A truck or railed lorry is an automotive vehicle designed to transport heavy loads, carry goods, or perform other non-moving or utility-related tasks. Trucks range widely in size, power, and design, but most are made from body-on-axle construction, with a separate self-contained cab section. Trucks generally have one drive wheel in the rear and one wheel in the front; some trucks are powered by two-wheel drive, like the Toyota Prius, while others are dual axle, like the Ford F-350. Many trucks are also wheelchair accessible.
The types of truck available depend on their intended use. For instance, a large passenger vehicle, such as a van, sedan, or minivan, typically has a capacity of between eight and sixteen people; a semi-trailer, such as a towable trailer, has a capacity between four and ten people. There are also utility vehicles that are designed for hauling heavy loads over short distances, such as travel trailers. And there are specialized utility vehicles, such as flatbeds that allow the driver to pull a single unit behind another vehicle for storage and transportation purposes. Although a small passenger car might be able to pull a semi-trailer, a truck is usually required.
Becoming a professional truck driver takes time, training, and experience. Many states require drivers to pass a test, administered by the Department of Motor Vehicles, in order to obtain a driver’s license. The exam must be passed within a specific amount of time after the completion of a driver’s training class. There are several different class sizes offered by most driving schools. In addition, most training classes include some classroom instruction, and some offer classroom study in real-world driving situations.
In addition to classroom study, most trucking schools also provide hands-on practice with real heavy-duty trucks. This often includes an opportunity for students to haul a trailer behind a truck using a manual scale truck. Students will also have the opportunity to pull actual trailers during the training course itself. Once students have enough experience to handle the pulling of both a semi-trailer and a trailer, they may be allowed to drive their own trucks. However, most truck drivers begin with behind-the-wheel driving classes before they attempt to drive their own trucks. Although this might seem difficult or dangerous, it is important to keep in mind that most behind-the-wheel driving classes are supervised by trained professional truck drivers.
When learning to drive, especially for the first time, many novice truck drivers will have a hard time knowing where to make turns. Some truck drivers will need to learn how to make right hand turns at right angles. Turning left requires a different turn at the correct angle. It is often very difficult to know how to change lanes when other trucks are making right and left hand turns in front of you. Most driving instructors will recommend that students learn to make turns at the same points on the highway where other trucks are making turns.
Learning how to drive a semi is not hard to do, but it can be very intimidating to some students. The best way to overcome this challenge is to simply talk to experienced truck drivers. Learning how to drive a semi is just as difficult as learning to drive a truck. Trucking schools exist to help new truck drivers overcome the obstacles of learning to drive, such as not having enough hours to get additional driving practice before the required exam date. Becoming a successful truck driver takes time, hard work, and constant practice.