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12 Types of Commercial Trucks You Need to Know

Commercial trucks are everywhere. They’re used in retail, construction, oil and gas, ecommerce, city government, and many other industries. 

If you’re interested in investing in a commercial truck, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll go over the different types of commercial trucks you can lease or buy to take your business to the next level.

Here they are:

1. Day cab trucks

Day cab trucks are one of the most common types of commercial trucks. They’re a semi truck designed for day trips (as opposed to multi-day trips). 

Most of the time, day cab trucks are paired with various commercial trailers to haul goods.

2. Sleeper trucks

Sleeper trucks are similar to day cab trucks. The main difference is that they feature a designated space for drivers to sleep in overnight. 

Sleeper trucks are designed this way so that they can be used for long-distance routes that span multiple days.

Some sleeper trucks even include living and dining space, overhead storage, cabinets, and other amenities.  

3. Box trucks

Box trucks have chassis cabs with an enclosed cube-shaped cargo area. They are used to transport items that can’t be exposed to the elements (think Amazon trucks delivering packages).

Some box trucks have a separate cab and cargo space, while others have a walkthrough option so that drivers can easily grab items without getting out of the truck.

4. Dump trucks

Popular in construction, landscaping, and waste removal, dump trucks are used to move large quantities of rock, dirt, sand, and other raw material. They are typically powered by a hydraulic system so that they can dump these heavy loads.

5. Garbage trucks

Garbage trucks (aka refuse trucks) are a type of dump truck.

You probably see them around your neighborhood when they come to collect trash. Modern garbage trucks come equipped with mechanical arms to lift trash cans and dump them into a large dump container (so workers don’t have to do it manually).

Some different types of garbage trucks include front loaders, rear loaders, and side loaders. Though often overlooked, society relies on garbage trucks to take care of our waste. 

6. Heavy haulers

As the name suggests, heavy haulers are used to transport large cargo. In fact, they often require a special permit and escorts on the road because the loads are too wide for regular lanes.

7. Refrigerator trucks

Sometimes called “reefers,” refrigerator trucks are used to transport temperature-sensitive goods. In most cases, this is perishable food. For example, grocery store chains rely on refrigerator trucks to receive fresh produce.

Refrigerator trucks come equipped with a mechanical refrigeration system that lets them control their inside temperature. 

8. Tankers

Tankers are trucks that carry some form of liquid. This could be non-toxic liquids like water and milk or toxic liquids like crude oil and gas (which are the most common cargo).

Most tankers carry a long, wide tubular container on their rear, in which all the fluid is stored. 

9. Cement mixers

Cement (or concrete) mixers are trucks carrying a large, rotating cylinder-shaped container to mix the cement.

Because cement hardens if left untouched, the cement truck keeps it rotating as it drives. Then once the truck arrives at its destination, the cement can be poured.

10. Flatbed trucks

Flatbed trucks get their name for using a large, open flatbed to transport a variety of cargo: logs, brick, pipes—anything that can be exposed to the elements (since the flatbed isn’t covered). As long as the cargo can be safely strapped to the flatbed, it can be transported.

11. Car haulers

Car haulers are used to transport cars, both used and new. The car hauler is designed to tightly pack as many cars onto a trailer as possible while keeping them safe and secure. Some car haulers have single-level trailers, while others are double-deckers.

12. Hydrovacs

Lastly, hydrovacs are a type of specialized commercial truck that uses high-pressure water to liquefy soil and then vacuum it for excavation. It’s commonly used by utility, construction, and oil and gas companies. 

Though this isn’t an exhaustive list, it’s enough to give you an idea of some of the many commercial trucks you may want to invest in. Consider your organization’s needs and research the commercial truck best suited for the job.

Christopher Stern

Christopher Stern is a Washington-based reporter. Chris spent many years covering tech policy as a business reporter for renowned publications. He has extensive experience covering Congress, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Federal Trade Commissions. He is a graduate of Middlebury College. Email:[email protected]

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