Do you know how many kinds of HGV there are in the world? Most people think there are only one or two types to choose from, when in fact there are hundreds of varieties, each created to suit a specific need. After all, all that makes it a HGV is its size and weight, so it’s only natural that some types of vehicle would hit this threshold without you realising it. Today, we wanted to share with you just some of the types of HGVs on the roads today. How many can you name?
This is the most common and most easily-recognisable type of HGV on the roads. Large rigid or articulated lorries, trundling down the motorways between ports and shops, delivering dry and consumer goods of all shapes and sizes. Since these are essentially just big empty boxes, they can be filled with almost anything. Clothes? Yes. Food? Yes. Computers? Yes. Compost? Yes. And anything in-between as well. They typically come in 2 styles – ‘box’ body (which just looks like a big shipping container), or ‘curtain-sided’, which looks like an enormous heavy shower curtain draped over a metal frame.
Flatbed lorries are a good all-rounder, because they have a flat, open body that’s perfect for transporting large, heavy items that just won’t fit into containers. This means you see all sorts of weird and wonderful things strapped to them, from boars and machinery to construction materials and even a fully assembled mobile home!
There are some elements of the emergency services that require driving. Ambulances police and fire departments all have driving requirements, and while not all of them will require a HGV licences, some do. Fire engines in particular do need a HGV licence to drive, thanks to their size and weight. For almost all emergency services driving, you will still need to go on some service specific advanced driving courses.
Despite the fact that livestock can move on its own, farmers, manufacturers and other businesses still need a way to move it around to where they need it. For this, they use livestock lorries. These are often large lorries with box or curtained sides, so the only difference on the outside are the slits and holes designed to let the animals breathe. Inside, they will be configured with cages and ramps to keep the animals safe during transit. Cows, pigs, chickens, goats and even horses are transported this way. These are generally only designed to be driven for short distances, like between farms and markets.
A refrigerated truck does exactly what it says on the tin. It’s a vehicle that has a refrigeration unit in the back, keeping whatever is being transported cold during the journey. They vary hugely in size, from individual refrigerated vans used by butchers to articulated lorry-sized refrigerated units for transporting food and drink in bulk.
Tankers are another one that is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a tank, that’s turned on its side and attached to a specialist holder so that it can be transported across the country. They are mainly designed to hold liquids, and there will be different designs depending on the type of liquid they will be transporting. Some are designed to carry oils, which are highly flammable. Others to carry toxic chemicals or hazardous waste, which are very dangerous. While others are designed to just carry plain old water. But they can also be used to carry other ‘liquid-like’ materials that are challenging to transport in other ways – like grains, powders or sugars.
This is our favourite section, because it basically covers everything else we haven’t mentioned above. All of those HGV’s so specific that unless you’re in the industry, you might not even know they exist. These HGV’s have been designed for one specific purpose in mind, so they might only be used in one place, for one job, or at one time of year. A few examples include:
At The LGV Training Centre, we are dedicated to helping people learn new skills when it comes to driving. Our experts are on hand to help you work out what direction you want to take your driving career in, and help you understand which qualifications and licences you need to do that. More than that, we help you learn too! Our training courses are specifically designed to teach the skills needed to drive all of the HGV’s we’ve talked about today, and more. If you want to find out more, just get in touch with the team today.