Commonly, we call trucks all types of vehicles used to transport goods. How many times have you been driving on the highway and thought you passed a truck that was actually a tractor-trailer or vice versa?
A truck or lorry is defined in the Highway Code as “a vehicle intended for the carriage of things and the persons assigned to use or transport them.” If it has been a while since your driver’s license exam, with this article we will try to line up the different types of trucks and their function on the road.
What is a truck?
A truck is a vehicle that can transport goods independently, driven by an individual who has obtained a license to do this job or simply be able to drive a vehicle of this size. Trucks are divided into different categories according to mass and are equipped with cargo compartments of various sizes. Sometimes, trucks may carry cranes or other such supports. Let’s discover together the multiple classifications of trucks.
How many types of trucks are there?
As we have seen, trucks can be categorized by weight and use. They range from category N, which includes motor vehicles intended for four-wheel freight transport, to category N3, which collects all those vehicles intended for freight transport, with a mass exceeding 12 tons. The N1 and N2 categories include all trucks ranging from 3.5 tons to 12 tons. But how many kinds of trucks are there?
First we find silo trucks, a special type of truck that is used to transport dry goods, such as pellets, cement, and sand. The trailer has a spherical shape to optimize the weight on the vehicle.
Silo trucks are also often used to transport dangerous or flammable goods, such as gasoline or toxic materials.
Let us now turn to the nonmotor components that are part of the truck: the trailer. The trailer is a vehicle that can only operate when connected to the truck, as it must be towed by a tractor.
Although it has no engine, the trailer has its own braking system and discharges its weight independently, directly on its own axles. It is very useful for transporting various kinds of goods and can be either uncovered or fitted with a tarp.
We now turn to the largest truck categories: tractor-trailers, tractor-trailers, and TIRs.
The giants of the road: what are the biggest trucks on the road?
We have so far analyzed the various types of auotocars, focusing on the motorless carriers useful for transporting goods. But which freight vehicles beat all categories in terms of mass? Certainly tractor-trailers, tractor-trailers, and road trains are among the commonly higher types of trucks.
Trucks are the largest means of transportation commonly found on the road, so much so that they are considered a veritable convoy of interconnected units.
The maximum weight of trucks is 44 tons. According to the Highway Code, “the most loaded axle must never exceed 12 tons in weight.”
Articulated trucks are very different from tractor-trailers in that they consist of a carrier on which the trailer or semi-trailer rests. Regarding their maximum weight, the Highway Code always refers to the conditions set for the truck-trailer. Tractor-trailers usually carry very long objects that are impossible to transport by truck.
Finally, the road train, literally road train, is the most impressive means of transportation among trucks. It is a real road train that runs mainly on straight roads (in Italy it is very rare to cross a road train). Consider that in 2016 the world’s longest road train record was won in Australia with a length of 1.5 km!