Don't take some casual pickup truck capacity-designations seriously.


Reaction score
Don't take some casual pickup truck capacity-designations seriously.

For decades, traditional full-size pickups were given the term "Half-Ton" (F-150, Silverado/Ram 1500), "Three-Quarter" (F-250, Silverado/Ram 2500), or "One-Ton" (F-350, Silverado/Ram 3500). One-Ton (or heavier) trucks could sometimes be easily spotted by the dual-rear-tire set-up and/or diesel engines. These terms came from the fact that, after accounting for the curb weight of the truck itself and the amount of fuel it was designed to carry, a half-ton of weight (1000 lbs.) was roughly what it could safely carry in the weight of occupants and cargo....ditto for the three-quarters and one-ton models.

However, advances in drivetrains, suspensions, tires, brakes, and other aspects in engineering have allowed today's trucks, in some cases, to safely carry more than the old traditional designations have assumed. Yet, the old half-ton, three-quarter ton, and one-ton nicknames have persisted despite the fact that they are outdated. So, as with any truck, carefully check the specs and ratings for your specific model and its specific equipment, as trucks, today, are available in (and ordered in) a huge number of different versions and equipment-packages, which can and do affect cargo and tow ratings. Also, remember that tow ratings, especially with the special tow-packages available, are different from simply cargo-capacity ratings. The typical tow-ratings are often much higher than what the truck can carry in its bed. Some One-Ton-models, today, for instance, especially with a proper tow-package, trailer-brakes, and the Cummins Turbo-Diesels with their stump-pulling torque, can tow boats or trailers weighing up to 30,000 lbs....that's 15 tons.

Here are a couple of good articles on the subject which probably explain it better than I can: