What class is a heavy-duty truck?

Heavy-duty trucks belong to Class 7 and Class 8 in the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) truck classification system based on their Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR).

Here’s a breakdown:

  • Class 7: This class encompasses heavy-duty trucks with a GVWR between 26,001 and 33,000 pounds (11,793 – 14,969 kg). These trucks are often used for:
    • Shorter-distance hauling
    • Construction applications (e.g., dump trucks, concrete mixers)
    • Furniture and appliance deliveries
    • City trash collection
  • Class 8: This class comprises the heaviest trucks, with a GVWR exceeding 33,000 pounds (14,969 kg). These are commonly referred to as heavy-duty trucks or severe-duty trucks and include:
    • Semi-trailer trucks (18-wheelers)
    • Large single-unit dump trucks
    • Heavy haulers for oversized or extremely heavy cargo

It’s important to note that:

  • Driver’s license requirements: Operating heavy-duty trucks (Class 7 and 8) typically requires a commercial driver’s license (CDL) with specific endorsements depending on the specific vehicle and application.
  • GVWR is the key factor: The GVWR is the crucial factor in determining the truck class, not the size or appearance alone.
  • Variations by region: While the USDOT classification system is widely used in the US and Canada, some variations might exist in other regions.

Therefore, understanding the GVWR of a specific truck is essential to accurately determine its class and any associated licensing requirements.