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truck

truck, automotive vehicle designed primarily for the transportation of goods. A truck is constructed on the general lines of the automobile but uses larger and heavier parts. It may be powered by a gasoline internal-combustion engine or a diesel engine. In some trucks propulsion is supplied through a single front or rear axle, in others through two rear axles, and in still others through both front and rear axles. Many trucks have automatic or semiautomatic transmissions. Smaller trucks are built as a single unit, but larger trucks are frequently combinations of a truck tractor, which contains an engine, transmission, and cab, and a semitrailer, which is a trailer that the tractor hauls. The semitrailer has no forward axle, so that its front end must be supported by a swivel mount, known as the fifth wheel, which is found on the rear of the truck tractor. A full trailer, which can be attached to the rear of a semitrailer, has a front axle and one or two rear axles. In other countries, such as Australia, as many as three trailers may be attached to a single tractor. In the United States most states place restrictions on the length of trucks, on the maximum weight that may be carried on a single axle, and on the addition of trailers, though some states still allow up to three trailers. Despite these restrictions, truck traffic accounts for ever-larger percentages of accidents and road damage. As common carriers, motor trucks have made serious inroads on the earnings of the railroads as they carry freight over increasingly long distances. In Asia and Africa, they have replaced the camel caravan and human carriers.

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truck

truck1 / trək/ • n. 1. a wheeled vehicle, in particular: ∎  a large, heavy motor vehicle, used for transporting goods, materials, or troops. ∎  a low flat-topped cart used for moving heavy items. 2. a undercarriage with four to six wheels pivoted beneath the end of a railroad car. ∎  each of two axle units on a skateboard, to which the wheels are attached. 3. a wooden disk at the top of a ship's mast or flagstaff, with sheaves for signal halyards. • v. [tr.] convey by truck: the food was trucked to St. Petersburg | [as n.] (trucking) industries such as trucking. ∎  [intr.] drive a truck. ∎  [intr.] inf. go or proceed, esp. in a casual or leisurely way: he walked confidently behind them and trucked on through! DERIVATIVES: truck·age / -kij/ n. truck2 • n. 1. archaic barter. ∎  chiefly hist. the payment of workers in kind or with vouchers rather than money. 2. chiefly archaic small wares. ∎ inf. odds and ends. 3. market-garden produce, esp. vegetables: [as adj.] a truck garden. • v. [tr.] archaic barter or exchange. PHRASES: have (or want) no truck with avoid or wish to avoid dealings or being associated with: we have no truck with that style of gutter journalism.

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truck

truck, the payment of wages in food and kind, was an old form of exploitation by employers in outwork industries and spread with industrialization. In a minority of cases the practice was benign, since basic supplies were not otherwise available. Commonly, employers' shops supplied adulterated food and drink at high prices (‘tommy rot’); there was unrest in communities so badly served. Codifying Acts prohibiting truck were passed in 1831 (which was generally evaded) and 1887; a royal commission in 1870 found the practice still existed in some areas. Truck died a natural death as retailing spread and workers became better organized.

John Butt

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truck

truck1 give in exchange XIII; barter away XVII; pay otherwise than in money XIX. ME. trukie, later trukke — AN. *truquer, OF. *troquer (reflected in medL. trocāre), of unkn. orig.
Hence sb. (cf. AN. truke XIV) barter XVI; dealings, traffic XVII; payment in kind, goods supplied instead of wages XVIII.

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truck

truck2 small solid wooden wheel or block XVII; wheeled vehicle for heavy weights XVIII. poss. shortening of next.

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truck

truckbuck, Canuck, chuck, cluck, cruck, duck, fuck, luck, muck, pluck, puck, ruck, schmuck, shuck, struck, stuck, suck, truck, tuck, upchuck, yuck •blackbuck • reedbuck • sawbuck •roebuck • bushbuck • megabuck •woodchuck • shelduck • Habakkuk •stagestruck • awestruck • moonstruck •dumbstruck • thunderstruck

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