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What is "traction" in the HGV industry?


In the HGV industry, the term "traction" is informally used to refer to a tractor unit pulling a trailer. While not the standard terminology, it's a common and well-understood expression among HGV drivers and technicians.

Why is the term "traction" used to describe a tractor unit?

The term "traction" captures the essential function of a tractor unit, which is to provide the driving force, or traction, that allows the entire vehicle, including the trailer, to move forward.

What is the formal term for a tractor unit?

The formal term for a tractor unit in the HGV industry is "prime mover." This term accurately reflects the role of the tractor unit as the primary source of power and movement for the entire vehicle combination.

Is it incorrect to use the term "traction" to refer to a tractor unit?

While the term "traction" is not the formal definition, it's a commonly accepted and understood phrase within the HGV industry. Its usage doesn't convey any technical inaccuracies and is widely recognized among those involved in the industry.

When is it more appropriate to use the term "prime mover" instead of "traction"?

In formal contexts or when discussing the technical aspects of HGV vehicles, using the term "prime mover" is more appropriate. It provides a precise and unambiguous description of the tractor unit's function.

In general, however, both "traction" and "prime mover" are acceptable terms to describe a tractor unit in the HGV industry. The choice of term depends on the context and the audience.

Published: Tue 21 Nov 2023

Updated: Thu 11 Apr 2024

Don-Bur (Bodies & Trailers) Ltd

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