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Truck vs Trailer: Understanding the Difference

The trucking industry in Australia has been dealing with increased demand this past year, with one report stating that freight volumes are expected to increase by 8.4% over the next two years. 

If you’ve been planning to invest in logistics or merely planning to buy flat-top trailers in Sydney for personal reasons, you must brush up on some of the basics of trucking. You’d be surprised at how many people still use trucks and trailers interchangeably. 

In this article, we’ll go over the primary differences between trucks and trailers as well as provide examples of each to help you get familiar with them.

Understanding the Difference 

The confusion between trucks and trailers being one in the same stems from how Americans primarily define the word truck. To them, a truck is a colloquial term for vehicles that carry heavy goods and other loads. That means a truck can also refer to a vehicle and the trailer.

In a more technical sense, a truck and a trailer are two different things. A truck is a vehicle powered by its engine and driven by a person. A trailer is a mobile cargo space that’s designed to be pulled by a separate vehicle. A trailer cannot be run or driven on its own. 

A truck can use different types of trailers to fit whatever the job requires. It’s just a matter of detaching and attaching a new trailer. A vehicle with a trailer and a cab completely attached is called a lorry. Unlike traditional trucks, the trailer cannot be replaced easily. 

Common Types of Freight Trucks

Trucks are probably one of the most important aspects of modern civilization. Whether it’s food, machinery, technology, or livestock, it has been transported by a truck at some point. Here are three common types of trucks used in logistics:

  • Full Trailer: A full trailer is a truck with both front and rear axles, with a drawbar firmly attaching it to a hauling unit. Full trailers can bear the weight of the truck and its cargo on their own. They are the premier choice for short-distance transport.
  • Semi-Trailer: Unlike full trailers, it doesn’t have a front axle, and the majority of its weight is supported by the truck. Semi-trailers are extremely versatile, capable of detaching or attaching different types of trailers quickly. This truck is a staple of long-distance transport.  
  • Cube Truck: A cube truck or box freight is a type of truck with a large box-shaped cargo compartment attached. The cargo box’s frame is usually separate from the truck’s cabin. They are perfectly suited to moving furniture, appliances, and food.

Popular Types of Trailers

From flat top trailers to cages, there’s a lot of trailers in and around Sydney. At some point, it might be difficult to identify each one and discern what it is used for. To know them, here are some of the popular types of trailer.

  • Flat-Top: Flat top and flatbed trailers are considered the default option. They are trailers that come with a large and flat usable surface. They are available in a wide variety of sizes and dimensions. They are great for carrying both heavy and large amounts of cargo.
  • Cage: Similar to flat tops, a cage trailer is designed to have a flat surface where cargo is placed. The difference between them is that this type of trailer has a cage to enclose and protect the cargo. This added security makes it ideal for livestock and long journeys on the open road.
  • Box: Box trailers are highly secured versions of cages. Aside from privacy and protection, box trailers are sought after for being weatherproof. If your cargo needs protection from the elements, box trailers are a perfect choice. Additionally, box trailers can easily be designed and are often used to advertise companies or products.

It Doesn’t Have to Be Confusing

It shouldn’t be difficult to fully understand the difference between trucks and trailers. However, it can be confusing to identify or choose the right kind of trailer you need for your business, especially with the many types currently available.

Fortunately, there are reliable professionals and establishments that you can reach out to help you find the perfect trailer.

King Kong Trailers is a one-stop shop of high-quality trailers for your every need. If you are looking for high-quality flat-top trailers for sale in Sydney, contact us today to book a trailer inspection.

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