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Transloading

The act of loading goods directly from one truck to another truck, frequently done at border crossing points or points at which ownership changes hands. Can be used to speed up delivery to final destination.

Tractor

A powered vehicle with a heavy-duty engine specifically designed to pull large loads on trailers. Tractors usually run on diesel fuel, have multi-ratio gears, and come in the form of a large cab.

Trailer

An unpowered, multi axle platform that is pulled by a tractor. Trailers can have many configurations, including being flat surfaces, enclosed, refrigerated, two part (close-coupled) or some variation of therein.

Semi-truck / tractor trailer truckTractor Trailer Truck

The combination of a tractor coupled with a trailer, joined with an articulated joint (drawbar) that enables enhanced manoeuvrability. 

Single unit truck / straight truckUnit Truck / Straight Truck

A truck where the cab and the truck bed section are permanently connected, and joints are not articulating. The wheels under the bed section can be powered from the main engine giving all-wheel drive and additional grip and handling on the road.

Axle

A rotating shaft that connects wheels on either side of the base of a vehicle. Trucks are often described by the number of axles they have. A higher number of axles may be required for heavier loads or unimproved/off road conditions.

Shunting

The act of transporting cargo over short-haul distances between near-by and often predefined locations, such as between a sea port and a warehouse. Shunting vehicles may require less special equipment and may incur less wear and tear, and often operate in urban environments.

Long haulHaul

The act of moving cargo over long distances, comprising days or weeks and possibly crossing international boundaries. Long haul trucking may require cooking and sleeping amenities for drivers, repair equipment on board at all times, long range communication equipment, and may require off road capabilities.

Lift gate Gate 

A self-powered platform connected to the rear of a truck that will lift pallets/heavy cargo without the need for manual loading. Sometimes also called a "lifting platform."

Intermodal

The act of switching between two modes of transport. In trucking, intermodal frequently refers to the use of shipping containers that can be loaded between different vessels and vehicles as a single unit without having to offload cargo.

Porter

Human, hand loading and offloading. Porters are heavily used in humanitarian contexts.

Bonded truckingTrucking

A truck that is hauling cargo that is yet uncleared through customs into a country. Bonded trucking is highly regulated and comes with additional security precautions that must be complied with. Bonded trucking is typically for short-haul activities, such as moving cargo from an airport to an off side bonded storage facility, but also commonly used while in transit across multiple countries.

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  • Asking for documentation to prove authorised license to operate the vehicle in question
  • Request a background check
  • Ask the applicant to demonstrate their driving skill first hand in a safe location
  • Have technical questions prepared
  • If possible, enact a drug screening program

Third-

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Party Transport

Humanitarian organisations have become increasingly reliant on third-party transport providers as a method of moving cargo into and around response operations. The overall running cost of using third-party companies may be higher, but in the volatile nature of response activities, outside companies can help start operations quickly, and organisations can start or stop operations as quickly as needed without concern for what to do with large physical assets like trucks. Even if an organisation owns its vehicles, there may well be occasions when a need arises for additional capacity to meet peak activity or other short-term needs. This can be met by the use of vehicles supplied by a third-party commercial transport provider.

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