The gross weight of half-ton trucks varies by manufacturer and model. The term "half-ton" refers to the cargo carrying capacity in the bed and cab of the truck. A half-ton pickup truck can carry at least 1,000 pounds of cargo, not including towing capacity.
A half-ton truck's maximum gross vehicle weight rating, or the maximum amount of weight the truck can carry, averages less than 8,500 pounds, as of September 2014. Half-ton trucks are designated light-duty trucks.
The three classes of pickup trucks, which were defined in the 1930s, are half-ton, three-quarter-ton and one-ton. These names stuck after the U.S. military attempted to standardized payload classes of cargo trucks during World War II.