Without a doubt, the industrial vehicle that most people will come into contact
with the most frequently is the semi truck. These huge trucks are designed to
pull massive trailers containing goods for shipping, or can be used as vehicles
on which to mount a slurry mixer or other piece of equipment to be used at different
sites. In this article, we are going to take a quick look at some of the pros
and cons of these familiar vehicles.
One of the biggest knocks on semi-trucks are their incredible costs. From parts
(and the heavy use of these vehicles means they require a lot of parts work)
to fuel costs, these machines are not cheap at all.
What this means is that many small and medium businesses are excluded from
semi truck use as a means of transportation simply because they are not cost
effective. A PCB designer who operates on a local level, for example, would
not be able to afford the price of individually contracting out a semi truck
for the transport of the boards to another locale. Such companies would have
to rely on "piggy backing" shipments onto trucks with costs shared
by other companies, or use alternative means of shipping.
Semi-trucks are also inherently dangerous, due to the fact that they are the
largest vehicles in operation on regular roads and highways. For the most part,
however, the safety of the truck rests in the hands of the driver, so well trained
drivers can mitigate this con.
Semi truck chassis can be incredibly useful when it comes to high-end projects
needing additional equipment on specific jobs. A good example is vacuum trucks
used in various industries and in homes. The large frame provided by the semi
truck is really the only transportation option capable of carrying the tanks,
suction diffusers and hoses needed to carry out the vacuum's functions.
Although we mentioned costs above, it is important to note that this is only
a con in the case of smaller businesses. Those with massive quantities of goods
to ship may find that semi truck transportation is much more cost effective
than any other means. Large quantities of cord grips, for example, can be put
on a truck by a large manufacturing company and sent to distributors at much
lower cost than flight or rail options.
Finally, semi trucks are sometimes the only vehicles capable of transporting
goods from one place to another. Roof drains are a good example. Large, long,
and unwieldy, it is simply not feasible to send these products out on any other
type of transportation. Even if they would fit, odds are the costs would be
far too much for the individual company the repairs to bear.
The cons of semi trucks are mitigated depending on circumstances. If the price
of the goods being shipped justifies it, transportation with these giant industrial
vehicles can be the most effective option for many companies. Quality drivers
with good records also nullify safety issues.