Facts About Trucks – Everything You Want To Know About Eighteen Wheelers
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Legal weight for an eighteen wheeler
The legal weight for an eighteen wheeler is 80,000 lbs. [40 tons].[ 36287 kg Canadian] That is without any oversize or overweight permits. In comparison, the average automobile weighs over somewhere around 5,000 lbs.
legal U.S. weight per axle is: STEER 12,000 lbs DRIVES 34,000 lbs TRAILER 34,000 lbs
legal Canada weight per axle is: STEER 5443 kg DRIVES 15422 kg TRAILER 15422 kg
The average length of an eighteen wheeler varies greatly depending on the type of cab they are driving. But the overall average is 70-80 ft. long. The length of an eighteen wheeler’s cab [by wheelbase] usually averages between 245″ to 265″ wheelbase. This is measured from the center of the rear wheel to the center of the steer.
The length of time to stop an eighteen wheeler is 40% greater than that of an automobile. Depending on the weight of their load, whether they are bobtailing, road conditions, and other factors. To be sure, it takes a much greater time to stop than an automobile… period. Trucks only have 10 brakes NOT eighteen as some have told me they thought. Trucks made now are required to have anti-lock brakes.
Click HERE for more information on the turning radius of eighteen wheelers.
While there are myriad variables on the costs, the CAB of an eighteen wheeler usually ranges from $130,000 to $180,000 new. New trailers usually range from $30,000 to $80,00. So all in all you could be paying over a quarter-million dollars for a new truck and trailer.
The fifth wheel on an 18 wheeler is a round plate above the drive tires that couples [hooks together] the trailer to the truck.
The most common amount of gears in an 18 wheeler today is 10 forward and 2 reverse gears. Although they can range from 9, 10, 13, 15, and 18 gears!
Eighteen wheeler drivers use a “double-clutch” technique for shifting. It is much different to drive a truck compared to a car with a standard transmission. In a car the rpm’s match up and in a truck they do not therefore the clutch is depressed and then depressed again to “match” the gears with the rpm’s. Most drivers use what they call “floating” which does NOT use the clutch at all except to start and stop. “Floating” is an acquired skill that takes some practice to get used to. “Floating” gears saves fuel (when done properly) and saves wear and tear on the equipment. “Floating” is the preferred method.
Bobtailing is the term used when a truck is driving WITHOUT the trailer attached.
This is very dangerous especially in wet weather but obviously must be done at times.
The standard height of eighteen wheelers is: 13′ 6″
Tandem sometimes incorrectly refers to a set of TWO tires (Pictured) on a tractor-trailer. However, these are more commonly known as double wheels, dual tires, or ‘dualies.’ They are used for safety (redundancy) so if one tire blows the others will continue to hold up until the tire is repaired.
The correct definition of Tandem is a set of two axles, with one axle immediately following the other. By distributing the load over two axles, each axle bears less weight. Because there are laws limiting the amount of weight that can be carried on each axle, distributing the weight over more axles allows a greater total amount of weight to be carried.
Basically, a jack-knife accident is when the trailer contacts the tractor by the trailer “coming around” on the driver. It is said that once a trailer exceeds a 45 degree angle, compared to the tractor, that a jack-knife is inevitable. This can be caused my many things and happens when the trailer wheels start to skid and actually ends up moving faster than the cab. Usually this happens on icy or wet roads but it can happen on dry roads when the trailer is empty and the driver has to do some very hard braking.
There are a variety of brand names for eighteen wheelers; among them are: Peterbilt, Freightliner, Kenworth, Volvo, Mack, Western Star, to name a few more popular trucks.
An eighteen wheeler has a total of five (5) axles.
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