Trucks, Trailers and lorries: What's the difference?
Image of a Motorway at dusk

It’s hard to tell the difference between a truck, trailer and lorry when you’ve not come across them before. That’s before you add in trucker terms such as tautliner or rigid.

Here’s how to spot the difference and impress your colleagues.


A truck is a colloquial term for a heavy goods vehicle, it’s originally an American term. So a truck is a trailer (and cab) as well as lorry.


A trailer requires a cab or tractor unit to move. All available space is used to accommodate cargo. Sometimes called a HGV (Heavy Goods Vehicle). Usually used to transports cargo long distances due to its size and resulting weight.

DrivenMedia’s Branded Trailer

A lorry is a self-contained unit, with space for cargo and cab all attached together. Sometimes called a LGV (Light Goods Vehicle) Usually used for smaller deliveries or into urban areas as it’s smaller size allows it easier access into these tight spaces.

DrivenMedia's Branded Lorry
DrivenMedia’s Branded Lorry