15 Types of Trucks – Explanation + Visual Guide

Let’s have a look at the list of truck types and get an idea of how the different types of trucks look, function and see a few videos of trucks in action.

There are 4 main categories that you can put any truck. Small trucks, light trucks, medium trucks, and heavy trucks.

Small trucks are used mainly for commercial purposes and to deliver light loads over short distances. Light trucks are bigger than small trucks and but smaller in size than medium trucks. Medium trucks weigh between 14001–26000 lb.

Heavy trucks, the highest on-road classification, weigh between 26001 to over 33000 lb. There are trucks and transporters heavier than this but they are too large for highway use without escorts and special permits.

Different Types of Trucks

Fire Engines

15 Types of Trucks - Explanation + Visual Guide 1
A fire engine and a fire truck.

I’ll start with the most popular type of truck, the fire truck. By the way, there are also many different types of fire trucks. And, there’s a slight difference between a fire truck and fire engine (even if we use the terms interchangeably).

A fire engine is a vehicle designed primarily for firefighting operations. The terms “fire engine” and “fire truck” are often used interchangeably; however, in some fire departments/fire services, they refer to separate and specific types of vehicle. 


Tow Trucks

types of tow trucks

These are the types of trucks that will assist when there’s a vehicular accident or when you need to move your car when it breaks down. There are also different types of tow trucks.

A tow truck is a truck used to move disabled, improperly parked, impounded, or otherwise indisposed motor vehicles.


types of tractors

There are many types of tractors too. They are one of the most popular types of farm vehicles and they also double as one of the most used types of vehicles in construction.

Cement Mixer

15 Types of Trucks - Explanation + Visual Guide 2

Cement mixers are also known as concrete mixers. Their main job is to mix and keep cement for a set period of time. They are mostly used in construction settings.

Pickup Trucks

There’s not a highway in America that doesn’t have a pickup truck speeding along. These truck types can be used for commercial or domestic purposes.

Types of trucks brands (in this category) include:

  • GMC Sierra 1500
  • Nissan Navara
  • Chevrolet Colorado
  • Honda Ridgeline
  • Toyota Tundra
  • Toyota Tacoma
  • Nissan Titan

Refrigerator Truck

15 Types of Trucks - Explanation + Visual Guide 3

These kinds of trucks are also called reefers or chillers. They have cooling equipment that keeps food, produce, and other supplies fresh or on ice during transport.

A refrigerator truck is a van or truck designed to carry perishable freight at specific temperatures. Like refrigerator cars, refrigerated trucks differ from simple insulated and ventilated vans, neither of which are fitted with cooling apparatus.


Logging Trucks

logging truck

A logging truck or timber lorry is a large truck used to carry logs. Some have integrated flatbeds, some are discrete tractor units, and some are configured to spread a load between the tractor unit and a dollied trailer pulled behind it.


Mobile Crane

These types of trucks have a cable controlled crane attached to them. It is either mounted on crawlers or rubber-tired carriers or a hydraulic-powered crane.

Tank Trucks

A tank truck is also known as a gas truck, fuel truck, or tanker truck or tanker is a motor vehicle intended to carry liquefied cargoes, dry bulk cargo or gases on roads.

Flatbed Trucks

flatbed truck

Also known as flatbed lorries, these kinds of trucks do not have sides or tops much like logging trucks). Its a type of truck which can be either articulated or rigid. 

Semi-trailer Trucks

Semi-trailer Truck

The maximum weight for a U.S. semi-truck and the full trailer is 80,000 pounds. A semi-trailer truck is the combination of a tractor unit and one or more semi-trailers to carry freight. These types of trucks used in logistics most of the times.

Box Trucks

box truck

These types of trucks are sometimes referred to as a cube truck, cube van, rolling toaster or box van. On most box trucks, the cabin and cargo area are separate, however, some box trucks do have a door between the cabin and the cargo area. 

Dump Trucks

A dump truck, known also as a dumper truck or tipper truck, is used for loading and offloading materials for construction.

Garbage Trucks

These types of trucks are specially designed to handle solid waste and bring the collected waste to a solid waste treatment plant such as a landfill.

Garbage trucks in action.

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