The Many Types of Trucks for Many Different Purposes
As we’ve said before, trucks are anything but one-size-fits-all; there really is a truck for just about every kind of shipment that you need to transport. A lot of thought goes into selecting the right kinds of trucks and products for different journeys.
For trucks that will be making frequent stops, we need workhorses with strong, long-lasting components. While all types of trucks need great tires, high-performance tread is especially important for vehicles that spend long stretches of time on the road without pause. Here’s how we determine which truck will be assigned to which kinds of jobs:
- Tank / Liquid Application Trucks
For liquid shipments, including bulk milk and petroleum, the trucks are designed with heavier components when compared to the average truck. The normal gross load for most Class 8 trucks is 80,000 pounds. In comparison, our tanker fleets that haul milk in the Earl T. Wadhams division and petroleum products in the ARG division range from 100,000 pounds to 107,000 pounds. These tankers require special permits.
Because they’re picking up and unloading throughout the day, these trucks also do a lot of starting and stopping. These trucks therefore require heavy-duty suspensions, axles, tires and drive trains.
- Less Than Truckload LTL Freight Trucks
Less than truckload are freight trucks that travel shorter distances between pickups and drop-offs. They likewise need strong suspension components. They do tend to carry much lighter loads, which allows for some flexibility in terms of the engine and trailer unit. It’s important to prioritize excellent tires, horsepower, axle ratings and transmission. These trucks experience a lot of shifting and frequent stops; and they need to be able to manoeuvre in tight spaces. Automatic transmissions are also used in some cases in this application.
- Truckload Freight Trucks
Truckload freight trucks are unique in terms of the type of driving that they do. Unlike the previous two, these trucks go long distances in between stops, so mileage and fuel efficiency are considered most prominently when equipping these trucks.
Truckload units are equipped with air faring and other equipment to make them a highly efficient vehicle on long trips. Normally these units max out at 80,000 pounds, so we try to use the lightest and most reliable components. The more we are able to transport per load, the happier our customers and the more efficient our transportation network.
To keep everything at peak performance, we’re always checking tires, fluids, main components, belts, springs. In fact, just about everything with moving parts gets inspected on a regular basis. Being proactive about maintenance is important for spotting areas that need service before they become problems. This is a key component of reliable and efficient service, and also in keeping costs low.