The truck serves as a commercial vehicle for the transportation of goods of various kinds. For the shipments carried out by logistics companies, trucks are usually used that exceed a total weight of 3.5 tons and thus require a dedicated truck driver’s license for the driver of the vehicle.
Trucks are also distinguished by law according to the total weight of the vehicles.
Small trucks and converted passenger cars up to 3.5 tons gross vehicle weight.
Trucks up to 7.5 tons gross vehicle weight rating.
Trucks up to 18 t gross vehicle weight.
Here there are different limits within Europe. In Germany, this includes trucks articulated or semitrailer up to 40 t gross vehicle weight, for certain transports also up to 44 t, whereby the load per axle of 11.5 t may not be exceeded.
Long trucks or EuroCombis, which reach a length of up to 25 m and a permissible total weight of 60 t, are also known as Gigaliners, but are only permitted in some European countries.
Motor vehicles for the transport of goods that fall below a permissible total weight of 2.8 t, as well as special vehicles such as large dump trucks, heavy transporters or large mobile cranes are not referred to as trucks.
The truck as a means of transport
The transport of goods overland in road freight transport by truck is one of the most important modes of transport for freight forwarders and logistics companies. This is because the transport of goods by road is spatially flexible to the greatest possible extent and recipients can be supplied without any problems with virtually no restrictions. In many cases, however, rail transport, which is also frequented, still makes it necessary to reload the goods for transport to the final destination. In the freight transport industry, transport by truck is not only one of the most flexible, but also one of the most cost-effective modes of transport. This is contrasted by the limited capacity of roads, the strain on infrastructure fabric, CO2 emissions and the increasing number of truck accidents.
Trucks differ firstly in the composition of the vehicle itself and also according to the goods that are to be transported by the truck. Depending on the transport, the appropriate type of truck is used for this purpose.
Different types of trucks
As a vehicle itself, the classic truck carries the goods on the loading area. As an articulated truck, the truck then also pulls a trailer. Another variant is the semitrailer truck or semitrailer tractor. The semitrailer truck consists of the tractor, which itself lacks the appropriate body for the transport of goods, and the semitrailer, the semi-mounted trailer. The tractor of the semitrailer alone is not called a truck, because the loading area for a transport is missing.
Different truck body types
The different body types of trucks are used to transport a wide variety of goods. The flatbed body is the simplest and most flexible variant and describes a flat loading area, which is usually supplemented by drop sides and a tarpaulin. The box body is the box closed with fixed side walls, usually equipped with opening doors at the rear. Tank and silo bodies are used to transport liquids or granules that cannot be packed into suitable containers. With a swap body, such as a container chassis, the entire body is loaded and unloaded. The containers can be placed and anchored on the chassis. There are also several other swap body systems that also provide standardized carrier systems.