This is a very subjective topic. I have been driving trucks for over 20 years and am currently in the process of building my own truck to be used as a daily driver, so this will be based on what I think works best for me and others like myself. The first thing that you need to know about Australia is that it has some pretty harsh conditions compared with other countries. We are not talking just hot weather here but also extreme heat during the summer months which can cause problems if your vehicle does not handle these temperatures well. This means that we must look at things such as cooling systems, engine management, suspension etc.
What are Road Trains in Australia?
Road trains are popular because they offer reliability and the ability to carry a considerable load without compromising too much on-road performance. They tend to come equipped with 4×4 or 6×6 drivetrains and usually have an automatic transmission. These vehicles are generally designed to work in all sorts of road conditions including Australias famous wet season dust/mud, rough rocky roads, and potholes although these do take a toll on the trucks so maintenance is mission-critical.
Road train owners often travel huge distances across some of Australia’s most remote areas so reliability and comfort is a consideration also for driving and sleeping.
The most common type of road train is called a “land train”. It consists of two trailers connected by a central cab section. There are many different types of trailer designs available from small flatbeds up to large box vans. Most commonly there are three axle units attached to each side of the trailer. Some models may only have one axle unit per side while others may have four axles. A typical configuration would consist of:
Two single axle units
One double axle unit
Four triple axle units.
Another design is known as a “long combination vehicle”. In this case, the rear end of the trailer is extended beyond the front bumper of the tractor. This allows the trailer to carry longer loads. Longer load carrying capacity comes at the cost of reduced manoeuvrability due to increased turning radius.
What are Australian roads like for trucks?
The longest road in Australia is the Stuart Highway between Darwin and Adelaide. At 1,200km it is almost twice the length of any highway in North America.
There are several advantages to using a road train rather than a conventional semi-truck when travelling through rough country. Firstly, the weight distribution is better allowing the tyres to grip harder and therefore making them less likely to spin out. Secondly, the centre of gravity is lower meaning that the vehicle tends to stay upright under heavy loading. Thirdly, the low profile makes it easier to negotiate tight turns and narrow passes. Finally, the high ground clearance helps keep the wheels clear of obstacles.
There are disadvantages, however. One major disadvantage is that road trains do not perform nearly as well on paved surfaces as regular semi-trailers. Another problem is that road trains cannot tow anything larger than their own body weight. Also, road trains require special permits to operate in certain states.
The main reason for this is that road trains are considered commercial vehicles which require extra licensing requirements. However, once you get past those initial hurdles, road trains provide excellent value for money compared to other options.
Types of Trucks In Australia
These are the standard trucks found throughout Australia. Semi-trucks can be either open bed or enclosed. Open beds allow access into the back of the truck where goods can be loaded onto pallets. Boxes enclose the cargo area providing protection against weather conditions such as rain, wind etc. Both styles offer good visibility but they differ greatly in terms of safety features.
These trucks use vacuum technology to lift items off the floor. They are very popular with companies who need to transport bulk materials like cement, sand, gravel etc. Vacuum trucks come in both open and closed configurations.
Box Trucks Box trucks are similar to semi-trucks except they don’t have an internal cabin. Instead, boxes are placed around the outside of the truck creating a containerised system. Box trucks are often referred to as “flatbeds” because they resemble flatbed trailers.
Flat Bed Trucks Flatbed trucks are also called box trucks. Unlike box trucks, these trucks have no sides so all the space inside the truck is available for transporting goods. Most flatbed trucks will only hold one type of item while some may be able to handle multiple types of material. Some flatbed trucks even feature hydraulic lifts to make unloading easy.