15 Different Types of Trucks You Should Know

For persons who are into logistics and transportation, you can tell that trucks feature heavily within the industry. Whether regular or hybrid trucks, you can expect these vehicles to aid in transporting goods. Hence, it would interest you to learn about the different types of trucks.

Remember, these large vehicles come majorly constructed for the movement of cargo. Hence, whether it is equipment, machinery, livestock, and farm products that need to be transported by road, you can rely on suitable trucks for easy voyaging of these goods.

Interestingly, trucks have varying sizes, configurations, and power. For most modern trucks, you would find that they come constructed with diesel engines. With that being said, this piece would reveal the various types of trucks in the USA.

Different Types of Trucks

Some of the strongest vehicles are trucks, as they come built to carry the heaviest things. There is various objective usefulness associated with the driving of trucks, and very few persons acknowledge that there are various types of trucks used in logistics. 

Whether you are planning on getting goods transported or you feel enthusiastic about trucks, you should know that there are varying categories of trucks based on truck types and sizes. With that in mind, below are five groups of trucks.

Very Heavy Trucks

Very Heavy Trucks

 Trucks and transporters that fall within this category appear pretty large and are very useful for highway use. Kindly note that these vehicles would often drive without having any form of escort or special permits.

Some common trucks available in the market that falls within this category include:

Name Gross Vehicle Weight Load Capacity Estimated Price Range
Western Star 4800 99,000 pounds 50,000 pounds  
Freightliner Cascadia 52,000 lbs 80,000 lbs $99,000 to $159,500
Kenworth T680 110,000 lbs 34,000 lbs to 46,000 lbs $155,000 to $169,900

Heavy Trucks

Heavy Trucks

Unlike medium trucks, you would find heavy trucks quite weighty, with some having their medium truck options available. Thus, it would interest you to know that heavy trucks weigh around 26,001 lb to 33,000 lb. Please note that some truck names fall within this category, such as Dump trucks and Garbage trucks.

Below is a table of various truck makes that fall within this group.

Name Gross Vehicle Weight Load Capacity Estimated Price Range
Peterbilt 220 26,000 lbs to 33,000lbs 26,000 lbs to 33,000 lbs Up to $112,000
Ford F-750 37,000 lbs 50,000 lbs $57, 515$74,330
Kenworth k370 26,000 lbs to 33,000lbs 21,000 lbs $45,500 to $64,790

Medium Trucks

RAM 5500

The “medium trucks” are mostly constructed weighing about 14,001 lb to 26,000 lb. you would find most options within North America appearing larger than heavy-duty pickup trucks. Thus, some options include flatbed trucks and some fire trucks.

Some common options include:

Name Gross Vehicle Weight Load Capacity Estimated Price Range
RAM 5500 19,500 pounds 12,510 pounds $40,195 to $70,000
Chevrolet Silverado 5500 HD 26,000 lbs 17,500 lbs to 19,500 lbs $50,400 to $100,000
Isuzu NRR 17,950 lbs to 32,950lbs 6,830 to 12,980 lbs Up to $87,800

Light Trucks

Light Trucks

These light-weighted trucks are often larger than the mini trucks you see. Nevertheless, you should expect them to be smaller than medium trucks. The weight range of such trucks varies, reaching up to 14,000 lb. a common example of such vehicles is the pickup truck.

Below are some common light trucks in the market

Name Gross Vehicle Weight Load Capacity Estimated Price Range
GMC Sierra 7,200 pounds 2,500 lbs $30,000 to $70,000
Ram 3500 10,100 lbs 7,680 pounds $39,250 to $60,000
Ford F-250 9,900 lbs 4,250 lbs $39,925 to $84,390

Small Trucks

Small Trucks

Also known as commercial vehicles or mini trucks, this category of trucks comes in handy to deliver lightweight loads within short distances. Some excellent options include the following below.

Name Gross Vehicle Weight Load Capacity Estimated Price Range
Toyota Tacoma 5,600 lbs 1,440 pounds $26,050 to $50,000
Ford Ranger 6,050 lbs 1,560 lbs $25,605 to $40,695
Nissan Frontier 5,730 lbs 1,610 lbs $29,340 to $45,000

That being said, below is detailed information on some truck types and their sizes.  

Dump Truck

One of the heavy-duty vehicles you would find on highways are dump trucks, and they come with excellent configurations. Some persons often call such vehicles dumper trailers, or just “dumper,” and they come in handy for transporting demolition waste and gravels.  Some top brands of dump trucks include CAT, Volvo, and Freightliner.

Straight Truck

Often referred to as Cube Van, Box Truck, or Cube Truck, you would often find these options carrying loads on the same chassis having the power unit and cab. Kindly note that loading this truck with cargo is from the back, and it appears more secured than some other options.

Hence, it serves as an excellent means of transportation for persons moving to a new home, as this truck comes in handy for transporting furniture and other items that can easily fit. The good news is that straight trucks come constructed with protective features that keep goods away from harsh elements that could cause damage.

Cement Truck

Also known as a concrete mixer, this truck appears pretty common on construction sites. You would find it constructed with an effective machine that judiciously mixes cement (the cement mixer), and the truck carries it along to locations where it needs to deliver the cement.

Thanks to the constant motion of this truck, you can expect the cement to retain its liquid state for a long while. During discharge, the cement appears removed from the rear. Kindly note that the drum that mixes the cement is constructed with fiberglass.

Car Transporter

Car transporters, also called car carrier trailers, are vehicles with a single deck or double deck designed to hold and transport cars. Such trucks come in handy for the moving of cars from their manufacturing facilities to the various dealerships

Crane Trucks

Also known as mobile cranes, these trucks appear mounted on crawlers and have a cable that aids their control. You would often find crane trucks fitted with a hook that appears suspended by wire ropes, operated by the prime movers. 

The outstanding design of crane trucks supports easy mobility, and you can find such trucks with little or no need for assembly. Since around 1870, cranes have been available and have been developing to date. Crane trucks may often have electric or hydraulic transmissions.

Flatbed Trucks

Such trucks are designed for loading and transporting goods from place to place. It seems ideal for transporting goods that appear oversized, such as a fleet of cars, and it has a loading capacity of 15-25ft.

You would find flatbed trucks having open beds without roofs and sides; hence, it is advisable to load such trucks well to prevent the goods from falling and crashing while in motion. In most situations, the loads on this trailer are tied with strong ropes attached to the hooks of the trailer.

Extra-Duty Truck

Extremely large cargo may pose a challenge to transport from place to place. Nevertheless, Extra-duty trucks come in handy for such applications, constructed to carry large freight. Such type of truck can carry enormous items, including houses. Truckers that operate such vehicles are required to have special licenses. 

Garbage Truck

Most residents in the United States have seen waste collection trucks as they move from house to house, picking garbage. Such trucks appear pretty known for having blind spots, and as such, drivers are advised to react accordingly.

After collecting garbage from homes, this truck transports them to the recycling plant, treatment facility, or local landfill.

Livestock Truck

The transportation of animals from farm to farm is often aided with livestock trucks, as this truck type appears constructed with sturdy constructions that keep and hold even the heaviest animals.

In a bid to hold animals in place, you may find some of such trucks fitted with unique equipment that ensures the animals stay in place and are well-fed. In facilitating the passage of air and light, livestock trucks would often have slightly opened tops of backs.

Fire Truck

Fire trucks are often noticed with their blaring sirens and are famous for putting fires out. This truck is constructed with effective equipment that puts out the fire and an automated ladder for lifting people.

The inside of this truck seems spacious enough to house the firemen, and there are some apparatus like oxygen containers and masks to aid in emergencies. Other components of fire trucks include a fire hydrant, walkie-talkie for communication, pumps, and water.

Jumbo Trailer Truck

This truck emerges like a semi-trailer but possesses additional space. Its floor is G-shaped, and it has wheels with a small diameter. For persons who are keen on transporting voluminous goods, this is the surest bet for you. Jumbo trucks can be loaded from the top, back, and even the sides.

Refrigerated Trucks

It may seem pretty challenging transporting products that need to remain in their chilled states. Nevertheless, the construction of the refrigerated trucks comes in handy for such application, as it possesses a temperature-controlled unit that does an excellent job.

 These refrigerated trucks are pretty expensive compared to various trailers since they utilize extra fuel to maintain temperatures within the truck. Over the last century, various efficient cooling techniques have been available, including higher pressurization techniques for keeping the inside of such trucks cool.

Lowboy Trailers

From the design of this truck type, you can tell that it comes in handy to transport tall items. This unpowered trailer often carries goods that exceed the legal height limit that comes stipulated for the flatbed trailer. 

Still, you would notice that the lowboy truck shares a similar feature with the flatbed trailer in terms of loading; you can get it loaded from both sides, back and top.

Tow Trucks

Ever thought of how faulty vehicles get removed from a particular spot? It would interest you to know that Tow trucks are often used for moving impounded, disabled, wrongly-parked, and indisposed cars.

Please note that this truck does not move vehicles merely for the sake of transportation. It is required after accidents or when the law is broken, aiding the removal of vehicles from their current location.

Tanker Trucks

Amongst the different types of trucks in the USA, you would find tanker trucks having very large tanks, which appear useful for transporting various hazardous materials. Nevertheless, the goods carried by this type of truck are either in gaseous or liquid forms. Hence, it would often seem dangerous if there were any form of collision.


Q: What is a truck called in the USA?

The term for such commercial and heavy-duty vehicles remains “trucks,” instead of its famous British name, “Lorry.” Nevertheless, some drivers in the United States effectively call trucks names such as 18-wheelers, tractors, rigs, and semis.

These names mentioned above are often used to refer to vehicles constructed for carrying and delivering loads. Remember, there are various truck types, and they come bearing different names. Hence, you may also find folks calling such trucks by their names.

Q: What is the number one truck?

The fact that different types of truck brands exist signifies the availability of different qualities and styles of such vehicles. Nevertheless, there are some excellent options out there in the market that you can consider.

When it comes to full-size trucks, one of the best options remains the 2021 RAM 1500 truck, as it comes with pretty comfy features and clever designs. Still, other excellent options like the 2021 Ford F-150 and 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 offer great performances.

Q: What are the small Ford trucks called?

The small trucks from Ford are known as Maverick, and the auto company is currently expanding this profitable line of pickup trucks. Kindly note that this vehicle version appears smaller than the F-150 full-size pickups and midsize Ranger from the automaker. 

Such cars are excellent options for people who appear to be “truck enthusiasts” but seek smaller versions that would effectively suit their driving needs. This car from Ford is constructed in the company’s Hermosillo plant, located in Mexico.

Q: What is a small truck called?

Small trucks are often termed “mini-trucks” or “small vehicles.” Such options come in handy for carrying and delivering loads that are less weighty across short distances. Their compact sizes are unique, and you can find them supplied by different types of truck brands.

Please note that they come constructed in varying designs and weights, and as such, you can find small pickup trucks that weigh between 5,000 pounds and 7,000 pounds.

Q: What is a big truck called?

Within the United States, large trucks are often called “semis.” Kindly note that this name stems from such vehicles’ two parts: the semi-trailer that carries the cargo and the semi-tractor that supplies the power.

Interestingly, you can find drivers referring to such types of trucks with other names such as “big rigs” and “eighteen-wheelers.”

Q: Which truck has the best gas mileage?

When it comes to the number of miles that trucks drive while using a particular amount of gas, some folks often think that the powerful operations of such vehicles would not give a fair mpg. Nevertheless, you can find some excellent trucks offering better fuel efficiency, much more with their fine-tuned engines.

Some pickup trucks with better gas mileage include Ford F-150 2WD, GMC Canyon 2WD, and Chevrolet Colorado 2WD (diesel engines with 23mpg). These trucks mentioned above have excellent EPA ratings when it comes to combined fuel economy.

Q: What is the best-selling midsize truck?

There are excellent trucks from different automakers in the United States, but one of the best-selling options for midsize trucks is Toyota Tacoma. Interestingly, the brand sells this vehicle in six trims, featuring double cab/access versions or the 5-foot/6-footbeds.

The Toyota Tacoma also possesses two powertrains: the 3.5 L V6 cylinder and the 2.7 L four-cylinder. Nevertheless, you can find other suitable options like the GMC Sierra pickup, Ram pickup, Ford F-series, and Chevrolet Silverado pickup.

Q: What is the smallest new pickup truck?

The smallest options of trucks are the Maverick from Ford, which is constructed in the company’s Hermosillo plant, located in Mexico. The auto company is currently expanding this profitable line of pickup trucks, and they appear smaller compared to the F-150 full-size pickups and midsize Ranger from the automaker. 

Aside from this option, you can find other small trucks from different brands such as GMC Canyon, Nissan Frontier, Ford Ranger, and Chevrolet Colorado. But, you should know that the Maverick comes looking smaller than these other trucks mentioned above.

Final Words

Whether you work within the trucking industry or are thinking of transporting goods, you should know that different types of trucks are available. Since the needs of individuals vary, you would often find trucks appearing in different sizes, and as such, you would find smaller versions and those heavy-duty trucks.

Hence, there is no single truck that fits all applications, and you can choose from Dump trucks to Straight trucks. It would be pretty helpful to go through this piece and learn more about trucks with that in mind.


Hi there, I am R. Hasan Tito, a mechanic, and owner of this website. My friend and I created this website to share our knowledge, expertise, and experience with our fellow mechanics' community and car users. I am a specialist and certified automotive mechanic (Both Heavy Commercial and Private Cars). I worked as a Mechanic and Mechanic Supervisor for over fifteen years at Global Rebound Automotive companies - Toyota, TATA, BMW, Nissan, TVs, and Others. Now, I enjoy my new role of leading a team of automotive experts (in their respective fields) and publish new content on a regular basis on my website and social media.

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