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Facts About 18 Wheelers

With the amount of roadways shared by tractor-trailers and passenger vehicles in San Antonio, it’s important to understand some facts about 18 wheelers. As a driver, it’s important to be aware of who’s on the road with you. When you’re educated on the potential impact other vehicles may have on your vehicle, it can help you understand better the risks you face.

The facts about 18 wheelers below will give you a insight into the stark differences between them and your car. An experienced attorney at Carabin Shaw has the knowledge of these facts to represent your interests should you find yourself involved in a semi truck accident in San Antonio. One of our lawyers will assist you in fully understanding your options if you have been involved in an 18 wheeler collision.

  1. Legal weight for an 18 wheeler: If a truck is not oversized nor carrying weight beyond legally established limits, a legally operating 18 wheeler weighs in at 80,000 pounds or 40 tons. This is in contrast to a typical automobile weighing 5000 pounds on average.
  2. Length of a standard 18 wheeler: Measured from the center of the front and rear axles, the average wheelbase length of a semi cab ranges from 245 to 265 inches. The wide variety of available cab styles greatly impacts the average length of an 18 wheeler. Even so, the overall length of a tractor-trailer runs from 70-80 feet in length. This is measured from the center of the rear wheel to the center of the steer.
  3. Length of time needed to stop an average 18 wheeler: The average length of time it takes to stop an 18 wheeler is 40% greater than that of an automobile. These measurements are dependent on the weight of the trucks load, whether they are bobtailing, road conditions, weather conditions and other factors. Trucks only have 10 brakes not 18. Trucks manufactured now are required to have anti-lock brakes.
  4. What is the cost of an 18 wheeler? A number of factors affect the cost of an 18 wheeler. A new cab typically runs from $80,000 to $140,000. New trailer rigs fall somewhere between $30,000 and $70,000.
  5. What is the "fifth wheel"? The 5th wheel is located immediately behind the cab of an 18 wheeler. It is a large round metal plate above the drive tires that couples and secures the trailer to the truck.
  6. How many gears does an 18 wheeler have? Most of today’s 18 wheelers have ten forward and two reverse drive gears, but this will vary widely depending on the manufacturer of the truck. Semi tractors will range from as low as nine gears and as high as eighteen gears.
  7. What is "bobtailing"? Bobtailing is a term used when a truck is driving without a hauling trailer attached. Inclement weather can make this especially dangerous. Wet surfaces work against weight and engineering, adversely affecting traction.
  8. What is the standard height of an 18 wheeler? The standard height of 18 wheelers is: 13' 6"
  9. What Is A Tandem? A "Tandem" is a set of 2 tires on a tractor-trailer, side by side. This design is used for safety in the event of one tire blowing out. In such a case the other tires will continue to hold the trailer until the tire can be repaired.
  10. What Is A Jack-Knife Accident? A " jack-knife" accident is when the trailer contacts the tractor by the trailer "coming around" on the driver. A jack-knife effect occurs when the angle between the trailer and cab exceed 45 degrees. In a jackknife, the wheels of the trailer begin to slide as they are moving faster than those of the cab.
  11. How Many Axles Does An 18 Wheeler Have? An 18 wheeler has a total of five (5) axles.

As a San Antonio driver, hope you’ve found these basic facts about 18 wheelers informative. For additional information about 18 wheeler collisions, call one of our expert attorneys today.

If you or a family member have been injured in an accident in San Antonio with an 18 wheeler and need a San Antonio 18 wheeler crash attorney, call the lawyers of Carabin Shaw at 800-862-1260. Our attorneys will ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.

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