Question Please help.

h1vch1vc Member Posts: 295
Can someone please tell me what the 1/2 in 1/2 ton, and others, 1/4, 3/4, stand for. I've searched the net and can't get anything. Does it mean it has a payload of 1/2 ton? but 1/2 ton is 1000lbs not 1500, which is something all the trucks payload are or more, so does it then mean a payload of 1500lb or more? Please Help!! Thanks!!


  • richcolorichcolo Member Posts: 81
    Once upon a time, before emission regulations, the nominal ratings (1/2 ton, 3/4 ton and 1 ton) pretty well described the payload capacity of the you observe, the difference between curb weight (Empty truck, full fuel) and GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating--aka maximum loaded weight) was usually about 500 lbs more than the nominal rating for domestic trucks. That's because they were rated in terms of "payload", and passenger load didn't count against payload. As an example, I had a 1970 C-10 with a GVWR of 5,000 lbs, which weighed very nearly 3,500 lbs empty.

    In the mid 1970's the Big 3 came out with "heavy half" pickups, GVWR of 6200 lbs., to avoid tighter emission requirements on lighter duty trucks. My 1973 GMC C-2500 (GVWR 6400 lbs) was not rated to carry as big a load as a 1975 "Big 10", because the '73 weighed more empty! (Heavier frame, springs, axle, brakes, wheels and tires). My current C-1500 ('91, V-6, 5 speed) will haul (a lot)more than either of my previously mentioned trucks, because it weighs about 3,050 (3,250 with me in it at the gravel pit) empty, and has a GVWR of 6,200. If you used a lighter weight driver, this truck could haul its twin!

    Today, I'll stick with GM's, to keep the complexity down to an only mildly intolerable level:

    1500 ("1/2 ton") GVWR less than or equal to 6200 Lbs. These trucks are subject to most stringent light truck emissions category, and there fuel economy counts in GM's EPA light truck corporate average fuel economy. They have 5 or 6 lug axles. Load range C tires. 2WD, V-6, 5 speeds payload is about 2,500 lbs. 4x4, extended cab long bed is about 1,500 lbs.

    2500 (3/4 ton) GVWR of 8,600 lbs. Only available as an extended cab short bed or standard cab long bed. (I think) Eight lug wheels. Load range E tires. Payload approx 3,000-3,500 lbs. EPA does not rate fuel economy.

    1500 HD ("Heavy Duty 1/2 ton") GVWR of 8,600 lbs. Crew Cab Only. A marketing concept, otherwise identical to the 2500. Payload approx 2,800 lbs. EPA does not rate fuel economy.

    2500 HD (Heavy Duty 3/4 ton) GVWR 9200 lbs. Eight Lug wheels, Load Range E tires, heavier frame, room for available big block or diesel engines and Allison Transmission. Reg cab long bed 2WD 6.0 5 speed payload exceeds 4,000 lbs. Diesel, Auto, Crew Cab, 4WD long bed payload approx 2,300 lbs.

    3500 (1 ton) All 2002 GM 3500's have dual rear wheels and long bed. Springs (particularly rear) are heavier than 2500 HD. Rear axle is rated for heavier loads, however I have not discovered a difference in the axle itself. Max Payload of 2WD, 6.0L, 5 speed exceeds 5,600 lbs. Payload of heaviest version is around 4,000 lbs.

    The story at Ford is just as scrambled, with there being both single and dual rear wheel F-350's. I haven't checked into Dodge's nomenclature.

    I hope you aren't sorry you asked!
  • h1vch1vc Member Posts: 295
    So the number used to describe the payload but today it actually describes the GVWR? Just curious, not questioning you or anything, how do you know this, no one else I talked to knew it, they said it was the payload? Thanks.
  • txyank1txyank1 Member Posts: 1,010
    F-1, F-100, C10, D-100 for 1000 lbs. which is 1/2 ton. Then in '75 Ford came out with an F-150 which was a heavy half. Around '81 Ford dropped the F-100 designation altogether and over time everybody's 1/2 ton was capable of carrying more than 1/2 ton (as aptly described above) so they were then either 15's or 150's depending on brand. Then GM eventually evolved from a 15 to a 1500. Not so clear with the 3/4 and 1 ton's though. Why was a 3/4 ton a 25, 250 or 2500? That should be 1 and a quarter tons?
  • h1vch1vc Member Posts: 295
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