Do You Know These Common Trucking Terms?

//Do You Know These Common Trucking Terms?

Like almost every industry, trucking has its own set of terminology. New drivers are expected to know many of these terms from day one, especially those that relate to truck safety and truck driving rules and regulations. Do you know any of these common trucking terms?

  • ABS (Anti-Lock Braking System): A computerized system that helps drivers maintain control on slippery roads.
  • AFV (Alternate Fueled Vehicle): A vehicle that uses fuels other than diesel or gasoline.
  • Air Ride Suspension: A suspension system that uses inflatable rubber bags instead of steel springs.
  • ATC (Automatic Traction Control): An optional ABS feature that prevents spinning of the drive wheels.
  • AVI (Automatic Vehicle Identification): An automatic vehicle identification system that is used to detect stolen vehicles and register electronic toll collections.
  • Axle: A support that holds wheels, brakes, and suspension. There are four types of axles – front, drive, rear, pusher, and tag.
  • Bill of Lading: A document that lists the goods loaded on a truck.
  • Bobtail: A truck that is operating without a trailer.
  • Bogie: An assembly of one or more axles.
  • Cabover: A tractor design where the cab sits over the engine.
  • CDL: The commercial driver’s license.
  • Drivetrain: The mechanical components that transmits the engine’s power to the rear wheels.
  • Fifth Wheel: A coupling device attached to the front-end of a semitrailer.
  • Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR): The maximum weight axle rating.
  • Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW): The cumulative weight of a vehicle and its cargo.
  • Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR): The cumulative weight of a vehicle rated to carry by the manufacturer.
  • Hazmat: Hazardous materials as classified by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
  • Jackknife: The position in which a trailer is at an acute angle to the tractor.
  • Long Combination Vehicle (LCV): A vehicle no longer than a standard double rig, such as a twin 48-foot trailer, or a triple 28-foot trailer.
  • Relay Driving: A practice that involves several drivers driving one truck in relays. Drivers switch over after 8 to 10 hours driving – have a break, then drive then next truck back home. Trucks can operate 24 hours a day using this system.
  • Reefer: A refrigerated trailer used for transporting foods.
  • Sleeper: A sleeping compartment mounted behind the truck cab.
  • Tandem Axle: A pair of suspension axles typically located close together.
  • Team Drivers: Two drivers traveling together who alternating the driving shifts.
  • Tractors: A truck designed to pull a semitrailer with a fifth wheeler mounted over the rear axle.
  • Tractor Trailer: A combination of a tractor and semitrailer.
  • Tri-Axle: A truck or tractor equipped with three axles grouped at the rear.

You may know many of these terms from day-to-day life as they are used in other areas. ABS is a good example as it’s found in all new vehicles, not just trucks. Other terms such as those related to weight are important since it is illegal to drive with a load that exceeds that weight. You should come across most of these terms whilst undertaking truck driver training.

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