Truck Features

Analyzing the Truck Features that Define This Vehicle Category

The term "truck" is very encompassing as it can refer to a very broad range of vehicles which can vary greatly in size and power. However, all of them share a common purpose and that is to carry cargo. They can go through multiple configurations where they can either hold an empty cargo area which can be filled with various items or customized to carry specific equipment such as fire trucks do.

For people looking for trucks for sale, it is important to know the key features of such a vehicle in order to find one suitable for their needs. The standard truck will be larger than a pickup and have a bigger area designated for cargo. The bigger commercial trucks have more than four wheels in order to evenly distribute the significant weight which they are often required to carry. In fact, U.S. law requires a special commercial driver's license in order to operate commercial trucks that weight over 26,000 lb.

The Configuration of a Truck

Despite the fact that trucks are so varied, most of them share a common construction pattern containing a cab, a chassis, a drivetrain and an engine.

The cab is where a lot of diversity exists. One particular configuration is the most common which is why it is called the conventional cab. In this instance, the driver is located behind the engine as is the case with pickup trucks and most passenger vehicles. Further distinction can be made between large car conventional cabs and aerodynamic ones. The large car cabs have a long and flat hood while aerodynamic ones have several features that lower wind resistance such as a sloped hood.

The flat nose cab or cab over engine (COE) is another configuration where the driver is seated on top of the engine and front axle. This type of cab is not commonly found in the U.S. but it is prominent in Europe. It is mainly defined by the fact that the entire cab needs to be tilted forward in order to access the engine compartment.

In terms of power, almost all heavy duty trucks use diesel engines with turbochargers for extra power. Lighter trucks often come with a choice between a diesel and a gasoline engine. The transmissions on trucks are very particular. Even though they are available as either standard automatic or manual transmissions with synchronizers, trucks require a lot more gear changes than regular vehicles. It is common for American trucks to come with anywhere between 9 and 18 speeds.