Understanding and Classifying Truck Types in Colombia (2023)

In the vibrant landscape of Colombia's industrial sector, the pivotal role of trucks and tractor-trailers cannot be overstated. These robust vehicles facilitate the nationwide and international distribution of manufactured goods, forming the backbone of the country's transportation network. In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the various types of trucks navigating Colombian roads and explore the nuances of their classifications.

Types of Trucks in Colombia

To streamline the classification of cargo transport vehicles, Colombian transit authorities enacted Resolution 004100 on December 28, 2004. This resolution categorizes trucks based on their distinct characteristics, broadly dividing them into two main types: Rigid Vehicles and Articulated or Tractor Trucks.

Rigid Vehicles

These trucks feature an integrated body and chassis, forming a single unit. The designation includes a numerical identifier representing the number of axles. For instance, "C2" denotes a rigid truck with 2 axles.

Articulated or Tractor Trucks

In this category, a cab (containing the cabin, engine, and transmission) is connected to a trailer. The designation includes the number of axles on the cab and an additional identifier for the accompanying semitrailer.

Licensing and Regulations

The operation of these vehicles requires certification with a C3 license. The licensing process is detailed in our guide on "How to Obtain a C3 Driving License in Colombia."

Insights from Resolution 004100

This regulatory framework, rooted in the Colombian Technical Standard NTC47 88, further refines truck classification based on the number of axles. The system includes designations like "C2" for a 2-axle rigid truck and incorporates indicators such as "S" for a semitrailer.

Exploring Truck Types: Dimensions and Load Capacity

Understanding the dimensions and load-bearing capacities of different truck types is crucial for efficient logistics. Let's delve into some prominent categories:

Turbo Trucks (C2)

Prominent in today's market, models like NPR, NKR, and NQR from Chevrolet dominate. With dimensions of 2.20m in height, 2.10m in width, and 5m in length, they boast a maximum load capacity of 5.5 tons.

Single Axle Trucks (C2)

Termed "Tank Trucks" and "Dump Trucks," these vehicles stand at 2.40m in height, 2.40m in width, and 6.5m in length, capable of carrying up to 8 tons.

Double Axle (C3)

Equipped with three axles for enhanced power and load capacity, these trucks measure 2.40m in height, 2.40m in width, and 7.2m in length, supporting a load of 17 tons.

Four Axle Trucks (C3)

Utilized for transporting exceptionally heavy loads, these trucks stand at 2.4m in height, 2.4m in width, and 7.6m in length, with a maximum load capacity of 24 tons.

Tractor-Trailer (C3S3)

Boasting the highest load capacity at 35 tons, these vehicles measure 2.40m in height and width, with a length of 12.5m.

Fuel Types and Evolution

Historically, smaller trucks favored gasoline engines, while heavier-duty vehicles, such as Tractor-Trailers, relied on diesel. However, contemporary trends witness the rise of Turbo Trucks with electric motors, a shift also noticeable in public transportation like Bogotá's Transmilenio units.

Transmission Technologies for Trucks

Trucks employ three main transmission types: Automatic, Manual, and Sequential. Each serves distinct purposes, with Sequential transmissions offering advanced technology for simplified gear changes.

Gearboxes for Trucks

These heavy-duty gearboxes, built with superior components, can feature up to 16 gears. Some utilize conventional technology, while others incorporate electronic controls for seamless shifts.

Addressing Environmental Concerns

Truck emissions pose a significant health concern in Colombia. Regulations like Resolutions 1180 of 2006 and 90963 of 2014 aim to control emissions, with initiatives by Ecopetrol to produce low-sulfur diesel contributing to improved air quality.

To gain insights into emission control mechanisms, refer to our detailed article on "Understanding Emission Testing for Trucks."

In conclusion, this guide serves as a comprehensive resource for understanding the diverse landscape of truck types in Colombia. Stay informed, drive responsibly, and explore our additional articles on relevant topics within the realm of transportation and logistics.


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