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In North America, the primary manufacturer's of Class 8 trucks are Daimler A.G. (parent company of Freightliner and Western Star), Volvo A.B. (parent company of Volvo Trucks and Mack), Navistar (International), and PACCAR, Inc. (parent company of Peterbilt and Kenworth). Additionally, those manufacturers offer trucks in classes 5, 6, and 7, as well. Other class 5, 6, and 7 manufacturers and marketers include Ford, General Motors/Isuzu (via Chevrolet, GMC, and Isuzu... often badge engineering the other's products), Dodge (the Ram 5500 is a Class 5 truck, and was also sold as the Sterling Bullet until 2009), UD-Nissan Diesel, Hino... in the past, all the major auto manufacturers had a heavy truck division.. Dodge bowed out in the late 1970s, and, having been purchased by Daimler A.G., it made it pointless for them to try reestablishing it... Daimler is also the parent company of Freightliner, Western Star (from 1997 onwards) and Sterling (from 1997 to 2009.. Sterling was what used to be Ford's heavy truck division)... General Motors got out of it in the late 1980s, and put more effort into a joint venture with Volvo A.B. (Volvo trucks rebadged under the White-GMC name).. Ford sold their heavy truck division in 1997.

The difference is weight rating. A Class 8 truck is a truck with a weight rating in excess of 33,000 lbs. GVWR. A Class 7 truck has a GVWR from 26,001 to 33,000 lbs.... Class 7 and 8 are heavy duty trucks, and require a CDL in the US if not operated under specific exemptions (military vehicles, emergency vehicles, farm vehicles, recreational vehicles... all under certain conditions). A Class 6 truck has a GVWR from from 19,510 to 26,000 lbs. A Class 5 truck has a GVWR from 16,001 to 19,000 lbs. Classes 4, 5, and 6 are medium duty.. anything with a GVWR of 16,000 lbs. or less is light duty.

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