Lorries are large vehicles that are used for transporting commodities. Most of the time, the commodities are transported by the lorries from the warehouse to the customer or vice versa.

Lorries are also called Heavy Goods Vehicles or HGVs and they weigh more than 7.5 tonnes. Because driving this kind of vehicle is a specialist skill, you are required to get the Heavy Goods Vehicle Driver’s License from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency.

There are 3 main types of Heavy Goods Vehicles according to the Department of Transport.

  • Smaller 2-Axle Lorries – The UK maximum gross weight in tonnes for these vehicles is over 3.5.
  • Bigger 2-Axle Lorries – The UK maximum gross weight in tonnes for these vehicles is over 7.5.
  • Multi-Axle Lorries – These vehicles can either have 3, 4, 5 or 6 axles. These vehicles can either be rigid or articulated. The UK maximum gross weight in tonnes for these vehicles ranges from 25 to 44.

What are rigid lorries?

They are called rigid because the tractor and trailer are fixed securely with each other, which makes the driving experience similar to that of a regular car. A lot of HGV drivers would agree that gaining driving experience with various types of rigid lorries is very important early on in their career. 

The more driving experience you have, the better your handling of lorries would be. This means that you will eventually move on to driving a larger vehicle with a bigger load capacity. As you gradually progress with your lorry driving skills, it is very likely that you will experience an upgrade in the type of lorry you will be driving. 

Although rigid lorries are frequently used in various industries, is it not appropriate for all types of commodity transport because this vehicle can only be accessed through the rear. Nonetheless, they are great for commercial deliveries and secondary distribution. 

Some of the rigid lorry models have electronic tail lifts: this feature is great for making commodities easily accessible and reducing the amount of physical labour needed in carrying the commodities in and out of the vehicle. Other rigid lorry models even have roof access and sliding rear or side access: these features are ideal when commodities are needed to be collected from warehouses with limited access.  

Rigid lorries can accommodate a load that ranges from 25 to 30 tonnes, which is around 14 standard palettes.

As you already know, these vehicles are very important in the transport, logistics and shipping industries. Today, let’s take a look at some of the types of lorries and what purpose they serve. 

What are articulated lorries?

Unlike rigid lorries, articulated lorries, or artics, have 2 distinct parts; the tractor and trailer. These vehicles are excellent for transporting large numbers of commodities of up to 44 tonnes. 

If you are already familiar with driving a rigid lorry, perhaps you would want to upgrade and experience driving a bigger one. You need to take a lot of preparations though. Driving a rigid lorry is quite different from driving an articulated one. 

Articulated lorries are frequently used when vehicles are required to cross the sea. Take for instance the Mediterranean route. The trailers are usually transported separately from the tractor on ferries and are picked up by a different tractor upon arrival to the destination. If your business involves international haulage, artics are the kind of vehicles that can do the job.

What purpose can lorries serve?

Both rigid and articulated lorries can be used in transporting dry goods and consumer goods. This includes a wide array of items such as fruits, vegetables, electronics, kitchen utensils, garden tools, clothes and a whole lot more. The size of the lorry would depend on the number of items that are needed to be transported. 

When it comes to transporting cement, towing trucks, transporting cars and maintaining the highway, specialist vehicles are required to do the job. Some vehicles that belong under this category are car transporters, cement mixers, highway maintenance vehicles, snow ploughs and tow trucks.

When sheep, chicken, cows, pigs and other animals are needed, livestock trucks are utilised. These vehicles usually cover short distances, often from farms to markets or vice versa. 

If various construction raw materials, machinery, industrial equipment or pipework are needed for transport, flatbed lorries are the perfect vehicle for such goods. The open body of the flatbed lorry is great for moving heavy and bulky items that are not necessarily affected by the weather elements like heat and rain. To keep the items from moving while being transported, they are strapped down for safety. 

When it comes to transporting yogurt, ice cream, frozen fish, frozen meat and other goods that require a cold chain, refrigerated trucks are used primarily for this reason. They come in various shapes and sizes. They are used to keep the goods fresh while they are being shipped across the nation.

How about moving large amounts of sugar, grains, powders, cooking oil, petrol, chemicals and other commodities? Tankers are meant for these. 

No matter what type of items are being transported, driving a rigid or articulated lorry would require the driver to have an HGV licence. Acquiring this licence is not as complicated as you think. All you need is the right guidance and training. That’s where we come in!

Are you looking forward to getting your career moving and developing your driving ability? Get in touch with Truck School Swindon today!  

Driver Training Courses available in Truck School Swindon are:

  • Pre-Course Assessment
  • Category C – Rigid Lorry
  • Category C+E – Articulated Lorry
  • Module 4 CPC – Training and in house Testing
  • Category C & C+E Refresher Training
  • C+E Reversing Assessment Training
  • Category B&E Training

At Truck School Swindon, we believe that choosing the right training provider is essential in gaining a successful result. Take advantage of our free assessment and talk to our expert trainers on 07813596593!