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Fun Facts about Semi-Trucks & the Trucking Industry

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Whether you are a trucker by profession, know someone who is, are simply curious about the industry, or want to expand your knowledge for trivia night, the following fun facts are worth a look. After all, who wouldn’t want to know some random fun facts about semi-trucks and the trucking industry?

Semi-Truck Facts You Will Want to Know

Why is it Called a Semi-Truck?

A semi-truck, also called an 18-wheeler due to its 18 wheels or a tractor-trailer, is a combination of a tractor and one or more trailers. The semi-trailer only has rear tire tandems, meaning it must be pulled.

How Big is a Semi-Truck?

Semi-trucks are pretty big measuring on average 70 feet long. Of course, the type of tractor and trailer combination will alter this a bit. Sleeper cabs are larger than other types of tractors, while trailers can also vary in size based on hauling needs.

How Much Does a Semi-Truck Weigh?

Semi-trucks will weigh up to 80,000 pounds, allowing for the trailer and tractor. Typically, this weight is divided into sections with 12,000 pounds over the steer axle, and 34,000 pounds over the drive and trailer tandem axles. Of course, oversized loads occasionally can go over these weight limits but require special permits.

How Far Can The Average Tractor-Trailer Travel on a Single Tank of Fuel?

In general, semi-trucks average around 2,100 miles driven on a single tank of gas. This is not gasoline, though, but diesel. If this figure assumes tanks hold 300 gallons, this averages out to around seven miles per gallon.

How Many Gears Does the Average Semi-Truck Have?

Most tractors have automatic transmissions now as manual transmissions continue to be phased out. Standard manual transmission semi-trucks usually have 10 gears. However, it is not that unusual for them to have 13, 15, and even 18 gears. All these gears are necessary to slow down their speed and stop their weight, accounting for varying amounts of weight being hauled and different terrains and inclines being traveled.

What is the Average Lifespan of a Semi-Truck?

Of course, this will depend on many factors like how well the truck is maintained, but on average, semi trucks have a lifespan of between 10 and 15 years. This means some trucks can hit the 1 million mile mark and still be going strong.

How Many Semi-Trucks Are Operating in America?

There are 1.9 million semi-trucks operating throughout the United States. Around one-third of this number is represented in just three states: Texas, Florida, and California.

What Amenities Are Available in Semi-Trucks?

Semi-trucks are the home away from home for many truckers. Therefore, these vehicles are designed with comfortable amenities to make life on the road easier. Features like memory foam mattresses, fridges, power inverters, and auxiliary power units can all be found.

How Much Distance Do Semi-Truck Drivers Drive Yearly?

On average, most of America’s 3.5 million drivers, will average driving 45,000 miles yearly per driver. Of course, this is an average as long-haul drivers will likely increase that mileage while those who stay close to home probably won’t hit that amount.

How Long Does it Take to Stop a Semi?

Semi-trucks are heavy and hard to stop even with the increased focus on braking technology and mandatory ABS brake rules. Therefore, it’s important to understand the weight of the rig, its speed, and the prevailing road conditions are a few of the factors that play a huge role in the distance it can take to bring the truck to a complete stop.

How Important Are Semi-Trucks For Transporting Goods?

Around 70% of all American goods are transported via tractor-trailers. This makes trucking an extremely important occupation that deserves respect and admiration.

Interested in driving for Knight Transportation? View Trucking Jobs

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