Eight Different Types and Classes of Commercial Trucks

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There is a broad spectrum of commercial trucks available on the market. Those available trucks can be divided into different types and classes according to their functions, features, and load carrying capacity. If you are a first-time owner/operator, it certainly helps to know the different types of trucks available so that you can answer the most important commercial truck buying questions.

The term “commercial truck,” is applied to trucks that are larger than the standard pickup commonly seen on the road. These commercial trucks are generally used for hauling large quantities of goods across the state and the nation. Truck drivers in charge of commercial trucks are required by law to hold a commercial driver’s license.

Below we list eight types of commercial trucks and their functions:

Types of Commercial Trucks and Their Functions

Dump Trucks

Dump trucks are large trucks that are used at commercial construction sites and mines. They are used to move large loads of sand, dirt, gravel, and rock. These large vehicles are also used in mines to cart tons of material from the quarry. These large dump trucks are not designed for the open road. They are designed to carry a massive amount of material and travel at a much lower speed.

By design, the gearboxes of dump trucks are different; there are fewer gears and the power delivered by them is immense. Dump trucks control tipping functions in the cab of the vehicle.

Cement Mixers

Cement mixer trucks are a common sight on construction sites. They carry a large cylindrical container on the back of the axle which mixes cement in large quantities.


Probably the most common types of commercial trucks, seen on roads and highways, they are also known as "semis," "semitrailers," "tractor-trailers," "big rigs," "semi trucks," "eighteen-wheelers," or "semi-tractor trailers." A combination vehicle, Big Rigs are made up of a powered truck and one or more semitrailers. These trucks are expensive and vary widely in price depending upon their size, fuel efficiency, load carrying capacity, and horsepower. 18-wheelers can cost between $80,000 to $150,000 and more.
types of commercial trucks

Flatbed Trucks

As the name suggests, their trailer is flat and used for logging or transporting lumber. These flatbed trucks are designed to carry heavy loads and cannot move fluids.

Tanker Trucks

These type of trucks have a long tube on the back that replaces the trailer. Employed primarily by petroleum companies, tanker trucks are used to carry liquid or fluids like gas.

Refrigerated Trucks

Refrigerated trucks are used to carry goods like groceries and other food items that require continuous refrigeration during transportation. Grocery store chains and food manufacturers primarily use these trucks.

Garbage or Refuse Trucks

It would help if you had a truck to carry away all the garbage and trash to the dump. Well, a garbage truck does just that.

Heavy Hauler

Heavy haulers are the beasts that are used when the flatbed trailer proves insufficient. If the shipment is too tall, wide, or heavy, then the heavy haulers are called in. Superloaders or heavy haulers travel with a special escort, and the drivers require a special permit to drive these giants on the road.
classes of commercial trucks

Classes of Commercial Trucks

Efficient transportation of goods requires the right type and size of the truck. You cannot carry fluids in a flatbed truck or lumber in tanker trucks. To make your task of identifying the important factors to consider when buying a commercial truck, below is a list of the eight different classes of commercial trucks.

Class 1

SUVs, standard cargo vans, and small pickup trucks fall under this category. They generally weigh below 6,000 pounds and are best suited for carrying small loads across short distances.

Class 2

Known as full-sized trucks, they are used for hauling small trailers. They are fuel efficient and possess sufficient load hauling capacities.

Class 3

Class 3 trucks are known as heavy-duty work trucks. They are most suitable for carrying small construction equipment and heavy building material.

Class 4

Class 4 commercial trucks come equipped with more horsepower and load hauling capabilities. They are customizable, and you can attach a trailer to them if required.

Class 5

Class 5 trucks are most commonly used as heavy-duty delivery vans designed to transport a large load of boxes, equipment, or goods in a single trip. Their engine is slightly more powerful than class 4 trucks.

Class 6

Class 6 trucks are rugged vehicles designed to haul heavy loads daily. School buses and larger utility vehicles fall under this category.

Class 7

Class 7 commercial vehicles are designed to haul heavy loads regularly. A commercial driver’s license (CDL) is required to drive these trucks.

Class 8

Class 8 trucks are heavy haulers that are also known as big rigs or semi-trucks. They can carry thousands of pound at a time and often feature sleeping areas for the drivers.

Let us help you find the right commercial truck for your needs. Call Us Toll-Free at (833) 622-5872 to speak with our experts.

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