Just what do the "ton" nomenclature mean? Load? 1 ton = 1000 lbs.
- 1/2 ton truck
(Chevy 1/2 ton, Ford F150, Dodge 1500??)
- 1 1/2 ton truck
(Chevy 1500, ???
- 2 1/2 ton truck
(Chevy 2500, Dodge 2500??)
- 3 1/2??
(Ford 3500, Dodge 3500, Chevy 3500)
ALL of their websites do a poor job explaining things. Even the cab configurations aren't super clear.
You are correct, it is a measure of payload, approximately. According to chevy's website, their half ton truck can payload almost one ton, I guess the old terms are just stuck.
Half ton trucks are your Chevy Silverado and C/K 1500 or C/K 10, depending on year, GMC Sierra and C/K 1500, C/K 10, Ford F150, Dodge 1500 or W100
Three quarter ton trucks are the Chevy/GMC 2500, Ford F250, and Dodge 2500
One tons are Chevy/GMC 3500, Ford F350, Dodge 3500
I'm not sure how the payload ratings stand up these days, but it's my understanding that the terms were for the payload capacities when these sorts of trucks really hit it big back in the 60's.
Don't forget, you have to factor the driver, passengers & fuel from the gross vehicle rating to get the actual payload
A Half ton can carry you , your girl Emmy Lou , some camping gear , and a few
cases of brew.
One ton can do that and tow your Boat.
Anything bigger can tow the Trailer too.
Excellent info above.
FYI - Factors that determine capacity; most to least important:
Transmission (and trans cooling)
Frame (and suspension)
edit: yes, I went thru the links
"standard" load capacity of the "1/2 ton" trucks is usually about 1300 or 1400 lbs. Subtract out a driver and some fuel and you wind up close to 1000lb = 1/2 ton . If you add some heavy duty options (springs and tires ) you can increse this a fair amount. (500 lb or so with the half ton)
3/4 ton usually starts about 1700 or 1800 but again with heavy duty options (tires , springs,coolers ect) one can boost this up to 2500 or 2600
As one can see there is quite a bit of overlap. It is possible to equip a 1/2 ton to legally carry as much weight as a stock 3/4 (same with the 3/4 vs the 1 ton) but all your safety margins are not the same.
It is not just springs- tires,brakes,frames, axles,transmissions ,cooling,gear ratios,engine horsepower and torque curves.
You can cut some corners for a short time or distance but if you need a heavy truck there really is no subsitute for the real thing.