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How Much Does a Semi Truck Weigh? Ultimate Guide (2022)


Semi-trucks undoubtedly make their mark on the road. Whether they're hauling goods or just taking a break, these trucks can traverse their way over rugged terrain and enormous obstacles. They're indispensable to the economy and help keep America moving. 

But have you ever wondered how much a semi-truck weighs? Well, chances are you probably have. And the good news is, you found this article, which will help you learn how much a semi-truck weighs. 

How Much Does a Semi Truck Weigh?

There are two ways to determine the weight of a semi-truck. They are laden and unladen. 

Laden weight involves measuring the weight of the truck when it is fully loaded. 

The unladen weight, on the other hand, entails measuring the weight of the truck and trailer. 

The laden weight of a semi-truck will depend on the load. For instance, a truck full of empty barrels will weigh less than one carrying fully loaded barrels. The gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of semi-trucks represents the maximum weight they can carry.

A truck's gross vehicle weight rating (GWR) includes the weight of the truck, its cargo, its fuel, passengers, and any other equipment attached to the truck. According to US federal law, semi-trucks may be loaded to a maximum of 80,000 pounds. Although some heavy-duty trucks have a higher GVWR for safety, it is still illegal to load them over 80,000 pounds.

Due to factors like the engine power, how much it can tow, and whether it's a sleeper cab, the unladen weight of a semi-tractor can vary between 10,000 and 25,000 pounds. An empty 53-foot trailer weighs about 10,000 pounds, making it about 35,000 pounds unloaded.

In a nutshell, semi-truck that are unattached to a trailer weigh between 10,000 to 25,00 pounds. However, with a trailer hooked to them, they weigh 35,00 pounds.

How Much Does a Semi-Truck Tire Weigh?

The tire of a semi-truck plays a critical role in the safety and performance of the vehicle. The tire of a semi-truck weighs 110 pounds. However, this weight depends on factors like the use. 

For example, a truck for handling mining tasks tends to be more robust and sturdier. As a result, they can manipulate the rough terrain and support their weight with heavier and more robust tires.

Dimension of a Semi-Truck

The size and dimensions of semi-trucks vary, depending on the model and brand. In the United States, semi-trucks typically measure 72 feet long, 13.5 feet tall, and 8.5 feet wide. They can weigh over 80,000 pounds. 

Choosing a used semi-truck gives you more options in terms of length, height, width, as well as sleeper cab and day cab sizes.

How Much Does An 18-wheeler Weigh?

An 18-wheeler consists of a tractor and trailer. In other words, it's a semi-truck with a trailer attached to it. In total, there are 18 wheels. Therefore, the empty weight of an 18-wheeler is 35,000 pounds, and the loaded weight cannot exceed 80,000 pounds.

How Much Does a Tractor Trailer Weigh?

Tractor-trailers typically weigh around 80,000 pounds when fully loaded. If a trailer is empty, it will weigh approximately 35,000.

What is the Stopping Distance of a Semi-Truck?

Even though the truck is not loaded, its enormous weight means it will take longer to stop than a regular car. 

When a car travels at 65 mph, it can stop entirely in about 300 feet. In contrast, a fully loaded semi-truck can travel up to 600 feet before it stops. Conditions like rain, ice, and snow can further extend this distance.

As a result, you should avoid cutting off a semi-truck in traffic and do not stop in front of them abruptly if you can help it. It may create a dangerous situation that puts your life and the lives of others at risk.

Classification of Trucks

The weight classification of trucks depends on the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR), which considers the truck's maximum load weight and the amount of fuel, cargo, and passengers it can haul. 

Safety is an incredibly crucial consideration when classifying trucks. Commercial designations and vehicle registrations also take safety into account. 

Below are the different classes of trucks:

Light trucks

These are non-commercial trucks that are classified 1 to 3. Examples are pickup trucks, SUVs, etc.

Medium trucks

Medium trucks typically serve commercial purposes, and they fall under classes 4, 5, and 6. 

Heavy-Duty Trucks

These are the big rigs on the road. These are the trucks that fall under classes 7 to 8. 

Garbage trucks, sweeper trucks, and city transit buses fall into this category and other furniture trucks. 

Semi-trucks under this class include Ford F -750, Peterbilt 220, Peterbilt 337, and GMC C7500.

Cement trucks and dump trucks are examples of class 8 trucks. Additionally, big rigs like Freightliners, Peterbilts, and Kenworths also fall into this category. 

The most common class 8 trucks include Kenworths 7600, Kenworths 7500, and Freightliner Cascadia. 

Final Thoughts

We can determine the weight of a semi-truck in several ways, and the maximum legal weight for a fully-loaded semi in the United States is 80,000 pounds. A typical unladen weight will be closer to 35,000 pounds, but the lowest is roughly 25,000 pounds. 

This generalization will not cover all cases, but we hope it can help shed some light on these large and powerful vehicles.

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