New Jersey is the most densely populated state in the country. It is wedged between New York City and Philadelphia and home to a massive cargo port. The state is home to large distribution centers, warehouses, all types of industry and constant construction. All of these factors mean that New Jersey’s drivers have to contend with an incredible variety of commercial vehicles on the road. Understanding the different types of trucks can help you become a safer driver.
The simplest types of trucks are built on a frame as one single unit. In the trucking industry, they are known as “straight trucks” or “straight jobs.” These trucks do not have any articulation between the cab (the section the driver sits in) and the trailer (the section that holds cargo). Because there is no articulation between these parts, these trucks are less maneuverable than other types of commercial vehicles. These trucks range in size from small box trucks to large firetrucks. Other types of straight trucks include:
- Flatbeds such as tow trucks
- Moving trucks
- Garbage trucks
- Cement mixer trucks
When driving near straight trucks, it is important to remember that they lack the maneuverability of articulated trucks and instead operate like a very large van. If you have been hit by a straight truck, it may be possible to recover damages from the truck’s owner or operator.
Most large trucks have an articulation point between the tractor and the trailer. The device that connects the two is known as a fifth wheel. It works by securely holding onto the trailer’s kingpin. These trucks, usually called semis or tractor-trailers, are able to maneuver more easily than straight trucks because the trailer can pivot as it follows the cab. There are many types of trailers which are specialized for carrying everything from shipping containers or logs to frozen food.
Tractor-trailers have major visibility problems. Drivers often have trouble seeing cars and other vehicles on their right side, even with the assistance of mirrors. It is important never to attempt to pass a large truck on its right side. These vehicles also make extremely wide turns. In some states, it is common to see tractors pulling multiple trailers. These rigs are harder to control and therefore more dangerous. This type of set-up is rare in New Jersey.
At Seigel Law in Ridgewood, our truck accident attorneys represent clients injured by all types of commercial vehicles. Whether you were injured by a construction vehicle, a tractor-trailer or some other commercial vehicle, our legal team can help. We represent clients in Bergen County and throughout New Jersey. To arrange a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 201.444.4000.