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The 22 Best Work Trucks For Small Businesses

Feel overwhelmed searching for the best work truck? We’re here to help. Learn about the different classes and discover the best models for small businesses.

Best work truck

Researching the best work truck for your small business can be a daunting task. There are so many options out there — and so many details to take into consideration — that it may feel overwhelming at first. We’re here to help.

In this article, we discuss everything you need to know so you can make the right choice for your fleet and your business.

Table Of Contents

Work Truck Classifications Explained

Worker and the Pickup
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR)

All vehicles — be they on this list of the best work trucks or not — are classified by their gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR). At its most basic, the GVWR is the maximum amount of weight that a vehicle can handle safely.

The manufacturer of the vehicle sets the GVWR by considering the weight-bearing components, such as the axles, frame, body, suspension, and tires. The final GVWR number includes the net weight of the vehicle plus passengers, fuel, and cargo.

For the cars in your fleet, you may not reference the gross vehicle weight rating very often because the main purpose of those vehicles is hauling passengers and a small amount of luggage.

Additionally, space is limited in a car, so drivers are less likely to try to pack in more than they should because, if they do, passenger comfort becomes an issue.

But, for other vehicles in your fleet — e.g., vans, trucks, and semis — GVWR is extremely important. They’re made for hauling cargo and come with the space and power to handle, in some cases, tens of thousands of pounds.

That makes them very easy to overload. When they’re overloaded, they become more difficult to handle, more likely to break down, and less safe on the road.

Specific Classifications Based On GVWR

Man loading his best work truck

Class 1: Class 1 vehicles have a GVWR of up to 6,000 pounds. Examples include the Ford Ranger and Chevy Colorado.

Class 2A: Class 2A vehicles have a GVWR of 6,001 to 8,500 pounds GVWR. Examples include the Toyota Tundra and Nissan Titan.

Class 2B: Class 2B vehicles have a GVWR of 8,500 to 10,000 pounds. Examples include RAM 2500 and GMC Sierra 2500HD.

Class 3: Class 3 vehicles have a GVWR of 10,001 to 14,000 pounds GVWR. Examples include the Ford Super Duty F-350 and Chevy Silverado 3500.

Class 4: Class 4 vehicles have a GVWR of 14,001 to 16,000 pounds. Examples include the RAM 4500 and Chevy Silverado 4500HD.

Class 5: Class 5 vehicles have a GVWR of 16,001 to 19,500 pounds. Examples include the Ford F-550HD and the RAM 5500.

Class 6: Class 6 vehicles have a GVWR of 19,501 to 26,000 pounds. Examples include the Ford F-650 and Peterbilt 330.

Class 7: Class 7 vehicles have a GVWR of 26,001 to 33,000 pounds. Examples include the Peterbilt 220 and Ford F-750.

Class 8: Class 8 vehicles have a GVWR of 33,000+ pounds. Examples include the International WorkStar and Freightliner Cascadia.

General Classifications

To make things a bit simpler, those eight specific classifications are subdivided into three general categories:

  • Light-Duty Trucks (Classes 1-3)
  • Medium-Duty Trucks (Classes 4-6)
  • Heavy-Duty Trucks (Classes 7-8)

For the remainder of this article, we’re going to focus on the best work trucks from the light-duty and medium-duty categories.

If you’re interested in learning more about heavy-duty trucks (semis), check out this article from our blog: The 6 Best Semi Trucks For Fleet-Based Businesses.

Best Work Truck: Class 1

Best Work Truck: Class 1
1) Toyota Tacoma

The Toyota Tacoma is rugged, reliable, and comes highly rated. It offers six different models to choose from, and each one is versatile enough to handle whatever the job demands.

Toyota offers some of the best safety features in the industry, including:

  • Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC)
  • Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD)
  • Lane Departure Alert (LDA)
  • Driver and Front Passenger Advanced Airbag System
  • Tire Pressure Monitor System
  • Lane Departure Alert (LDA)
  • Engine Immobilizer
  • Hill Start Assist Control (HAC)
  • Automatic High Beams (AHB)

2) Honda Ridgeline

Looking for a Class 1 truck that feels more like a car? Honda Ridgeline may be the best work truck for your fleet.

The Ridgeline comes with:

  • Four trim options (Sport, RTL, RTL-E, and Black Edition)
  • A 3.5-liter V6 engine
  • Nine-speed automatic transmission
  • Versatile bed
  • Efficient fuel economy

Safety features include:

  • Brake Assist
  • Traction Control
  • Four-Wheel Anti-Lock Braking System
  • Daytime Running Lights
  • Electronic Stability Control

If you need a work truck that can handle light cargo loads while still providing comfort and maneuverability, give the Honda Ridgeline some serious consideration.

3) Ford Ranger

best work truck - Ford Ranger

If you’re looking for a lightweight truck with plenty of power to spare, check out the Ford Ranger. With a long list of accessories, features, and packages to choose from, the Ranger can provide everything your business needs in a Class 1 vehicle.

The 2.3L EcoBoost® engine is engineered for power and fuel economy and boasts 270 horsepower and 310 pound-foot of torque, allowing you to haul up to 7,500 pounds on a Class IV hitch.

Plus, with an extensive array of safety features, your crew will feel safe on the road, off the road, or wherever the job takes them.

4) Chevy Colorado

The Chevy Colorado is a midsize pickup truck that can work just as hard as the other Class 1 entries on this list of best work trucks for small businesses.

It boasts an array of features that make it a versatile option for businesses of all types, including:

  • 7,000 pounds of available V6 trailering
  • 1,540 pounds of available payload
  • 49.9 cubic feet of cargo space
  • 308 horsepower

And with available equipment including either a 2.5 L 4-cylinder or 3.6 L V6 engine and 6-speed or 8-speed automatic transmission, you’ll enjoy 17 MPG city and 24 MPG highway from this compact work truck.

5) GMC Canyon

For businesses that venture off-road to get the job done, the GMC Canyon includes a tall, wide stance as well as a choice of 18”, 20”, and 33” tires.

Couple that with a high-torque, off-road-optimized 2.7 L turbo high-output engine, and you get:

  • Best-in-class Standard Gas Engine Torque of 430 lb-ft.
  • 310 Horsepower
  • Best-in-class Max Available Towing Capacity of 7,700 lbs.

And with available MultiStow Tailgate (with drain), available half-gate position (for transporting long objects), eight standard tie-downs, an available in-bed 120V power outlet, and available spray-on bedliner, your crew can get everything they need to the job site and back.

6) Nissan Frontier

The Nissan Frontier styles itself as a midsize truck with full-size style. In fact, before 1959, there was no compact truck option in America. Nissan introduced it, so they know what they’re doing.

The current Frontier models offer:

  • 310 horsepower from a 3.8L V6 engine
  • 6,690 pounds max towing power
  • 1,620 pounds of payload capacity
  • 24 MPG highway
  • King Cab, Crew Cab, and Crew Cab Long Bed options
  • Blind spot warning
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Intelligent Around View monitor
  • Lane departure warning
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • High beam assist
  • And much more

And, with NissanConnect — including smartphone connectivity, available Wi-Fi hotspot, and 9” color touchscreen display — your crew will be able to get through their day and stay in touch more seamlessly with everything at their fingertips.

Best Work Truck: Class 2A And 2B

Best Work Truck: Class 2A And 2B
7) Ford F-150

The Ford F-150 is one of the best work truck models in the country thanks to its tough yet modern design. It comes standard with a six-speed automatic transmission for everyday hauling and towing.

If you need more power and torque, you can choose from several upgraded engine options and a 10-speed automatic transmission.

All trim levels come with a built-in 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot so you can stay connected with your drivers wherever the job takes them.

Ford F-150 safety features include:

  • Lane Keep Assist
  • Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go
  • Pre-Collision Assist
  • Automatic Braking

8) Chevy Silverado 2500HD

If you’re looking for a quality vehicle at an affordable price, the Chevy Silverado 2500HD may be the best work truck for your business.

The Silverado 2500HD offers a whopping 35,500 pounds of towing capacity when properly equipped.

For less demanding jobs, the Silverado comes with your choice of a standard gas-powered 6.6L V8 engine that puts out 401 horsepower or a Duramax® diesel V8 that has much higher horsepower and torque capabilities.

The Silverado’s safety features include:

  • Forward Collision Alert
  • Standard Rear Vision Camera
  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Lane Departure Alert
  • Rear Park Assist

Whichever options you choose, the Silverado 2500HD is a rugged work truck that can handle off-road job sites and highway towing with ease.

9) Dodge Ram 1500

best work truck - Dodge Ram 1500

Available in six configurations — Limited, Limited Longhorn, Rebel, Laramie, Big Horn, and Tradesman — the Dodge Ram 1500 offers an impressive array of features to help you power through any job that comes your way.

The 3.6 L V-6 engine provides 305 horsepower at 5,400 RPM through an 8-speed automatic transmission. Together, they make it possible to carry up to 2,010 pounds of payload or tow up to 6,750 pounds of trailer.

Available with different cab configurations and a choice of bed length, the Dodge Ram 1500 brings power and comfort to the job — wherever it may take you.

10) Ford F-250

With available seating for six (in the crew cab model) and plenty of options, the Ford F-250 brings more capability and flexibility to your business.

The TorqShiftG 10-speed automatic transmission offers enhanced low- and mid-range along with three overdrive gears for optimum towing power and performance

You also get to choose from six selectable drive modes, including:

  • Normal
  • Eco
  • Slippery Roads
  • Tow/Haul
  • Trail (4×2)
  • Off-Road (4×4)

And, with integrated box side steps, rear corner bumper steps, and an 8-inch LCD touchscreen display and navigation system, your crew will enjoy the ride to the job just as much as they enjoy the work itself.

11) Nissan Titan XD

Like other entries on this list of best work trucks for small businesses, the Nissan Titan XD has an impressive array of features and options to choose from, including:

  • Standard and Crew Cab option
  • Maximum towing capacity of 11,033 pounds
  • Maximum payload capacity of 2,406 pounds
  • A 151.6-inch wheelbase
  • 4×2 and 4×4 drivetrain

Under the hood, the 5.6 L DOHC 32-valve V8 engine produces a whopping 400 horsepower and 413 pound-foot of torque for all your hauling and towing needs in the field.

Couple that with a 9-speed automatic transmission and an impressive array of optional features, and your fleet will be ready for anything that comes its way.

12) GMC Sierra 2500

If you need a bit more towing and hauling capacity than the half-ton options (i.e., the 150 and 1500 models) on this list of best work trucks for small businesses, the GMC Sierra 2500 might be just what you’re looking for.

With six models to choose from — Pro, SLE, SLT, AT4, Denali, and Denali Ultimate — you can customize the Sierra to tackle the unique demands of your business.

Features include:

  • Available 6.6L V8 gas or diesel engine
  • Allison 10-speed automatic transmission
  • Available integrated power take-off (PTO)
  • 170- or 220-amp alternator
  • 3.42 or 3.73 rear axle ratio
  • Automatic locking rear differential
  • And much more

If you need a technologically advanced vehicle with premium comfort and all the power you need to pull your world, the GMC Sierra 2500 may fit the bill.

Best Work Truck: Class 3

Best Work Truck: Class 3
13) RAM 3500

The RAM 3500 goes big in everything it does. It offers a best-in-class interior, smooth ride, and the hauling capabilities of a big rig in a much smaller package.

The RAM 3500 has a maximum towing capacity of 35,100 pounds and a maximum bed payload of 7,680 pounds. That’s enough to handle even the toughest jobs without having to step up into Classes 4, 5, or 6.

The RAM 3500’s safety features include:

  • Guided Parking
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Advanced Airbag Technology
  • High-Strength Steel Frame

14) Ford Super Duty F-350

Like other entries in this class, the Ford Super Duty F-350 is larger than the F-250 and F-150 and comes with more power, more torque, and more towing capacity.

If your fleet pulls trailers on a regular basis, the F-350 can handle up to 13,100 pounds. It also comes with optional dual rear wheels for even more stability under heavy loads.

You can also choose between two gas V8 engines or a V8 turbo diesel engine. All three come standard with Ford’s Torqshift® 10-speed automatic transmission.

Ford F-350’s safety features include:

  • Automatic Braking
  • Pre-Collision Assist
  • Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go
  • Lane Keep Assist

15) GMC Sierra 3500

best work truck - GMC Sierra 3500

Like the other vehicles on this list of best work trucks, the GMC Sierra 3500 is an excellent option if your business pulls heavy trailers on a regular basis.

Key features include:

  • Max towing capacity of 36,000 pounds
  • Choice of 6.6L V8 gas or turbo-diesel engine
  • 975 pound-foot of torque
  • 470 horsepower
  • Advanced trailering technology
  • Up to 14 available camera views
  • Available 15” head-up display

And, on the AT4 model, you’ll enjoy off-road suspension, heavy-duty shocks, skid plates, hill descent control, hill start assist, and available BFGoodrich off-road tires for those times the job is off the beaten path.

16) Isuzu NPR

The Isuzu NPR has a GVWR of 12,000 pounds putting it squarely in the middle of the Class 3 rating.

The NPR comes in standard and crew cab formats with both offering 350 horsepower at 4,500 RPM from a 6.6 L V8 gas engine.

Other specs of note include:

  • 425 pound-foot of torque at 3,800 RPM
  • Hydra-matic 6-speed transmission (with double overdrive)
  • Rear axle capacity of 14,550 pounds
  • Body lengths from 12’ to 20’
  • 11.5” disc brakes front and rear

The NPR is a low-cab forward design (the cab is on top of the engine) so it may take a bit of time for your crew to get used to driving this Class 3 powerhouse.

17) Chevrolet Silverado 3500

Chevrolet Silverado 3500 HD Chassis Cab has a strong foundation for your upfit needs and offers an abundance of technology and interior storage to keep you connected and organized from job site to job site.

Regardless of the bed you choose to install, the Silverado comes with an impressive list of specs, including:

  • 910 pound-foot of available torque
  • 7,571 pounds maximum payload
  • 14,000 pound maximum GVWR
  • Choice of 6.6L V8 gas or turbo-diesel engine
  • Large axles with a 12-inch ring gear
  • Heavy-duty locking rear differential
  • Available power takeoff (PTO) package
  • And much more

This heavy-duty work truck offers the features you need to do it all.

18) Mitsubishi Fuso

The Mitsubishi Fuso may look a bit different than most of the other Class 3 entries on this list, but don’t let that deter you.

The unique low cab forward (LCF) design provides a panoramic windshield and a driver-to-ground line of sight of only six feet for maximum navigation and mobility.

The Fuso comes in both Diesel and Gas models and can be customized with such features as a crew cab, dump bed, enclosed box, and rail sides to fit the needs of your business.

And, with a curb weight of 5,225 pounds (while still boasting an impressive GVWR of 13,200 pounds), the Fuso is a great choice for appliance delivery, package delivery, air cargo transport, and any business that relies on moving cargo from point A to point B.

Best Work Truck: Class 4 – 6

Best Work Truck: Class 4 - 6
19) Chevy Silverado 4500HD Chassis Cab

The Chevy Silverado 4500HD Chassis Cab is the Class 4 entry on this list of the best work truck models for small and large fleets alike.

Chevy built the Silverado 4500HD Chassis Cab with a robust single-piece frame rail to give it maximum durability and impressive towing capabilities.

The 4500HD features driver enhancements, including a downward-sloping hood for improved visibility as well as up to 13 easy-to-reach auxiliary switches within the cabin.

Every Silverado 4500HD Chassis Cab features a Duramax® 6.6L Turbo-Diesel V8 engine, an Allison® transmission, and the flexibility to add whatever type of bed your fleet needs to do the job right.

Safety features include:

  • Forward Collision Alert
  • Lane Departure Alert
  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Rear Park Assist

20) Peterbilt 325

The Peterbilt 325 is the Class 5 entry on this list of the best work truck models for small businesses.

The Model 325 is ideal for the complete range of Class 5 applications, including:

  • Vehicle recovery and towing
  • Lease/rental
  • Pick-up and delivery
  • Parcel delivery
  • Landscaping
  • Construction

Safety features include:

  • Collision Mitigation Systems
  • Anti-Lock Braking
  • Robust Rear Suspension
  • All-Weather Tires

21) International DuraStar

The International DuraStar® is the Class 6 entry on this list of the best work truck models for small businesses.

With plenty of horsepower and torque, the DuraStar® can be outfitted to handle everything from fire and rescue to towing and recovery to streets and sanitation.

Depending on the demands of your business, you can outfit the DuraStar® with one of four automatic transmissions, including:

  • Allison Highway Series (5 and 6 Speed)
  • Allison Emergency Vehicle Series (5 and 6 Speed)
  • Allison Rugged Duty Series (5 and 6 Speed)
  • Eaton Procision (7 Speed DCT)

Safety features include:

  • Collision Mitigation System
  • Air Disc Brakes
  • Electronic Stability Control

22) Ram 5500

The Ram 5500 is engineered to be a powerful, versatile workhorse with exceptional towing and hauling capability.

The 5500 is available as a chassis cab (i.e., no standard bed) with dual rear wheels, four-wheel drive, and a range of cab-to-axle lengths (60” to 120”) so you can customize the vehicle to your unique needs.

Specs for the 5500 include:

  • 6.4L, V-8 gas engine
  • 370 horsepower @ 5,600 RPM
  • 6-speed automatic transmission
  • Max payload of 11,450 pounds
  • Towing capacity of up to 34,800 pounds
  • GVWR of 19,500 pounds

And, with regular and crew cab options, you can build a vehicle that will conquer all the challenges you set before it.

What If The Best Work Trucks For You Are Vans?

Man carrying packages from a work van

If you like the torque and versatility of a work truck but need more protected cargo space, a work van may be the better option for your business.

Many of the entries on this list of best work trucks — particularly the Class 1, 2, and 3 options — come in a van format as well.

The trucks and vans share the same frame, engine, transmission, and underlying components, so you’ll still have all the power you need to transport tools, supplies, and crew. But, with a van, you’ll also have an enclosed cargo space to keep all your gear secure and protected.

For more information on implementing vans in your fleet, check out this article from the Coast blog: 10 Best Work Vans For Small Businesses.

Help For Busy Fleet Managers

Coast card for busy fleet

Whether you choose one of the best work trucks on this list or go with something else entirely, you can manage your fleet better — and make your job easier — with the Coast fleet card.

The Coast card provides real-time expense tracking and a powerful online management platform that puts your entire fleet in the palm of your hand and provides full visibility of every dollar spent.

For more information, visit CoastPay.com today.