Market News & Insights from the Constantly Evolving Produce and Trucking Industries

Blogging the Road Ahead

10 Truck Facts


Long haul trucks fill the highways day after day, transporting large quantities of goods across North America. We are all aware that recent developments such as computers, satellite communications, and the internet have vastly improved the trucking industry by increasing productivity, saving time and providing peace of mind for drivers. But, the truck will always remain the pillar of the industry. Without a proper understanding of the mechanics of both the truck and the trailer, these technological advances will be irrelevant. Here are 10 quick facts that pay homage to the truck itself:

  1. The average semi engine is designed to go 1,000,000 miles before a rebuild or overhaul.
  2. Semi engines are designed to run non-stop. The only time they must be shut down is to change the oil and service the engine, or if anti-idle laws are in place.
  3. A Semi engine can hold 15+ gallons of fuel.
  4. The most common amount of gears in a truck is 10 forward and 2 reverse.
  5. The standard height for a truck is 13’6”, and wheelbases range from 245” to 265”.
  6. The correct definition of tandem is a set of two axles, one immediately following the other. By distributing the weight over the two, each bears less weight. This allows for a greater total amount of weight to be carried by the truck, since there are laws limiting the amount of weight that can be carried on each axle.
  7. The fifth wheel on an 18 wheeler is a round plate located above the drive tires. The 5th wheel hooks together the trailer to the truck.
  8. The length of time needed for a  truck to stop is 40% greater than cars; factors contributing to this include load weight and road conditions.
  9. The average turning radius for a long haul truck is 55ft. Take into account that the width of most roads is 24ft, and you can see why drivers must take extreme caution when maneuvering through turns.
  10. Jack-knife accidents are virtually inevitable once the trailer exceeds a 45 degree angle compared to the tractor. Jack-knife accidents occur when the trailer’s tires start to skid and move faster than the cab, and these type of accidents can happen in any road condition.

Remember, Roadcheck 2013 is taking place in a couple of weeks, from June 4-6, 2013. Make sure your truck and trailer and you are all compliant and in good standing for inspection!

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