If you’re in the market for a new truck, you’ve probably come across 1500, 2500, and 3500 models. But what’s the difference between them? In this article, we’ll break down the key differences between these three popular truck models. By the end of it, you’ll be able to decide which one is right for you!
1500 series (1/2-ton) trucks are generally used as transportation, with light duty work. 2500 (3/4-ton) and 3500 (1-Ton) series trucks are more used for heavy towing and payloads. All three types of trucks have towing and payload capacities that go up as the series numbers raise.
What is a 1500 series (1/2-Ton) pickup truck?
A 1500 series pickup truck is more commonly known as a 1/2-ton pickup truck! The most common pickups in this classification are the Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado 1500, and the Ram 1500. However, I would still include other trucks like the Toyota Tundra in this list as well.
While the number “1500” used to refer to its payload capacity in pounds, trucks have come a long way since then, and these 1/2 ton pickups now have payload capacities closer to 2500 pounds instead. Unfortunately, neither of these numbers reflects why these trucks are called half-ton trucks or 1500s, but at this point, it is all just marketing.
Generally speaking though, 1500 series pickups are the daily driver pickup trucks! These are the most common pickups on the road, and you will find anyone from a handyman, to a suburbanite driving one of these around.
Are 1500 trucks bigger than 2500? 2500 series pickups are considerably larger than the 1500 series trucks. So many people are used to seeing the 1500 series trucks that they may not be fully aware of their size difference.
What is a 2500 series (3/4- ton) pickup truck?
A 2500 series pickup truck is more commonly known as a ¾ ton pickup truck. The most common pickups in this classification are the Ford F-250, Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD, and the Ram 2500.
As we mentioned in the portion of the article above, in the past this mean that a truck like the Ram 2500 could carry a payload of 2500 pounds. Nowadays, this same truck can carry a payload of 3,999 pounds instead.
These 3/4-ton pickups are generally used by people that don’t do extremely heavy towing, or payloads (a 3500 series is generally chosen for that), but need something more heavy-duty than a light-duty 1500 series truck. You will see these trucks towing boats, RVs, and other heavy trailers regularly. You may also see them with large toolboxes in the back, or carrying lumber and other construction materials around.
What is a 3500 series pickup truck?
A 3500 series pickup truck is more commonly known as a one-ton pickup truck. The most common pickups in this classification are the Ford F-350, Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD, and the Ram 3500.
As you guessed, if you read through the article up to this point, the 3500 used to mean that it could carry 3500 pounds of payload. That said, the current Ram 3500 for example can carry a payload of 4,644 pounds.
These trucks are mostly used for heavy-duty towing, carrying, and work! While some people purchase these trucks to be daily drivers, they offer much rougher driving characteristics due to their stiffer suspensions. You will quickly find that these trucks drive much smoother when towing or carrying heavy loads, due to their tuned suspension.
1500 vs 2500 vs 3500 recap
So, now that we’ve gone over the differences between these trucks, let’s recap what we learned!
- 1500 series pickups are the most common pickups on the road and are generally used as daily drivers or for light-duty work.
- 2500 series pickups are considerably larger than the 1500s and are generally used for general towing or carrying heavier loads.
- 3500 series pickups are the largest of the three and are mostly used for heavy-duty professional towing or extreme work.
What does the “HD” mean at the end of the Silverado 2500HD?
The “HD” at the end of the Silverado 2500, and even 3500 series trucks means “Heavy-Duty”. This is very similar to how Ford names their trucks as Ford F-250 Super Duty, with the Super Duty being similar to the “HD” found in the GM version of this category of trucks.
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Are there any trucks larger than a 3500 truck?
There are larger trucks available from both Ram and Ford. These are typically used for commercial purposes though and aren’t seen as often on the road. This would include trucks like the Ford F-450 (as well as F-550, F-650, and F-750) and Ram 4500 (and 5500). This size of pickup is generally purchased as a “Chassis Cab”, which means it doesn’t come equipped with a bed, and a utility bed, box truck, or something else is installed aftermarket.
The names of these trucks of course carry the same reasoning behind their names as the other trucks we have talked about, but can now handle much larger payloads than their names suggest. GM used to sell larger trucks than the 3500 series, however, they currently no longer do.
We hope that this article has helped clear up any confusion you may have had about the 1500, 2500, and 3500 series trucks! These trucks have come a long way since their inception, and offer a variety of features and capabilities to suit any need.
Whether you’re looking for a daily driver, a work truck or something in between, one of these trucks is sure to be a perfect fit in different ways. Thanks for reading!