Types of Delivery Trucks

by Ron Augustine; Updated September 26, 2017
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Delivery trucks are used to transport materials from one place to another, usually in large quantity and great distances. There are a few different kinds of delivery trucks that are used for specific purposes. Generally, a delivery truck is much larger than any other type of vehicle on the road and will not typically contain many (if any) passengers in addition to the driver. Delivery truck drivers must be paid a regular wage, as driving a delivery truck is not a commercial practice.

Freightliners

A more broad name for a Freightliner is semi-truck (or "semi" for short). Freightliner is actually a specific brand of heavy-duty truck often used to carry large loads of various cargo. Semis have been known to carry cargo of all types, from dry goods to new cars. These trucks are most often found on highways, as they are used primarily for commercial delivery of mass quantities. Most semis pull a single trailers, but some will carry double trailers.

Mail Trucks

Mail trucks are used by both federal post office workers and corporate mail delivery companies. They are the smallest form of delivery truck because they are intended to travel through small neighborhood streets at times. Some mail trucks have steering wheels and pedals on the right side of the truck as opposed to the typical left side. This enables the post office worker easy access to the mailboxes that reside on the right side of a road.

Refrigerator Trucks

When the cargo needs to be kept cold during transportation, a refrigerated truck is required. These trucks are not cold in the cab of the truck but are cold all throughout the cargo area of the truck. These trucks are especially useful when transporting frozen items like raw meats. The cooling agent in refrigerator trucks utilizes carbon dioxide, usually as dry ice or in liquid form.

Tank Trucks

Tank trucks are a type of semi-truck that are known as "hazardous material transports." These trucks bring gasoline to gas stations. They are designed specifically to carry great quantities of liquid (up to 9,000 gallons) in such a manner so they will not be tampered with during transportation. Other liquids that are commonly transported by tank trucks are milk and concrete. Some tank trucks also transport gaseous materials.

Wide Loads

Wide, or oversize, loads are the largest vehicles ever seen on a road. They are usually marked with yellow signage and flashing lights to indicate their excessive size. Wide load trucks are used to transport prebuilt homes, large construction elements and any cargo that exceeds the weight limit of a typical highway truck. These trucks require special permits and sometimes extra vehicles to simply drive in the front and back ends of the truck.

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About the Author

Ron Augustine is a rookie freelance writer and producer who has worked primarily in radio and print media for Chicago Public Radio's Sound Opinions, Relevant Magazine, WMBI Chicago and the Burnside Writers Collective. He graduated Moody College in 2007 with a degree in Communications.