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Facts You Should Know About Semi Trucks

With so many trucks on the roadway, many individuals may not give them a passing thought as they have become such a common part of transportation.

18 wheeler

However, it is important to understand many components of semi-trucks, both in order to educate and to fully understand what it takes to man these extremely powerful vehicles. As a whole, semi-trucks are used to transfer tons of consumer goods and resources across the country on a day-to-day basis. As noted by the Truckers Report, compared to compact cars there are many notable differences that should be considered when examining trucks.

The Semi Truck Engine

Semi truck engines

  • The first thing to keep in mind is that the car engine and semi-engine are entirely different. The engine of a semi-truck is up to 6 times larger than that of a car engine in both size and weight.
  • The average semi engine has 400-600 horsepower and around 1-2 thousand FT.LB or torque versus 100-200 horsepower and 100-200 FT.LB of torque.
  • Semi Engines, as opposed to car engines, are designed to run stop. The only time that they should be stopped is to change the oil, service the engine, or as a result of anti-idle laws.

Primary Components

  • Semi Engines can hold approximately 15 or more gallons of oil versus the 4-6 quarts of oil of a compact car.
  • The semi-engine will have around 12 or more gears versus the 4-5 gears present in the car.
  • It is equally standard to have a turbocharger, as well as an air-breaking system, which may be notably vacant in compact cars.

What Are the Weight Limits on Semi Trucks?

As noted by the Truckers Report, the legal weight of a semi-truck is approximately 80,000 lbs or 40 tons. This weight limit has been established to protect our highway system. The government has recognized that heavy vehicles, like semi-trucks, have the potential to cause more wear and tear on roads and highways, as well as pose a threat to the integrity of bridges. Hence, weight limits have been designated for commercial vehicles.

Calculating these weight limits can be quite complex. To give you a breakdown, the weight distribution per axle is as follows: the steer axle carries around 12,000 lbs, the drive axle carries around 34,000 lbs, and the trailer axle carries around 34,000 lbs. It’s important to note that these weight limits apply without oversized weight permits.

These weight restrictions aim to strike a balance between facilitating the movement of goods and ensuring the safety and longevity of our transportation infrastructure. By adhering to these weight limits, we can reduce the impact of heavy vehicles on our roads, minimize wear and tear, and maintain the structural integrity of bridges.

In conclusion, the weight limits on semi-trucks are set at approximately 80,000 pounds or 40 tons, including the trailer and load. These limits have been established to safeguard our highway system, accounting for the potential damage heavy vehicles can cause and the risks they pose to bridges. By abiding by these limits, we can ensure the longevity and safety of our transportation infrastructure.

Other Considerations

Typically, the dimension for a semi-truck is 70-80ft, measured from the center of the rear wheel to the center of the steer. The standard height is 13’ 6” and the standard wheelbase is 245” -265”.

  • The length of time needed to stop for semi-trucks is 40% greater than the time needed by compact cars. This is largely due to, and further affected by, the load weight, bobtailing, road conditions, and other factors.
  • The average turning radius of a semi-truck is 55 FT and 24 Ft for road width.
  • There is a fifth wheel on a semi-truck, located on a round plate above the drive tire that hooks the trailer to the truck together.
  • When a truck is driving without a trailer, this is known as bobtailing, which will make the truck handle very differently.

As one can see, the difference between cars and large trucks is more than merely visual differences; but their overall components are starkly different. As such, for truckers themselves and the cars they share the road, it is essential to understand and appreciate these differences. While these facts apply to big rigs, even smaller Amazon delivery vans can cause serious injury in an accident.

How Can Truck Accident Lawyers Help in Holding Negligent Parties Accountable?

Truck accident lawyers are crucial in holding negligent parties accountable for their actions. With their expertise and specialized knowledge, they can investigate the accident’s circumstances to determine who is responsible for loading the truck unsafely. By thoroughly examining the evidence and gathering necessary information, they can identify any parties liable for the accident.

In cases where negligence contributed to the accident, truck accident lawyers can help you pursue damages from multiple parties. If the truck was overloaded or improperly loaded, resulting in the crash, you may be entitled to compensation from various individuals or entities involved in the process. Your lawyer will tirelessly work to establish the link between their negligence and the accident, ensuring that all responsible parties are held accountable.

The ultimate goal of truck accident lawyers is to alleviate the legal burdens on your behalf, allowing you to focus on your recovery. They will guide you through the legal process, advocate on your behalf, and fight for the compensation you rightfully deserve. By partnering with experienced lawyers specializing in truck accidents, you can rest assured that they will navigate the complexities of the legal system to hold negligent parties accountable and help you achieve the best possible outcome for your case.

If you are in an accident with a big truck, look for an attorney in the state where the crash occurred who has substantial experience in trucking accidents. To speak with a top-rated Texas truck accident lawyer call (281) 893-0760!

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About Greg Baumgartner

Truck accident lawyer Greg Baumgartner
Greg Baumgartner is a preeminent rated personal injury lawyer based in Houston, Texas, with over three decades of experience representing severely injured clients in truck accidents. He founded Baumgartner Law Firm, in 1985, with a mission to provide excellent legal representation and personalized attention to every client.