Heavy Truck Types and Their Purposes


In the trucking business, it is essential to understand the different purposes of heavy trucks and how to keep them in the best shape possible.

A company with several heavy-duty trucks in its fleet needs to take its preventive maintenance procedure seriously. Some even invest in apps, tools, and equipment to make upkeep more convenient for them. Using a heavy duty tire changer cuts down on repair and maintenance time and cost despite the initial investment expense.

How are Trucks Classified?

Various trucks are running on U.S. highways every single day, and specific regulations apply for the different categories. So how does the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) categorize these vehicles?

The government issues a license to a commercial truck depending on which of the eight classifications it falls into. These classifications are determined based on the truck’s gross vehicle weight training (GVWR).

Those that fall in classes one to three are considered light-duty trucks, weighing from 0-14,000 lbs.  Meanwhile, medium-duty vehicles with a GVWR of 14,001 – 26,000 lbs are in class four to six.

Heavy trucks, meanwhile, are in classes 7 – 8 with a GVWR range of 26,001 to 33,001 lbs.

The imposed GVWR prevents commercial trucks from loading too much weight onto their vehicles during trips across the country. Constantly overloading any vehicle leads to wear and tear and cause safety problems.

What is the Truck Classification Important?

The USDOT imposes several regularizations for truck types for safety and maintenance needs. For example, heavy-duty trucks with oversized shipments need to obtain permits for this type of transportation service. Also, trucks with a GVWR of more than 10,001 lbs will require a DOT number posted on both sides of the vehicle.

It is also essential to inform facilities providing repairs and maintenance of the truck class for them to implement the correct procedures. Declaring the wrong truck class for regular checkups may result in safety issues. In turn, any problems on the road will negatively affect the company’s revenue and customer relationship.

What are the Benefits of Properly Maintaining Trucks?

Aside from following the USDOT regulations for heavy-duty trucks, regularly conducting preventive maintenance will help keep drivers safe, improve workers’ productivity, and reduce repair costs.

Changing a heavy-duty truck’s tire in the middle of a practically deserted highway will put drivers at risk or incur additional expenses for towing services. If you use a heavy duty tire changer to replace a worn-out tire during a regular checkup, there would be minimal mistakes.

What are the Types of Heavy Duty Trucks and Their Purposes?

There are eight types of trucks in Class Seven and Eight. Drivers for these trucks need to have a commercial driver’s license to operate.

  • Heavy hauler – These types of trucks carries super heavy loads and requires a special permit to operate.
  • Refrigerator truck – These heavy-duty trucks carry food and other grocery items that need to be chilled to avoid spoilage.
  • Cement mixer – Used in construction, these trucks have a huge cylindrical container on their back for mixing cement.
  • Dump truck – These trucks transport various materials such as soil, rocks, and dry cement sacks.
  • Garbage truck – As its name implies, these trucks pick up trash and transport them to dump sites.
  • Flatbed – These trucks carry heavy loads like logs and lumber but not used for liquids.
  • Tanker – These trucks are used to transport liquids like diesel, oil, or petroleum.

Preventive maintenance for heavy-duty trucks needs to follow its class type to ensure proper servicing. Class types should also be considered when purchasing equipment used for keeping vehicles in the best shape possible.