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Tractor Unit

A tractor unit can hitched up a trailer. It is a solution widely used by carriers. It allows carrying and delivering large quantities of goods leaving the hauliers free to deliver several customers and leave the trailer to them.

The tractor unit is a vehicle designed to haul other vehicles not motorized (trailers). The exact name of the tractor with its trailer: an articulated vehicle. Their specific equipments are auxiliary crane and power take-off.


A tractor unit can have many axles depending on axle load legislation. The most common types are 4x2, 6x2 and 6x4 types. However, some manufacturers offer 6x6, 8x6, 8x8, 10x8, and 10x10. A 6x4 has three axles, two motors.

The 6x4 is more common in long-distance transport in big countries like the United States and Australia.

In Europe, 4x2 and 6x2 are the most used. The rear axle can be raised when the load is light or without a trailer. It saves the tire wear and increases the traction. The 8x6 has four axles: 3 rear axle for guiding. The 8x8 also have four axles. The 10x8 has five axles. The 10x10 units were five-axle all powered.

In some countries (like Switzerland), a little weight must be distributed over the axles, otherwise another tractor unit should be used.

Tractor Unit

Tractor Unit


Cabs are generally equipped with one or more bunks. They are usually at the back of the driver and sometimes above it.

There are two types of cabins: the cab and the cab semi-advanced. The cab provides access to the engine because it’s under it, it is straight and tilting. The semi-advanced one is characterized by its hood at the front.


This is a “overfeed” diesel, type turbocharger. The power can range from 250 to 680 HP and the transmission can be provided from 8 to 16 gears. The clutch, transmission shaft and rear axles transmit the power to the wheels. These are all robust parts, planned to undergo high constraints.


In the EU countries and European states that have signed the ADR (European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road), tractors unit, with tankers carrying flammable liquids must be specially modified to reduce the risk of fire. This includes the use of a fully insulated electric reinstalling exhaust components, and assembly of all wiring in conduit. In countries that have signed the ADR agreement, the driver must necessarily have special training for the transport of dangerous goods. This is a supplement to the main ADR training certificate.