The beast of the road comes in varied shapes and sizes. If we look at trucks from an ordinary eye, we would just cater to them as big, huge, and very big. However, if you look at them technically, they are classified into various groups. The basic classification criterion is the gross weight. This divides the types of trucks into three broad categories that have further subdivisions. Each category is drastically different from the other as they serve different purposes.

The US uses the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) as the main classification criterion for trucks to prevent overloading. A safety standard prevents the public from accidents on the highways. The weight includes the weight of the vehicle, passengers, drivers, fuel, and cargo. Once the manufacturer confirms the GVWR, you cannot make any change.

If you are planning to purchase a truck, it would really help if you knew which category the truck you are planning to buy falls in. With that kind of information in hand, you will not have to worry about breaking any road rules and rest assured that you are doing things right. If heavy-duty MAN tractor units are what you are looking for, you should check out the MAN tractor units at Truck1. Before that, let’s first help you familiarize yourself with different types of trucks!

Light-Duty Trucks

The first type of truck is the light-duty Trucks. Pickup trucks, ambulances, and parcel delivery trucks are known examples of this category. More than half of the world’s production of trucks consists of light-duty trucks.

This section has three classes. All trucks that have a GVWR from 0-2722 kilograms are categorized as Class 1. The next class includes trucks weighing from 2722 kilograms to 4536 kilograms. Class 3 encompasses trucks from 4536 to 6350 kilograms.

Although these trucks are light-duty but from Class 3 and onwards, they are required to stop at a weigh station. The 4536 kilogram is the red point that makes a light-duty truck turn into a precarious vehicle which can be a risk for other passengers on the road. The trucks need to abide by the rules for speed and changing of lanes. They also need to have regular inspections and follow the rule concerning the number of hours allowed to drive.

Medium-Duty Trucks

If you own a business then you might be familiar with the second type of trucks also known as medium-duty trucks. They are famous for commercial purposes. Their GVWR ranges from 6351 to 11,793 kilograms. This category is also divided into three classes i.e. four, five, and six. Class 4 includes trucks from 6,351–7,257 kilograms of GVWR. Ford and F-450 super duty pickup and E-450 passenger van fall into this truck classification.

Then from 7,258 to 8,845 kilograms, trucks fall under Class 5 and lastly, Class 6 incorporates trucks with the GVWR of 8,846 to 11,793 kilograms. It is the category for single-axle and beverage trucks, along with rack trucks.

The most confusing form of a truck is a school bus that falls in Class 6. Everyone thinks it is a bus but according to law, it is a truck. If you think, the change of name to school truck might do the justice then go for it.

All truck drivers beyond this point need to have Commercial Driver’s License to drive. If you plan to hire someone for your business, do check the driver’s license to avoid any fines.

Heavy-Duty Trucks

The heavy-duty trucks are huge and enormous. They transport heavy goods from one place to another. It usually comprises of six-wheeler and eight-wheelers. According to the law, drivers of these massive trucks are required to have a Class B commercial driving license (CDL).

The heavy-duty trucks category comprises commercial truck classes 7 and 8. Class 7 of the truck has a GVWR of 11,794–14,969 kilograms and Class 8 has a GVWR of greater than 14,969 kilograms.

Street sweepers, Garbage trucks, City Transit buses, cement trucks, and MAN tractor units are a few examples of heavy-duty trucks.

The heavy trucks make up only 0.6% of the complete truck fleet of the US. However, these trucks make multiple trips and travel many more miles than the other trucks.


Trucks serve important commercial purposes. They are a major source of cheap and efficient transportation. Understanding their classification might help you understand the rules and regulations that govern driving each of the types of trucks on the road. It will save you any trouble with the authorities!