An automobile question too stupid for GQ...

Yes, I’d love some tea, but I don’t like crumpets. How about some bangers and mash for myself?

And yes, I deal mainly with automtive and light trucks but I worked in a large truck outfit so I’m quite familiar with them as well. But as your exact words were “vehicular” and “dinky little pickup”, I thought you might make the connection. Perhaps I was a bit forward with my statement, again please accept my apologies as I wouldn’t want to offend someone while trying to pay them a compliment.

I’m not sure that all the permutations are accurate.

In the U.S., any vehicle for moving cargo that is not on water or rails is a truck. (Railroad trucks are a special addition to that rule.)

The biggest on the roads are semis, (short for semi-trailer, because the trailing attachment is not a “complete” trailer with wheels on the front), that comprise a tractor and a trailer. (We also have a few “trains” that comprise a tractor pulling a semi-trailer pulling a “pup,” a vehicle that is a “complete” trailer because it has axles at the front as well as the back that is generally smaller than the semi-trailer. Fifth photo on left column.)

A truck used for deliveries in the city where the cab is forward over the engine compartment can be a van or a delivery truck or a step-van. The last name indicates a van where the seat is positioned so that the driver is nearly standing and the door slides open to allow the driver/delvery person to step out easily. The chassis is low to the ground.

In reference to the lack of a distinctive engine compartment forward of the cabin, similar to the shape of a step van, smaller vehicles are also called vans and slightly smaller versions (even when they are designed primarily for people instead of cargo) are called mini-vans. (Vans have long been fitted out as passenger vehicles instead of only cargo and mini-vans started out as only passenger cars, with only a few models built for cargo.)

Delivery trucks that have a distinct engine compartment with a high chassis that allows them to back into loading docks are called box trucks. (Recent designs from Europe and Japan have included “cab over” designs with no distinct engine compartment and it is really the high chassis that indicates this type.)

Box trucks where they do not put sides and a roof over the bed (the cargo area) are called flatbed trucks. Generally the beds are ringed by rectangular holes into which posts for low sides (either fence type or solid) may be inserted. With fence type sides, flatbeds might also be called stake trucks.

Smaller named trucks are pickup trucks or pickups.

Then there are hundreds of special use trucks.

A recent (well, recent to we geezers) addition to the names are the SUVs or Sport Utiliy Vehicles where the name has no true meaning beyond advertising. Originally they indicated a pickup truck chassis employing four wheel drive where the whole thing is decked out for passengers. But now they include all sorts of smaller vehicles that have four wheel drive.

= = =
Then there are baggage trucks used at railroad stations (with their powered analogs towed as trains at airports using the same name).
And there are hand trucks, (also called (two) wheeled dollies). I haver never heard of a four-wheeled dolly called a truck, although I would not be surprised that someone would use the term truck.
And forklift trucks. (These critters have a lot of confusing names. While Spoons described a fairly small unit as a tow-motor, in NE Ohio, (where Caterpillar used to have a forklift factory), they call all forklifts tow-motors. When I worked in a shop with a lot of guys who had moved to Michigan from Kentucky, they called them High-Lows.)

Sure you have, unless you’ve been somehow able to avoid hearing Don McLean’s song American Pie:

“I was a lonely teenage broncin’ buck
With a pink carnation and a pickup truck,
But I knew I was out of luck
The day the music died.”



Following on the railroad term “truck” for a two-axled 4 wheeled unit at each end of a rail car:

The same terminology is used in aviation.

These two-wheel main landing gear are not “trucks”:

But these 4-wheel units are “trucks”:

Ditto these 6-wheel trucks:

Born and raised in the US, never heard the term box truck. If I did I would imagine some variation of truck that carried boxes.

Are they just called delivery trucks in your region? Or is there some other name for them?

In some of the cases described in this thread, I think I’ve heard “van” used more often than “truck” – delivery van, moving van, box van. Although, “van” by itself would imply something that looked more like that Dodge cargo van, as linked to in your post No. 22. (Southwestern Ohio)

You got Pick-up trucks, that individuals own and the bigger ones are called “big-ol’ trucks”.
As in “Back that big-ol truck up here buddy!”