Is the Toyota Tundra Truly a Heavy Duty Pickup Truck?

Toyota’s full-size pickup truck is the Tundra. Because of its weight and payload capacity, the U.S. government classifies the 2022 Toyota Tundra as a “light-duty” full-size truck, just like the Ford F-150, Chevy Silverado 1500, and Ram 1500. These are also called “half-ton” trucks even though they can haul much more than half a ton.

Is the Toyota Tundra heavy duty?

The Tundra is not a heavy-duty truck, like the Ford Super Duty or the heavy-duty trucks from Ram and General Motors. This is because the 2022 Tundra’s max gross vehicle weight (GVW) is 7,780 pounds.

Blue Toyota Tundra pickup truck towing a Toyota Racing trailer down an empty interstate.
2022 Toyota Tundra towing | Toyota Motor Corporation

RELATED: Does the Toyota Tundra Even Have an Entry-Level Trim Anymore?

According to the EPA, a heavy-duty truck must have a GVW (maximum combined truck and payload weight) above 8,500 pounds. A full-size pickup with a GVW between 6,000 and 8,500 pounds is a light-duty or “half-ton” truck. With its GVW just under 8,000 pounds, the Tundra slots perfectly into this category.

In actuality, there’s nothing “half-ton” about the Tundra, or any of the modern light-duty pickup trucks. There once was a time when a truck in the full-size, light-duty category only had a payload capacity of about 1,000 pounds–or a half-ton. But thanks to Toyota‘s advanced engineering, the 2022 Tundra’s maximum payload capacity is 2,290 pounds.

In addition, a 2WD 2022 Toyota Tundra has a maximum towing capacity of 12,000 pounds, when optioned correctly. A 4WD Tundra’s towing capacity is still an impressive 11,000 pounds.

Does Toyota Tundra build a heavy-duty truck?

Toyota builds two trucks, the Tacoma and the Tundra. The Tacoma’s gross vehicle weight (GVW) is a maximum combined truck/payload weight of 5,600 pounds. This puts it in the midsize truck category. The Tundra’s GVW is up to 7,780 pounds. This is higher than the F-150 and Sierra 1500, but still leaves the Tundra in the light-duty, full-size category.

Brown Toyota Tundra pickup truck towing a heavy boat.
2022 Toyota Tundra towing | Toyota Motor Corporation

RELATED: 2022 Toyota Tundra Towing Capacity: How Toyota Improved The Truck’s Rating By Nearly A Ton

Which trucks are heavy-duty?

For a full-size pickup truck to be considered “heavy-duty” by the EPA its maximum gross vehicle weight (GVW) must be over 8,500 pounds. Few trucks have a combined vehicle/payload weight this high: the Ford F-Series Super Duty, the Ram heavy-duty trucks, and the GMC Sierra/Chevrolet Silverado heavy-duty trucks (2500 and up).

Gray Toyota pickup truck driving down a road.
2022 Toyota Tundra SR5 TRD 4×4 | Toyota Motor Corporation

RELATED: 2022 Toyota Tundra Road Trip: Real-World Fuel Economy and Reliability

Nissan advertises its Titan XD trim as a “medium-duty” pickup truck. This is probably because it has a lower GVW than any of its competitors from the Detroit Three. That said, the 2022 Nissan Titan XD’s GVW fall between 8,650 and 8,800 pounds, depending on how its optioned. As far as the EPA is concerned, every Titan XD is a heavy-duty pickup truck.

See TFL Truck pit the 2021 Toyota Tundra against the redesigned 2022 model in a towing battle in the video below:

RELATED: The Secret Behind The New 2022 Toyota Tundra’s “Diesel-Like” Hybrid Engine