What is the difference between a "tractor-trailer" and "truck-trailer"?

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by NY2001, Jul 22, 2022.

  1. NY2001

    NY2001 Light Load Member

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    I am confused, I always thought they were the same thing but in NY, it's different and am hoping someone can just clarify this for me. Thanks.
     
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  3. homeskillet

    homeskillet Road Train Member

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    Check the "Definitions" section of the FMCSR.
     
  4. brian991219

    brian991219 Road Train Member

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    Tractor trailer is a vehicle without a body, just a 5th wheel hitch designed exclusively to haul a semi-trailer using a kingpin/5th wheel coupler.

    Truck trailer combination is any truck and trailer combination that does not meet that definition such as a truck with a pickup body, hauler body or even a dump truck or similiar vehicle pulling a trailer. Truck trailer combinations can have a 5th wheel, gooseneck or ball type hitch.

    The truck title and registration will have a "brand mark" such as TK or TT to distinguish how the state identifies the vehicle.

    The distinction is important for obtaining an unrestricted class A CDL, use the truck trailer instead of a tractor trailer and you will have a restricted license. It is also important for allowable overall length, a tractor trailer has no overall length restriction just the trailer length is limited while a truck trailer is limited to 65' overall length from front of truck to rear of trailer.
     
  5. NY2001

    NY2001 Light Load Member

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    Thanks man.
     
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  6. kemosabi49

    kemosabi49 Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member

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    Some tractors don't have a fifth wheel. Instead they have either a box or a flatbed deck or a tank mounted behind the cab. Then they have a trailer, 20 to 28 ft long and up towed behind attached by a pintle hitch. These were called a truck and trailer when I worked loading trucks when I lived in California.
     
  7. tscottme

    tscottme Road Train Member

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    Everything in trucking has 408 names, plus regional differences. Each one will be defended as THE ONLY name for the thing.
     
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  8. Florescent-android92

    Florescent-android92 Light Load Member

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    Tractor has fifth wheel job. It's useless on it's own, yet powerful freight machine when coupled with trailer.

    The truck has steer tires and cargo on same frame.
     
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  9. Ridgeline

    Ridgeline Road Train Member

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    NOTHING!

    they are interchangeable terms.

    there is a further distinction between the types of trucks/tractors, like day cabs or sleeper cabs.
     
  10. Lazer

    Lazer Heavy Load Member

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    Easiest way is think of a dump truck also pulling a dump trailer.
    Fuel truck also pulling a fuel trailer.
    Both are ‘truck/trailer’
    Tractor with semi trailer sitting on fifth wheel, is ‘tractor/trailer.
    Truck/trailer, and Tractor/trailer, no need for doubles endorsement.
     
  11. wis bang

    wis bang Road Train Member

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    look up semi-trailer VRS full trailer.

    a truck and full trailer would be a truck with a freight body pulling a full trailer, all class 8 equipment

    a tractor and semi trailer uses a fifth wheel to support the semi trailer but a full trailer could stand alone...

    Then you can look to Canada for Aaaah train VRS B train too
     
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