Facts About 18 Wheelers

This section of our materials answers some common and general questions about 18 wheeler heavy haul trucks. If you are in Corpus Christi and have gotten hurt by an 18 wheeler in an accident, call Carabin Shaw at 1-361.444.1111.

1) What is the maximum legal road weight for 18 wheelers? The maximum legal “on the road” weight for an 18 wheeler being legally operated is 80,000 total pounds which equals 40 tons. This assumes that this particular truck is being operated with no overweight or oversize permits issued by the government. To compare, an average American passenger car weighs about 5,000 pounds.

2) How long is a standard 18 wheeler? The type of cab being driven changes the average length 18 wheelers greatly. However, the overall or standard average is 70-80 feet in length. The average length of an 18 wheeler's cab is usually between 245" to 265" at the wheelbase. The length is measured from the center of the steer wheel to the center of the rear wheel.

3) How long does it take the average 18 wheeler heavy truck to stop? It usually takes 40% longer to stop an 18 wheeler than to stop an average passenger car or light truck. These measurements depend on the trucks load weight, road conditions whether it is bobtailing, weather conditions and many other influences and factors. These trucks only have 10 brakes even though they have 18 wheels. New trucks, manufactured recently, are at least required to mount operational anti-lock brakes.

4) How much does an average eighteen wheeler cost to buy? While the cost can varies considerably, the Cab or front section of an eighteen wheel truck generally ranges from $80,000 to $140,000. The trailers generally range from $30,000 to $70,000. 5) What is the truck’s "fifth wheel"? The truck has a part which is generally known as a “5th wheel.” This part is located behind the front cab of the 18 wheeler. It secures and couples the truck to its trailer and appears as a large rounded metal plate. It sits above the drive tires.

6) How many shift gears are on an 18 wheeler? The most common number of gears on today’s 18 wheelers is 12. There are 10 forward drive gears and 2 reverse gears. Keep in mind that depending on who built the truck, some trucks have 18 gears, some have 15, some have 13 some have 10 and some have only 9 gears.

7) What does "bobtailing" mean? Bobtailing is when a truck drives with no haul trailer attached to the cab section. This can quite dangerous. This is especially true during wet weather. This is because the optimum engineering and weight are affected. These effects can cause a heavy truck to lose its’ footing or to lose compete control.

8) What Does A Tandem Mean? A "Tandem" means a side by side set of tires on a tractor-trailer. This particular design was invented for redundancy and safety reasons. It provides more safety if one tire blows out. If one tire does blow out, the others will hold the trailer safely until repairs can be done.

9) How Many Truck Axles are on an 18 Wheeler? An 18 wheeler has a total of five (5) axles. This information is provided by Carabin Shaw as a public service and for the edification of clients and potential clients.

Are you in Corpus Christi? Have you been in an accident with an 18 wheeler or other big rig?

Give Carabin Shaw a call. We can help. Call us at 361.444.1111, local if you’re in Corpus Christi.

Visits with the Attorney are by appointment only. Main office San Antonio, Texas.

The Carabin Shaw Offices in Corpus Christi are located two blocks south of the Nueces County Courthouse in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Our Corpus Christi telephones are answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call 361.444.1111.


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