A semi-trailer is a trailer whose front part rests on a tractor unit towing it via a fifth wheel coupling. This trailer only has wheels at the back and no front axle available. A road tractor coupled to a semi-trailer is often called a semi-trailer truck, “semi”, an 18-wheeler, a truck, a big rig, a tractor-trailer, or a semi-tractor truck in North America and Australia, and an articulated lorry in the United Kingdom.
A prime mover with two semi-trailers is called a B-double or double. And when there are two or more trailers, the construction is called “a road train”.
A distinctive feature of the semi is that the tractor unit can detach from the trailer. When unhitched, the semi-trailer rests on the ground on two legs (landing gear) which can be operated hydraulically or manually.
The bodies of the semi-trailers are the same as those of the trucks: tank for liquid products, tipper for non-volatile bulk products, refrigerator for perishable goods, etc. From small-good deliveries to commercial construction, they come in a range of shapes, sizes, and functions to fit specific applications.
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