What is the difference between straight trucks and truck tractors?

In today’s blog post, we will answer the following question: What is the difference between straight trucks and truck tractors? We will explain what a straight truck is and what distinguishes it from truck tractors. We will also help you decide which of the two would suit your needs best. 

What is the difference between straight trucks and truck tractors?

The differences between a straight truck and a truck tractor are in the way they are built and thus the load they are able to carry : 

  • A straight truck could be defined as a “one piece” truck. The box is connected to the cab and the rest of the truck’s components by the chassis, a structure of rigid stringers that hold all the vehicle’s components together.

A straight truck is, thus, made up of a single block so that the box where the goods are transported is attached to the cabin like the other components that make up the chassis. 

  • The truck tractor is made up of at least two rigid structures, joined by an articulation point, where one of which drags the whole truck. In addition, in truck tractor trucks the merchandise is only transported in the semi-trailer, since the tractor has the exclusive function of towing the truck.

The truck tractor is in charge of pulling the whole truck. In a truck tractor, the stock travels in the semi-trailer since the only function of the tractor unit is to provide traction of movement.

To better understand the difference between straight trucks and truck tractors, in the next section we will explain what their main use is.

What are straight trucks?

Straight trucks are also known as box trucks, cubic trucks, or cubic vans. A straight truck can carry cargo on the same chassis as the cab and power unit. However, it can only be loaded from the back. They are commonly used to transport things like furniture and other small items. 

They are a favourite of most people when they move as they are safer than a semi-truck and protect your goods from damage while on the move. You can also use a straight truck to speed up cargo deliveries.

There is a wide variety of straight trucks, from 20 feet in length to 40 feet, in order to provide the customer with their needs, either for the accessibility of loading and unloading or for the volume of goods to be transported.

All of them have lift doors, internal merchandise separators, refrigerators at controlled temperature, vehicle load capacity of maximum authorized mass (MAM) from 14 tons to 26 tons, 2 and 3 axle vehicles.

What are truck tractors?

A truck tractor is a set of vehicles made up of a tractor unit and a semi-trailer. What distinguishes a semi-trailer from a normal trailer is that these vehicles are designed to be coupled to the tractor.

The characteristics of the truck tractor are regulated, the dimensions and the maximum load they can transport are limited. A road train is a set of vehicles made up of a straight truck and one or more trailers.

What to choose: a straight truck or a truck tractor?

Whether you should choose a straight truck or a truck tractor, is a matter of personal choice. What is your main purpose? What do you need the vehicle for?

As we have already seen, a straight truck could be defined as a “one-piece” truck. The box is connected to the cab and the rest of the truck’s components by the chassis, a structure of rigid stringers that hold all the vehicle’s components together.

Alternatively, the truck tractor is made up of at least two rigid structures, joined by an articulation point, where one of which drags the whole truck. In addition, in truck tractor trucks the merchandise is only transported in the semi-trailer since the tractor has the exclusive function of towing the truck.

The difference with trucks is that the two components of the road train can transport cargo, while in the truck tractor, the tractor only pulls the trailer that is attached to the other.

As we have explained previously, straight trucks are composed of a single block so that the box where the merchandise is transported is unique to the room as well as the rest of the components that are part of the chassis, on the other hand, a vehicle truck tractor is made up of two or more blocks that are joined by an articulation point and a block (the tractor head) is in charge of pulling the whole truck.

Straight trucks or Truck tractors: How to know which type is the best for a business?

To know whether strait trucks or truck tractors is better for your business, you must first determine exactly the type of work your truck will do:

  • What are the dimensions of the materials you want to transport? Include information about the weight and size of the products you would work with. The physical size and weight of the materials are obviously very important points.
  • How far will you have to transport the load and how often will you do it? The frequency and duration of the work will let you know how often you will need to maintain your truck. Likewise, you must know the state of the roads or the environment where you will circulate.
  • Will the materials be in boxes, barrels or containers, or will they just be loose? Sometimes customers have products or materials that are not well packaged (it can even be live cattle). This could pose an additional challenge for you. If a load is uneven or moves during transit, it can have a great effect on transport capacity and safety.
  • Light, medium or heavy-duty truck? Once you know what you are going to tow or transport, you can choose the size of the container or trailer. This information will help you choose between a light, medium or heavy load truck.
  • In addition, sizing the truck correctly is important since depending on this you will be able to know in which areas you are allowed to drive. You don’t want your truck to get stuck under a bridge, right?

If you decide to buy a large truck, consider how much fuel you are willing to pay on a regular basis. A large truck usually uses more fuel than a small one. Daily cost numbers will increase rapidly once you start your business; By calculating these expenses in advance, you will be prepared for what awaits you.

  • For some buyers, choosing the correct engine size is a balancing act between having enough power and getting good fuel economy. Trucks have always had a reputation for being gas guzzlers, but that’s long gone. Trucks today come with a variety of engines, and many of them are more fuel-efficient and don’t compromise on power. 

Remember that diesel engines are better for towing because they provide greater torque when pulling heavy loads at low speeds.

  • Another consideration has to do with the axle ratio. The choice you make will directly affect the truck’s fuel economy and towing capacity. Simply put, the higher the axle ratio number, the more weight you’ll be able to tow, but the lower fuel efficiency.
  • New or used truck? Budget is an important factor when it comes to deciding whether to buy a new or used truck. While a brand new truck is obviously the most reliable option, it can also turn out to be a bit more expensive. When looking for a used truck, you can find purchase options with a wider range of prices.

Conclusions

As you have seen, the differences between straight trucks and truck tracts are quite significant. Before deciding on buying one or another, we recommend you carefully consider the above-mentioned criteria!

Do you have any questions or comments on the content? Please let us know. 

FAQ on What is the difference between straight trucks and truck tractors?

What are straight trucks?

Straight trucks are also known as box trucks, and they are vehicles with fixed trailers.  They have all the amenities for passengers to travel comfortably. In addition, the rear box allows a greater load capacity than any trunk.

What are truck tractors?

A truck tractor is a set of vehicles made up of a tractor unit and a semi-trailer. What distinguishes a semi-trailer from a normal trailer is that these vehicles are designed to be coupled to the tractor.

What is the best tractor brand?

Kenworth, hands down the best in tractors. The leading brand in sales of heavy units, it is also in the cargo icon segment: that of tractors, with a market placement of 6,234 units, which represents 51.90% of the total

What is the best brand of American trucks?

The motto of the Americans is “The bigger the truck, the better.” This can be seen perfectly reflected in the best American truck brands such as Kenworth, Mack, Freightliner, Western Star, Peterbilt or International Trucks.

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References

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