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The History Of The Lorry

The lorry has a long and colourful history dating back more than 100 years. For those who are not familiar with the word ‘lorry’, a lorry is what is known as a truck in the USA and other non-Commonwealth countries. The lorry enables our modern day life to be easily attainable and transports our everyday products across the country and across continents.

The first lorry was invented in Germany in 1896 and built by the German automotive pioneer, Damlier. The lorry featured a 4 horsepower engine with 2 forward speeds and 1 reverse speed. Of course, there were trucks before this time, but this is what is closest to the modern day lorries we are so familiar with now.

In the mid-1800s, the steam wagon worked in much the same way as the lorry. It worked tirelessly transporting products back and forth, and as the name suggests, this early lorry was powered by a steam engine. By the end of the 1800s, the era of the diesel engine was born. It took another 35 – 40 years for the diesel engine to be adopted by lorries across Europe, and even longer before they took hold in America.

Fast forward another 40 years and the advent of lorries specifically created for transporting various products became big business. From refrigerated lorries to those designed to transport livestock, the lorry is an ever-evolving vehicle. While the purposes of the lorry may change, the basic structure remains the same. You will always find 4 high sides and a level roof to a lorry.

The lorry consists of 2 main parts which are the cabin and the trailer. The cabin provides the place where the driver controls the lorry and the trailer will contain the metal framework and usually polyvinyl sheeting that covers it. Lorries have been designed to be as lightweight as possible due to the heavy loads that they transport. By making the lorry as light as possible, it helps make the vehicle more economical as there is a reduction in the quantity of fuel used to power it.

Over the past 200 years, the lorry has evolved from a slow and clunky steam-powered machine into the sleek, fast, and economical ones we see powering along the motorways of the country each and every day. It may be easy to overlook the humble lorry, but without them, we would find many of the products we are so used to simply vanishing from the shelves.

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