Many types of trucks can be used to haul freight. Each comes with its own advantages, though some may only be right in certain scenarios. If you're starting a trucking company, it helps to know how each of these trucks can be useful for your transportation needs.


Flatbed trucks have an open bed or platform in the back. There is no enclosure, allowing for the transport of large, bulky, or oversized cargo. Flatbeds are ideal for heavy machinery, steel pipes, lumber, and construction materials. The design of this truck makes it easy to load and unload, and it can accommodate a wide variety of items in varying shapes and sizes. When using flatbed trucks, you may need to apply for overweight and oversize permits before sending the freight on its way.


Reefers, or refrigerated trucks, are the best option if you need to transport temperature-sensitive items. Medications, food, and other perishable goods will require a refrigerated truck.

Reefer trucks have refrigeration units that keep the cargo compartment at a set temperature. This allows goods that can spoil to travel long distances without compromising quality.

Straight Trucks

Straight trucks have the cab and cargo area mounted on the same chassis. They are best for delivering cargo to local or regional destinations and are easier to maneuver. Straight trucks are often used to ship packages and household items. They often feature ramps or liftgates to help with loading and unloading.


Tanker trucks are used to move gasses and liquids to their destinations. They often transport petroleum, chemicals, or water. Driving a tanker truck requires you to take extra precautions to comply with regulations for safety.


Semi-trucks or semis are among the most commonly used trucks in the industry. These have a cab and a semi-trailer attached with a hitch that makes it easier to ship large quantities of freight. There are many sizes and styles of semi-trucks, but most of them are versatile enough to transport a variety of goods.

Dump Trucks

Dump trucks are adept at hauling gravel, sand, dirt, and debris. They have platforms that make it easy to raise and lower for offloading loose bulk materials. Dump trucks are most often used for construction, mining, and waste management needs.

Box Trucks

Box trucks may be best for transporting items short or medium distances. They get their name from their distinctive square, or box, shape. A box truck may be ideal when you need to haul smaller goods, such as for retail, restaurants, or distribution facilities.

These are also the types of trucks commonly used for moving. They are easier to maneuver and have greater measures for protecting the items within during transit.

These are just a few of the types of trucks that are used in the trucking industry. Your fleet may require a variety of different trucks or use all the same type, depending on what you need to transport and where.