Equipment Specs

For other uses, see Truck (disambiguation).

International 4900 Truck
A truck is a vehicle used for carrying materials or for towing other vehicles and trailers. Trucks can be used for a variety of purposes, both industrial and commercial. In addition to transporting materials great distances, they can also haul and tow large objects not feasibly towed by a car, such as farm equipment, cattle, supplies, trailers, recreational boats, and homes.[1]

Although trucks come in many different types, the most common are the light-, medium-, and heavy-duty trucks used for commercial and industrial purposes.


[edit] History

[edit] The Daimler Truck

The transportation industry began with the production of the first motor truck by a German automotive technician named Gottlieb Daimler. Built on October 1, 1896, the Daimler truck had a four-horsepower capacity and a belt drive with two forward speeds and one reverse speed. [2]

Resembling a horse and cart with the exception of a drawbar, it comprised a cab-over engine situated in the rear of the vehicle. The engine was a Daimler Phoenix two-cylinder model, from which power was transmitted to a rear axle and belt system.

Within three years, Daimler had launched his truck manufacturing business with William Steinway. Daimler’s production of some of the first modern automobiles and the first truck is considered ironic, as he never liked to drive and never learned to.[3]

After producing the truck, he later offered it with a range of horsepower options, including four, six, eight, and 10 horsepower capacities, pushing its top speed up to 7.4 miles (12 km) per hour.

The rear engine evolved over time as Daimler and his collaborator, Wilhelm Maybach, installed a rear axle under the driver’s seat, driven by a set of chains. The vehicle was powered by a gearwheel transmission, cooled by a tubular radiator and powered by a low-voltage magneto ignition. Over time, this type of engine was improved with a bonnet positioned just above the front axle. This change introduced the conventional version of the truck, similar to how it is known today.

Other Early Manufacturers Some of the first trucking companies to embrace the industry included Mercedes-Benz, GMC, Mack Trucks Inc., and Fargo Trucks.

Mercedes-Benz founder Carl Benz built his first truck in 1895 and many other manufacturers followed in the next few decades.

GMC built its first motorized truck, in the form of a horse-drawn wagon, in 1902. The invention was prompted by two brothers, Max and Morris Grabowsky, who later formed the Rapid Motor Vehicle Co. in Detroit. Their version of the truck was a one-cylinder motorized wagon driven by chains. Called the Rapid, it could run at 10 miles (16 km) per hour.

Another company to manufacture motorized vehicles was the Reliance Motor Co. Both Reliance and Rapid were eventually purchased in 1908 and 1909 by William Durant, the founder of General Motors, and renamed General Motors Truck Co.[4]

Winton Motor Carriage to have produced the first American truck in 1889. Its version also resembled a wagon and was powered by gasoline.

[edit] Growing Industry and the Evolution of the Truck

The growing pool of truck manufacturers came in handy during World War I when trucks were often used for towing and hauling ammunition, moving troops from place to place and transporting injured soldiers and casualties.

The multifunctional nature of trucks catapulted other industries to make use of them. Trucks were developed for use in forestry, agricultural, and construction. As trucks grew and evolved to fit the needs of different industries, they also grew bigger and better to suit their primary purpose: the transportation of materials.

After the war, more truck manufacturers got on board, including Chevrolet with the light-duty delivery trucks and Pontiac’s half-ton pick-up trucks in 1918 and 1926, respectively.[5]

The evolution of trucks has since continued, with an emphasis placed on appearance, convenience, new technology, safety, and the environment.

[edit] 1920s and 1930s

In the 1920s, pneumatic tires became more common in GMC trucks, even in heavy-duty models.  This feature was adopted by most manufacturers in replacement of the solid rubber tires of the past. In the 1930s, changes to the truck frame were made, with sheet metal being used for light- and medium-duty models. In addition, as early as 1936, Kenworth became the first truck manufacturer to use diesel engines in its equipment line.[6]

[edit] World War II

World War II had a vast impact on the way machines were produced and powered. Not just applicable to trucks but to all machinery, hydraulics became an important and vital feature of machinery, allowing equipment to move more accurately and less awkwardly. Hydraulic breaks as opposed to mechanical breaks soon became the norm.

[edit] 1950s

The 1950s was also a big decade for trucks. New technology led to the implementation of power steering in many models and GMC featured the blue chip for its light- and medium-duty models. Many models were using the new V8 engine, a feature that offered more power and smoother operation. Tubeless tires were also introduced, as well as four-wheel drive (on light-duty models). GMC also released two new heavy-duty diesel tractors. Lighter in weight with a tilting aluminum cab-over engine, rear suspension, and independent front suspension, it was able to carry more payload than the traditional tractor.[7]

[edit] 1960s to 1980s: Comfort, Style, and Decreasing Sales

The late 1960s and early 1970s were about comfort and style. No longer were trucks produced in the boxy shape of their former days. With greater visibility and larger interior space, GMC’s Astro was a prime example of this. It also had more engine and drivetrain options, with the choice of a Cummins diesel or Detroit diesel engine.

By the mid-1970s, the trucking industry suffered a fuel shortage crisis. A recession followed in the '80s and a deregulation in the industry resulted in lower sales for the heavy-duty models. This became the breaking point for many manufacturers because there was no shortage of effective trucks on the market; it was easier and more cost-effective to purchase an older version than a new one.

[edit] 1990s

In the 1990s, many trucks began to feature internal electronic features such as the electronically controlled automatic transmission, which offered improved performance and fuel economy.

[edit] Features

The features of a truck can vary from type to type. The typical truck, commercial or industrial, contains only two passenger seats. Large cab trucks can normally seat up to five people. Trucks normally run on the standard two-wheel drive.[8]

Some trucks have trailer attachments to help them carry heavy payloads. The semi-trailer and trailer are both motorless wheeled vehicles that are attached to the rear of the truck and used for towing larger materials.[9]

[edit] How it Works

Trucks, particularly heavy-duty trucks, have a series of clutches, gears, and pedals to help facilitate a smooth drive. Trucks without a synchronizer to accompany the transmission use double clutching for each shift to help change gears. Double clutching can help the driver operate the engine and control the transmission power so the revolutions are synchronized, allowing for a smooth shift to be achieved.

[edit] Types

[edit] 18-wheeler

While the average required weight of trucks and their parts vary from country to country, the average automobile weighs approximately 5,000 pounds, but a truck—more specifically, an 18-wheeler—can legally weigh as much as 80,000 pounds or 40 tons (36,287 kg).

In the U.S., the average weight per axle is 12,000 pounds (5,443 kg) for steer axles, 34,000 pounds (15,422 kg) for drive axles, and 34,000 pounds (15,422 kg) for trailers. In Canada, steer axles can weigh up to 12,000 pounds (5,443 kg), drive axles up to 34,000 pounds (15,422 kg) and trailer axles up to 34,000 pounds (15,422 kg).

The 18-wheeler averages over 70 feet (21 m) in length with a cab that measures between 245 and 265 inches (622 to 673 cm) by wheelbase, a dimension measured from the center of the rear wheel to the center of the steer.[10]

In addition, 18-wheelers commonly have five axles—10 forward gears and two reverse gears—but this can vary between nine, 10, 13, 15 and 18 gears.

Emission standards have been ordered for heavy-duty highway trucks with diesel engines. The U.S. federal government defines a diesel engine based on engine cycle as opposed to the ignition mechanism. The standards have been submitted with consideration for air, noise, and water pollution.[11]

To help combat the hazardous effects that the trucking industry has contributed, many environmental organizations advocate the use of freight rail instead of trucks.[12]

[edit] Bed Truck

A bed truck, also known as a rig-up truck, is a specialised tuck tractor used oil rig installation and service. It can transport heavy loads over poor surfaces, and can self load and unload with a winch and a tail roll. The winch is used both for loading the truck and for hoisting loads at the work site.

[edit] Curtain Side Truck

Curtain side trucks are used mainly in Australia and Europe. They are easily accessible from either side or the back, which can improve loading/unloading times without a loading ramp or dock. These trucks provide protection from the elements in the same way as a tarp on a flatbed, but with greater ease of use. They are frequently used for palletized items. They may occasionally have a curtain on one side and a hard side on the other, but usually they have a curtain on both sides.

[edit] Forklift Truck

Forklift trucks, also known as lift trucks, were used to carry heavy objects on a construction, factory, or other site with a relatively short distance (as compared to a transportation or tow truck).

The first lift trucks came in the form of hoists in the late 1800s, their use increasing significantly during World War I when the absence of manpower called for a lifting alternative. One of the first of these, a three-wheeled machine used for transporting materials around a factory, was built by Clark Equipment Co. The interest in forklifts grew when visitors to Clark Co. saw the advantages they would provide for any factory requiring heavy lifting.

Over time, the forklift improved in various ways: the machine was more compact to enable it to fit into tighter corners and narrower aisles and the lift could be adjusted in length with a variety of attachments, the most popular being a clamp. It also evolved in terms of how it would be operated. Forklifts were powered with everything from batteries and  electricity, to propane and compressed natural gas.[13]

[edit] Fuel and Lube Truck

These trucks are utilized to both fuel and perform in field equipment maintenance. The complete fuel and lube truck must have a dedicated fuel tank and transfer system, multiple oil product tanks, water or antifreeze storage and handling, an equipment grease system, and a waste oil storage and transfer system. Although fuel and lube trucks can be equipped with virtually any option you desire, the basic ability to fuel, change oil, and handle waste oil are the defining parameters.

[edit] Fuel Truck

As the name implies, these trucks are equipped with a large tank and dedicated fuel transfer equipment.

See also: Tank Trailer - Petroleum

[edit] Grain Truck

A grain truck hauls grain or finished products to storage or market. Grain truck also refers to any truck that hauls produce or any other agricultural products.

[edit] Heavyweight Truck

Heavyweight or heavy-duty trucks carry a much heavier payload than the light-duty vehicle. They also differ from light-duty trucks in that the body of the vehicle is built on the frame chassis. This enables it to tow a heavier load.[14]

The internal configuration of a heavy-duty truck calls for a manual transmission without synchronizers to cut down on the bulk and weight that the synchronizers add. It is not uncommon, however, to see synchronizers used in conjunction with some large truck transmissions.

[edit] Hydro Vac Truck

A hydro vac truck is a type of vacuum truck. It has two separate tanks, one that contains water and one that will hold the slurry that is sucked out of the ground. Pipe is exposed by blow water (heated if necessary to thaw frozen ground) at high pressure. This process turns dirt into slurry, which can then be sucked out into the second tank.

[edit] Lightweight Truck

Lightweight trucks, also referred to as light-duty, typically carry a payload under 4,000 pounds (1,814 kg). They include vans, minivans, and sport utility vehicles (SUVs).

The configuration of a lightweight truck involves a unibody frame intended for towing goods or materials of a lighter weight. Manufacturers of lightweight trucks include Chevrolet, Dodge, Nissan, and Toyota. This type of truck also includes a transmission of similar type to that often found in automobiles, with the option of an automatic or manual transmission.

The lightweight truck has both a smaller engine and wheelbase than heavy-duty models. They are less expensive and have better gas mileage than their larger counterparts.[15]

[edit] Lube Only Truck

A lube only truck is a fairly specialized item utilized primarily by equipment dealers to maintain rental fleets and complete CSA contracts. These trucks generally have large capacity fresh oil tanks and antifreeze tanks, as well as waste oil and waste antifreeze storage and handling capability.

[edit] Mechanics Truck

Mechanics trucks are used for on-site repair and servicing of trucks and equipment in the field. To qualify as a mechanics truck the unit must have a crane, or at least two components such as an air compressor and welder.

In the USA, a service truck does not have a crane, but has at least two components. In Canada, "service truck" is the generally accepted term for both these configurations.

[edit] Plow Truck

A plow truck, also known as a snow plow, is a standard truck with a plow attached to the front of the vehicle. It is designed to remove material (typically snow) from the road.

[edit] Pressure Truck

A pressure truck is a type of vacuum truck. It uses a triplex pump under high pressure to flush out oil wells.

[edit] Reefer Truck

Reefer trucks have a refrigeration system (or reefer) to keep perishable loads at a constant cold or freezing temperature. They may also have heating capabilities. They are typically insulated on all sides.

See also: Reefer Trailer

[edit] Rodder Truck

A rodder truck is a type of vacuum truck. It is used in the cleaning and maintenance of sanitary and storm sewers. A cable and a cutting bit are used to clear blockages in the line.

A vactor jet rodder truck has a jetting system that can remove heavy or impacted waste from a geat depth. It can also remove sand, rock, grease, roots, etc.

[edit] Rollback Truck

A rollback truck is essentially a tow truck with a flatbed. The bed of the truck tilts, the vehicle being towed is winched onto the bed of the truck, and the bed raised again.

[edit] Rolloff Truck

A rolloff truck allows a container to be moved on and off its flatbed. Rolloff trucks can unload in one of three ways - with a cable, a hook, or with two arms with chains.

[edit] Sanitation Truck

See also:  Garbage truck

A sanitation truck may be used for garbage and recycling pick-up, and street flushing.

[edit] Tank Truck

Tank trucks are motorized vehicles specifically designed with a closed tank for the transportation of liquids.[16]

[edit] Tow Truck

The tow truck industry took off after 1916 when Ernest Holmes, Sr., used his car, three poles, and a pulley and hooked a chain to the frame of a friend’s Cadillac in an attempt to help retrieve his car. Seeing something significant in his creation, he patented the invention and quickly began manufacturing towing equipment to sell to automotive garages to help them tow wrecked vehicles.

The industry took off, with Holmes becoming a world-renowned manufacturer of tow trucks.[17]

[edit] Truck Tractor

A truck tractor is a motorized vehicle that serves the same purpose as a trailer and semi-trailer—to haul or tow large objects. It is different in that it is motorized and normally used for towing other vehicles or machinery.

[edit] Utility Truck

These units are generally small- to medium-sized trucks with a utility body equipped with side- or top-mounted cabinets. Utility trucks can be equipped with torches, air compressors, hydraulic power packs, manlifts, etc.

[edit] Vacuum Truck

Vacuum trucks are used in the oilfield and sanitation industries. They are used to dispose of hazardous waste.

[edit] Van Truck

A van truck is a truck with a van body, used to move anything that can fit inside.

[edit] Vocational Truck

Vocational trucks are heavy-duty trucks which are certified for on-highway use and are also suitable to be driven off-road.[18]

[edit] Winch Tractor

A winch tractor is typically used in the oilfield industry. It allows items to be loaded on and off from a trailer (usually an oilfield float) without the use of a crane. It often comes with heavy rears and planetary gears so they can be used in severe off-road conditions.

[edit] Common Manufacturers

[edit] Heavy-duty

[edit] Light-duty (North America)

[edit] Used & Unused Trucks for Sale

Search for unused and used trucks being sold at Ritchie Bros. unreserved public auctions.

[edit] References

  1. A Lesson about the Good Old Trucks. Street Directory. 2008-10-07.
  2. BLT Truck. 2008-10-07.
  3. Mercedes. Cyberparent. 2008-10-07.
  4. History of GMC Truck at 90. The Auto channel. (October 2, 2001) 2008-10-07.
  5. History of GMC Truck at 90. The Auto channel. (October 2, 2001) 2008-10-07.
  6. Heritage. Paccar. 2008-10-07.
  7. A Brief Outline of the First Century of GMC Truck History. GMNEXT. 2008-10-07.
  8. A Lesson About the Good Old Trucks. Street Directory. 2008-10-07.
  9. Types of Trucks. The Visual Dictionary. 2008-10-07.
  10. Truck Facts. The Truckers Report. 2008-10-07.
  11. Emission Standards. Diesel Net. 2008-10-07.
  12. Consultations Environmental Audit Committee. Freight On Rail. 2008-10-07.
  13. History. Warehouse News. 2008-10-07.
  14. What is a Light Truck. Wisegeek. 2008-10-07.
  15. What is a Light Truck. Wisegeek. 2008-10-07.
  16. Types of Trucks. The Visual Dictionary. 2008-10-07.
  17. BLT Trucks. 2008-10-07.
  18. Vocational Trucks for Your Heaviest Duty Applications. [October 5, 2009].