Jan 24, 2024

What are Class 7 Trucks?

What are Class 7 Trucks?

Whew! We’re all the way up to Class 7 trucks, and we’re still not done.

If you’ve been following along with our ongoing truck classification series, you’d know trucks are divided into 9 separate classes based on gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR). If you’re new here, take a peek at our blogs about Class 5 and Class 6 trucks.

Each class contains a variety of trucks with special uses that share certain distinct features, safety procedures, and maintenance requirements.

This blog delves into Class 7 trucks—which are so big (even compared to other trucks) that they need to be built differently to accommodate their own massive weight. They put the heavy in heavy-duty.

Defining Class 7 Trucks

Truck classifications are defined mostly by their gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR). On the lower end (Class 1-3), you’ll find the light-duty “trucks” that aren’t trucks at all—namely, sedans, SUVs, and minivans. Classes 4-6 cover medium-duty trucks, from small delivery and box trucks to walk-ins and single-axis trucks. 

But Class 7, you ask? The focus of this entire blog? That’s when we’re officially in the heavy-duty truck zone.

Class 7 trucks range from 26,001 to 33,000 lbs. One distinct characteristic of this truck type is that they usually have three or more axles to help distribute the weight.

City vehicles such as street sweepers, garbage trucks, and city transit buses are all common examples of Class 7 trucks. Furniture trucks and smaller semis can also fit into this category.

Types and Uses of Class 7 Trucks

A weight range from 26,001 to 33,000 lbs sounds like a ton, but it’s actually several tons. That leaves plenty of room for variety in the Class 7 truck category.

Some of the most common Class 7 vehicles include:

City Transit Buses 

Smaller buses, like the ones we rode to school, usually fall into Class 6. But with multiple entrances, priority seating areas, and sometimes even those bendy, accordion-like articulated sections, city transit buses are a whole different breed. They fit snugly into Class 7 so their rush-hour passengers can fit snugly into the same ride home.

Street Sweepers

A lot of city vehicles are class 7, like garbage trucks and street sweepers. These are heavy-duty trucks operated by city employees who hold special licenses. 

Small Semi-Trucks

Furniture trucks and small semis are this size, which makes class 7 trucks an ideal option for transporting tonnage along the great national highway system.

Licensing and Legal Requirements

Because Class 7 trucks are so big, drivers are absolutely required to have a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) to get behind the wheel. Like a standard driver’s license, obtaining a CDL requires the driver to pass a written knowledge exam and a driving skills test.

Whether you need Class A CDL, Class B CDL, or Class C CDL depends on the type of truck and what it’ll be used for. Drivers might also require certain endorsements, again, depending on the vehicle type and intended use.

The safety regulations for Class 7 trucks are governed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Rules and requirements can also vary by state, so take a look at your local guidelines for a better understanding of what to expect. 

Maintenance and Operational Considerations

Truck safety matters at every single weight class, and by the time we reach the mass of a Class 7 truck, it really, really matters. These trucks are massive, and the sheer momentum behind a Class 7 in motion isn’t something we want to think about in the context of an accident on the road.

The brake system should be a top priority. Given the size and weight of a Class 7, those brakes work hard, and it’s not something you want to see fail.

Watch out for tire wear and pressure, too. Those poor wheels are under tremendous stress—literally. Regular tire rebalancing, rotating, repressuring, replacing, and all those lovely Rs of truck repair minimize the risk of dangerous blow-outs on the road. 

As with any type of heavy-duty truck maintenance, keeping up with routine inspections and preventive maintenance keeps any fleet of Class 7 trucks in tip-top shape. 

If you have heavy-duty truck repair shop software to keep track of that and send reminder alerts, even better. 

Heavy-Duty Truck Repair Shop Software To Keep Track Of That And Send Reminder Alerts

The headline says it all. For fleets or independent repair shops working with Class 7 trucks, Fullbay can keep track of all upcoming inspections and PMs, then send you alerts when it’s time for service.

But wait, there’s more! Generating service orders, tracking technician stats, managing parts inventory, communicating with customers and drivers, compiling reports—there’s so much Fullbay can do to turn your business into a lean, mean, machine-repairing…machine.

See for yourself in a guided tour of the Fullbay platform. 

Emilie Vecera