When buying a pickup truck it is important to note the endless choices offered to the buyer. Besides selections for trim levels and the choice of two-wheel or four-wheel drive, pickup trucks should be considered in respect to the anticipated work load capacities. Measured on a scale of tons, the capacities pertaining to customers and light commercial is half ton, three-quarter ton, and one ton. When making a purchase, truck tonnage will allow a vehicle to best be tailored its daily duties.
Meaning of Truck Tonnage Ratings
A common belief is that a half-ton truck has only a half-ton capacity. This rule would have accurately applied to pickup trucks built before the 1960s, intense competition between the Detroit Three automakers provoked drastic increases in payload hauling abilities. Manufacturers currently acknowledge that the tonnage ratings is meant only to define a the duty level of pickup truck. General Motors claims current model half ton pickup trucks are capable of carrying up to a full ton of cargo.
While truck sizes are still referred to under tonnage, truck manufacturers now rate their pickups with numerical ratings. As well, trucks built by Chevrolet, Ford, and GMC exceeding half ton ratings are now being marked with the acronym “HD” specifying Heavy-Duty.
Tonnage Types and Uses
½ Ton Truck- Half ton, or light-duty pickups are the most popular truck tonnage rating sold. With maximum payload capacity residing under 2,500 pounds, half-ton trucks are ideal for handling everyday loads such as furniture and other home projects.
¾ Ton Truck- These vehicles are the first step to a professional grade pickup truck. Suitable for occupations such as small landscaping businesses, his grade of tonnage is ideal for towing a variety of medium trailers.
1 Ton Truck- Connected to the term “dually” based on their usage of four wheels on the rear axle. While greater tonnage trucks are available, vehicles in that class are reserved for full-time commercial uses. One ton pickups offers the largest numbers for hauling making it ideal for heavy-duty customer demands. The Ford Super Duty F-450 16,000 pounds of conventional towing abilities ideal for moving heavy trailers containing horses and cars.
Truck Tonnage in Performance
Lower horsepower six and eight cylinder gasoline engines are commonly sold for the half ton line. Higher tonnage models will deploy higher standards for performance in order to meet the greater hauling abilities. Diesel engine options are also made available for providing superior torque under extreme towing and payload capacities. Beefier transmissions also accompany larger output engines. For example, the Chevrolet Silverado 2500 three-quarter ton model is driven through one of two six-speed automatic gearbox in place of the Silverado's 1500 four-speed automatic.
While three-quarter and full ton pickups brute horsepower excels in situations requiring full power, the increased bulk in size and weight will hurt daily operating costs. Half ton pickups provide a more viable option to everyday driving.
Truck Tonnage in Design
A trait found in current pickup truck designs is the integration of toughness and muscle. [[Ford, General Motors, and Dodge trucks demonstrate more aggressive brawn as the tonnage increases. Achieving this tougher look through larger side mirrors, higher ground clearances, and roof-mounted running lights, heavier duty truck styling is driven almost entirely for functionality. However, truck manufacturers have recently begun to draw on functional styling cues to further masculine aesthetic appeal.
In 1999, Ford decided to give distinctive styling to their F-Series line beyond the F-150 spectrum. F-250, F-350, F-450 versions feature radically different front headlamps and grille are some noted exterior changes combine with structural design changes to withstand work stresses.