Trucks, Trailers and lorries What’s the difference?

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

What type of vehicles are truck campaigns launched on?

What type of vehicles are truck campaigns launched on?
Action shot of our campaign

You may have learnt that a truck advertising campaign encompasses both trailers and lorries in a previous blog post. But what vehicles do we look to launch our customers on?

We believe bigger is better, so regardless the coverage you’ve requested we will find the largest vehicles to maximise the impact your campaign has.

National campaigns are always trailers because they travel the furthest and have the biggest impact on road users.

Trailer advertising campaigns spend over 80 of their driving time on motorways and A roads and a minimal amount of time in urban centres, typically under 10

Regional campaigns tend to be lorries, as lorries have a smaller operating area and can get into urban areas more easily. Economically and environmentally it’s more efficient to take 1 return trip with a trailer and cab than multiple trips with a fleet of lorries.

Lorry advertising campaigns spend less time on major roads when compared to a trailer advertising campaign however they spend much more time in population centres. Typically 55 of their driving time on Motorways and A Roads and over 30 in towns and cities.

When picking vehicles, we also consider the following;

Haulier’s reputation and respect within the industry.

Vehicle maintenance and cleanliness.

Location and typical routes.

5 Truck Facts

Five facts you probably didn't know about UK logistics

Trucks are amazing! Here are five facts about the powerhouses that pull our campaigns that you probably didn’t know. If you know one of your own why not get in touch and tell us yours.

  • Eighty-five percent of everything we buy, eat, wear and use is moved by a UK-registered lorry. We’d be hungry, cold and naked without our amazing British hauliers.
  • The amount of beer carried by UK lorries in a year would be enough to fill Wembley stadium.That’s a truckload of beer.
  • The first motorised lorry was built in 1896 by Gottlieb Daimler who also produced the first motorbike and the first taxi. Don’t worry they are a lot more efficient and powerful since then.
  •  There are an estimated 285,000 HGV drivers in the UK of whom only 1.2 percent are women. There is a huge shortage of not only female drivers but also people joining the industry.
  • The word lorry was first used in English in 1838 referring to a luggage truck on a train. Some blame road transport and the increase in car ownership for the decline in the railways.

Get in touch if you know any facts of your own

Any Questions?
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