Ever looked at a tractor-trailer and wondered how much it weighs? If you have ever tried to guess the number, the odds are that you underestimated the weight. Semi trucks are significantly heavier than the passenger vehicles that you are most familiar with.

Even if the semi isn’t attached to a trailer, the truck is probably somewhere between 15,000 and 25,000 pounds. That is roughly three to five times the weight of the average passenger vehicle. Even more impressively, according to Truckers Report, the average engine of a semi truck weighs almost as much as an average car (approximately 3,000 pounds).

Adding a Trailer

Most semi trucks don’t travel the roads without any cargo. Usually, if you see a tractor-trailer, it is hauling cargo in a trailer. That trailer can add many tons of weight to the vehicle.

Federal Highway Administration regulations permit the total weight of a semi truck carrying cargo to be 80,000 pounds (or 40 tons). This weight maximum includes the weight of:

  • The truck
  • The trailer
  • All cargo in the trailer

These vehicles are weighed at weigh stations on major highways throughout the country.

Why Does the Truck Portion Weigh So Much?

Even with a 3,000-pound engine, it is impressive that the truck portion of the vehicle weighs so much. A lot of that weight comes from fuel. Tractor trailers often have fuel tanks that hold 200 to 300 gallons of gas. Diesel gas weighs close to 7 pounds per gallon, which means a truck could hold almost one ton of gas.

These vehicles also have features that the average car doesn’t have. For example, most trucks have a sleeper compartment. In larger trucks, this is effectively a small room with several accommodations.

Finally, everything in a truck is just bigger. The engine is about six times as large as an average car engine, and every other part of the truck is similarly bigger.

Semi Truck Accidents Are Terrifying

As scary as a car accident can be, an accident involving a semi truck is significantly more terrifying. When a vehicle that is almost 80,000 pounds strikes something while driving at 50 to 75 miles per hour, the amount of kinetic force involved is astronomical.

A tractor-trailer will rip through most cars like a hot knife through butter. If one of these trucks rolls over or jackknifes, it can easily cause a multiple-vehicle accident.

What Causes Truck Accidents?

The main reason that tractor-trailers end up in accidents is that there are thousands of these trucks on the road at any given time. Millions of trucks drive billions of miles every year. Accidents are inevitable with those kinds of numbers.

Additionally, some drivers drive more hours per day than they should. This results in the drivers being fatigued, and fatigue is a common cause of accidents, regardless of the type of vehicle.

The other major factor in truck accidents is the stopping distance of these vehicles. When driving at highway speeds, the average truck may require 300 feet or more to come to a complete stop. This is a much longer stopping distance than a comparable passenger vehicle.

Keep Safe When Driving Near Semi Trucks

It is hard to fully understand how much a semi truck weighs and how much danger that weight presents to other drivers on the road. The best way to stay safe near a truck is to respect the danger it presents and give it plenty of space. If you need to pass one, give plenty of warning and be certain the driver can see you. And if you’ve been involved in a truck accident due to the at-fault driver’s negligence, an experienced attorney can help. 

Contact the Las Vegas Truck Accident Attorneys at Battle Born Injury Lawyers Today

If you or a loved one were injured in an accident in Las Vegas and you need legal assistance, contact our truck accident attorneys at Battle Born Injury Lawyers and schedule a free consultation with our legal team.

Battle Born Injury Lawyers – Las Vegas Office
10789 W Twain Ave #100
Las Vegas, NV 89135
(702) 570-9000

Battle Born Injury Lawyers – Reno Office
675 W Moana Ln #206
Reno, NV 89509, USA
(775) 535-7768

Battle Born Injury Lawyers – Henderson Office
8540 S Eastern Ave #200
Henderson, NV 89123
(702) 500-0287