You likely have heard many different names used for the giant vehicles that haul goods and cargo on the highway — semi-truck, tractor-trailer, big rig, 18-wheeler, or simply truck. But do each of these names refer to different types of vehicles? Are there any differences between a truck, semi-truck, and 18-wheeler?
Semi-Truck, Truck, 18-Wheeler: What’s the Difference?
Depending on the context, the term “truck” may refer to a wide range of commercial vehicles, including box trucks, tractor-trailers, 18-wheelers, and semi-trucks. These specific terms typically refer to a truck’s body type, wheels, and other defining characteristics.
A semi-truck has two parts: a trailer, which carries cargo, and a tractor, which contains the engine. Notably, a semi-truck’s tractor can detach from its trailer, and semi-trucks often travel without trailers.
The terms 18-wheeler and tractor-trailer simply refer to a semi-truck and its trailer. Tractor-trailers are sometimes called 18-wheelers due to the total number of wheels on the tractor and trailer.
Are All Semi-Trucks Commercial Motor Vehicles?
A commercial vehicle transports goods or passengers for a profit. Semi-trucks often fall under this definition. A vehicle could also be considered a commercial vehicle if it meets a certain weight threshold. A semi-truck will certainly qualify as a commercial motor vehicle when combined with a trailer.
Different Types of Trailers for Semi-Trucks
Semi-trucks have various types of trailers, each designed for a specific job or to haul a particular kind of cargo. These include:
- Flatbed trailers
- Refrigerated trailers
- Lowboy trailers
- Conestoga trailers
- Dry van trailers
- Logging trailers
- Tipper trailers
- Single/double drop trailers
- Removable gooseneck trailers
- Liquid or gas tankers
- Car carriers
What to Do After a Semi-Truck Accident
The things you do after a truck accident can impact your health and ability to recover compensation. If possible, you should:
- Call 911.
- Get the truck driver’s driver’s license number, employer name, and insurance information.
- Take photos and video of the crash scene.
- Go to the hospital or see a doctor to evaluate your injuries.
- Keep copies of medical bills and receipts for accident-related expenses.
- Retain your pay stubs and tax returns if you missed work while recovering from your injuries.
- Talk to a truck accident attorney to learn your legal options.
Hurt in an Accident with a Semi-Truck? Call a Truck Accident Lawyer Today
If you suffered injuries in a truck crash that was not your fault, reach out to the attorneys at Swenson & Shelley for a free, no-obligation consultation. A semi-truck accident lawyer from our law firm can explain your rights and options for seeking compensation for your losses. Call or contact us today.