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A truck (American and Canadian English) or lorry (British English) is a motor vehicle designed to transport cargo. Trucks vary greatly in size, power and configuration, with the smallest being mechanically similar to an automobile. Commercial trucks can be very large and powerful, and may be configured to mount specialized equipment, such as in the case of fire trucks and concrete mixers and suction excavators. Modern trucks are powered by either gasoline or diesel engines, with diesel dominant in commercial applications.


The word


The word truck might have come from a back-formation of truckle with the meaning small wheel, pulley, from Middle English trokell, in turn from Latin trochlea. Another explanation is that it comes from Latin trochus with the meaning of iron hoop. In turn, both go back to Greek trokhos with the meaning wheel, from trekhein that meant "to run". The first known usage of "truck" was in 1611 when it referred to the small, strong wheels on ships' cannon carriages. In its extended usage it came to refer to carts for carrying heavy loads, a meaning known since 1771. With the meaning of motor-powered load carrier, it has been in usage since 1930, shortened from motor truck who dates back to 1916.[1][2] Lorry has a more uncertain origin, but probably has its roots in the railroad industry, where the word is known to have been used in 1838 to refer to a type of truck (a freight car as in British usage, not a bogie as in the American), specifically a large, flat wagon. It probably derives from the verb lurry (to pull, tug) of uncertain origin. With the meaning of self-propelled vehicle for carrying goods it has been in usage since 1911.[3][4]

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