newbie questions on trucks

sorry, am a real newbie to this area... but i have some really easy (I think) questions on trucks to ask that i havn't been able to solve
even after web searches that I hope someone can help me on.
Firstly, what does it mean to be a "heavy duty vehicle"?
#2, I don't understand what it means when people classify a diesel truck to be "class 6" or 7 or 8 etc... Does it relate to tonnage or engine size or something completely different?
Also, if anyone has any good resources on trucks (especially idiots' guides) which I might find useful to answer these, please do let me know!
I hope I'm in the right usergroup too! If not, please let me know. Thanks for your time...
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OK, in Illnois we have letter classes for vehicles. They used to have them every 2,000 lbs or so in the lower classes and 4-5,000 lbs in the upper classes. But each state has different classifications. I've not seen the above-mentioned reference to class 6 or 7 or 8. None of the states around here use that classification to my knowledge. Neither Indiana, nor Michigan, nor Ohio, nor Wisconsin, nor Missouri, nor Mississippi, nor Kentucky, nor Arkansas.
I've been collecting license plates since 1965 and would have thought I would have run across the terminology by now. The only thing I can think of is it might be from Austrailia.
Charles of Schaumburg
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Thanks very much Charles for your reply.
I just came across a website on Hino Trucks (in Canada) and they use the class 6, 7, 8 terminology: http://www.hinocanada.com/index-2.html
This is what is says: 165 CLASS 4 (16,000 LBS GVW) 185 CLASS 5 (18,000 LBS GVW) 258 CLASS 6 (25,500 LBS GVW) 268 CLASS 6 (26,000 LBS GVW) 308 CLASS 7 (30,000 LBS GVW) 338 CLASS 7 (33,000 LBS GVW) 358 CLASS 8 (35,000 LBS GVW)
So I'm guessing that the class is the range of weight. Can anybody confirm or correct me? Thanks Jun Jhen

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Yes, the class refers to gross vehicle weight ratings (GVWR).
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On Thu, 20 Sep 2007 21:03:43 -0000, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

You got good answers for #2.
A "Heavy-Duty" vehicle is one built with over-size running gear. A heavy duty 1/2 ton pickup might have brakes, springs, shocks and wheels from a 3/4 ton pickup but still have the 1/2 ton axles, wheel bearings, transmission and differential.
If you regularly load your 1/2 ton truck close to it's weight limit, then buying a heavy-duty 1/2 ton means that it will last longer between brake jobs, etc.
Jack
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