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How Much Weight Can a Truck Carry

One of the most frequent questions we hear from businesses is how much weight a truck can carry. The question may seem simple enough, but the answer is a bit more complicated.

To adequately respond, our dispatchers must take several things under consideration. The volume of the load is at the top of the list. We also consider whether the products require protection from the elements or must be kept at a specific temperature. Choosing the right option is crucial to ensuring safe end-to-end transport.

Type of TruckPurpose/UsesMax Weight Capacity
BoxHauling large items such as appliances and furniture26,000 pounds
FlatbedTransporting heavy loads not compromised by bad weather or rough roads48,000 pounds
Dry VanFully enclosed semi-trailer used to carry palletized, boxed, or loose freight45,000 pounds
Step Deck/Drop DeckCommercial trailer for hauling tall cargo exceeding legal height limit for a traditional flatbed48,000 pounds
ReeferA refrigerated/heated trailer used to transport cold or hot items45,000 pounds
HotshotClass 3, 4, or 5s pulling a flatbed or other trailer for extra capacity16,500 pounds
Trucks weight capacity

Weight Capacity

Understanding the rules and regulations about weight capacity are tricky. Our knowledgeable dispatchers consider several factors when matching haulers with specific loads. Federal regulations are among the considerations.

How much a truck can haul is known as its payload capacity. This is the amount of additional weight that can be added to the truck beyond its empty weight. Most semi-trucks with trailers weigh between 14,000 and 16,000 pounds when unfilled. Federal limits cap Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) of these kinds of trucks to a maximum of 80,000 pounds. States have their own weight capacity guidelines, some allowing greater load limits than the federal regulations.

How Much Weight Can a Box Truck Carry?

Box trucks come in a variety of sizes, but they all share the same basic shape. They are ideal for small loads of goods that require protection from the outside elements. Furniture and appliances fit nicely in a box truck, as do perishable foods and other consumer goods. They most often are used as a cost-effective logistics option for less-than-truckload (LTL) freight. Most box trucks have a cabin that is separate from the cargo area, while some newer models come with a door between the two sections.

Weight is a factor when determining whether a box truck is the right fit for your transportation needs. The maximum load it can handle is 26,000 pounds. Dimensions are also important. Box trucks range between 10 and 26 feet in length.

How Much Weight Can a Flatbed Carry?

A flatbed truck is exactly what you would imagine. It is a large transport vehicle with a flat body. It does not have a roof or sides to protect its cargo from the elements.

Flatbed trucks are the preferred method of transporting heavy loads that will not be compromised by bad weather or rough roads. Since the beds are not enclosed, they are perfect for carrying cargo that would be too wide for trucks with doors and sides. Their versatility makes them a popular option for moving freight with dimensions of 48 to 53 feet in length, 8.5 feet in width, and 8.5 feet in height. The maximum payload for one of these trucks is 48,000 pounds.

How Much Weight Can a Dry Van Carry?

Dry vans are another type of transport truck that needs little explanation. These enclosed freighters are used to protect consumer goods and products that are sensitive to the elements. Loading from the rear is required with this kind of truck. For that reason, loading docks are the preferred method for getting the cargo on board. Dry vans range between 48 and 53 feet long, with a width of 8.2 feet and a height of 8 feet. The maximum weight capacity for one of these rigs is 45,000 pounds.

Step Deck Weight Capacity

Sometimes called a drop deck, these commercial trailers are best used for hauling tall cargo that exceeds the legal height limit for a traditional flatbed truck. These trucks have a bottom and top deck and are between 48 and 53 feet in length. The step deck trailer is 8.5 feet wide and can accommodate a maximum legal freight height of 10 feet and a weight of up to 48,000 pounds.

How Much Weight Can a Reefer Carry?

Refrigerated trailers and reefers are temperature-controlled and used to transport cold or hot items that must remain at a consistent temperature. They are more commonly used with chilled or frozen products than warm ones. The inside temperature of a reefer is adjustable depending on the outside weather. Their trailers are the same size as other trucks like flatbeds and dry vans at 48 to 53 feet in length. The maximum width is 8.2 feet and the maximum height is 8 feet. Between 42,000 and 45,000 pounds is the max payload.

Max Weight Capacity on Hotshot

Hotshots are the best option for cargo that requires at least 40 feet of deck. They are attached to class 3, 4, or 5 trucks pulling a flatbed or other trailer for extra capacity. They are most often used for less-than-truckload (LTL) shipments. Their maximum weight capacity is 16,500 pounds.

Rely on Us and Drive: We’ll Do the Rest

At Logity Dispatch, we believe honesty is the best policy. Independent truck drivers and businesses know they can trust us to save them time and money. Our dispatchers have broad experience in the field and employ streamlined processes designed to focus on a personal approach to service. Since 2015, we have matched loads to the right size truck to ensure shipments arrive safely and on time. Give us a call at 302-425-9299 or drop us a line and a member of our team will be in touch to schedule a no-obligation consultation.