Commercial trucks are an essential part of our economy. These vehicles make sure that the products that keep our country going get from one place to the next. Without these, ordering items offline would be a very different experience.
Though commercial trucks are common, many people don’t know details about what they can do and restrictions around their equipment. It is important for truck drivers to know how much their truck can carry, but it’s also helpful when everyday people understand the kind of weight and momentum these trucks have. When you have an idea of how heavy they are and what they can do, you can drive more safely when sharing the road with semi-trucks.
There are strict limits on how much weight each axle of a truck can hold. Following these guidelines ensures trucks can drive safely, and their contents arrive safely to their destination.
The amount that axles can carry depends on the type of axles a truck has. A single axle may not support more than 20,000 pounds of weight. This applies both on and off the interstate. Tandem axles can carry a bit more weight, with a limit of 36,000 pounds on the interstate and 40,000 pounds on non-interstate routes. The gross weight limit of a semi-truck cannot exceed 80,000 pounds on the interstate and 85,000 pounds off the interstate. The gross weights are also subject to a state bridge weight formula that helps to ensure that bridges can safely hold the weight of the truck.
As you can tell, this is a significant amount of weight. Commercial trucks are responsible for a large number of items and therefore present a significant threat on the road. It’s important to be careful when driving near these trucks.
Because each axle can support so much weight, the inertia of a commercial truck is significant. This means that it takes a significant amount of force to stop or start the truck. There are limitations to how much the truck’s brakes can handle, so stopping takes a lot of time and distance.
For this reason, it is essential that you never cut off a truck when you’re driving. While you may be able to safely merge into a car’s lane with a certain amount of space, you need to triple or quadruple that amount of space for a commercial truck. If you cut off a truck and they’re going too fast, there’s not a lot they can do to stop. You can easily get run over this way.
As these several ton machines are barreling down the highway, they are doing so without proper sightlines. Truck drivers cannot see clearly to the left and right of a vehicle. Though there are mirrors to help, it’s not always possible for them to see cars going around them. Because of this, it’s easy for them to run you off the road if you drive in their blind spot and they need to change lanes.
There’s also a significant blind spot behind commercial trucks. Unlike most cars, trucks don’t have a window in the back, so the driver can’t see behind the vehicle. If you are following a truck, try to give them at least a truck’s length of space between their back bumper and your front one. This will help to ensure that the driver can see you.
If you drive a truck, it’s absolutely essential that you make sure you get enough rest. The vehicle you are driving is incredibly dangerous, and it wouldn’t take much effort to take someone’s life. For this reason, you must be alert and clear-headed at all times when you are driving. Take breaks as often as you can and employ strategies to ensure that you sleep properly. This will help you to stay awake and keep others safe.
A single axle may support up to 20,000 pounds of weight, both on and off the interstate. A tandem axle is allowed to support up to 36,000 pounds on the interstate and 40,000 pounds on non-interstate routes. It’s important for trucks to always follow these limits so that they can safely use the infrastructure of Colorado highways.
Overall, a truck may support 80,000 total pounds on the interstate and 85,000 total pounds off the interstate. They must be sure that this weight is distributed properly between axles as well. It’s also important to note that a federal bridge weight formula applies to trucks of all kinds and may affect the gross weight that is allowable in an area.
The steer axle of a truck is essential to its overall function. Because it must be movable for the truck to turn, it cannot support as much weight as axles that do not rotate. Twelve thousand pounds is the weight limit for a truck’s steer axle, which is significantly less than the limit for a normal single axle.
Because commercial trucks carry so much weight, they can cause significantly more damage than most vehicles on the road. If you are in an accident with a commercial truck, it’s likely that you will suffer a significant amount of damage. Many serious injuries occur in these incidents, and a large percentage are fatal.
Our firm has many decades of combined experience in truck accidents, car accidents, and other personal injury cases. We have seen every possible scenario, and our expertise will give you an advantage in the courtroom. Just because commercial truck drivers are professionally trained does not mean that they are never in the wrong. If you are in an accident with a commercial truck driver, it’s important that you get the support and compensation that you deserve.
For more information about Cheney Galluzzi & Howard and how we can help you, you may contact us online.