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How Much Does a Truck Weigh? (All US Truck Classification Weights)

You must have seen different trucks on the road, from the occasional 4-wheeler to the massive 18 wheel truck.

You may want to know how much trucks weigh to feed your curiosity or figure out which truck is best suited to carry cargo you need to transport. Whatever the case, we’ve lined up 10 different types of trucks with their weight to help you out.

Types of Trucks

1. Garbage Trucks


Think about it. What would you do without the occasional garbage truck that takes care of your waste?

For centuries, wagons were used to haul away solid trash, but things changed in 1897 when Chiswick District Council ordered the first truck to collect waste. Back then, it was referred to as a steam moto tip-car. Today, garbage trucks, also known as refuse trucks, junk trucks, bin wagons, or refuse trucks, are specifically designed to transport waste to landfills or solid waste treatment facilities.

These trucks use a Cummins diesel engine with 350 horsepower and usually, weigh around 64,000 pounds or 32 tons. The smaller weighing around 20 tons or 40,000 pounds.

2. Dump Truck


Dump trucks are also known as production trucks and usually used in construction. Their work is to mostly transport sand, gravel, dirt, and other loose materials in construction. Besides, it also carries waste to the landfills.

These vehicles are hydraulically operated to dump the contents behind the car. When a dump truck is empty, it weighs approximately 28000 pounds or 14 tons. When loaded, it weighs 56,000 pounds, equal to 28tons, which is twice its empty weight.

3. Tanker truck


Tanker trucks got their name due to the large tank on their back used to store gases and liquids. Because they are used to transport fluids and gases, mostly flammable, they are considered dangerous in case of an accident or collision.

Some of these heavy-duty trucks have a gross weight of over 26,000 pounds and transport about 5,500 gallons to 9,000 gallons of liquid and gas. When carrying waste, you should expect around 26,000 pounds of waste weight. On the other hand, a light-duty truck has a capacity of 100 – 1,000 gallons, with a gross weight of about 12,000 pounds.

4. Extra duty truck

These vehicles are used to transport heavy, massive, and large cargo. The loads may include anything from houses to enormous tractors and trucks.

Like the garbage truck, extra-duty trucks use Cummins diesel engines, the most popular being the ISX15 model.

These trucks have a gross weight of 33,000 pounds (16.5 tons) or more without factoring in the weight of the load carried. When pulling a trailer, for instance, this massive machine will hit a gross combination weight of 80,000 pounds or 40 tons.

5. Flatbed truck


As the name suggests, this truck bodywork is a flat level bed with no roof and sides.

It’s a popular type of truck, due to its versatility and is ideal for transporting oversized goods. You can carry a fleet of cars to a showroom, large electrical poles, or containers. A flatbed truck has a loading capacity of about 15-25 ft.

The most significant advantage when loading goods is the ability to load on either side, which makes it easy because of the weight of goods included.

An empty 40-foot container weighs around 8,340 pounds to around 9,260 pounds, so you can imagine how much it will weigh when full. Flatbed trucks have a freight weight of 48000 pounds, which is equal to 24 tons.

6. Semi-Trailer Truck


These are the most popular types of trucks and are what you are likely to use when transporting bulky goods. You can load the truck from either the back, side, or top, but only after removing the tent cover.

The tent cover ensures your goods are safe and secure and cannot be destroyed by weather. The only way you can describe a semi-trailer truck without a tent cover is that it looks like a big pickup truck.

The truck is suitable for transporting palletized cargo. Semi-trailer trucks weigh around 10000 pounds (5 tons) and have a large load capacity of about 26.4 tons.

7. Straight Truck


These trucks are also known as the cube truck, box truck, or a cube van, and you can only load it from the back.

Straight trucks usually transport things like furniture and other small items. You can use it to move freight deliveries. Most people prefer straight trucks when moving since they are safe and secure compared to semi-trailer trucks.

The average weight of a straight truck is approximately 1500-8000 pounds, which is equal to 0.75-4 tons.

8. Tail-lift truck

It is a piece of heavy-duty equipment used for distribution transport. One of its unique features is that it has a lifting mechanism that makes it easy to load and offload goods. You can only load your products from the back of the truck.

A tail lift truck can carry goods weighing 1102.31 to 4409.245 pounds equal to 0.55-2.20 tons. This depends on the type of tail lift attached. 

9. A lowboy trailer


A lowboy trailer is an unpowered trailer used to transport tall items, which is evident from its unique design. It transports goods that have exceeded the legal height limit of products usually carried utilizing a flatbed trailer. It is easy to load because you can use the top, back, or sides.

The heaviest truck weighs about 40000 pounds (20 tons), but weighs approximately 80000 pounds (40 tons) when loaded.

10. Fire engine truck


A fire engine truck is a vehicle that functions as a fire fighting apparatus. It’s used to transport firefighters to an incident and carry the equipment they need to put out the fire.

Some of these trucks have specialized functions such as plane rescue and wildfire suppression. They may also have other equipment on board for technical rescue. Usually, they have sirens fitted with emergency lighting and communication equipment such as two-way radio and mobile computer technology.

The fire engine truck weighs approximately 35,000-pound which is equal to 17.5 tons.

With this information, you can make a sound decision on which truck to use or simply brag to friends and family during the next occasion.