Truck Classifications and Categories


Trucking is a vital part of the economy.  The ability to move loads is necessary for commerce to happen.  Show a truck to the average person off the street, and all they see is a truck.  But there are several different types of trucks used to accommodate all the different loads.  In the United States, Commercial Vehicles can be divided into 8 different classifications based on gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR).   Gross vehicle weight rating is the maximum rated weight of the vehicle including fuel, passengers, and cargo.  The manufacturer (Original Equipment Manufacturer, or OEM) determines the maximum acceptable weight of the vehicle based on attributes like axle strength, brake efficiency, tire capability, and the vehicle’s frame.  These classes exist for safety regulation, commercial designation, and registration purposes. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a separate emissions classification for trucks.

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) groups vehicles into 3 categories: Light-Duty, Medium-Duty, and Heavy-Duty.

Light-Duty Trucks

Light-Duty Trucks include commercial truck classes 1 and 2.  This typically covers non-commercial vehicles.

Class 1: GVWR 0 – 6,000 lbs.   Minivan | Cargo Van | SUV | Pickup Truck

Class 2: GVWR 6,001 – 10,000 lbs.   Minivan | Cargo Van | Full-Size Pickup | Step Van

Please Note: Class 2 trucks are sometimes broken down into Class 2A and Class 2B.  Class 2A trucks are typically Light-Duty and Class 2B trucks are often called Light Medium-Duty.


Medium-Duty Trucks

Medium-Duty Trucks include commercial truck classes 3, 4, 5, and 6.  This typically covers vehicles transporting goods or people.  These are considered short-haul vehicles.

Class 3: GVWR 10,001 – 14,000 lbs.   Walk-In | Box Truck | City Delivery | Heavy-Duty Pickup

Class 4: GVWR 14,001 – 16,000 lbs.   Large Walk-In | Box Truck | City Delivery

Class 5: GVWR 16,001 – 19,500 lbs.   Bucket Truck | Large Walk-In | City Delivery

Class 6: GVWR 19,501 – 26,000 lbs.   Beverage Truck | Single-Axle | School Bus | Rack Truck

Please Note: Some organizations designate Class 3 Trucks as Light-Duty.


Heavy-Duty Trucks

Heavy-Duty Trucks include commercial truck classes 7 and 8.  These are considered long-haul vehicles.    A Class B commercial driving license (CDL) is required to operate vehicles in these two classes.

Class 7: GVWR 26,001 – 33,000 lbs.   Refuse Truck | Furniture Truck | City Transit Bus | Small Semi

Class 8: GVWR over 33,001 lbs.   Cement Mixer | Dump Truck | Fuel Tanker | Sleeper Cab | Semi-Truck | Truck-Tractor | Refrigerated Truck | Tour Bus


Iron Wing Sales offers an extensive inventory of Genuine OEM, New, NLA, NOS, Re-manufactured, Surplus, Obsolete, and Aftermarket Parts that cover all 3 categories of commercial vehicles.    Let us help you with your Light, Medium, and Heavy-Duty Truck Parts needs with In-Stock Ready to Ship Parts.  We also offer Same Day Shipping, Free Ground Shipping on Qualifying orders over $100, and 30-day returns.


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