A look at used work trucks for sale near you should first include a review of vital vehicle specifications. Knowing this information before you start shopping will ensure you buy a vehicle that can help you get the job done.
Towing capacity is an important consideration when selecting a work truck. This capability determines how much weight a vehicle can safely tow and is proportional to the truck’s size. For example, a Chevy Silverado 3500 HD can tow significantly more than a Ford Ranger. Importantly, towing and payload cancel each other out. If you need to tow a heavy load, there won’t be much remaining capability for oversized cargo. And vice-versa if you’re carrying a heavy payload.
A truck’s payload capacity is the total weight the vehicle can safely carry; this is a combination of passengers and what’s in the cargo bed. Trucks get classified into three categories: light-duty, medium-duty, and heavy-duty. Don’t let manufacturer labels like Silverado HD or F-150 Super Duty confuse things.
You may also come across truck designations such as 1/2-ton, 3/4-ton, and 1-ton, which refer to a truck’s payload capacity, but this is more of an old-fashioned naming system as many modern trucks can handle larger loads. For example, depending on the configuration, a 2021 Ford F-150 has a payload rating from 1,200 to 3,725 pounds.
Observing a truck’s payload and trailering restrictions is crucial for many reasons, including:
If truck use involves heavy loads or trailering, you’ll want to know the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) for any vehicle under consideration. GVWR refers to the most weight a truck can safely transport, including the vehicle’s weight, passengers, and cargo load. Trailering can also affect the calculation (learn about trailer tongue weight).
|Vehicle Class/Weight Rating||GVWR Category|
|CLASS 1: Less than 6,000 lbs||Light Duty: Less than 10,000 lbs|
|CLASS 2: 6,001–10,000 lbs||Light Duty: Less than 10,000 lbs|
|CLASS 3: 10,001–14,000 lbs||Medium Duty: 10,001–26,000 lbs|
|CLASS 4: 14,001–16,000 lbs||Medium Duty: 10,001–26,000 lbs|
|CLASS 5: 16,001–19,500 lbs||Medium Duty: 10,001–26,000 lbs|
|CLASS 6: 19,501–26,000 lbs||Medium Duty: 10,001–26,000 lbs|
|CLASS 7: 26,001–33,000 lbs||Heavy Duty: Greater than 26,000 lbs|
|CLASS 8: More than 33,001 lbs||Heavy Duty: Greater than 26,000 lbs|
That’s a lot to take in just for a truck’s capability, but the last thing you want is to buy the wrong vehicle when choosing from various commercial work trucks for sale.
Now, turn your attention to the size of the cargo bed. Do you regularly carry bulky objects like drywall or lumber? Your choice of work trucks is highly dependent on how it can handle future payloads. The cab type (covered below) will often determine cargo bed length. For example, a truck with a crew cab may have a shorter bed than the same pickup with a regular or double cab.
Exact lengths will vary by manufacturer, but cargo bed lengths are grouped as:
You’ll also want to think about how many passengers you’ll need to bring along as you look at used work trucks. Not all, but most pickups come in three cab styles.
Depending on the make and model, there may not be any engine options. But, looking at different used pickup trucks for sale may present other powertrain choices. If your priority is minimizing trips to the gas station and there’s little need for jumbo loads or heavy towing, then a truck with a base engine should be fine. A six-cylinder is common in a full-sized truck (newer Chevy Silverados have a turbo four-cylinder). For heavy hauling or extreme trailering, check out a pickup with a gas V-8 or search out Diesel work trucks for sale.
Pickup trucks for sale will have either rear-wheel drive (RWD) or four-wheel drive (4WD); some small pickup trucks (Ford Maverick, Hyundai Santa Cruz, for example) have front-wheel drive, but these are less suitable as work trucks. RWD will cost less, use less fuel, and have fewer complicated repairs. But, there’s no substitute for the ability of a 4WD truck to handle snow, mud, and other poor road conditions.
Also, think about the utility of a truck with dual rear wheels, sometimes called a “dually.” This setup is for vehicles with higher capabilities like a Ford Super Duty F-350, Chevy Silverado 3500HD, or RAM 3500. Dual rear wheels help stabilize heavy payloads or can increase a truck’s tow rating.
With a review of truck specifications complete, let’s check out Ford work trucks.
The trusty Ford F-150 has been a best seller for decades. And while the King Ranch, Platinum, and Limited trims offer top-notch luxury features, look for the XL or XLT versions for a straightforward vehicle without the fluff. The Lariat variant slots in the middle with interior and exterior upgrades.
As capable as the F-150 is, it may not be enough for some jobs. In these situations, look for used pickup trucks wearing Super Duty badges. Newer models of the F-250 and F-350 can tow up to 18,000 pounds or handle cargo up to 7,630 pounds. The F-450 has a GVWR rating up to 45,300 pounds and can tow 24,100 pounds (fifth-wheel/gooseneck) when equipped with the 6.7-iter DIesel engine.
Learn More: What To Know About Buying A Used Ford Super Duty Truck
Used work trucks for sale near you may include an F-600. They are purpose-built trucks that host unique bodies for electric “cherry picker” units, construction equipment, or other specialty gear.
Look at: Chassis Cab Trucks With Immediate Availability
Just as the F-150 may not be enough for some, it can be too much for others. In these cases, Blue Oval fans turn to the midsize Ranger. A 2019 model relaunch introduced a capable truck with a turbo four-cylinder and a choice of configurations. Among cheap work trucks for sale, you’ll find an older (and smaller) Ranger from 1983 to 2012.
Looking for Chevrolet work trucks for sale near you? Then these faithful workhorses should be on your shopping list.
Like its Ford counterpart, the Silverado 1500 is a mainstay vehicle for Chevy. Similarly, you can search for a top-dog version (the High Country) among used Chevy work trucks for sale. But, the WT or Custom are the trims to shop for if you prefer a vehicle without the extras.
If you need more capability, then the Silverado 2500 HD and Silverado 3500 HD are Chevy work trucks for sale. With a tow rating of up to 18,510 pounds, the 2500 HD can handle most trailering assignments with ease. But don’t worry, the 3500 HD is rated for up to 36,000 of maximum towing capability. The HD line includes gas and Diesel engine options.
Chevy’s Silverado Chassis Cab truck wears a 4500 HD, 5500 HD, or 6500 HD badge. In used form, you’ll find these with various custom bodies (like the Ford), including for use as a dump truck.
The Chevy Colorado has served compact truck buyers for almost two decades. In addition to offering a variety of trims (from the base WT to the off-road ZR2), some versions come with a gutsy turbocharged four-cylinder Diesel.
Although Dodge trucks switched to the RAM brand for the 2010 model year, some Mopar fans still refer to these vehicles as Dodge work trucks.
The quintessential RAM work truck is the stalwart 1500. Newer models (2019 and later) only come in double cab or crew cab, so you’ll have to go back to the fourth generation (2009-2018) if you only need a regular cab RAM 1500. RAM also sells the 1500 Classic, which launched in 2019 as a less-expensive option (it’s the same truck as the fourth-gen model). Regardless of the model, the Tradesman is always the work-focused trim across the RAM truck lineup.
A primary difference between these RAMs is maximum towing capacity: It is as much as 19,870 pounds for the 2500 and 34,480 pounds for the 3500. And it’s no surprise that there’s a difference in payload rating; as much as 4,012 pounds for 2500, while the 3500 maxes out at 4,644 pounds.
You’ll find a RAM 3500, RAM 4500, or RAM 5500 Chassis Cab serving duty as a bucket truck, dump truck, or other job site centerpiece. Like competing models from Ford and Chevy, the RAM Chassis Cab is available in a two- or four-door configuration.
In 2004, Nissan decided to take on the trucks of the Detroit Three when it introduced the full-sized Titan pickup truck. With standard V-8 power and multiple cab configurations, the Nissan Titan offers an alternative work truck to what you’re likely to see at a construction site or lumber yard. Beginning with the second generation (2016-present), the Titan is also available in the beefier XD version. Until 2019, the Titan XD was available with a turbocharged Cummins V-8 DIesel.
Nissan introduced an all-new mid-sized Frontier for 2022, but the original version (compact-sized) first hit the American truck market in 1997. These older examples can be a smart buy for a used trucker shopper on a budget.
The all-new third-generation Tundra debuted for the 2022 model year, so you won’t find many on the used car market. Instead, consider an older model from the first (2000-2006) or second (2007-2021) generation. You’ll find different cab styles and V-6 or V-8 power.
On the smaller side, the compact Tacoma has been satisfying Toyota truck lovers since 1995. There are three generations: first (1995-2004), second (2005-2015), and third/current (2016-present). Power comes from either a four- or six-cylinder engine, and (depending on model year) there are numerous cab configurations.
Thanks to the extensive selection of used work trucks for sale at Trust Auto (check out our work vans, too), you’ll have no trouble finding the right pickup for your needs. Our professionals can walk you through all the details to ensure you drive away in the ideal vehicle for business or play. Visit our conveniently located dealership in Sykesville, Maryland, or take advantage of an all-online shopping experience. Ask about virtual test drives and free delivery within 100 miles of our offices. Contact us today to get started.