Logistics Glossary

What is an Articulated Truck?

An articulated truck, often referred to as an articulated lorry in some regions, is a heavy-duty commercial vehicle consisting of a tractor unit and one or more semi-trailers to carry freight. The key characteristic of this vehicle is its jointed framework which allows the trailer(s) to pivot in relation to the tractor, providing enhanced manoeuvrability particularly in tight spaces.

Articulated Truck Meaning in Logistics

In logistics, an articulated truck is essential for transporting large volumes of goods, especially over long distances. Its design allows for a larger cargo capacity compared to rigid trucks, with the added benefit of flexibility during unloading and loading processes.

Types of Articulated Truck

Different types of articulated vehicles are designed to serve specific transportation needs:

- Flatbed Trailers: Ideal for heavy or oversized goods that do not require protection from the elements
- Refrigerated Trailers (Reefers): Used for transporting temperature-sensitive cargo
- Tanker Trailers: Designed for liquid or gas transportation, often constructed with specialised materials for safety
- Container Carriers: Built to transport standard-sized shipping containers efficiently
- Low Loaders: Engineered to haul heavy and oversized equipment
- Side Loaders: Facilitate the loading and unloading of containers from the side
 Each articulated trailer type is an important component of modern logistics, providing solutions for diverse cargo requirements.

What Licence Is Required to Drive an Articulated Truck?

To operate an articulated lorry, drivers must obtain a specific heavy vehicle driving licence. In many countries, this is categorised as a Class 1 licence. The requirements to acquire this licence typically include a minimum age, holding a standard driver's licence for a set period, passing a medical examination and successfully complete theory and practical driving tests specific to articulated vehicles.

Licencing and Regulations

Regulations may also mandate periodic training to ensure the driver’s skills remain up-to-date with safety standards and industry practices. It’s crucial for drivers to comply with these regulations to legally and safely operate an articulated wagon.

What Goods Can Be Transported with an Articulated Truck?

Articulated trucks are incredibly versatile when it comes to the types of goods they can transport. Here are some examples:

- General Cargo: Furniture, electronics, and boxed items
- Refrigerated Goods: Perishables like food and pharmaceuticals in temperature-controlled trailers
Bulk Materials: Agricultural products, liquids (in tankers), and dry bulk such as sand or gravel
- Oversized Loads: Construction equipment, wind turbine blades, and industrial components
- Hazardous Materials: Chemicals and fuels, requiring specialized tankers and additional certifications