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Different Types of Trucks: An Ultimate Guide!

Different Types of Trucks: An Ultimate Guide!

When you hear the word truck, the first thing that probably comes to your mind is a pick up truck. While cars in general are designed and built to carry people, trucks are designed to carry things. Although trucks can also carry people, their priority is to carry all types of things, to haul, and to tow. It is said that to be considered a truck, the vehicle should weigh more than 8,500 pounds, including the payload. The vehicle should also have a design meant for off-street or off-highway driving. There are different types of trucks available today and it include pickup truck, car transporter, cement truck, chiller truck, crane truck, dump truck, fire truck, flatbed truck, tow truck, furniture truck, garbage truck, snow plows, livestock truck, tankers, trailer truck, and box truck.

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Different Types of Trucks: How Many Types of Trucks are There?



In the automotive industry, vehicles have been classified by many things. They are usually grouped according to their size, design, weight, function, or purpose. They are also categorized into classes like Class A for passenger cars like sedans, convertibles, and coupes, Class B for the minivans, light vans, SUVs and pickup trucks, and Class C for any trucks that are medium or large sized which are generally used for business purposes.


But, what really makes a truck a truck? Like mentioned earlier, cars in general are built to carry people and not things but trucks are made to carry things. A truck is considered a truck based on its design and weight. It should have a weight of more than 8,500 pounds, including the payload, to be considered a truck. It should be able to function when driven off-street or off-highway.


Trucks may vary in size but they all share the similar cab design. They generally have some type of chassis or bed attached to the rear that is being used to carry, haul, or tow. The different types of trucks such as flatbeds or utility trucks are more ideal for commercial or business purposes. They are known to be one of the strongest vehicles there is since they are capable of moving even the heaviest things or cargo.


Many might ask, how many types of trucks are there? There are many and each one has its own purpose or function. The different types of trucks include:


  • Pickup trucks


Although pickup trucks are considered as part of the trucks category, a lot of trucks are not considered as pickups. Pickups are trucks that are built with separate cab or frame and an open box. They usually have more interior space and are known to be a truck’s smaller version and is the only truck for households. Pickup trucks are perfect for families or small businesses.


  • Car transporter or car carrier trailer


The car transporter is one of the different types of trucks. It is a single-decker enclosed or a double-decker open car carrier that is built with many spaces made to hold cars in place while it is transported. A car transporter can either be open or closed and they have ramps that are built-in to make the loading and unloading of the vehicles much easier. This type of truck is often used to deliver cars from the auto manufacturers to the dealerships. Keep in mind that the car transporter truck is not the same as a flatbed truck since they are not built with winches or loaders. This type of truck depends on the cars to be loaded under their power.


  • Chiller or refrigerator trucks


The refrigerator trucks, or commonly known as the chiller or reefer truck, are equipped with cooling equipment that will keep the food and other supplies fresh when being transported. This type of truck is usually used to carry and transport meat, fish, fruits, and other perishable products.


Among all the different types of trucks, the reefer truck is more expensive compared to the other trucks or trailers. This is because this type of truck uses extra fuel to maintain and keep the temperature control system running. Reefer trucks are equipped with a temperature-controlled unit that enables you to control the temperature in the trailer regardless of the temperature outside.


  • Cement truck


A cement truck which is a type of truck that is built with a concrete mixer attached to it. This truck always carries the mixing equipment to take it to the places that need it. The mixing equipment that the cement truck always carries around is a revolving equipment that mixes water and cement to create concrete and pour it into the selected areas such as roads, pavement, or molds.


The cement truck is important since it lets the cement stay in its liquid form for a long time, or until it is poured into the designated place, because of the equipment’s constant motion, allowing the cement to have a lasting quality and a longer use period compared to when it is just held in one position.


  • Dump truck


The dump truck is one of the different types of trucks that is quite well-known since you may see it in your community transporting loose materials such as gravel, sand, dirt, or demolition rubble. This type of truck is often used in constructions and major building projects but they are also being used to transport waste to landfills. A dump truck is designed and made with an open box that can be operated hydraulically. It also has hinges at the back end so that it can be tipped upwards and dump the truck’s contents efficiently.


  • Crane trucks


This type of truck is equipped with a crane that is cable-controlled and is installed on crawlers. Crane trucks are known to be made for easy mobility. They are trucks with a simple design that require a little or no setup or assembly at all. This truck is generally built with a hook suspended by a wire rope that can be operated by the prime movers which the manufacturers have positioned. The crane trucks or mobile cranes have a transmission that can be hydraulic, electric, or through an internal combustion.


  • Tow truck


Commonly known as a recovery vehicle, a tow truck is capable and is being used to move a vehicle that is stranded, wrongly parked, being impounded, or indisposed in any other manner. A car might be towed or is brought in because the owner has broken a law or when there is an accident that rendered the car undrivable.


The tow truck is not like the car transporter that only carries cars for basic transportation purposes. A tow truck only transports a car caused by any of the reasons listed above, basically only moving a car when it is in danger of severe damages or the location of the car has become a danger or is wrongly parked.


  • Fire truck


A fire truck is one of the different types of trucks that is very useful in the community. It is designed and built to carry the needed equipment to extinguish a fire at its source. This type of truck is equipped with sirens and hoses. It is also made to have enough cargo space to carry the fire fighters or crew.


A fire truck is installed with lifting ladders that are automated. They are also equipped with breathing equipment like oxygen containers and masks as well as uniforms, and protective clothes or gears that can be used by the firefighters to help them do their job effectively. The fire truck also has two-way radios so firefighters can talk or exchange information with the proper authorities. It also has first aid kits and it houses water and pumps to put out the fire. Its hoses can also be connected with a fire hydrant at the location of the fire.


  • Trailer truck


A full trailer truck is a freight trailer with front and rear axles that support it which are pulled by a drawbar. This truck boasts of its size with its almost 2 and ½ meters width and nearly 35 to 40 feet in length. This type of truck is usually used to carry heavy cargo that needs to be transported long distances. It is known to have one of the largest loading volumes which means that you can transport many items or goods.


  • Semi-trailer truck


The semi-trailer truck is included in the list of different types of trucks and this truck has a semi-trailer that has no front wheels or front axle. But it still does its function with the trailer front that is rested on a fifth wheel coupling or the hitch of the truck. Its trailer is built with wheels and legs that can be lowered for support when it is detached from the truck. The semi-trailer truck is also capable of pulling one or two additional trailers.


  • Tanker truck


Tanker trucks are trucks used to carry and transport liquids, gases, and other liquefied materials. It is known to transport fuel, oil, water, and other liquids such as juices, wine, milk, and liquid chemicals or industrial chemical fluids.


The tanker truck tugs a cylindrical tank that is mounted on a semi-trailer and depending on the fluid it transports, the tank may be refrigerated or non-refrigerated, pressurized or non-pressurized, and insulated or non-insulated. The cylindrical tank is also built with internal components so it is capable of carrying a number of loads as well as reducing liquid sloshing.


Driving a tanker truck can be very hard since they have a high center of gravity. It may require some skills to drive a tanker truck properly and safely since it can be very dangerous to drive one. Skills are also important so you can drive in a way that the liquid sloshing inside the tank will be reduced.


  • Flatbed truck


A flatbed truck is one of the different types of trucks and you will be able to recognize it easily since it is an open truck with no sides. Its design makes it possible to load up and transport goods easily and efficiently. However, you need to make sure that the cargo are properly loaded and secured since it is an open truck. It has hooks that you can use to tie down and secure the cargo.


The flatbed truck’s body work is a flat level bed with no roof or sides. It is just open which makes it ideal for carrying and moving oversized cargo or goods. It also boasts of its 15 to 25 tons of loading capacity. Although this truck is considered versatile which can carry almost anything, it has some drawbacks. Since it is open, it can’t be used to transport goods that need delicate handling or that are not supposed to be exposed to the elements like sun or rain.


  • Snow plow


As its name suggests, snow plows are used to plow through the snow that has accumulated on the roads. The snow plow is very useful in providing clear passages for cars during the snow season. There are also smaller snow plows that are used to clear footpaths or sidewalks.


  • Box truck


A box truck, also known as cube truck, is a truck that is basically a cabin truck that is built with an enclosed area used for storing or carrying cargo. The enclosed cargo box is mounted on a frame and is often separate from the cabin of the truck but there are some box trucks that have a door between the cabin and the cargo area. This type of truck comes in different sizes and they are usually used to transport products, goods, appliances, furniture, food, and packages.



There are different types of trucks and they play a big part in the automotive industry. They are designed and made to carry and transport everything from the basic necessities like food or water to the things that make our lives easier like vehicles and even huge machinery. Trucks are made sturdy that are capable of traveling long distances with heavy cargo. There are different types of trucks you can choose if you are looking for one to purchase or to rent. You can choose one that will perfectly suit your needs.