Understanding Work Truck Phrases In Order To Buy One That Works For You

There are so many different kinds of trucks. Heavy duty work trucks, pickup and construction trucks, and trucks with modular storage components are all bought and sold to businesses like yours every day. You might think you need one kind of truck, but be surprised by the different labels they have and what those labels mean.

You will also run into some phrases such as "towing capacity" and "payload." What do these terms mean? Why are they important when it comes to purchasing trucks for your business? Knowing and understanding these phrases will help you purchase the right vehicle for you.

Towing Capacity

Towing capacity is measured by the amount of power the engine delivers and the towing load the engine can manage. This is very useful information, because it is always pre-calculated for you (the consumer). For example, a truck that is advertised as having a 31,300 pounds of maximum towing capacity means that that truck is able to tow that much weight. Of course, you must factor in the weight of the trailer or item you are towing as well, but at least you know how much you can throw onto the trailer before your truck is unable to pull and haul it.


This particular term is one that many people confuse with towing capacity. That is due in part to the fact that both refer to how much weight your truck can handle, but that is where the similarity ends. Payload actually and specifically refers to the amount of weight inside the cab (human weight) and the amount of weight in the bed of the truck. For example, a stated number of 7,312 pounds maximum payload means that about three hundred pounds of human in the front seat and seven thousand pounds of materials and/or tools in the bed of the truck are all the truck can haul before the axles cannot effectively turn and the wheels cannot move.

Going over the stated maximum payload results in damage to the truck. That is why it is important to know how much your trucks can handle. It is also important and relevant information if you know the weight of the loads you expect each of your trucks to carry.

Maximum Torque

Torque is something you probably associate with power, and you would be on the right track. In essence, the more torque a truck's stats tout, the easier it will be to accelerate faster, turn, and haul stuff in the back or behind the truck. The more torque you have, the easier it will be for the truck to accelerate, even with an exceptionally heavy load in the back of the truck. Looking at "maximum torque" tells you how much foot-pounds of torque the truck can deliver when you put your foot to the floor. Depending on what your business intends to haul regularly, you will want the amount of torque needed to conduct each job.

What This Means for the Trucks You Need

Now that you have a good grasp of what the above terms mean, you can assess your business's needs for work trucks. What do you suppose is the average daily weight either placed in the bed of a truck or towed by a truck? If the expected daily haul for your trucks is very close to the maximum range on a particular truck, consider buying the next up model that can haul or tow more. This gives your trucks a little wiggle room in the event that you have a day or two where you have to haul much more than you expected.