tractor-trailer and articulated lorry

Discussion in 'English Only' started by AKİN, Apr 6, 2008.

  1. AKİN Member

    which is more common ? tractor-trailer or articulated lorry ?
  2. cycloneviv

    cycloneviv Senior Member

    Perth, Western Australia
    English - Australia
    I seem to remember, from this very recent thread about road-trains, that tractor-trailer is used in AE (American English) while articulated lorry is BE (British English).

    In AusE (Australian English) I would not understand tractor-trailer at all. If I heard it at all, I might imagine it was a tractor, as in the farm vehicle, pulling a trailer. Articulated lorry is the only one that means anything to me.
  3. ewie

    ewie Senior Member

    English English
    Hello Akin. Judging from this tractor-trailer is a common term in the USA for what we in the UK call an articulated lorry (or artic for short).
  4. AKİN Member

    does semi means tractor-trailer ?
  5. sdgraham

    sdgraham Senior Member

    Oregon, USA
    USA English
    I'm breathing new life into this thread with a new angle for our British friends.
    "Semi" is used to mean "semi-trailer truck," but has been bastardized lately.
    "Semi," of course, means "half" in Latin.
    Thus, a semi-trailer has one or more axles on the rear half, but none on the front, which is supported by the tractor, so it is half a trailer. (a "trailer" has enough axles to stand on its own.)
    Now, my question is: "If you disconnect the semi-trailer (AE) from an articulated lorry, what do you call the unit with the driver and the engine and has two or three axles?
    We, at least those of us familiar with such things, call it a "tractor" (because it pulls) in AE.
  6. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    English - England
    We may be close to reaching an AE/BE accord here: in the UK "the unit with the driver and the engine and has two or three axles" is "a tractor unit."

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