Gettin’ Stuck on Trucks? The Truck Lingo You Might Need to Know.

In the automotive industry, truck terminology is plentiful… enough so that to the inexperienced truck shopper it might become a bit overwhelming. We thought a rundown of the most common truck terms might be helpful as you consider what truck is right for you.

Dually – (dual wheel) have 4 tires on the rear axles alone and have a stronger rear end. They are made for heavy-duty towing and can take heavier loads.

1500 –  (Read “A Lesson about…” See Below), these trucks were originally rated to handle a payload of 1/2 ton

2500– These trucks were originally rated to handle a payload of 3/4 ton.

3500– These trucks were originally rated to handle payload of 1 ton.

A Lesson about 1500, 2500 & 3500’s – While many might associate these suffix’s as a direct translation to the trucks payload, (1500 = 1/2 ton, 2500= 3/4ton, 3500=1ton) that is not the case.  For example, for a standard 2013  Silverado, (Reg cab, Long Box) the max payload  for the 1500 = 1,804lbs, the 2500= 3,670lbs and 3500 = 4,625lbs. While these numbers will vary depending on the truck build, all of these payloads are vastly more than what people would assume they should be able to carry based on their literal translation of the “1500(1/2t), 2500(3/4t), 3500(1t)”  in tons.

“The payload-based naming convention for pickups existed right from the beginning,” said General Motors Heritage Center Manager Greg Wallace. “The ½-ton, ¾-ton, and 1-ton models became most popular with retail customers over a few decades, not just for General Motors but all manufacturers. While payload capacities have grown over the years, those three names stuck.”

Standard Cab (A.K.A. Regular Cab) – Have one bench or two bucket seats. They do not have 2nd row seating and very limited storage behind the seats.

Extended Cab – These will have a jump seats or a bench seat in the back. These trucks are made to provide more space in the cab for storage. They often feature “suicide doors” on both sides of the vehicle for the rear passengers.

Crew Cab – Full second row seating. This is the actual four-door  pickup as all of the doors have their own external handles.

Standard Bed– The most common bed style. These beds (full size) are typically around 6 1/2 ft long.

Long Bed– Generally, these are about a foot and a half longer than a standard bed.  You can easily recognize a long box/bed because it will have three stake holes in the top of the bed rails (a standard/short box only has two stake holes).

Cab & Chassis – No bed, the fuel tank and drive-line are shown. These are made to accommodate specialized beds and boxes … such as flat beds or or utility boxes.

So if you didn’t know all or some of those terms before, hopefully you’re a little more knowledgeable about trucks now.  And we just touched on the surface; there are still other complex terms and acronyms such as:  GVWR – Gross Vehicle Weight Rating,  GCWR – Gross Combined Weight Rating and GAWR – Gross Axle Weight Rating that are sometimes useful to know about when purchasing a truck … but that’s a lesson for another day.

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