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Overseas buyers Guide


Guide to common UK Heavy Duty Diesel Trucks and Terms

Trucks purchased from the UK will be right hand drive (we drive on the left side of the road, steering wheel on the right).
Conversion to left hand drive is usually possible.

The European truck market is the most sophisticated in the world and the British market is the most competitive of all European countries.

Because of this and the strict laws governing truck upkeep, a used truck from Britain offers the best value in technical standards and pricing anywhere in the world.

Common used Terms:

Tractor Unit or Articulated Tractor Unit.
The towing part of what Americans call a "rig" which pulls a trailer that imposes part of its load on the towing vehicle. Also known as a Prime Mover, Tractive Unit, Mechanical Horse, Horse, Artic or Motive Unit.


As the name suggests, a rigid truck with 2, 3 or 4 axles.

Known in many countries as a Dumper. Usualy a rigid truck with a tipping body for easy unload of loose cargo.

An American usage to describe the complete vehicle, towing truck and trailer.

Vehicle Weights
The first cause of much confusion is the "weight" of a truck. In many countries, a "ten tonne truck" is one that carries ten tonnes, but in Britain and the rest of Europe, it is the Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW). This is the weight of the complete vehicle, including the body, load, fuel and the driver.

Axle Configurations
Axle Configurations or Wheel Plans In the UK, trucks are referred to as being 4x2, 6x2, 8x4 etc.

4x2. A truck with two axles, only one of which transmits driving power. The rear axle will normally have twin rear wheels but the British convention is to count them as one wheel each. Depending on how you count those rear wheels, it may also be called a four wheeler or a Six wheeler.
6x4. A truck with 3 axles, two of which transmit the drive. Again, the drive axles will normally have twin rear wheels so the there will be a total of 10 wheels on these trucks although we count twins as singles. Sometimes known in the UK as a six wheeler and in some countries as a ten wheeler, a double diff or double drive.
6x2. These have 3 axles, only one of which transmits the drive. They carry the same weight as a 6x4, but are cheaper, simpler and use less fuel.
8x4. This is an arrangement found almost without exception, on large tipping vehicles that require the weight carrying capacity and the adhesion of two drive axles.

Cab Configuration
Each manufacturer produces a range of cabs and trucks, these are commonly identified by a model number for example "DAF 95XF-430" DAF being the manufacturer, 95XF is the size and model of cab, 430 is the horsepower rating of the engine.

Each type of cab comes in different styles for example;
Sleeper - Deeper Cab with single bed behind the seats
Double Sleeper - Deeper Cab with bunk beds behind the seats (normally 2 separate beds)
Day Cab - Normaly a small cab with low cab and no space behind the seats.
Space Cab - (DAF Term) Sleeper cab with a higher mounted cab, flat floor and high celing.
Super Space Cab - (DAF Term) Sleeper cab with a higher mounted cab, flat floor and very high celing.

DAF were the first trucks to offer high and super high cabs and as a result space and super space cabs were adopted as a general industry term although each manufacturer has there own terminology for space and super space cabs and their variants.

For a more detailed list of Cab types and examples please follow the links (soon to be active) below.
DAF cab types - Space cab, Super Space cab etc....
MAN cab types - Topline etc..
ERF cab types - Olympic cab etc
Iveco cab types
Volvo cab types - Globetrotter...
Foden cab types

UK Truck Law

The UK Legal Truck Operating Environment.

To use a truck over 3.5 tonnes GVW in the UK, the owner must obtain an Operating, or "O" licence, just to keep the truck or trucks on his premises. He must apply to a licencing authority for a particular number of vehicles or trailers and his ability to run the vehicles in a professional manner will be taken into account before a licence is issued. Drivers are subject to a strict licencing system that covers their skills and their health and they must comply with Europe wide laws that restrict the amount of work that they do each day.

The vehicles must, by law, be inspected at a frequency that depends on the use they are put to and a system must exist to report technical faults and ensure they are repaired. The trucks have to pass a roadworthiness test every year at a Government run test station. It is a very strict test that covers the obvious features such as brakes lights and steering and also includes the exhaust emissions and cab rust. This test is colloquially known at the MOT, and it can be assumed that a vehicle with a recent MOT is in sound condition in most areas.
i hope you have found this overseas truck buyers guide useful, if you have any questions please contact us, and we will be happy to help you further.

Almost every area of truck operating in the UK is covered by some law which ensures that even older trucks represent a good value purchase.
All our trucks will have passed these tests. and have an up to date certificate.
To see our trucks for sale please visit our used trucks for sale
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