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What is a Semi Truck?

International CV Series


What you know as a semi truck is actually two parts: a semi-tractor to provide the power and a semi-trailer to carry the cargo. Why is it called a semi truck? A shortened form of semi-trailer truck, the term “semi truck” is commonly used to describe the entire tractor-trailer unit. Learn more about what constitutes a semi truck, and find the best semi truck for your jobs.

What is a Semi Tractor Trailer Used For?

Trailers come in a wide range of body styles to fit specific applications. For instance, you might connect your semi-tractor to a flatbed semi-trailer for heavy or irregular loads, a lowboy trailer for loads as tall as 12 feet, or a dump (“tipper”) truck to transport construction materials.

Semi Truck Meaning

What’s a semi truck compared to an 18-wheeler? It’s easy to get confused by the many different terms for a semi truck. An 18-wheeler is actually just another name for a semi-tractor-trailer with a total of 18 wheels. Why is it called a semi truck, and what makes it different from a typical truck? The semi-trailer is attached via a hitch to the semi truck, meaning that the design — and capability — is fundamentally different from a rigid truck and trailer. The semi-truck meaning is based on the fact that you need distinct parts to make the tractor-trailer unit.

What is a Semi Tractor Trailer?

What’s a semi truck without cargo? You know that the semi-tractor provides the engine power, but what is a semi-tractor-trailer used for? That depends on what you need it to do. From heavy-duty commercial construction to small-business deliveries, there are a variety of semi-trailer sizes and styles for semi trucks. Popular options include:

  • Flatbed Trailer
  • Lowboy Trailer
  • Reefer Trailer
  • Conestoga Trailer
  • Step Deck Trailer
  • Dry Van Trailer
  • Extendable Double Drop Trailer
  • Stretch Double Drop Trailer
  • Stretch Single Drop Deck Trailer
  • Removable Gooseneck Trailer (RNG)
  • Stretch Removable Gooseneck Trailer (RNG)
  • Multi-Car Trailer

Find a High-Quality Used Semi-Truck at International Used Truck Centers

Ready to find the perfect used semi-tractor-trailer for your jobs? Explore cab options like day cabs, sleeper cabs, and more in our inventory. Our expert team is here to help however we can — whether you need semi-truck coolant maintenance or more info about insurance coverage. Contact us today to get started!

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International Used Truck Centers 41.776180, -88.200918.