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21 Different Types of Trucks & Their Uses [Explained] PDF

In this article, you’ll learn what are the different types of trucks? And their working and applications are explained with pictures.

Also, you can download the PDF file at the end of this article.


A truck or lorry is a type of automobile designed to carry heavy loads, carry specialized payloads, or do other practical tasks. Most trucks feature body-on-frame construction with a cabin independent of the payload portion and vary greatly in terms of size, power, and configuration.

Commercial trucks can be very large and powerful. They may be designed to be mounted with specialized equipment, as is the case with suction excavators, fire trucks, concrete mixers, and refuse trucks.

Despite the fact that there are small- to medium-sized trucks with gasoline engines in the US, Canada, and Mexico, most trucks currently in use are still powered by diesel engines. The market share of electrically powered trucks is expanding quickly, and it is predicted that by 2027, it will account for 7% of all trucks on the road worldwide.

In addition, a truck classified as heavy duty has a maximum allowable load greater than 3.5 tonnes. Additionally, there are different types of trucks, each of which serves a specific purpose. Let’s look at these types of trucks in more detail so you can learn more.

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Types of Trucks

The following are the main types of trucks:

  1. Tipper truck
  2. Concrete truck
  3. Pickup truck
  4. Small truck
  5. Box truck
  6. Boat haulage
  7. Australian road train
  8. Flatbed truck
  9. Fire truck
  10. Car transporter or car carrier truck
  11. Tow truck
  12. Chiller truck or reefers
  13. Crane trucks or mobile cranes
  14. Logging truck
  15. Tanker truck
  16. Furniture truck
  17. Highway maintenance truck
  18. Livestock truck
  19. Snow plows
  20. Trailer Truck
  21. Off-road Truck

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#1 Tipper Truck

Tipper Truck - Types of Trucks
Image: cms.eichertrucksandbuses.com

Also referred to as dump trucks, these are particular types of trucks with a hydraulic system that enables the cargo area to be raised and tilted to empty its contents at the back. Cargo containers typically have an open-topped top, and hinged sides called tailgates that control the flow of materials being dumped.

Tipper trucks are frequently used at quarries, mines, and construction sites to haul and dump loose materials like sand, gravel, or dirt. They range from small single-axle trucks to large articulated vehicles with numerous axles and trailers, and they come in various sizes and configurations.

#2 Concrete Truck

Concrete Truck - Types of Trucks
Image: tatatrucks.tatamotors.com

Concrete trucks are specially designed vehicles that transport freshly mixed concrete from a concrete batching plant or mixing site to a construction site, where it can be poured into forms and cured.

The truck has a rotating drum attached to it, which is driven by a hydraulic system and mounted on a chassis. At the batching plant, the components of the concrete, including cement, sand, gravel, and water, are loaded into the drum and mixed to a precise consistency.

To maintain the fluidity of the concrete during transport, the drum is then rotated slowly. Different sizes and capacities of concrete trucks are available, ranging from small transit mixers to trucks with capacities over ten cubic meters.

#3 Pickup Truck

Pickup Truck - Types of Trucks
Image: autoportal.com

A pickup truck is a light-duty vehicle with a rear open cargo area for carrying cargo or building supplies. It is made to be adaptable and capable of handling a variety of jobs, from transporting trailers to carrying tools and equipment.

Pickup trucks commonly tow trailers and other vehicles because they have a large towing capacity. For entertainment activities like camping and off-road excursions, they are also well-liked. Pickup trucks can have different engine types, such as gasoline or diesel, and come in various sizes and configurations, from compact to full-size.

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#4 Small Truck

Small Truck - Types of Trucks
Image: drivespark.com

A pickup truck that is smaller in size than a full-size pickup truck is referred to as a small truck or a compact truck. Small trucks are made for lighter-duty duties like commuting, transporting small loads, or relaxing pursuits.

Usually, they have smaller engines, decreased payload and towing capacities, and a smaller cargo bed. Small trucks are easier to operate and park in closed areas than full-size trucks and typically have higher fuel efficiency. They are preferred by people who occasionally need a truck but do not need the capacity of a larger vehicle for towing and hauling.

#5 Box Truck

Box Truck - Types of Trucks

However, some box trucks have entrances that lead to the following two regions. Most box trucks have cabins that are separate from the freight. The box trucks and vans are typically found to be contradicted in their development, so the first choice has no relation with the skeleton and the cargo box, and the last choice does.

Box trucks are frequently used to transport materials and goods like furniture, appliances, or packages. They come in a variety of sizes, from small vans to large trucks. To make loading and unloading simpler, box trucks can be equipped with shelves, ramps, and other features.

#6 Boat Haulage

Boat Haulage - Types of Trucks

While SUVs or large vehicles can transport smaller items, the heaviest and most prestigious ones must be transported by small trucks or a specific low loader called boat hauling. Trucks designed specifically for boat hauling have the specialized features to transport boats securely.

These features could include extended frames to accommodate boats of various lengths, adjustable straps, cradles to support the boat during transport, and hydraulic lifts to help load and unload the boat. Transport companies, boat dealers, and manufacturers use boat haulage trucks to move boats from one marina to another, from manufacturer to dealer.

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#7 Australian Road Train

Australian Road Train - Types of Trucks
Image: wikipedia.org

Heavy-duty trucks, called Australian Road Trains, are used in Australia to move cargo over long distances. It is composed of a prime mover (a truck pulling a trailer) that is coupled to multiple trailers, often up to four or five in total, using a coupling system called a “dog trailer” or “pup trailer.”

An Australian Road Train may be up to 53.5 meters (175 feet) in length and 200 tonnes in weight (440,000 pounds). Australian Road Trains are used to move cargo across the nation’s remote regions where other modes of transportation might not be practical. Australia’s cargo movement is now more productive and less expensive with the use of road trains.

#8 Flatbed Truck

Flatbed Truck - Types of Trucks
Image: midcosales.com

A flatbed truck is a form of truck that has an open, flat cargo bed without sides or a roof. The truck’s frame is connected to the cargo bed, which is typically made of metal. The purpose of flatbed trucks is to transport a wide range of products and materials that are too big, heavy, or awkwardly shaped to fit inside a closed truck or van.

To carry a variety of cargo, flatbed trucks are available in various sizes and configurations. They might have a bed that is standard size or an extended bed that extends up to 48 feet. To move items like lumber, steel beams, bulky machinery, and heavy equipment, flatbed trucks are used in the construction, landscaping, and transportation sectors.

#9 Fire Truck

Fire Truck - Types of Trucks
Image: wpr-public.s3.amazonaws.com

These types of trucks are made for firefighting and rescue operations. They are also referred to as fire engines or fire apparatus. Fire trucks are equipped with a sizable water tank, a powerful pump system, hoses, and nozzles that can be used to spray water and other extinguishing agents on fires.

They might also have hoses, ladders, and other specialized tools to help firefighters reach and save people from high buildings or other structures. Fire trucks may also carry medical equipment and supplies to help those needing emergency medical care.

To meet the requirements of different fire departments and communities, fire trucks are available in various types and shapes.

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#10 Car Transporter or Car Carrier Truck

Car Transporter or Car Carrier Truck
Image: upload.wikimedia.org

Also known as car carrier trucks, these types of trucks are used to transport cars from one location to another. These trucks have a flatbed trailer and a series of ramps or hydraulic lifts, allowing multiple cars to be loaded and transported simultaneously.

They are available in various sizes and configurations to suit various types of vehicles and transportation requirements. While some car transporter trucks use open-air trailers that can hold up to six or eight vehicles at once, others use enclosed trailers that provide better protection for expensive or valuable vehicles.

#11 Tow Truck

Tow Truck
Image: pepestowla.com

A tow truck is made to move cars that can’t move independently because of breakdowns, accidents, or other issues.

The most popular type of tow truck is the flatbed tow truck, which has a flat, open bed that can be hydraulically raised and lowered. The disabled vehicle is lifted onto the flatbed with the aid of a winch or other lifting mechanism. Then it is fastened with straps or chains to keep it in place throughout transport.

The hook and chain tow truck is another type of tow truck that lifts the disabled vehicle by the front or rear axle and tows it on its own wheels using a hook and chain. By removing broken-down or abandoned vehicles from the road, these trucks help to keep the roads safe and clear.

#12 Chiller Truck or Reefers

Chiller Truck or Reefers

This truck is intended to transport consumable products like food, medicines, and other temperature-sensitive goods. It has a refrigeration system to maintain a set temperature for the cargo while it is being transported.

Food distributors, grocery stores, and restaurants frequently use these trucks to transport fresh or frozen foods. They are available in a variety of sizes and configurations to adapt to various types of cargo and transportation requirements. They have safety features to ensure the cargo is transported safely and securely.

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#13 Crane Trucks or Mobile Cranes

Crane Trucks or Mobile Cranes
Image: liebherr.com

A crane truck is equipped with a crane that is mounted on the back of the truck. These are used to lift bulky items, supplies, or machinery that cannot be moved by hand or with other tools.

An experienced operator can control the crane on a crane truck from the truck’s cab or a remote control device. Depending on the type of object being lifted, the crane may be fitted with various lifting attachments, such as hooks, chains, or straps. These are employed in the building, mining, and other heavy lifting and material handling sectors.

#14 Logging Truck

Logging Truck

The purpose of a logging truck is to move logs from forests to sawmills or other processing plants. Typically, logging trucks are used in the logging industry. This truck transports raw logs to be processed into lumber, paper, or other wood products.

Some logging trucks have short trailers that can only hold a few logs. Others have a longer trailer that can hold many logs at once. These are utilized in off-road and rough terrain where they must travel on curvy, winding roads and steep inclines. For handling the weight and size of the logs, they frequently have powerful engines and heavy-duty suspension systems.

#15 Tanker Truck

Tanker Truck

These types of trucks are used to transport large quantities of liquids or gases. The chemical and petroleum industries typically employ tanker trucks. They move fuels, chemicals, oils, and other liquids or gases from refineries or processing facilities to distribution centers.

While some tanker trucks have multiple compartments for carrying various types of liquids or gases, others only have one compartment for a single type of liquid or gas. Operating a tanker truck and handling hazardous materials safely requires highly skilled and trained operators.

A tanker truck transporting hazardous materials is also subject to several government regulations and standards, including the Department of Transportation (DOT) in the United States.

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#16 Furniture Truck

Furniture Truck
Image: aucklandvehiclerentals.co.nz

A furniture truck is used for transporting furniture and other household items. Individuals and moving companies commonly use furniture trucks to move their belongings. These types of trucks are available in various sizes and layouts to carry various kinds and quantities of furniture and household goods.

To protect the furniture and other items, these trucks could include tie-down straps, furniture pads, and other safeguards. Large and bulky items can be moved quickly and easily over long distances with the help of furniture trucks, which also protect the goods from damage.

#17 Highway Maintenance Truck

Highway Maintenance Truck
Image: special.mercedes-benz-trucks.com

A truck specially designed for maintaining and repairing highways and other roadways is known as a highway maintenance truck. These trucks are typically driven by highway maintenance teams, who use them to carry out a range of duties involving road maintenance and repair.

This truck is arranged with various tools, including snowplows, salt spreaders, street sweepers, and patching tools. In the winter, snowplows are employed to remove ice and snow from highways and other roads.

To increase traction and avoid accidents, salt spreaders are used to apply salt or other de-icing materials to the road surface. The road surface is cleaned with street sweepers, and potholes and other damage are repaired with patching equipment. In general, highway maintenance trucks are essential to maintaining the safety and condition of highways and other roadways.

#18 Livestock Truck

Livestock Truck
Image: istockphoto.com

The term “livestock trucks” refers to vehicles that are discovered to be closely related to the stock that is seen to be hauling live animals. It is made specifically to move livestock like cows, pigs, sheep, and horses.

Some of these trucks have cages or compartments for individual animals, which can be opened or closed. Some trucks have unique features, like ventilation or watering systems, to make sure the animals are transported securely and comfortably. Different sizes and configurations of livestock trucks are available to carry various kinds and numbers of animals.

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#19 Snow Plows

Snow Plows
Image: henkemfg.com

In snowplow trucks, snow is plowed from roads, highways, parking lots, and other paved surfaces using attachments, including a plow blade. The truck’s plow blade can be mounted on the front, back, or both ends and is operated hydraulically or manually.

Snow can be removed entirely from the surface or pushed to the side of the road by adjusting the blade’s angle. During the winter, snowplow trucks are essential for keeping the roads clear and safe to travel on. To handle different kinds and amounts of snow and ice, snowplow trucks come in various types.

#20 Trailer Truck

Trailer Truck

A trailer truck is a type of truck that has a tractor unit and one or more trailers attached to it. It is also referred to as a semi-truck, tractor-trailer, or 18-wheeler. The tractor unit is also called the cab or the cab-over-engine.

This is the front section of the truck that houses the engine, driver’s cabin, and other components. The trailer is a long, rectangular box that is frequently used to transport freight or other cargo. Depending on the cargo being transported, the trailers can be flatbeds, dry vans, refrigerated vans, tankers, or other specialized types.

#21 Off-road Truck

Off-road Truck

A heavy-duty off-road truck, also known as an off-highway truck, is designed to use in tough terrain and off-road conditions. Off-road trucks have suspension systems that can handle rough terrain, steep inclines, and uneven surfaces, as well as larger, more robust tires.

Additionally, they can pass over rocks, logs, and other obstacles thanks to their higher ground clearance. These types of trucks are employed in building, mining, and other sectors where rough and uneven terrain is typical. They are essential in industries that extract, transport, and process materials using heavy machinery.

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Selecting the Right Truck for a Particular Application

The best truck to choose for a given application depends on several factors, such as:

#1 Payload

When choosing a truck, it is vital to think about the weight and dimensions of the payload to be transported, as well as any necessary equipment or attachments. The truck’s payload capacity must be capable of managing the load’s weight and dimensions.

#2 Distance and Route

It is also important to consider the route’s length, as well as the terrain and condition of the roads. In rough terrain, off-road trucks are more suitable, while long-distance trucks with aerodynamic designs are more efficient.

#3 Fuel Efficiency

In particular, for long-distance or high-volume transport applications, the truck’s fuel efficiency is a key factor. Fuel efficiency can be impacted by many factors, including engine size, transmission type, and aerodynamics.

#4 Maintenance and Repair Costs

When choosing a truck, it’s vital to keep in mind the costs of maintenance and repairs. Long-term costs can be lower for trucks with a reputation for reliability and durability.

#5 Driver Comfort and Safety

Another important factor is the driver’s convenience and security. Improved driver safety and fatigue can be achieved through comfort, climate control, and safety features such as airbags and antilock brakes.

#6 Regulations

When choosing a truck, local, state, and federal regulations must also be considered as well. Regulations may establish size and weight restrictions as well as emissions requirements, which may influence the truck of choice.

#7 Cost

Finally, the truck’s budget needs to be taken into consideration. The decision-making process must include the purchase price as well as ongoing expenses like fuel, maintenance, and insurance.

Closing It Up

That’s it. Thanks for reading. I hope I have covered everything about “Types of Trucks.” It would be helpful if you could let me know if there was anything I missed or if you have any doubts about anything I wrote. Please share this article with your friends if you find it interesting.

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About Yousef

He is a mechanical engineering student, he likes to write about engineering stuff and he is really interested in learning about new technology in machines.

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