How Much Does a Semi-Truck Weigh?
May 30, 2022 | Sagi Shaked
Semi-trucks are an essential component of our supply chain in the United States. Commercial trucks are an effective means of transporting goods while keeping costs low. However, these large vehicles can cause catastrophic accidents, which result in traffic deaths and traumatic injuries.
The weight of semi-trucks is one of the factors in the severity of truck accidents. FAQs about semi-truck weight include:
How Much Does a Semi-Truck Weigh?
There are two components of a semi-truck. The tractor is the front of the truck that contains the engine and driving cab. The rear of the semi-truck is the trailer, which contains the load being transported by the truck.
According to federal regulations, the maximum weight of a semi-truck when it is fully loaded is 80,000 pounds. The gross weight on one axle cannot be more than 20,000 pounds, and the weight on a tandem axle group cannot be more than 34,000 pounds.
Florida Statute §316.535 provides the maximum weights for commercial trucks in Florida. The gross weight on any one axle cannot exceed 20,000 pounds. The statute provides the maximum load in pounds on all axles based on the distance in feet between the first and last axles on the vehicle or a combination of vehicles.
How Much Does a Semi-Truck Weigh Without a Trailer?
The average gross vehicle weight of a tractor is between 10,000 and 25,000 pounds. The exact weight depends on the size of the engine and cab. For example, tractors with large sleepers weigh more than tractors without sleepers.
An unloaded 53-foot trailer generally weighs approximately 10,000 pounds. Therefore, an unloaded tractor and trailer could weigh up to 35,000 pounds.
A loaded truck can weigh up to 80,000. It depends on the load the truck is transporting. For example, a load of animal food is likely to weigh more than children’s clothing.
Semi-trucks transport all types of products throughout the United States, such as:
- Passenger vehicles
- Animals and livestock
- Raw materials
- Food and consumer products
- Construction materials
The list of what semis haul is as long as the lists of freight transported throughout the country. The type of load determines the truck used. For example, flat-bed trailers haul heavy, bulky loads, whereas tanker trucks carry liquid and gasses.
How Much Does a Semi-Truck Tire Weigh?
The weight of a semi-truck requires tires that can handle extreme weights. The tires must also be able to handle a variety of road conditions, including road hazards.
Therefore, truck tires generally weigh about 110 to 120 pounds. Compare that to the average passenger vehicle tire that weighs 20 pounds.
There are many different types and styles of truck tires. The truck tire used depends on the truck’s size and the weight the truck carries. Heavy-duty truck tires could weigh as much as 250 pounds without rims.
How Much Does a Semi-Truck Weigh in Tons?
You often see road signs stating tons instead of pounds when referring to a truck’s weight. For example, a sign might state that a truck weighing over a specific number of tons cannot cross a bridge.
A 25,000-pound tractor would weigh 12.5 tons. A fully-loaded 18-wheeler could weigh up to 40 tons if it weighs the maximum weight limit of 80,000 pounds.
Common Causes of Semi-Truck Accidents in Miami
There are many causes of semi-truck crashes. The long-stopping distance is one contributing factor.
Trucks take much longer to stop than passenger vehicles. It could take a truck several hundred feet to stop, depending upon the speed, road conditions, and weather.
Unfortunately, if a car cuts off a truck or stops suddenly in front of a truck, the truck driver might not be able to stop even though the truck driver is paying attention and driving safely.
Other common causes and factors of semi-truck accidents include:
- Distracted driving
- Tired and drowsy driving
- Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs
- Speeding and reckless driving
- Failing to adjust for weather and road conditions
- Negligent hiring by a truck company
- Defective or malfunctioning truck parts
- Failure to maintain a tractor and/or trailer
- Inexperienced truck drivers
- Other motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists
The factors contributing to the cause of the truck accident determine who is liable for damages. In most truck accident cases, multiple parties share liability for the victim’s damages. If an accident victim is partially to blame for the cause of a truck accident, the victim’s compensation could be reduced under Florida’s contributory fault laws.
What Damages Could I Recover for a Semi-Truck Accident Claim?
Victims of truck accidents sustain catastrophic injuries that often result in permanent impairments or life-threatening conditions. The damages caused by a truck accident include economic damages, such as lost wages, nursing care, medical bills, and out-of-pocket expenses.
Before you accept a settlement from a trucking company, insurance provider, or other parties, talk with a lawyer to ensure that the at-fault party pays you an amount that compensates you for all damages.