Trucks are categorized according to their load capacity and build are are distinguished as heavy-duty, light and medium duty truck. However, there’s more to these truck classifications than meets the eye. To most inexperienced businessmen, they purchase trucks for their fleet according to their budget. For example, a small business on a tight budget might only have enough funding for a light and medium duty Japanese truck on their fleet. They continue using light and medium trucks until they get enough money saved up for a heavy one.
The Importance of Using The Correct Classification
The correct classification is not determined by the company’s budget but rather its industry and application. When buying trucks, don’t ask “How much money does the company have?”; instead, ask, “What will the trucks be used for?”.
This is especially true for heavy applications. Sadly, many companies settle for light and medium duty trucks when the application definitely required heavy duty trucks. As a whole, heavy-duty trucks are used for the following:
- Transporting heavy loads of around 25,000 lbs or more.
- Traveling through rough terrain like downhill or dirt roads.
- Long journeys across states, or any distance that requires more than a day to travel.
Examples of heavy duty trucks include dump trucks, fuel carriers, tractor trailers, fire trucks, refuse and garbage disposal trucks, city buses, heavy duty furniture moving trucks and large towing trucks.
If you force a light and medium-duty truck to do these on a regular basis, you’ll find yourself spending a huge part of your budget on repair and maintenance work. Companies buy light and medium duty trucks first because of budget restraints, and then choose to save up money for a heavy duty truck in the future. However, the money you have saved up will instead go into constantly repairing and maintaining your fleet of light and medium duty trucks.
Correct Usage of Light and Medium Trucks
Fortunately, most businesses nowadays only require a light & medium duty truck for its daily workloads. Heavy duty trucks are limited to certain industries which require transporting huge payloads safely. Small business-related, general tasks only need light and medium trucks. Here are some common examples of vehicles under the light and medium duty truck classifications and their specific uses.
- Light Duty Trucks
Common examples of light-duty trucks include pickup trucks, mini-buses, minivans, step vans and utility vans. As you can see, light duty trucks can hardly be classified as a “truck” as most trucks that fall under these categories are simply seen as large cars. Trucks under this category can carry a payload of 14,000 lbs. Light duty trucks are commonly used by businesses to carry passengers, parcels, small equipment and other general items.
- Medium Duty Trucks
Medium duty trucks can carry payloads of up to 25,000 lbs at most. Common examples of medium duty trucks include refrigerated trucks, small moving trucks, landscapers, city delivery trucks, small inter-city dump trucks, bucket trucks and large walk-in trucks. Medium duty trucks are used for specific industry-related applications wherein light duty trucks are deemed incapable.
The last thing you want for your fleet is to force a light and medium duty truck to do the work meant for a heavy duty one. Not only will it take several trips for these trucks to perform a task that only takes one trip for a heavy duty truck, but you will wear out your fleet pretty quickly if you use the wrong classification. Trucks are a huge asset to businesses of all industries, so treat your trucks with great care and only use them for the specific tasks they were designed for.