Truck vs. Lorry: Unveiling the Key Distinctions

When it comes to the world of transportation, the terms “truck” and “lorry” are often used interchangeably. However, these two terms have distinct meanings depending on the geographical location and the context in which they are used. While both are vehicles designed for carrying goods, understanding the key distinctions between a truck and a lorry can help clarify conversations and avoid confusion. Let’s delve into the specifics of these two terms and explore their differences.

Geographical Usage

The terms “truck” and “lorry” are primarily differentiated by their geographical usage. In the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines, the term “truck” is commonly used. On the other hand, “lorry” is a term predominantly used in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and other countries that use British English.

Size and Structure

Another key distinction between a truck and a lorry lies in their size and structure. Generally, the term “truck” is used to describe a broad range of motor vehicles designed for transporting goods. Trucks can vary greatly in size, from small pickup trucks to massive 18-wheelers.

On the contrary, a “lorry” typically refers to a larger vehicle, specifically designed for transporting heavy loads. Lorries are often associated with long-haul transport and are usually larger and heavier than the average truck. They often have a cab where the driver sits and a trailer where the goods are loaded.

The legal definitions of a truck and a lorry also vary. In the United States, a truck is legally defined as a motor vehicle designed to transport cargo, with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) that exceeds 10,000 pounds.

In the UK, a lorry is legally defined as a motor vehicle designed or adapted to carry goods or burden of any description, with a maximum laden weight exceeding 3.5 tonnes. The driver of a lorry requires a special type of driving license known as a Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) license.


In conclusion, while the terms “truck” and “lorry” both refer to vehicles designed for transporting goods, they differ in their geographical usage, size, structure, and legal definitions. Understanding these differences can help ensure clear and effective communication, especially in the context of international trade and transportation.

So, the next time you find yourself in a conversation about trucks and lorries, you’ll be well-equipped to explain the key distinctions between these two terms.