Vehicle classification

Types and classification of vehicles

Vehicle classification

Cars are classified according to the following criteria:

  • type of vehicle;
  • mainly technical parameter (mass, power or overall dimensions);
  • body type;
  • purpose;
  • wheel formula;
  • engine’s type.

Automobile rolling stock is divided into types of cars:

  • passenger
  • (cars, buses, passenger trailers and semi-trailers)
  • freight
  • passenger
  • (cars, buses, passenger trailers and semi-trailers).
  • trucks, tractor vehicles, freight trailers and semi-trailers with universal or specialized superstructures for cargo placement) – special (ambulance, police, fire truck).
  • specialized (trailers and semi-trailers with special equipment installed, having technological or other purposes and performing various, mainly non-transport, works)
Car classification

Passenger cars (capacity up to eight people, including the driver) are called passenger cars, over 8 people are called buses.

After studying the classification of vehicles, pay attention to the layout diagrams of cars, which will give general concepts about the layout of mechanisms and assemblies on a car and help you understand the structure of the car.

Classification of vehicles, cars, car body varieties Cars according to the engine displacement are divided into the following classes:

  • especially small (up to 1.2 l);
  • small (1.2-1.8 l);
  • medium (1.8-3.5 liters);  
  • large (3.5 liters or more);
  • higher (not regulated).

Buses are divided by overall dimensions, – length into the following classes:

  • especially small (up to 5 m);
  • small (6-7.5 m);
  • medium (8.0-9.5 m);
  • large (11-12 m);
  • extra large (16.5 and more meters).

The classification of trucks with an onboard platform is determined by the carrying capacity:

  • especially small (less than 1t);
  • small (1 – 3 t);
  • medium (3-8 tons);
  • large (8-15 tons);
  • extra large (15-26 t);
  • extra large (over 26 tons).

Special vehicles carry out mainly non-transport work. These include fire trucks, car shops, cars with compressor, drilling rigs, truck cranes, sweepers, ambulances.

Specialized vehicles take into account the specifics of the cargo (bulk, liquid, bulky, etc.). These include: dump trucks, vans, tanks, panel trucks, container ships, etc.

Cars of the day of towing trailers and semi-trailers are called towing vehicles.

A tractor vehicle or a standard truck together with one or more trailers form a road train.


According to their adaptability to road conditions, cars of ordinary and cross-country ability are distinguished. Cars according to the total number of wheels and driving wheels are denoted by the wheel formula, where the first digit is the number of car wheels, the second number of driving wheels. Each dual drive wheel counts as one. For example, a 4×2 wheel formula indicates a two-axis vehicle with one driving axis, 6×6 – a three-axis vehicle with all driving axles, 6×4 – a three-axis vehicle with two driving axles (KAMAZ).

By the type of fuel consumed and the type of engine, cars are divided into gasoline, diesel, alternative fuels (gas generating, gas-filled, electric (electric cars), steam, gas-turbine, and also cars with combined power plants, for example, an internal combustion engine (ICE) electric engine.

Each car model (trailer, semi-trailer) is assigned an index of four digits. The first digit indicates the class of the car (trailer, semi-trailer), in terms of engine displacement for cars, in length for buses, and in gross weight for trucks.

The basis for dividing classes into types is a sign of the operational purpose of the car. The following types of vehicles (trailers, semi-trailers) are installed according to the second character of the four-digit digital model index:

1 – cars;

2 – buses;

3 _ cargo onboard;

4 – truck tractors (reserve);

5 – dump trucks;

6 – tanks;

7 – vans;

8 – reserve;

9 – special.

The third and fourth digits indicate the base model number.

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Author: delfi

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