A truck or trailer is a large motor vehicle designed primarily to transport heavy loads, carry special payloads, or do other utilitarian work on the road. As you drive down the road, your truck serves as a canvas, carrying whatever is being carried. It may be transporting construction materials, passengers, equipment, or anything else you can think of. There are many types of trucks, each built for a specific purpose. Trucks range in size, speed, engine type, and configuration, although most trucks feature straight body-on-axle construction.
The demand for truck drivers far outstrips the supply of available drivers, creating a negative cash flow problem for some trucking companies. In addition to providing a service, drivers must pay a fee to be employed by a trucking company. Some drivers earn enough from driving alone to cover their expenses and their annual income, while others must make do with less. Because they have such high demand and low supply, drivers often have to work longer hours than they would like. This puts added pressure on drivers, who may be pressured into working unsafe hours or driving more than the posted limit.
Some trucking companies define their trucks differently than others. Some refer to their rigs as mobile homes, while others use the term interchangeably with camper vans. The only truck type that can be called a recreational vehicle is the fifth wheel frame design. Other types of trucks are defined by the classification systems used by the trucking companies.
Some major classifications of trucks are utility, midsize, heavy, utility trailer, C Class, semi utility, and compact utility vehicles. Trucks are classified according to the function they perform. For example, utility trucks are used to haul heavy supplies, whereas utility trailers are used for moving light materials. Heavy hauling vehicles include construction equipment, utility vehicles, and forklifts. They are also referred to as big rigs.
Some truck manufacturers prefer the name “truck” for their vehicles even though they are different in structure and design. Trucks can have either box design or bed-like design, and either rear or side-engine designs. Box design refers to a single bed covered by a metal body. Bed-like trucks have a bed with beds covered in bed rails.
Some major truck manufacturers use the terms truck in order to describe their line of vehicles. The terms automobile and truck are usually used synonymously. Both nouns describe a motor vehicle that has seats for passengers, an engine and wheels that turn. The most common design of a pickup truck is the rectangular frame, which was the most popular design until the mid-century.