Understanding Vehicle Terminology

Overwhelmed By Vehicle Terminology?

Whether it’s a weekend rental to help you move some furniture or for long term business use; renting a vehicle from Turner is always a smooth and simple process.

However, when viewing our vehicle guide it may be that you are struggling to understand some of the commercial vehicle terminology. This could lead to confusion when looking to hire the most appropriate vehicle for your needs.

This is a guide to the most common terms and phrases you will come across when renting a vehicle to ensure you are able to select the best vehicle for your needs.


The wheelbase is the distance between the centers of the front and rear wheels. This can be is defined as the distance between the steering (front) axle and the centre point of the driving (rear) axle group.

At Turner we offer small vans, Short wheelbase (L1), Long wheelbase(L3) and Extra Long wheelbase (L4) vehicles. Examples of vehicles with these wheelbases are below:

Small VanCitroen Berlingo
Short Wheel Base (L1) – Ford Transit Custom (Medium Van)
Long Wheel Base (L3)Ford Transit LWB (Large Van)
Extra Long Wheel Base (L4) – Ford Transit Jumbo (Extra Large Van)

Towing Capacity

Braked towing capacity is the towing capacity of a vehicle if the trailer being towed has its own braking system. Moreover, this is typically connected to the vehicle’s braking system via the trailer cable. Therefore, the braked towing capacity is typically significantly greater than unbraked towing capacity.

Unbraked towing capacity is the towing capacity of a vehicle towing a trailer that does not have its own braking system.

Weight Categories

Load Capacity 
This is the maximum weight of goods that a vehicle is able to carry. 
It’s important to note that this includes the weight of the driver and any other passengers.

Kerb Weight
This is the weight of a car or van, excluding the driver, passengers any any baggage.

Payload is the carrying capacity of a vehicle, usually measured in terms of weight. Therefore, depending on the nature of the journey, the payload of a vehicle may include cargo or other equipment. Furthermore, extra fuel, when optionally carried, is also considered part of the payload. In a commercial context, payload may refer only to revenue-generating cargo or paying passengers.

Gross Vehicle Weight Rating 
Also referred to as “GVWR.” This is the sum of a vehicles kerb weight, cargo weight and passenger weight capacity.

Physical Features

A bulkhead is the physical partition that divides a vehicle into different sections. Typically, a bulkhead is a wall but can also be a curtain, mesh or screen.

Ply lining means having sections of plywood attached to the inside of your cargo area. Fitting a ply-lining to commercial van can significantly protect and deter scrapes and bumps that happen over its working life.

Lutons are a style of commercial vehicle body, incorporating an enclosed box extended over the cab for extra storage space.

Single Cab vs Double Cab
Short for Single Cabin, means the vehicle will have 2 doors and one row of seats, either 2 or 3 depending on the model. Whereas the Double Cab will provide 4 doors with 2 rows of seating and between 2 and 6 seats depending on the model.

Truckman Top
Truckman Tops are removable hard tops that cover the load space of 4×4 pick-ups, such as the Mitsubishi L200.


What is it?
AdBlue is a colourless, non-toxic liquid made up of water and urea.

Euro 6 Compliance
It’s used in new diesel engines to comply with Euro 6 in an effort to reduce harmful gases from diesel exhausts.

How does it work?
A small amount of AdBlue is injected into the flow of the exhaust gases, so when they come into contact, they break down the mono-nitrogen oxides which are harmful to the environment, and instead produce nitrogen and oxygen which are harmless gases that already occur naturally.

System Features

Anti-lock Braking System. This is a computer-controlled system that prevents brakes from locking up and stops tires from skidding during hard braking to help you stay in control of the vehicle.

Traction Control
Also known as “Traction Control System,” or “TCS.” This is a safety feature that regulates wheel spin and prevents loss of control under acceleration by ensuring maximum traction and contact between the tires and the road (by adjusting brake pressure to one or more wheels, closing the throttle, or reducing the fuel supply to at least one or more cylinders).

Cruise Control
Cruise Control (sometimes referred to as Speed Control or Autocruise) is a system that automatically controls the speed of a car or van to maintain a steady and economic pace, as set by the driver.