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A truck or lorry is a
motor vehicle A motor vehicle, also known as motorized vehicle or automotive vehicle, is a self-propelled vehicle A vehicle (from la, vehiculum) is a machine that transports people or cargo. Vehicles include wagons, bicycles, motor vehicles (motorcycles ...
designed to transport
cargo In economics, the word cargo refers in particular to goods or produce being conveyed—generally for Commerce, commercial gain—by water, air or land. "Freight" is the money paid to carry cargo. ''Cargo'' was originally a shipload. Cargo ...

cargo
, carry specialized payloads, or perform other utilitarian work. Trucks vary greatly in size, power, and configuration, but the vast majority feature
body-on-frame Body-on-frame is a common motor vehicle Electric bicycles parked in Yangzhou's main street, Wenchang Lu. They are a very common way of transport in this city, in some areas almost outnumbering regular bicycles A motor vehicle, also known as m ...
construction, with a cabin that is independent of the payload portion of the vehicle. Smaller varieties may be mechanically similar to some
automobile A car (or automobile) is a wheeled motor vehicle A motor vehicle, also known as motorized vehicle or automotive vehicle, is a self-propelled vehicle, commonly wheeled, that does not operate on Track (rail transport), rails (such as trains o ...

automobile
s. Commercial trucks can be very large and powerful and may be configured to be mounted with specialized equipment, such as in the case of
refuse truck front loader A garbage truck is a truck Hybrid electric truck, hybrid electric mining truck, upright=1.3 Electric truck, battery-electric truck., upright=1.3 A truck or lorry is a motor vehicle designed to transport cargo, carry special ...
s,
fire truck A fire engine (also known in some places as a fire truck or fire lorry) is a road vehicle (usually a truck) that functions as a firefighting apparatus. The primary purposes of a fire engine include transporting firefighters and water to an in ...

fire truck
s,
concrete mixer A concrete mixer (often colloquially called a cement mixer) is a device that homogeneously combines cement, Construction aggregate, aggregate such as sand or gravel, and water to form concrete. A typical concrete mixer uses a revolving drum to m ...
s, and
suction excavator A suction excavator or vacuum excavator is a construction vehicle that removes materials from a hole on land, or removes heavy debris on land. Description Suction excavation is a new solution to traditional excavation problems. Suction excavatio ...
s. In American English, a commercial vehicle without a trailer or other articulation is formally a "straight truck" while one designed specifically to pull a trailer is not a truck but a "
tractor A tractor is an engineering vehicle Heavy equipment or heavy machinery refers to heavy-duty vehicle Truck classifications are typically based upon the maximum loaded weight of the truck, typically using the gross vehicle weight ratin ...
". The majority of trucks currently in use are still powered by
diesel engine The diesel engine, named after Rudolf Diesel Rudolf Christian Karl Diesel ( (); 18 March 1858 – 29 September 1913) was a German inventor and mechanical engineer, famous for the invention of the Diesel engine The diesel engine, name ...

diesel engine
s, although small- to medium-size trucks with
gasoline engine Gasoline () or petrol () (see the etymology Etymology ()The New Oxford Dictionary of English (1998) – p. 633 "Etymology /ˌɛtɪˈmɒlədʒi/ the study of the class in words and the way their meanings have changed throughout time". is ...
s exist in the US, Canada, and Mexico. The market-share of
electrically-powered trucks
electrically-powered trucks
is growing rapidly, expected to reach 7% globally by 2027, and electric motive force already predominates among both the largest and smallest trucks. In the European Union, vehicles with a
gross combination mass Vehicle weight is a measurement of wheeled motor vehicles; either an actual measured weight of the vehicle under defined conditions or a gross weight rating for its weight carrying capacity. Curb weight Curb weight (American English) or kerb weigh ...
of up to are known as
light commercial vehicle A light commercial vehicle (LCV) in the European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of Member state of the European Union, member states that are located primarily in Europe. Its members have a combined ar ...
s, and those over as
large goods vehicle A large goods vehicle (LGV), or heavy goods vehicle (HGV), in the European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of member states that are located primarily in Europe Europe is a which is also recogni ...
s.


History


Steam wagons

Trucks and cars have a common ancestor: the steam-powered ''fardier''
Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot (26 February 1725 – 2 October 1804) was a French inventor who built the world's first full-size and working self-propelled mechanical land-vehicle, the "Fardier à vapeur" — effectively the world's first Car, automobile. ...

Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot
built in 1769. However,
steam wagon A steam wagon (or steam lorry, steam waggon or steamtruck) is a steam-powered truck for carrying freight. It is the earliest form of lorry (truck) and came in two basic forms: ''overtype'' and ''undertype'', the distinction being the position of t ...
s were not common until the mid-19th century. The roads of the time, built for horse and carriages, limited these vehicles to very short hauls, usually from a factory to the nearest railway station. The first
semi-trailer A semi-trailer is a trailer without a front axle. In the United States, the term is also used to refer to the combination of a truck and a semi-trailer; a tractor-trailer. A large proportion of a semi-trailer's weight is supported by a tracto ...
appeared in 1881, towed by a
steam tractor :''This article refers to the steam-powered agricultural tractor; for other types of steam tractor, see: Traction engine A traction engine is a used to move heavy loads on roads, plough ground or to provide power at a chosen location. The na ...
manufactured by
De Dion-Bouton De Dion-Bouton was a French automobile manufacturer and railcar manufacturer operating from 1883 to 1953. The company was founded by the Marquis Jules-Albert de Dion, Georges Bouton, and Bouton's brother-in-law Charles Trépardoux. The company ...

De Dion-Bouton
. Steam-powered wagons were sold in France and the United States until the eve of
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
, and 1935 in the United Kingdom, when a change in road tax rules made them uneconomic against the new diesel lorries.


Internal combustion

In 1895
Karl Benz Carl Friedrich Benz (; 25 November 1844 – 4 April 1929), sometimes also Karl Friedrich Benz, was a German engine designer and automotive engineer Engineers, as practitioners of engineering Engineering is the use of scientific metho ...

Karl Benz
designed and built the first
internal combustion An internal combustion engine (ICE or IC engine) is a heat engine in which the combustion of a fuel occurs with an oxidizer (usually air) in a combustion chamber that is an integral part of the working fluid flow circuit. In an internal combu ...
truck. Later that year some of Benz's trucks were modified to become busses by ''Netphener''. A year later, in 1896, another internal combustion engine truck was built by
Gottlieb Daimler Gottlieb Wilhelm Daimler (; 17 March 1834 – 6 March 1900) was a German engineer Engineers, as practitioners of engineering, are Professional, professionals who Invention, invent, design, analyze, build and test Machine, machines, complex ...
, the Daimler Motor Lastwagen. Other companies, such as
Peugeot Peugeot (, , ) is a French brand of automobiles owned by Stellantis. The family business that preceded the current Peugeot companies was founded in 1810, with a steel foundry that soon started making hand tools and kitchen equipment, and the ...

Peugeot
,
Renault Groupe Renault ( , , , also known as the Renault Group in English; legally Renault S.A.) is a French multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Multinati ...

Renault
and Büssing, also built their own versions. The first truck in the United States was built by Autocar in 1899 and was available with engines. Trucks of the era mostly used
two-cylinder
two-cylinder
engines and had a carrying capacity of . After World War I, several advances were made: electric starters, and 4, 6, and 8 cylinder engines.


Diesel engines

Although it had been invented in 1897, the
diesel engine The diesel engine, named after Rudolf Diesel Rudolf Christian Karl Diesel ( (); 18 March 1858 – 29 September 1913) was a German inventor and mechanical engineer, famous for the invention of the Diesel engine The diesel engine, name ...

diesel engine
did not appear in production trucks until Benz introduced it in 1923. The diesel engine was not common in trucks in Europe until the 1930s. In the United States, Autocar introduced diesel engines for heavy applications in the mid-1930s. Demand was high enough that Autocar launched the "DC" model (diesel conventional) in 1939. However, it took much longer for diesel engines to be broadly accepted in the US: gasoline engines were still in use on heavy trucks in the 1970s.


Electric Motors

Electrically-powered trucks
Electrically-powered trucks
predate internal combustion ones and have been continuously available since the mid-19th-century. In the 1920s Autocar Trucks was the first of the major truck manufacturers to offer a range of electric trucks for sale. Electric trucks were successful for urban delivery roles and as specialized work vehicles like
forklifts A forklift (also called lift truck, jitney, fork truck, fork hoist, and forklift truck) is a powered industrial truck used to lift and move materials over short distances. The forklift was developed in the early 20th century by various compani ...
and pushback tugs. The higher energy density of liquid fuels soon led to the decline of electric-powered trucks in favor of, first, gasoline, and then diesel and CNG-fueled engines until battery technology advanced in the 2000s when new chemistries and higher-volume production broadened the range of applicability of electric propulsion to trucks in many more roles. Today, manufacturers are electrifying all trucks ahead of national regulatory requirements, with long-range over-the-road trucks being the most challenging.


Etymology

''Truck'' is used in
American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of variety (linguistics), varieties of the English language native to the United States. Currently, American English is the m ...
, and is common in
Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America North America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, ...
,
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, sma ...
,
New Zealand New Zealand ( mi, Aotearoa ''Aotearoa'' (; commonly pronounced by English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon Engl ...
,
Pakistan Pakistan, . Pronounced variably in English as , , , and . officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a country in South Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, fifth-most populous country, with a popul ...
and
South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over 60 million people, it is the world's 23rd-most populous nation and covers an area of . South Africa has three capital citie ...
, while ''lorry'' is the equivalent in
British English British English (BrE) is the standard dialect A standard language (also standard variety, standard dialect, and standard) is a language variety that has undergone substantial codification of grammar and usage and is employed by a populatio ...
, and is the usual term in countries like
Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel (Great Britain and Ireland), North Channel, the Irish Sea ...
,
Malaysia Malaysia ( ; ) is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is the geographical southeastern subregion of Asia, consisting of the regions ...
,
Singapore Singapore (), officially the Republic of Singapore, is a sovereign state, sovereign island city-state in maritime Southeast Asia. It lies about one degree of latitude () north of the equator, off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, bor ...
and
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi Hindi (Devanagari: , हिंदी, ISO 15919, ISO: ), or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi (Devanagari: , ISO 15919, ISO: ), is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in Hindi Belt, ...
. The first known usage of "truck" was in 1611 when it referred to the small strong wheels on ships' cannon carriages, and comes from "Trokhos" (Greek) = "wheel". In its extended usage, it came to refer to carts for carrying heavy loads, a meaning known since 1771. Its expanded application to "motor-powered load carrier" has been in usage since 1930, shortened from "motor truck", which dates back to 1901. "Lorry" has a more uncertain origin, but probably has its roots in the
rail transport Rail transport (also known as train transport) is a means of transferring passengers and goods on wheeled vehicle A vehicle (from la, vehiculum) is a machine that transports people or cargo. Vehicles include wagons, bicycles, motor veh ...

rail transport
industry, where the word is known to have been used in 1838 to refer to a type of truck (a
goods wagon Image:ITL Hbillns DD Neustadt.jpg, Hbillns wagon with sliding sides in ITL Eisenbahngesellschaft, ITL’s green livery Goods wagons or freight wagons (North America: freight cars), also known as goods carriages, goods trucks, freight carriages or f ...

goods wagon
as in British usage, not a
bogie A bogie ( ) (in some senses Sense relates to any of the systems and corresponding organs involved in sensation, i.e. the physical process of responding to Stimulus (physiology), stimuli and providing data for perception. During sensation, se ...
as in the American), specifically a large flat wagon. It might derive from the verb ''lurry'' (to carry or drag along, or to lug) which was in use as early as 1664, but that association is not definitive. The expanded meaning of ''lorry'', "self-propelled vehicle for carrying goods", has been in usage since 1911.


International variance

In the United States, Canada, and the Philippines, "truck" is usually reserved for commercial vehicles larger than regular passenger cars, but includes large SUVs, pickups, and other vehicles with an open load bed. In Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, the word "truck" is mostly reserved for larger vehicles. In Australia and New Zealand, a pickup truck is frequently called a ''ute'' (short for "utility" vehicle), while in South Africa it is called a ''bakkie'' (
Afrikaans Alaric speaking Afrikaans. Afrikaans (, ) is a West Germanic language spoken in South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over Demographics of South Africa, 5 ...
: "small open container"). In the United Kingdom, India, Malaysia, Singapore, Ireland, and
Hong Kong Hong Kong (; , ), officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (HKSAR), is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Pe ...

Hong Kong
''lorry'' is used instead of ''truck'', but only for the medium and heavy types, while ''truck'' is used almost exclusively to refer to
pickup
pickup
s.


Types by size


Ultra light

Often produced as variations of
golf car A golf cart (called golf car in ANSI standard Z130.1, since "carts" are not self-propelled) is a small vehicle designed originally to carry two golfers and their Golf club (equipment), golf clubs around a golf course or on desert trails wit ...
s, with internal combustion or battery electric drive, these are used typically for off-highway use on estates, golf courses, and parks. While not suitable for highway use some variations may be licensed as slow speed vehicles for operation on streets, generally as a body variation of a
neighborhood electric vehicle A Neighbourhood Electric Vehicle (NEV) is a U.S. category for battery electric vehicles that are usually built to have a top speed of , and have a maximum loaded weight of . Depending on the particular laws of the state, they are legally limited ...
. A few manufactures produce specialized chassis for this type of vehicle, while
Zap Motors ZAP was an American electric vehicle An electric vehicle (EV) is a vehicle A vehicle (from la, vehiculum) is a machine A machine is a man-made device that uses power to apply forces and control movement to perform an action. Ma ...
markets a version of their Xebra electric tricycle (licensable in the U.S. as a motorcycle).


Very light

Popular in Europe and Asia, many mini-trucks are factory redesigns of light automobiles, usually with
monocoque Monocoque (), also called structural skin, is a structural system in which loads are supported by an object's external skin, in a manner similar to an egg shell. The word ''monocoque'' is a French language, French term for "single shell". First u ...
bodies. Specialized designs with substantial frames such as the Italian Piaggio shown here are based upon Japanese designs (in this case by
Daihatsu , commonly known as Daihatsu, is a Japanese automobile manufacturer and one of the oldest surviving Japanese internal combustion engine An internal combustion engine (ICE or IC engine) is a heat engine In thermodynamics Thermodyna ...
) and are popular for use in "old town" sections of European cities that often have very narrow alleyways. Regardless of name, these small trucks serve a wide range of uses. In Japan, they are regulated under the
Kei car Kei car (or , kanji: , "light automobile", ), known variously outside Japan as Japanese city car, ultramini, or Japanese microcar, is the Vehicle size class#Japan, Japanese vehicle category for the smallest highway-legal passenger cars. Similar ...
laws, which allow vehicle owners a break in taxes for buying a smaller and less-powerful vehicle (currently, the engine is limited to 660 cc displacement). These vehicles are used as on-road utility vehicles in Japan. These Japanese-made mini trucks that were manufactured for on-road use are competing with off-road ATVs in the United States, and import regulations require that these mini trucks have a speed governor as they are classified as low-speed vehicles. These vehicles have found uses in construction, large campuses (government, university, and industrial), agriculture, cattle ranches, amusement parks, and replacements for golf carts. Major mini truck manufacturers and their brands: *
Daihatsu Hijet The is a cab over microvan and kei truck produced and sold by the Japanese automaker Daihatsu since 1960. Despite the similarities between the Hijet name and Toyota's naming scheme for its trucks and vans (Toyota HiAce, HiAce and Toyota Hilux, H ...

Daihatsu Hijet
*
Honda Acty The is a series of cabover microvans and kei trucks produced by the Japanese automaker Honda from 1977 to 2021, designed for the Japanese domestic market (JDM). "Acty" is short for "Activity". The Acty's primary competitors are the Subaru ...

Honda Acty
* Tata Ace *
Mazda Scrum Scrum may refer to: * Scrum (rugby) A scrum (short for scrummage) is a method of restarting play in rugby football Rugby is a collective name for the family of team sports of rugby union and rugby league, as well as the earlier forms of fo ...
*
Mitsubishi Minicab The Mitsubishi Minicab is a kei truck A Kei truck, or Kei class truck, or Japanese mini truck is a mini truck, a tiny but practical pickup truck available in Rear-wheel drive, RWD or Four wheel drive, 4WD version, built to satisfy the Japa ...

Mitsubishi Minicab
*
Subaru Sambar The Subaru Sambar is a cabover kei truck and microvan (passenger variant: Subaru Dias Wagon) manufactured by Subaru, a division of Subaru Corporation (formerly known as Fuji Heavy Industries), specifically for the Japanese market. It is Japan's fir ...

Subaru Sambar
*
Suzuki Carry The is a kei truck A Kei truck, or Kei class truck, or Japanese mini truck is a mini truck, a tiny but practical pickup truck available in Rear-wheel drive, RWD or Four wheel drive, 4WD version, built to satisfy the Japanese ''kei car, k ...

Suzuki Carry


Light

Light trucks are car-sized (in the US, no more than ) and are used by individuals and businesses alike. In the EU they may not weigh more than and are allowed to be driven with a
driving licence A driver's license is a legal authorization, or the official document confirming such an authorization, for a specific individual to operate one or more types of motorized vehicles—such as , , , or —on a public road. Such licenses are oft ...
for cars.
Pickup truck A pickup truck or pickup is a light-duty truck Light truck or light-duty truck is a US classification for truck mining truck A truck or lorry is a motor vehicle designed to transport cargo. Trucks vary greatly in size, power, and con ...

Pickup truck
s, called utes in Australia and New Zealand, are common in North America and some regions of Latin America, Asia, and Africa, but not so in Europe, where this size of commercial vehicle is most often made as vans.


Medium

Medium trucks are larger than light but smaller than heavy trucks. In the US, they are defined as weighing between . For the UK and the EU the weight is between . Local delivery and public service (
dump truck A dump truck, known also as a dumping truck, dump trailer, dumper trailer, dump lorry or dumper lorry or a dumper for short, is used for transporting materials (such as dirt Dirty Dicks is a Bishopsgate pub named after Dirty Dick who once ...

dump truck
s,
garbage truck Garbage, trash, rubbish, or refuse is waste material that is discarded by humans, usually due to a perceived lack of utility. The term generally does not encompass bodily waste products, purely liquid or gaseous wastes, nor toxic waste products ...

garbage truck
s and fire-fighting trucks) are normally around this size.


Heavy

Heavy trucks are the largest on-road trucks, Class 8. These include vocational applications such as heavy dump trucks, concrete pump trucks, and refuse hauling, as well as ubiquitous long-haul 4x2 and 6×4
tractor unit A tractor unit (also known as a truck unit, prime mover, ten-wheeler, semi-tractor, semi-truck, tractor cab, truck cab, tractor rig, truck rig or big rig or simply a tractor, truck or rig) is a characteristically heavy-duty towing engine that p ...
s. Road damage and wear increase very rapidly with the axle weight. The number of steering axles and the suspension type also influence the amount of the road wear. In many countries with good roads a six-axle truck may have a maximum weight of or more.


Off-road

Off-road trucks include standard, extra heavy-duty highway-legal trucks, typically outfitted with off-road features such as a front driving axle and special tires for applications such as logging and construction, and purpose-built off-road vehicles unconstrained by weight limits, such as the
Liebherr T 282B The Liebherr T 282 series are off-highway A highway is any public or private road A road is a thoroughfare, route, or way on land between two Location (geography), places that has been Pavement (material), paved or otherwise improved to ...
mining truck.


Maximum sizes by country

Australia has complex regulations over weight and length, including axle spacing, type of axle/axle group, rear overhang, kingpin to rear of trailer, drawbar length, ground clearance, as well as height and width laws. These limits are some of the highest in the world, a B-double can weigh and be long, and
road train A road train, land train or long combination vehicle (LCV) is a truck A truck or lorry is a motor vehicle A motor vehicle, also known as motorized vehicle or automotive vehicle, is a self-propelled vehicle, commonly wheeled, that d ...
s used in the
outback The Outback is a remote, vast, sparsely populated area of Australia. The Outback is more remote than Australian bush, the bush, which includes any location outside the main urban areas. While often envisaged as being arid, the Outback regions ...

outback
can weigh and be long. The European Union also has complex regulations. The number and spacing of axles, steering, single or dual tires, and suspension type all affect maximum weights. Length of a truck, of a trailer, from axle to hitch point, kingpin to rear of trailer, and turning radius are all regulated. In additions, there are special rules for carrying containers, and countries can set their own rules for local traffic. The United States Federal Bridge Law deals with the relation between the gross weight of the truck, the number of axles, the weight on and the spacing between the axles that the truck can have on the Interstate highway system. Each State determines the maximum permissible
vehicle A vehicle (from la, vehiculum) is a machine A machine is any physical system with ordered structural and functional properties. It may represent human-made or naturally occurring device molecular machine A molecular machine, nanite, or ...
,
combination In mathematics, a combination is a selection of items from a collection, such that the order of selection does not matter (unlike permutations). For example, given three fruits, say an apple, an orange and a pear, there are three combinations of t ...
, and
axle An axle or axletree is a central shaft for a rotating A rotation is a circular movement of an object around a center (or point) of rotation. The plane (geometry), geometric plane along which the rotation occurs is called the ''rotation p ...
weight on state and local roads. Uniquely, the
State of Michigan Michigan () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper ...
has a gross vehicle weight limit of , which is twice the U.S. federal limit. A measure to change the law was defeated in the
Michigan Senate The Michigan Senate is the upper house of the Michigan Legislature. Along with the Michigan House of Representatives The Michigan House of Representatives is the lower house A lower house is one of two chambers of a bicameral legislatur ...

Michigan Senate
in 2019.


Design

Almost all trucks share a common construction: they are made of a
chassis A chassis (, ; plural ''chassis'' from French châssis ) is the load Load or LOAD may refer to: Aeronautics and transportation *Load factor (aeronautics), the ratio of the lift of an aircraft to its weight *Passenger load factor, the ratio o ...

chassis
, a cab, an area for placing
cargo In economics, the word cargo refers in particular to goods or produce being conveyed—generally for Commerce, commercial gain—by water, air or land. "Freight" is the money paid to carry cargo. ''Cargo'' was originally a shipload. Cargo ...

cargo
or equipment,
axle An axle or axletree is a central shaft for a rotating A rotation is a circular movement of an object around a center (or point) of rotation. The plane (geometry), geometric plane along which the rotation occurs is called the ''rotation p ...

axle
s,
suspension Suspension or suspended may refer to: Science and engineering * Suspension (topology), in mathematics * Suspension (dynamical systems), in mathematics * Suspension of a ring, in mathematics * Suspension (chemistry), small solid particles suspende ...
and
roadwheels
roadwheels
, an
engine An engine or motor is a machine A machine is any physical system with ordered structural and functional properties. It may represent human-made or naturally occurring device molecular machine that uses Power (physics), power to apply For ...

engine
and a
drivetrain The drivetrain, also frequently spelled as drive train, or sometimes drive-train, is the group of components of a motor vehicle that deliver power to the driving wheels. This excludes the engine or motor that generates the power. In contrast, t ...
.
Pneumatic Pneumatics (from Greek ‘wind, breath’) is a branch of that makes use of gas or . Pneumatic systems used in are commonly powered by or compressed . A centrally located and electrically-powered powers , s, s, and other devices. A pne ...
,
hydraulic Hydraulics (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is a ...

hydraulic
,
water Water (chemical formula H2O) is an Inorganic compound, inorganic, transparent, tasteless, odorless, and Color of water, nearly colorless chemical substance, which is the main constituent of Earth's hydrosphere and the fluids of all known li ...
, and
electrical Electricity is the set of physical phenomena associated with the presence and motion Image:Leaving Yongsan Station.jpg, 300px, Motion involves a change in position In physics, motion is the phenomenon in which an object changes its positio ...

electrical
systems may also be present. Many also tow one or more
trailers Trailer may refer to: Transportation * Trailer (vehicle), an unpowered vehicle pulled by a powered vehicle ** Bicycle trailer, a wheeled frame for hitching to a bicycle to tow cargo or passengers ** Full-trailer ** Semi-trailer **Horse trailer an ...
or semi-trailers.


Cab

The "cab" is an enclosed space where the driver is seated. A "
sleeper A sleeper is a person who is sleeping. Sleeper may also refer to: Arts and entertainment Characters * Sleeper (Marvel Comics), a Nazi German robot utilized by the Red Skull in Marvel Comics * The Sleeper (Wild Cards), a character in the Wild Card ...
" is a compartment attached to or integral with the cab where the driver can rest while not driving, sometimes seen in semi-trailer trucks. There are several cab configurations: * "
Cab over Cab-over, also known as cab over engine (COE), cab forward (U.S.), flat nose (Canada), or forward control (UK), is a body style of truck, bus, or van that has a vertical front, "flat face" or a hood (vehicle), semi-hood, with the Cabin (truck), c ...
engine" (COE) or "flat nose"; where the driver is seated above the front axle and the
engine An engine or motor is a machine A machine is any physical system with ordered structural and functional properties. It may represent human-made or naturally occurring device molecular machine that uses Power (physics), power to apply For ...

engine
. This design is almost ubiquitous in Europe, where overall truck lengths are strictly regulated, and is widely used in the rest of the world. They were common in North American heavy-duty trucks but lost prominence when permitted length was extended in the early 1980s. Nevertheless, this design is still popular in North America among medium- and light-duty trucks. To reach the engine, the whole cab tilts forward, earning this design the name of "tilt-cab". This type of cab is especially suited to the delivery conditions in Europe where many roads require the short turning radius afforded by the shorter wheelbase of the cab over engine layout. The COE design was invented by Viktor Schreckengost. * "Conventional" cabs seated the driver behind the engine, as in most passenger cars or pickup trucks. Many new cabs are very
streamlined.'') Streamlines, streaklines and pathlines are field lines in a fluid flow In physics Physics (from grc, φυσική (ἐπιστήμη), physikḗ (epistḗmē), knowledge of nature, from ''phýsis'' 'nature'), , is the natural s ...
, with a sloped hood (bonnet) and other features to lower drag. Conventional cabs are the most common in North America, Australia, and China, and are known in the UK as "American cabs" and in the Netherlands as "torpedo cabs". * "Cab beside engine" designs are used for
terminal tractor A terminal tractor, known in the United States as a shunt truck, spotter truck, spotting tractor, yard truck, yard shifter, yard dog, yard goat, yard horse, yard bird, yard jockey, hostler, or mule, is a semi-tractor intended to move semi trailers ...
s at
shipping yard
shipping yard
s and for other specialist vehicles carrying long loads such as pipes. This type is often made by replacing the passenger side of a cab-over truck with an extended section of the load bed. A further step from this is the side loading
forklift A forklift (also called lift truck, jitney, fork truck, fork hoist, and forklift truck) is a powered industrial truck used to lift and move materials over short distances. The forklift was developed in the early 20th century by various companie ...

forklift
that can be described as a specially fabricated vehicle with the same properties as a truck of this type, in addition to the ability to pick up its own load.


Engines and motors

Most small trucks such as
sport utility vehicle A sport utility vehicle or SUV is a car classification that combines elements of road-going passenger cars with features from off-road vehicles, such as raised ground clearance and four-wheel drive Four-wheel drive, also called 4x4 ("f ...
s (SUVs),
van A van is a type of road vehicle A vehicle (from la, vehiculum) is a machine that transports people or cargo. Vehicles include wagons, bicycles, motor vehicles (motorcycles, cars, trucks, buses), railed vehicles (trains, trams), watercraf ...

van
s or
pickups
pickups
, and even light medium-duty trucks in North America, China, and Russia use
gasoline engine Gasoline () or petrol () (see the etymology Etymology ()The New Oxford Dictionary of English (1998) – p. 633 "Etymology /ˌɛtɪˈmɒlədʒi/ the study of the class in words and the way their meanings have changed throughout time". is ...
s (petrol engines), but many
diesel engine The diesel engine, named after Rudolf Diesel Rudolf Christian Karl Diesel ( (); 18 March 1858 – 29 September 1913) was a German inventor and mechanical engineer, famous for the invention of the Diesel engine The diesel engine, name ...

diesel engine
d models are now being produced. Most of the heavier trucks use
four-stroke A four-stroke (also four-cycle) engine is an internal combustion An internal combustion engine (ICE or IC engine) is a heat engine in which the combustion of a fuel occurs with an oxidizer (usually air) in a combustion chamber that is an i ...
diesel engines with a turbocharger and intercooler. Huge off-highway trucks use locomotive-type engines such as a V12 engine, V12 Detroit Diesel two stroke cycle, two stroke engine. A large proportion of refuse trucks in the United States employ CNG (compressed natural gas) engines for their low fuel cost and reduced carbon emissions. A significant proportion of North American manufactured trucks use an engine built by the last remaining major independent engine manufacturer (Cummins (corporation), Cummins) but most global OEMs such as Volvo Trucks and Daimler AG promote their own "captive" engines. In the European Union, all new truck engines must comply with European emission standards, Euro VI emission regulations. several alternative technologies are competing to displace the use of diesel engines in heavy trucks. CNG engines are widely used in the US refuse industry and in concrete mixers, among other short-range vocations, but range limitations have prevented their broader uptake in freight hauling applications. Heavy electric trucks and Hydrogen vehicle#Heavy trucks, hydrogen-powered trucks are new to the market in 2021, but major freight haulers are interested. Although cars will be first the phase-out of fossil fuel vehicles includes trucks. According to The Economist magazine "Electric lorries will probably run on hydrogen, not batteries, which are too expensive." Other researchers say that once faster Charging station, chargers are available batteries will become competitive against diesel for all, except perhaps the heaviest, trucks.


Drivetrain

Small trucks use the same type of transmission (mechanics), transmissions as almost all cars, having either an automatic transmission or a manual transmission with synchromesh (synchronizers). Bigger trucks often use manual transmissions without synchronizers, saving bulk and weight, although synchromesh transmissions are used in larger trucks as well. Transmissions without synchronizers, known as "crash boxes", require double-clutching for each shift, (which can lead to repetitive motion injuries), or a technique known colloquially as "floating", a method of changing gears which doesn't use the clutch, except for starts and stops, due to the physical effort of double-clutching, especially with non-power-assisted clutches, faster shifts, and less clutch wear. Double-clutching allows the driver to control the engine and transmission revolutions to synchronize so that a smooth shift can be made; for example, when upshifting, the accelerator pedal is released and the clutch pedal is depressed while the gear lever is moved into neutral, the clutch pedal is then released and quickly pushed down again while the gear lever is moved to the next higher gear. Finally, the clutch pedal is released and the accelerator pedal pushed down to obtain the required engine speed. Although this is a relatively fast movement, perhaps a second or so while the transmission is in neutral, it allows the engine speed to drop and synchronize engine and transmission revolutions relative to the road speed. Downshifting is performed in a similar fashion, except the engine speed is now required to increase (while the transmission is in neutral) just the right amount in order to achieve the synchronization for a smooth, non-collision gear change. "Skip changing" is also widely used; in principle, the operation is the same as double-clutching, but it requires neutral be held slightly longer than a single-gear change. Common North American setups include 9, 10, 13, 15, and 18 speeds. automatic transmission, Automatic and automated manual transmissions for heavy trucks are becoming more and more common, due to advances both in transmission and engine power. In Europe, 8, 10, 12, and 16 gears are common on larger trucks with a manual transmission, while conventional automatic or automated manual transmissions would have anything from 5 to 12 gears. Almost all heavy truck transmissions are of the "range and split" (double H shift pattern) type, where range change and so‑called half gears or splits are air operated and always preselected before the main gear selection.


Frame

A truck frame (vehicle), frame consists of two parallel boxed (tubular) or C‑shaped rails, or beams, held together by crossmembers. These frames are referred to as ladder frames due to their resemblance to a ladder if tipped on end. The rails consist of a tall vertical section (two if boxed) and two shorter horizontal flanges. The height of the vertical section provides opposition to vertical flex when weight is applied to the top of the frame (beam resistance). Though typically flat the whole length on heavy-duty trucks, the rails may sometimes be tapered or arched for clearance around the engine or over the axles. The holes in rails are used either for mounting vehicle components and running wires and hoses or measuring and adjusting the orientation of the rails at the factory or repair shop. The frame is usually made of steel, but can be made (whole or in part) of aluminum for a lighter weight. A Drawbar (haulage), tow bar may be found attached at one or both ends, but heavy tractors almost always make use of a fifth wheel hitch.


Body types

Box trucks ("tilts" in the UK) have walls and a roof, making an enclosed load space. The rear has doors for unloading; a side door is sometimes fitted. Chassis cab trucks have a fully-enclosed cab at the front, with bare Chassis, chassis frame-rails behind, suitable for subsequent permanent attachment of a specialized payload, like a Fire engine, fire-truck or Ambulance#Design_and_construction, ambulance body. Concrete mixers have a rotating drum on an inclined axis, rotating in one direction to mix, and in the other to discharge the concrete down chutes. Because of the weight and power requirements of the drum body and rough construction sites, mixers have to be very heavy duty. Dump trucks ("tippers" in the UK) transport loose material such as sand, gravel, or dirt for construction. A typical dump truck has an open-box bed, which is hinged at the rear and lifts at the front, allowing the material in the bed to be unloaded ("dumped") on the ground behind the truck. Flatbed trucks have an entirely flat, level platform body. This allows for quick and easy loading but has no protection for the load. Hanging or removable sides are sometimes fitted. Refrigerator trucks have insulated panels as walls and a roof and floor, used for transporting fresh and frozen cargo such as ice cream, food, vegetables, and prescription drugs. They are mostly equipped with double-wing rear doors, but a side door is sometimes fitted. Garbage_truck, Refuse trucks have a specialized body for collecting and, often, compacting trash collected from municipal, commercial, and industrial sites. This application has the widest use of the cab-over configuration in North America, to provide better maneuverability in tight situations. They are also among the most severe-duty and highest GVWR trucks on public roads. Tractor unit, Semi-tractors ("artics" in the UK) have a fifth wheel for towing a semi-trailer instead of a body. Tank trucks ("tankers" in the UK) are designed to carry liquids or gases. They usually have a cylindrical tank lying horizontally on the chassis. Many variants exist due to the wide variety of liquids and gases that can be transported. Tow truck, Wreckers ("recovery lorries" in the UK) are used to recover and/or tow disabled vehicles. They are normally equipped with a boom with a cable; wheel/chassis lifts are becoming common on newer trucks.


Sales and sales issues


Manufacturers


Truck market worldwide


Driving

In many countries, driving a truck requires a special driving license. The requirements and limitations vary with each different jurisdiction.


Australia

In Australia, a truck driver's license is required for any motor vehicle with a Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) exceeding . The motor vehicles classes are further expanded as: ;Combination * HC: Heavy Combination, a typical prime mover plus semi-trailer combination. * MC: Multi Combination, e.g., B Doubles/road trains ; Rigid * LR: Light rigid: a rigid vehicle with a GVM of more than but not more than . Any towed trailer must not weigh more than GVM. * MR: Medium rigid: a rigid vehicle with 2 axles and a GVM of more than . Any towed trailer must not weigh more than GVM. Also includes vehicles in class ''LR''. * HR: Heavy Rigid: a rigid vehicle with three or more axles and a GVM of more than . Any towed trailer must not weigh more than GVM. Also includes articulated buses and vehicles in class ''MR''. ;Heavy vehicle transmission There is also a heavy vehicle transmission condition for a license class ''HC'', ''HR'', or ''MC'' test passed in a vehicle fitted with an automatic or synchromesh transmission; a driver's license will be restricted to vehicles of that class fitted with a synchromesh or automatic transmission. To have the condition removed, a person needs to pass a practical driving test in a vehicle with non-synchromesh transmission (constant mesh or crash box).


Europe

Driving licensing has been harmonized throughout the European Union and the European Economic Area, EEA (and practically all European non-member states), so that common rules apply within Europe (see European driving licence). As an overview, to drive a vehicle weighing more than for commercial purposes requires a specialist license (the type varies depending on the use of the vehicle and number of seats). For licenses first acquired after 1997, that weight was reduced to , not including trailers. Since 2013, the C1 license category allows driving vehicles over 3.5 and up to 7.5 tonnes. The C license category allows driving vehicles over 3.5 tonnes with a trailer up to 750 kg, and the CE category allows driving category C vehicles with a trailer over 750 kg.


South Africa

To drive any vehicle with a GVM exceeding , a code C1 drivers license is required. Furthermore, if the vehicle exceeds a code C license becomes necessary. To drive any vehicle in South Africa towing a trailer with a GVM more than , further restrictions apply and the driver must possess a license suitable for the GVM of the total combination as well as an articulated endorsement. This is indicated with the letter "E" prefixing the license code. In addition, any vehicle designed to carry goods or passengers may only be driven by a driver possessing a Public Driver's Permit, (or PrDP) of the applicable type. This is an additional license that is added to the DL card of the operator and subject to annual renewal unlike the five-year renewal period of a normal license. The requirements for obtaining the different classes are below. * "G": Required for the transport of general goods, requires a criminal record check and a fee on issuing and renewal. * "P": Required for the transport of paying passengers, requires a more stringent criminal record check, additionally the driver must be over the age of 21 at time of issue. A G class PrDP will be issued at the same time. * "D": Required for the transport of dangerous materials, requires all of the same checks as class P., and in addition the driver must be over 25 at time of issue.


United States

In the United States, a commercial driver's license is required to drive any type of commercial vehicle weighing or more. The federal government regulates how many hours a driver may be on the clock, how much rest and sleep time is required (e.g., 11 hours driving/14 hours on-duty followed by 10 hours off, with a maximum of 70 hours/8 days or 60 hours/7 days, 34 hours restart ) Violations are often subject to significant penalties. Instruments to track each driver's hours must sometimes be fitted. In 2006, the Trucking industry in the United States, US trucking industry employed 1.8 million drivers of heavy trucks. There is a shortage of willing trained long distance truck drivers. Part of the reason for this is the economic fallout from deregulation of the trucking industry. Michael H. Belzer, associate professor, in the economics department at Wayne State University and co-author of ''Sweatshops on Wheels: Winners and Losers in Trucking Deregulation'', argues that low pay, bad working conditions and unsafe conditions have been a direct result of deregulation. The book cites poor working conditions and an unfair pay system as responsible for high annual employee turnover in the industry."Sweatshops on Wheels," ''U.S. News and World Report''."Sweatshops on Wheels." ''The Washington Post'' In 2018, in the US, 5,096 large trucks and buses were involved in fatal crashes: * The number of large trucks involved in fatal crashes is 4,862, * The number of large trucks involved in injury crashes is 112,000, * The number of large trucks involved in property damage only crashes is 414,000.


Environmental effects

Trucks contribute to air, noise, and water pollution similarly to
automobile A car (or automobile) is a wheeled motor vehicle A motor vehicle, also known as motorized vehicle or automotive vehicle, is a self-propelled vehicle, commonly wheeled, that does not operate on Track (rail transport), rails (such as trains o ...

automobile
s. Trucks may emit lower air pollution emissions than cars per equivalent vehicle mass, although the absolute level per vehicle distance traveled is higher, and diesel exhaust is especially dangerous for health. EPA measures pollution from trucks. With respect to noise pollution, trucks emit considerably higher sound levels at all speeds compared to typical cars; this contrast is particularly strong with heavy-duty trucks. There are several aspects of truck operations that contribute to the overall sound that is emitted. Continuous sounds are those from tires rolling on the roadway and the constant hum of their diesel engines at highway speeds. Less frequent noises, but perhaps more noticeable, are things like the repeated sharp-pitched whistle of a turbocharger on acceleration, or the abrupt blare of an exhaust brake retarder (mechanical engineering), retarder when traversing a downgrade. There has been noise regulation put in place to help control where and when the use of engine braking retarders are allowed. Over a quarter of global transport CO2 emissions are from road freight, so many countries are further restricting truck CO2 emissions to help Climate change mitigation, limit climate change. According to a 1995 U.S. government estimate, the energy cost of carrying one ton of freight a distance of one kilometer averages 337 kJ for water, 221 kJ for rail, 2,000 kJ for trucks, and nearly 13,000 kJ for air transport. Many environmental organizations favor laws and incentives to encourage the switch from road to rail, especially in Europe. The European Parliament is moving to ensure that charges on heavy-goods vehicles should be based in part on the air and noise pollution they produce and the congestion they cause, according to legislation approved by the Transport Committee. The Eurovignette scheme has been proposed, whereby new charges would be potentially levied against things such as noise and air pollution and also weight related damages from the lorries themselves. A 60-tonne tractor & trailer at 80 km/h needs 168 kW : 41% (68 kW) to overcome the rolling resistance, 38% (64 kW) for the aerodynamic drag, 9% (15 kW) for the auxiliaries, 7% (12 kW) for the driveline & tire and 6% (10 kW) is lost in uphill/downhill hysteresis.


Operator health and safety

A truck cab is a Hierarchy of hazard controls, hazard control that protects the truck operator from hazardous airborne pollutants. As an enclosure, it is an example of an Engineering controls, engineering control. Enclosed operator cabs have been used on agriculture, mining, and construction vehicles for several decades. Most modern-day enclosed cabs have HVAC, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems for primarily maintaining a comfortable temperature and providing breathable air for their occupants. Various levels of filtration can be incorporated into the HVAC system to remove airborne pollutants such as dusts, diesel particulate matter (DPM), and other aerosols. Two key elements of an effective environmental enclosure are a good filtration system and an enclosure with good integrity (sealed isolation from the outside environment). It is recommended that a filtration system filter out at least 95% or greater of airborne respirable aerosols from the intake airflow, with an additional recirculation filtering component for the inside air. Good enclosure integrity is also needed to achieve positive pressure to prevent wind-driven aerosol penetration into the enclosure'','' as well as to minimize air leakage around the filtration system. Test methods and mathematical modeling of environmental enclosures are also beneficial for quantifying and optimizing filtration system designs, as well as maintaining optimum protection factor performance for enclosure occupants.


Operations issues


Taxes

Commercial trucks in the US pay higher road use taxes on a state level than other road vehicles and are subject to extensive regulation. A few reasons commercial trucks pay higher road use taxes: they are bigger and heavier than most other vehicles, and cause more wear and tear per hour on roadways; and trucks and their drivers are on the road for more hours per day. Rules on use taxes differ among jurisdictions.


Damage to pavement

The life of a pavement is measured by the number of passes of a vehicle axle. It may be evaluated using the Load Equivalency Factor, which states that the damage by the pass of a vehicle axle is proportional to the 4th power of the weight, so a ten-ton axle consumes 10,000 times the life of the pavement as a one-ton axle. For that reason, loaded trucks cost the same as thousands of cars in pavement costs, and are subject to higher taxes and highway tolls.


Commercial insurance

Primary liability insurance coverage protects the truck from damage or injuries to other people as a result of a truck accident. This truck insurance coverage is mandated by U.S. state and federal agencies, and proof of coverage is required to be sent to them. Interstate trucks in the U.S. are required to have a minimum of $75,000 in liability insurance. This includes motor carriers operating vehicles with a gross weight rating in excess of (which transport non-hazardous materials). All motor carriers operating vehicles transporting materials classified as hazardous, and which have a gross weight rating in excess of must have a minimum of $1,000,000 in liability insurance. All motor carriers operating vehicles such as hopper-type cargo vehicles or tankers with a capacity in excess of must have a minimum of $5,000,000 in liability insurance. Pricing is dependent on region, driving records, and history of the trucking operation. Motor truck cargo insurance protects the transporter for his responsibility in the event of damaged or lost freight. The policy is purchased with a maximum load limit per vehicle. Cargo insurance coverage limits can range from $10,000 to $100,000 or more. Pricing for this insurance is mainly dependent on the type of cargo being hauled.


Safety


Trucking accidents

In 2002 and 2004, there were over 5,000 fatalities related to trucking accidents in the United States. The trucking industry has since made significant efforts in increasing safety regulations. In 2008, the industry had successfully lowered the fatality rate to just over 4,000 deaths, but trucking accidents are still an issue that causes thousands of deaths and injuries each year. Approximately 6,000 trucking accident fatalities occur annually in the United States. Fatalities are not the only issue caused by trucking accidents. Here are some of the environmental issues that arise with trucking accidents: * 14.4% of trucking accidents cause cargo to spill * 6.5% cause open flames Following increased pressure from ''The Times'' "Cities Fit For Cycling" campaign and from other media in Spring 2012, warning signs are now displayed on the backs of many Large goods vehicle, HGVs. These signs are directed against a common type of accident that occurs when the large vehicle turns left at a junction: a cyclist trying to pass on the nearside can be crushed against the HGV's wheels, especially if the driver cannot see the cyclist. The signs, such as the winning design of th
InTANDEM road safety competition
launched in March 2012, advocate extra care when passing a large vehicle on the nearside.


HGV safety in the EU

In-vehicle speed limitation is required applying a 90 km/h limit to commercial vehicles over 3.5 tonnes. Front, side, and rear underrun protection is required on commercial vehicles over 3.5 tonnes. Trucks must be fitted with blind-spot mirrors that give drivers a wider field of vision than conventional mirrors.


See also

* Air brake (road vehicle), Air brake * Animal transporter * Articulated hauler * Driverless truck, Autonomous truck * Ballast tractor * Campervan * Cutaway van chassis * Dekotora, Japanese decorated trucks * Food truck * Glossary of the American trucking industry * Great West Truck Show * Hand truck * Haul truck * Kei truck * List of military trucks * List of pickup trucks * List of trucks * Logging truck * Multi-stop truck * Roll-off (dumpster), Roll-off truck * Tail lift * Traffic congestion * Truck art in South Asia * Truck classification * Truck hijacking * Truck scale * Truck stop


References


External links

*
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

Different sizes and classes of trucks in the UK
* {{Authority control Trucks, Carriages and mountings Vehicles introduced in 1895