Tractor: Road Tractor
The road tractor, not to be confused with the agricultural tractor, is a vehicle equipped with a fifth wheel for towing a semi-trailer. It belongs to the heavyweight family. The vehicle consisting of a tractor and a semi-trailer is called a "tractor-trailer". When the TRR is driven alone, it is said to be "solo".
Tractors are often used for long-haul transport, as they can tow semi-trailers with a large loading capacity, which is more economical. Some tractors are specially designed for the transport of dangerous goods (ADR), or exceptional convoys when they are towing a semi-carrier. A tractor can be equipped with an auxiliary crane to facilitate the loading and unloading of its cargo on the SREM.
TRRs are equipped with axles that allow them to support the load of the SREM. For a tractor with 4 × 2 or 4 × 4 axles, the maximum authorized weight (Gross Vehicle Weight or GVW) is 19 tonnes. For a 6 × 2, 6 × 4 or 6 × 6 tractor, the GVW is 26 tons. Finally, for an 8 × 4 road tractor (rarer), the gross vehicle weight is 32 tonnes. Tractor speed is limited to 90 km / h. Most often equipped with a turbocharged diesel engine, tractors sometimes benefit from all-wheel drive.
There are two main types of cabins for tractors: forward cabs and conventional cabs. The forward cabin or "flat nose", where the engine is located under the cabin, is the majority configuration in Europe. It can be either tilting or fixed. The conventional or "long nose" cab is more common in the USA where the roads are larger and the size of articulated vehicles less regulated. Tractors with a “hood” cab such as the Freightliner or the Scania Torpedo offer the driver greater living space and comfort, which is appreciable on long journeys.
The first road tractor was marketed by Renault in 1923, before being fitted with a brake booster in 1925. Subsequently, all the major brands in turn offered tractors.
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