(from wikipedia, Clean up and UK makes list required, with redefined links) (as a subsidary definition for project not top priority)
A truck is a large vehicle used for transporting bulk goods, materials, or equipment. The word "truck" comes from the Greek "trochos", meaning "wheel." In North America, the big wheels of wagons were called trucks. When the gas-oil engine driven trucks came into fashion, these were called "motor trucks." Lorry is a term from the UK, but is only used for the medium and heavy types (see below), i.e. a van, a pickup truck or a Jeep would never be regarded as a "lorry."
In most countries, a different driver's license is required to drive any type of truck greater than 3.5 tonnes.
Trucks can use all sorts of engines. Small trucks such as Sport utility vehicle (SUV)s or pickup trucks, and even light medium-duty trucks in North America and Russia still use gasoline engines. Most heavier trucks use four stroke turbocharged intercooler diesel engines, although there are alternatives. Huge off-highway trucks use locomotive-type engines such as a V12 Detroit Diesel two stroke engine.
North American manufactured highway trucks almost always use an engine built by a third party, such as CAT, Cummins, or Detroit Diesel. The only exceptions to this are Volvo Trucks and Mack Trucks, which are available with subsidiary of DaimlerChrysler, which are available with Mercedes-Benz and Detroit Diesel engines. The Swedish truckmaker Scania claims they stay away from the U.S.-market because of this third party tradition.
In the European union all truck engines must comply with Euro 4 regulations, the regulations will become more severe in 2008 with the introduction of Euro 5. These are stringent requirements on the limits of exhaust emissions that are permitted.
Small trucks use the same type of transmissions as almost all cars which have either an automatic transmission or a manual transmission with synchromesh. Bigger trucks often use manual transmissions without synchronisers which have less bulk and weight although synchromesh transmissions are used in larger trucks as well. Transmissions without synchronisers known as "crash boxes" require double clutching for each shift, (which can lead to repetitive motion injuries), or a technique known colloquially as "floating," a method of changing gears which doesn't use the clutch, except for starts and stops, due to the physical effort of double clutching especially with non power assisted clutches, faster shifts, and less clutch wear. Double clutching allows the driver to control the engine and transmission revolutions to synchronize, so that a smooth shift can be made e.g. when upshifting, accelerator pedal is released and the clutch pedal is depressed while the gear lever is moved in to neutral, clutch pedal is than released and quickly pushed down again while the gear lever is moved to the next highest gear. Finally, the clutch pedal is released and accelerator pedal pushed down to obtain required engine rpms. Although this is a relatively fast movement perhaps a second or so while transmission is in neutral it allows the engine speed to drop and synchronize engine and transmission revolutions relative to the road speed. Downshifting is performed in a similar fashion except the engine speed is now required to increase (while transmission is in neutral) just a right amount in order to achieve the synchronisation for the smooth non-crunching gearchange. The so called skip changing is also widely used, in principle operation is the same but it requires neutral be held slightly longer than single gearchange. Common North American setups include 9, 10, 13, 15, and 18 speeds. Automatic and semi-automatic transmissions for heavy trucks are becoming more and more common, due to advances both in transmission and engine power. In Europe 8, 10 and 12 gears are common on larger trucks with manual transmission, while automatic or semiautomatic transmission would have anything from 5 to 12 gears. Almost all heavy trucks transmissions are of a "range (double H shift pattern ) and split" type where range change and so called half gears or splits are air operated and always preselected before the main gears selection.
The chassis or frame of a truck is commonly constructed mainly of two beams, and several crossmembers. A truck chassis consists of two parallel straight C-shaped beams, or in some cases stepped or tapered beams, these held together by crossmembers. In most instances, gussets help attach the crossmembers to the beams. The "C-shape" of the beams has a middle vertical and longer side, and a short horizontal flange at each end; the length of the beams is variable. The chassis is usually made of steel, but can be made (whole or in part) of aluminium for a lighter weight. The integrity of the chemical composition (carbon, molybdenum, etc.) and structure of the beams is of uttermost importance to its strength, and to help prevent cracking or breaking of beams, and to help maintain rigidity and flexibility of the frame, welding, drilling and other types of modifications should not be performed by unlicenced persons. The chassis is the main structure of the truck, and the other parts attach to it. A tow hitch may be found attached at one or both ends.
(list awaiting editing to UK list, with Old and Current manufacturers sections)
- Alexander Dennis (UK)
- Carmichael (UK)
- DAF Trucks (Netherlands) (division of PACCAR)
- Dennis Eagle (UK)
- ELBO (Greece)
- Ford Trucks (UK)
- Ginaf (Netherlands)
- Iveco (Italy)
- MAN AG (Germany)
- Mercedes-Benz (Germany)
- Renault Trucks (France)
- Sisu Auto (Finland)
- Scania (Sweden)
- Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles (Germany)
- Volvo Trucks (Sweden) (not to be confused with Volvo cars, which is part of Ford Motor Company)
(Rest of the world's manufactures list delete as not relevant, see link to main wiki entry for full list)
In the UK, three truck shows are popular -
- Shropshire Truck Show  in Oswestry Showground during May
- The UK Truck Show  held in June at Santa Pod Raceway and FIA European Drag Racing Championships from the home of European Drag-Racing. The UK Truck Show features drag-racing with 6-ton trucks from the British Truck Racing Association, plus other diesel-powered entertainment.
- TruckFest Held at Peterborough show ground in May
Truck Shows provide operators with an opportunity to win prestigious awards for their trucks.
Wikipedia for base article (Non relavent sections removed)
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