Half-ton, three-quarter-ton and one-ton are a classification for pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles that typically underrepresents their payload capacities, meaning the maximum weight a pickup or SUV can carry. Though tonnage designations used to correspond to a truck’s payload capacity, they now are little more than a way of classifying vehicles. The best-selling, half-ton pickup class — also known as light duty — includes Ford’s F-150 and the 1500-series trucks from Chevrolet, Dodge and GMC. The three-quarter-ton class includes the Ford F-250 Super Duty and Dodge’s and General Motors’ 2500 series. The manufacturers continue with one-ton F-350 Super Duty and 3500-series versions. 

The half-ton class is actually capable of around three-quarters of a ton of payload. Three-quarter-ton trucks may carry more than a ton and a half, and one-ton trucks have been known to haul more than twice that, safely. The trucks’ payload rating and/or gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) are the only way to know. 

Higher classes and payloads are made possible by heavier frames and stronger suspensions, brakes or engines, or a combination thereof. The downside is that they get poorer fuel economy and are more trucklike in their performance as their capabilities increase.

Information for this was taken from Cars.com’s glossary, written by Joe Wiesenfelder. 

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Answered by Joe Bruzek on August 21, 2008 in Glossary | Permalink

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