A truck or railed lorry is an automobile designed to transport goods. Trucks range greatly in size, strength, and configuration. Smaller varieties can be mechanically very similar to some cars. There are many types of trucks and there are many different makes and models for each type.
The major classification of trucks is classified according to the type of drive they have. There are four major types of trucks: the engine-powered truck, the fuel-powered truck, the rear-wheel drive truck, and the front-wheel drive truck. All other names for trucks are merely synonyms for the major types. Small trucks use small engines, while large trucks use large engines.
Trucks can either be electric or gas powered. Many countries make it mandatory that all vehicles registered in their countries have at least a standard engine. In the United States, regulations mandate that all trucks have at least front or rear seat passengers. Trucks are usually operated by a single driver, although there are many trucks that have two or more seats. Most trucking fleets, both private and commercial, contain larger trucks.
Electric small trucks use battery packs to power electric motors instead of gasoline engines. This allows these vehicles to travel great distances, unlike gas-powered vehicles. Although internal combustion engines provide the power for electric, small trucks and most passenger vehicles, these vehicles still need a battery to start the vehicle and to run the electrical motors.
Gasoline-powered vehicles have internal combustion engines, which are much stronger than the electric motors used in some trucks. One drawback to using gasoline-powered engines is the relatively high cost of running these engines. Gasoline is also very flammable, especially near water. Most tankers carry onboard compressed natural gas (CLN), which is liquefied and stored in a steel container.
Diesel engines are another popular option for small trucks, as they are considerably less polluting than gasoline-powered vehicles and are much cheaper to operate. Compared to diesels, diesel engines offer better fuel economy and more horsepower. However, some trucks, such as those powered by theneau type box off pickup (OBT), do not have enough clearance to support the use of diesel engines. These trucks use an alternative power source, such as an alternator or a series of generators to supply power to the truck engine.
Some trucks have been fitted with onboard devices such as air conditioning systems. In addition, some trucks have been fitted with high performance engines, sometimes fitted with superchargers. The exhaust from these engines often has an extremely loud noise. Such systems, sometimes fitted to diesel trucks, have been banned in some countries due to the noise pollution caused by the backfire.
Truck accidents, particularly in the trucking industry, are the cause of thousands of deaths each year. There are many regulations and safety standards currently being enforced to try to prevent some of these tragic incidents. Unfortunately, truck drivers are often the victims, rather than the perpetrators, of these unfortunate accidents. As technology improves and trucks become more capable, it may be years before these improvements can be applied to the trucking industry. Until that time, it is important for truck owners to follow safety guidelines to minimize their risks.