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How Much Does a Semi-Truck Weigh?

Posted in Truck Accidents on August 3, 2023

There were nearly 14 million commercial trucks registered in the United States that transported over 11 billion tons of freight in 2022 alone. In order to accomplish this stunning logistical feat, semi-trucks and tractor-trailers must be built tough. It should come as no surprise to learn that these machines are heavier and sturdier than your average passenger car.

Unfortunately, the difference in weight between a passenger vehicle and a semi-truck has consequences. The two vehicles do not handle the same on the road, and drivers who fail to respect this run the risk of causing or being involved in a trucking accident. These catastrophic events usually end poorly for anyone in a passenger car.

But how much does a semi-truck weigh exactly, and how can this weight affect the outcome of an accident in New York?

Weight of Passenger Cars Versus Weight of Semi-Trucks

To compare the weight of a passenger car with that of a semi-truck, it helps to first understand the differences in weight among the various types of passenger cars. For example, although trucks and SUVs weigh more than compact cars, the weight difference between these vehicles is less significant than expected.

Passenger Car Weights

When it comes to passenger cars, small, compact vehicles can weigh as little as 2,500 pounds. That is about the same weight as a ten-foot shipping container or a dumpster behind a business. Midsize passenger cars can weigh around 3,000 pounds, while SUVs and pickup trucks might tip the scales at over 4,000 pounds.

Semi-Truck Weights

Semi-truck weights differ depending on whether they are hooked up to a trailer. How much does a semi-truck weigh without trailer cargo attached? A semi-truck without a trailer could weigh as little as 10,000 pounds and as much as 25,000 pounds, depending on the size of the truck and its engine. That is between two and five times as much as an SUV or pickup truck.

A semi-truck’s weight increases when hooked up to a trailer. With an empty trailer attached to it, a semi-truck can weigh up to 35,000 pounds. A fully loaded tractor-trailer combination cannot exceed 80,000 pounds pursuant to federal regulations. You might be wondering, “How much does a semi-truck weigh in tons?” Eighty thousand pounds is equivalent to 40 tons.

Tire weight also needs to be factored in. But how much does a semi-truck tire weigh exactly? A single truck tire can weigh as much as 100 pounds.

How a Semi-Truck’s Weight Affects Driving Behavior

The greater weight of a semi-truck results in significant handling consequences, including:

  • Greater time and power required to accelerate from a stop
  • More time and space needed to come to a stop than passenger vehicles
  • A higher profile that is more prone to tipping over in high winds or on sharp turns
  • Less visibility and larger blind spots than cars, especially trucks that are pulling a trailer

It is for these reasons that passenger car drivers are always encouraged to be careful around semi-trucks and to give them extra room on the road.

Semi-Trucks Can Cause Catastrophic Injuries in Accidents

One of the greatest consequences of a truck’s weight is the damage that it can cause to other vehicles in a crash. The severity of a truck accident and the resulting injuries is directly related to its energy at the moment of impact. With their considerably greater weight, a truck traveling at even a low speed can cause significantly more damage than a car going the same speed.

Safety Around Semi-Trucks Is Every Driver’s Responsibility

Remaining safe around trucks requires both private motorists and the operators of trucks to remain aware of the dangers these machines pose and to drive accordingly. When all motorists respect the size and weight difference between cars and trucks, the incidence rate of accidents in New York can decrease.

Contact Our Truck Accident Law Firm in New York, NY

If you need legal assistance, contact the New York City truck accident lawyers at Law Offices of Jay S. Knispel Personal Injury Lawyers at your nearest location to schedule a free consultation.

We have two convenient locations in New York:

Law Offices of Jay S. Knispel Personal Injury Lawyers – New York City Office
450 7th Ave #1605
New York, NY 10123
(212) 564-2800

Law Offices of Jay S. Knispel Personal Injury Lawyers – Brooklyn Office
26 Court St Suite 2511
Brooklyn, NY 11242
(718) 802-1600

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