The Anatomy of Trucks and Lorries

A lorry is a large vehicle designed to carry cargo.

Lorries vary greatly in size, smaller almost car like trucks up to custom built specialised cargo hauling trucks.

There are 4 main sections on any truck. This guide aims to run through briefly about each one.


The cab is where the driver is seated, it is an enclosed space. Some trucks feature a space behind the cab where the driver can rest while not driving, this is called the sleeper. 3 types of cab design exist, these are Cab Over Engine (COE), Cab Beside Engine (CBE) and Conventional cabs

Most COE trucks are found in and around Europe as the length is strictly regulated. The driver is sat in the cab above the engine.

North America has the highest concentration of conventional cabs. The driver is sat behind the engine like most car drivers.

Cab Beside Engine trucks tend to operate in specialised conditions, for example dumper trucks have CBE designs


Most lorries use four stroke diesel engines. These engines have a turbo charger and an after-cooler. Some small to medium trucks can also use petrol engines.


Smaller trucks will use transmissions similar to cars and SUV’s, however most large trucks will use a manual transmission without a synchroniser. This type of transmission requires the driver to double clutch when up shifting or down shifting but does save weight on overall truck design.


A lorry frame, sometimes known as a ladder frame consists of 2 parallel steal beams held together by cross members. They are almost always made of steel, although some trucks have aluminium to save weight.

Although trucks will vary between countries and even manufacturers the above list gives you a brief run down on the anatomy of a truck..


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