How Much Does a Semi Truck Weigh?

When you’ve been involved in an accident involving an 18-wheeler truck, you may wonder how much that semi truck weighs. There’s no single answer. 

The weight of a semi truck depends on many factors and circumstances. Different parts of a semi truck have various weight ranges.

How Much Does a Semi Tractor Weigh?

The semi tractor is the portion of a cargo truck that contains the engine and the cab. Without a trailer or other cargo attached, these trucks can weigh from 15,000 to 25,000 pounds.

The features of the semi tractor determine its weight. For example, some components increase the weight of a semi tractor, including:

  • More gears
  • Larger sleeper area
  • More powerful engine
  • Fuel tank with larger volume

Typical passenger cars only weigh 4,000 to 5,000 pounds. Semi tractor engines alone often weigh up to 3,000 pounds, according to information from the Truckers Report. For this reason, accidents involving semi tractors are incredibly dangerous. This is even true when they are not carrying cargo.

The Weight of an Average 18-Wheeler

Under normal circumstances, an 18-wheeler without cargo in the trailer weighs about 35,000 pounds. When one of these vehicles has cargo in its trailer, it will weigh more. A fully loaded cargo trailer will weigh much more than a partially loaded one. Also, the type of cargo being hauled will influence the weight of the 18-wheeler.

The Federal Highway Administration places regulatory limits on the weight of cargo inside an 18-wheeler. In the United States, 18-wheelers carrying cargo must not exceed a weight of 80,000 pounds. 

This weight regulation is intended to protect bridges and roadways. However, there are some instances in which oversized loads receive special permits for interstate travel.

How Much Weight Can a Semi Truck Haul?

The amount of cargo that a semi truck can haul will depend on the type of truck in question. Legally, single-axle trucks are permitted to haul no more than 20,000 pounds of cargo. However, double-axle trucks can legally carry up to 34,000 pounds of cargo.

These legal limits include the combined weight of the trailer and cargo. Some types of cargo that semi trucks carry include:

  • Furniture
  • Dry goods
  • Refrigerated products
  • Construction materials
  • Boats and motor vehicles
  • Hazardous substances and liquids

Some specialized trucks are designed to carry specific types of cargo. For example, flatbed trucks often haul construction and building materials. Tanker trucks typically haul chemicals, petroleum, or other liquids. Trucks with double-decker trailers often haul multiple motor vehicles.

What Are the Common Causes of Semi Truck Collisions?

There are many circumstances that can result in semi truck accidents. One of the common causes of these mishaps is truck driver fatigue. 

Cargo truck drivers are often required to work for many hours at a time. While there are regulatory limits on how long a trucker is permitted to work, some unscrupulous companies require their employees to meet strenuous schedules.

When a driver is fatigued, their reaction time is reduced. Motorists who have not slept enough may have faulty judgment. These cognitive impairments make collisions and accidents more likely.

However, driver fatigue is not the only cause of semi truck accidents. Many mishaps are the result of cargo or loading problems. When cargo is not properly secured in the trailer or bed of the truck, accidents are more probable as unstable and shifting cargo can make semi trucks more difficult to handle. 

In extreme cases, shifting cargo may lead to the trailer becoming disconnected from the semi tractor. When this happens, collisions and catastrophic injuries may occur.

Contact a Fort Walton Beach Truck Accident Lawyer for Help 

If you or someone you love has been hurt in a semi truck collision, it’s important to consult with a skilled attorney about recovering the compensation you deserve. If you need legal assistance, contact the Destin truck accident lawyers at Brannon & Brannon Car Accident & Personal Injury Lawyers at your nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.

We have two convenient locations in Northwest Florida:

Brannon & Brannon Car Accident & Personal Injury Lawyers – Destin Office
4507 Furling Ln Suite 214
Destin, FL 32541
(850) 790-0243

Brannon & Brannon Car Accident & Personal Injury Lawyers – Fort Walton Beach Office
975 Mar Walt Dr
Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547
(850) 863-5297