What class is a tanker truck?

Tanker trucks can belong to various weight classes depending on their size and maximum allowable weight, but most commonly fall into Class 8. Here’s a breakdown:

Class System:

The United States uses a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) system to categorize trucks into eight classes based on their maximum allowable weight when fully loaded, including cargo and passengers.

Tanker Trucks:

  • Variety of sizes: Tanker trucks come in various sizes, ranging from small to large, depending on their hauling needs and the weight of the cargo they carry.
  • Mostly Class 8: The majority of tanker trucks, particularly those used for hauling large quantities of liquids or hazardous materials, fall into Class 8. This class includes:
    • Tractor-trailer configurations: These are the most common type of tanker truck, consisting of a separate tractor unit pulling a semi-trailer equipped with a tank.
    • Large single-unit trucks: Some tanker trucks, especially those used for shorter distances or specific applications, might be single-unit vehicles with a permanently attached tank.

Weight considerations:

  • Class 8 criteria: Class 8 trucks have a GVWR exceeding 33,000 pounds (14,969 kilograms). This high weight capacity is necessary to accommodate the weight of the tank, the liquid cargo it carries, and any additional equipment.
  • Lighter tankers: While most tanker trucks fall into Class 8, some smaller models with lower weight capacities might belong to Class 7 (GVWR 33,001 – 80,000 lbs) or even Class 6 (GVWR 26,001 – 33,000 lbs) depending on their specific size and application.

Therefore, understanding the specific size and weight capacity of a particular tanker truck is crucial to determine its class accurately. However, it’s safe to say that most tanker trucks, especially those used for larger-scale operations, are classified as Class 8 vehicles.