duty Truck Designations & Classes

3/4 and 1 ton trucks are often referred to as "heavy duty", though they are technically classified as light duty vehicles. The fact of the matter is that they are the heavy duty pickups of the light duty classification. Commercial trucks in the United States are classified by gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR), and the classification is given on a scale of 1 through 8; 8 being the largest GVWR, and 1 having the smallest.

GVWR - Gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) is the maximum rated weight of the vehicle and cargo, including passengers. GVWR may be applied to trucks or trailers, but not the two combined (this is a separate rating, the gross combined weight rating or GCWR).


Gross Vehicle Weight Rating Range:


Class 1

GVRW 0 - 6,0000 lbs

Ford Ranger

Class 2

GVWR 6,001 - 10,000 lbs
(subdivided into 2 classes, Class 2A & 2B, see below)

See class 2A & 2B below

Class 2A

GVWR 6,001 - 8,500 lbs

Ford F-150, Dodge Ram 1500, Chevrolet Silverado 1500

Class 2B

GVWR 8,501 - 10,000 lbs

Chevrolet Silverado 2500, Dodge Ram 2500, Ford F-250

Class 3

GVWR 10,001 - 14,000 lbs

Dodge Ram 3500, Chevrolet Silverado 3500, Ford F-350, Ford F-450

Class 4

GVWR 14,001 - 16,000 lbs

Dodge Ram 4500, Ford F-450 (chassis cab)

Class 5

GVWR 16,001 - 19,500 lbs

Dodge Ram 5500, Ford F-550

Class 6

GVWR 19,501 - 26,000 lbs

Ford F-650

Class 7

GVWR 26,001 - 33,000 lbs

Ford F-750

Class 8

GVWR over 33,000 lbs

Tractor Trailer

Light vs Medium vs Heavy Duty Classifications

Light duty trucks are classified as class 1-3 trucks. Class 2A trucks are typically called "light duty", while class 2B trucks are often called "light heavy duty".

Medium duty trucks are classified as class 4-6 trucks.

Heavy duty trucks are classified as class 7-8 trucks.

Restrictions on what you may operate/tow with a class C/B/A driver license may vary state to state. However, a universal requirement is that you must have at minimum a class B license to drive a class 7-8 vehicle.