Big rigs surround us everyday on our highways and byways. We take them for granted, and forget they’re there. We tend to classify all semi-tractor trailers and big rigs as the same. They’re not. There are many different types of truck haulers and carriers each designed for specific purposes and products. Here are ten types of trucks we see on the highways and byways.
Ten Big Big Rigs
- Dry Van – A dry van isn’t really a van. It’s a 53-foot trailer carrying dry or non-perishable goods. It’s what most people identify as a semi-trailer or tractor-trailer.
- Reefer – This refrigerated truck carries perishable goods primarily food and beverage.
- Flatbed – Flatbeds are often the oversized loads we all encounter. They transport construction materials, manufacturing equipment, and aircraft. Last week I saw a giant windmill on a flatbed trailer.
- Tankers – Tankers carry liquids, chemicals, and gasses from heating fuel to dairy products. The products can include toxic chemicals and flammable liquids.
- Bull haulers – They carry livestock, cattle, sheep, and horses.
- Auto carriers – They brought you your new car!
- Moving Van – Moving trucks transport residential and business furniture, supplies, and machines from one location to another.
- Container haulers – Rail containers loaded on trailers for final delivery.
- Lowboy trailer – These trailers sit close to the ground and often carry large construction vehicles.
- Hopper or grain haulers – These trucks bring grain, corn, wheat, soybeans, and more, to food processing facilities.
What Kinda Big Rig is That?
There are many other types of specialized tractor-trailers. Logging rigs, goosenecks, and Conestoga (trailers with protective tarps), come to mind. And we haven’t even discussed all the different classes of trucks! The next time you’re on the road don’t take tractor-trailers for granted. Let’s start a new road game. What kind of trailer is that?
Would You Like to Learn More about Big Rigs and Trucking in America?
“American Trucking Trends, produced by the Economics Department of the American Trucking Associations (ATA), provides a profile of the dynamics shaping the trucking industry. It is the singularly most important guide to trucking and transportation data that is crucial to making sound decisions about the future. The report is indispensable for use by trucking companies, industry suppliers, logistics providers, analysts, public policy decision makers, and many others.” — ATA American Trucking Trends 2020
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