Trucks (American English) or Lorry (British English) are motor vehicles that are designed in different variants for mainly commercial purposes, unlike cars and buses which are for personal and public transport. In the 1920s-1930s, the world first saw the use of diesel engines in trucks and since then, diesel is the preferred fuel even for most of the modern-day trucks.
Trucks can be categorized under 5 categories:
- Small Trucks: Used for short distance transportation of light goods. They are the lightest and smallest truck among all.
- Light Trucks: Truck with unloaded weight up to 6,350 Kg (14,000 lb) fall under light trucks category
- Medium Trucks: Truck with unloaded weight between 6,351 – 11,793 Kg (14,001 – 26,000 lb)
- Heavy Trucks: Heavier than medium trucks, they weigh between 11,794 – 14,969 Kg (26,001 – 33,000 lb).
- Very Heavy Trucks: They are not made for highway use without special permissions and are the largest and heaviest trucks among all.
Here is the list of detailed truck types that is fond across the globe.
Trucks that fall under the ‘small’ category are:
1. Mini Truck: Mostly used in Asia, these practical trucks are also known as micro trucks. They use an engine rated lower than 1000cc.
- Uses Lightweight cargo delivery like couriers and appliances.
- Examples: Suzuki Carry, Tata Ace.
2. Small commercial vehicle: Unlike mini trucks, these small commercial vehicles can have seats for passengers but are rated with same engine displacement.
- Uses: Transport of goods or passengers
- Examples: Lada Largus, Tata magic.
Trucks with weight up to 6,350 Kg (14,000 lb) are:
3. Pickup truck: Extremely popular in the US, pickup trucks are bought by the consumers for mostly lifestyle reasons.
- Uses: Although designed for commercial use, pickup trucks have gained popularity as a passenger car.
- Examples: Ford F:150, Nissan Titan, Toyota Tundra.
4. SUV (Sport Utility Vehicle): The SUVs have become more of a personal use vehicle but due to its mass and dimensions, it is still considered a light truck.
- Uses: Off-road passenger/personal vehicle
- Examples: Range Rover, Lexus LX.
5. Minivan: Minivans are very similar to small commercial vehicles in terms of utility but they have two or more rows of seats and have a larger dimension and mass.
- Uses: Used as a passenger transport vehicle.
- Examples: Toyota Sienna, Kia Sedona.
6. Panel Truck: Panel trucks don’t have any back seats or windows in the back compartment yet are fully covered. Panel trucks can be further categorized as Canopy express and Panel van.
- Uses: Small delivery truck
- Examples: Ram ProMaster City.
7. Tow Truck: Tow Truck, also known as recovery vehicle comes in variable sizes, but are generally identified as light trucks.
- Uses: To move/recover improperly parked, disabled, or damaged vehicles.
- Examples: Miller SP800 SidePuller.
Trucks with weight between 6,351 – 11,793 Kg (14,001 – 26,000 lb) are-
8. Van: Vans are vehicles with the most extensive field of usage. They are usually road vehicles operating in urban environments.
- Uses: Ambulance, police transit, courier services, appliance delivery, the medium of commute for school students.
- Examples: Mercedes Benz Sprinter, FSC Lublin 3.
9. Box Truck: Also known as a box van or cube van, box trucks have an enclosed, cuboid: shaped cargo area, and usually, the cabin is separated from it by a door/window or wall.
- Uses: Moving furniture, large home appliances delivery.
- Examples: Chevrolet Express Cutaway Van.
10. Medium-Duty Truck: Medium-sized trucks which are used for various commercial and service purposes are known as Medium Duty Truck.
- Uses: Transporting oil/water/other liquids, as open-top containers, towing.
- Examples: Ford F-650, F-750.
11. Cutaway van chassis: This category covers a wide range of trucks. The name is unique and it means that on the same truck chassis, one can use a variety of bodies.
- Uses: Ambulances, Minibuses, recreational buses (Motorhomes).
- Examples: Chevrolet G 30, Ford E350 SRW.
12. Fire Engine: A Fire Engine (also known as Fire Truck), is a unique addition in this group as it has many sub-categories like-
- Turntable ladder: They are used to reach victims at high places like a multi-story building.
- Platform Truck: A platform truck carries an AWP/EWP (Aerial/Elevating Work Platform). AWP/EWP is used to give engineers or firefighters temporary access to elevated areas.
- Water Tender: Its primary purpose is to transport large amounts of water to the fire area for extinguishing needs.
- Conventional Fire Engine: The conventional fire engine is the widely used truck that transports firefighters, water supply, and equipment for traditional firefighting scenarios.
Examples of Fire Truck companies are Rosenbauer International, Magirus GmbH.
13. Flatbed Trucks: As the name suggests, a flatbed truck is a medium-sized truck with the entire body being flat except the cockpit/driver’s cabin.
- Uses: Easy and quick loading and transporting of heavy goods that are not vulnerable to environmental conditions like rain or snow, carrying logs.
- Examples: Ford F-650 Flatbed, Guy Big J4 Flatbed.
Check the leading 100 trucking companies here.
The trucks in the weight category of 11,794 – 14,969 Kg (26,001 – 33,000 lb) are-
14. Cement/Concrete Mixer: These trucks are fitted with a huge drum that can be loaded with dry materials and water and the spiral blade carries out the mixing process.
- Uses: Mixing and transporting concrete/cement.
- Examples: Kayaba Rocket, Terex Advance.
15. Dump Truck: Dump trucks are equipped with an open-box bed/ container. The open container is attached to the rear bed with hinges and is equipped with hydrams to lift the front of the container.
- Uses: Taking dumps of sand, demolition waste, coal, etc.
- Examples: Mercedes-Benz Arocs, Ashok Leyland Comet.
16. Mobile crane: A heavy truck equipped with a crane. A crane is a stong build up machine equipped with wire ropes, hoist ropes, and sheaves which are used to lift or lower heavy objects.
- Uses: Lifting heavy objects and transporting them.
17. Garbage Truck: Garbage/Trash trucks operate in urban areas. These trucks are equipped with large waste containers with lids.
- Uses: Collecting solid waste in the municipality or urban areas and their disposal.
- Examples: Scania front loaders, Lodal Evo T-28.
18. Refrigerator truck: Refrigerator trucks have huge, completely covered containers that are either ice-cooled, have mechanical refrigeration systems, or utilize CO2 in dry ice form as a cooling agent.
- Uses: Carrying perishable freight at lower temperatures.
- Examples: G-3 Resources LLC refrigerator truck.
19. Tanker Truck: Tanker Trucks have a large cylindrical container that has a typical capacity of 20,800 – 43,900 L (5,500 – 11,600 Gallons). These cylindrical tanks rest horizontally on the truck bed and come in a variety of specifications (Pressurization, acid resistance, refrigeration capability, etc.)
- Uses: Carry liquids or gases via roads.
- Examples: Shell aviation refueller truck.
20. Tractor unit: Tractor units come in a very wide variety. They are very heavy-duty, sometimes have off-road capabilities, and even 6×6 capable.
- Uses: Hauling trailers, military equipment.
- Examples: Leyland T-45 Cab over, Renault Trucks T-460.
Very Heavy Trucks
The trucks heavier than heavy trucks are-
21. Ballast Truck/Tractor: These 6×4 or 6×6 drivetrain trucks are designed to pull heavy or exceptionally heavy loads using drawbars.
- Uses: Loading large modules like an oil rig, bridge sections, buildings, ship sections, and industrial-grade generators and turbine.
- Examples: Hayes WHDX 70-170 6×6 Tractor unit.
22. ALMA Transporter: These trucks are made for a very specific function of transporting ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter Array).
- Uses: ALMA is basically a big Telescopes that is uses as a high-frequency radio. ALMA transporters carry this heavy equipment to the Atacama desert.
23. Heavy Hauler: Heavy haulers are made specifically to carry oversized loads. Even a weight of 100 tons is usual for Heavy Haulers.
- Uses: Carrying very large transformers, giant boilers, turbines, and even timber houses.
- Examples: MAN SE Heavy Haulers.
24. Haul Truck: These heavy haul trucks are rigid dump-trucks that are not made for highways. They are designed for special environments like construction and mining.
- Uses: Transporting construction and mining equipment.
- Examples: Liebherr T 282B, Terex 33-19 Titan.
We have covered all conventional and unconventional types of trucks with an Infographic. I hope this was informative and helpful. Kindly leave a comment or contact us in case you have suggestions or queries.