Hi, my name is Larry Wyatt and welcome to this edition of National Fleet Services’ Truck Tips!
Did ‘ya’ ever wonder what people mean when they talk about a half ton truck? Or three-quarter ton, or one ton? These are truck terms that have been around almost as long as there have been trucks. Originally, they made a lot of sense, but now they can be somewhat confusing. Let’s take a look.
These terms are commonly used to describe different weight classes of pickup trucks. A half ton pickup is also called a light-duty pickup and includes popular models like the Ford F-150, Ram 1500 and Chevrolet Silverado 1500.
Three-quarter ton refers to models like the Ford Super Duty F-250, Ram 2500 and Chevy 2500. And finally, one-ton pickups refer to the Ford F-350, Ram 3500, and Chevy 3500. So, where did these terms come from?
They refer to the payload capacity of the truck. Decades and decades ago, a full-sized pickup truck had a maximum payload capacity of around 1,000 lbs. * So, it made sense to call it a half-ton truck.
Pickup models with heavier suspensions had payload capacities of about 1500 lbs. They were called ¾ ton. And the heavy-duty pickup models that were being manufactured could carry around 2000 lbs. So, you guessed it, they were labeled one-ton pickups. Fast forward to today and these classifications grossly underrate the true payload capacities of these trucks.
Here’s a good example of that discrepancy. A 2023 Ford Super-Duty F-250 regular cab 4x2 pickup with the standard gas engine has a payload capacity of 4,160 lbs.! That’s over 2 tons. And yet, in the truck industry, we still call this a three-quarter ton pickup!
So, don’t let these terms confuse you. They’re simply old references that are still commonly used and refer to three basic weight-carrying classifications of full-sized pickup trucks. I’ll leave you with a bonus National Fleet Services Truck Tip.
When you see a payload rating for a pickup truck, that figure means the total maximum weight the truck can safely carry – including the weight of the cargo, passengers and any added aftermarket equipment such as a winch or snow plow. Plus, if you are towing, it includes the tongue weight of the trailer.
So, keep that in mind when you’re looking for the right “class” of pickup for the payloads you need to carry. Thanks for watching and please click on more of our NFS Truck Tips!
Published: March 1, 2023