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9 Things You Didn’t Know About Semi Trucks

I’ve written a lot about trucks lately. It seems like everywhere I turn, there’s another story about a tragic accident involving a commercial truck. As important as it is to be aware of the danger, I thought it was time to have a slightly less somber post.

Today, we’ll be examining a handful of facts that you probably didn’t know about semi trucks. It was almost hard for me to believe some of them. I hope you enjoy!

9 Facts

  1. How much do they weigh?
    In the United States, the limit for a semi with a full trailer is 80,000 pounds, which is typically spread between 18 wheels. In Australia, semis can pull up to four trailers and weigh more than 300,000 pounds! This is because the roadways they travel on are much less busy and crowded than the roads we use in the States. Imagine trying to stop that.
  2. How much do they drive a year?
    Semi trucks drive an average of 140 billion miles per year in the U.S. Commercial trucks transport more than two-thirds of all cargo in the country. It’s crazy to think that upwards of 70% of all freight in the United States is transported by the semi trucks we share the roads with!
  3. What’s the most popular truck manufacturer?
    Freightliner is the number one seller of semi trucks in the country, selling more a third of the 190,000 trucks sold annually. Freightliner is owned by Daimler Trucks North America. Although Freightliner holds the biggest market share, they’re followed close behind names you probably recognize like Peterbilt and Mack!
    Australian Road Trains - Brooks Law Group
  4. Why are they called semi trucks?
    Semi trucks get their name from the giant trailers they tow behind them. As the trailers have no front wheels and can only be moved when attached to the truck, they are called “semi-trailers.” The name semi truck was adapted over time and is now what most Americans commonly refer to them as.
  5. Where do they all come from?
    About one-third of the more than 1.9 million trucks on the roads are registered in Florida, California and Texas. While there are around 1.9 million trucks, there are more than 3 million truck drivers in our country. The overwhelming majority of trucking companies only own a handful of trucks.
  6. How fuel efficient are semi trucks?
    Short answer? Not very. Today, government estimates put the average fuel efficiency of semi trucks at around 6.5 miles per gallon. Truck manufacturers have been working for decades on increasing that number by redesigning their trucks to maximize the aerodynamics and have been making good progress. Some recent additions have helped that number drop even further for many manufacturers!
  7. How much power does it take to get a semi truck moving?
    The average truck engine weighs upwards of 3,000 pounds, which is more than most small cars! The weight makes sense when you consider it’s packing more than 500 horsepower and close to 2,000 lb-ft of torque. I knew they were powerful, but I don’t think I’d have guessed that a single engine can weigh more than many cars.
  8. How have trucks affected popular culture?
    In December of 1975, the song “Convoy” by C.W. McCall about long haul trucking, was the most popular song in the United States. The song was written by the creative director of an advertising agency under a pseudonym he created to drum up publicity for a local bakery. In the 70s and 80s, semi trucks made frequent appearances in many blockbuster movies.
  9. How much does a single truck travel in a year?
    This number varies based on the type of driver in charge of the truck. In a year, the average semi will travel 45,000 miles. For long haul drivers, the average is closer to 100,000 miles driven in a year. As trucks’ average miles per year continues to rise, it’s no wonder that the cabs of trucks are becoming more and more like homes that are mobile.

That’s all I’ve got for you today! I hope you learned a little bit more about trucks, just like I did while researching some of these questions.

Contact Brooks Law Group

When something goes wrong on the roads with a semi truck, they go very wrong. In recent years, deaths from accidents involving commercial trucks have continued to rise with no signs of slowing. If you or a loved on has been injured in a semi truck crash, you need experienced legal guidance. Call our offices at 1-800-LAW-3030 or visit us online for your free, no obligation case evaluation. At the Brooks Law Group, we’re committed to providing the best client experience possible for everyone who walks in our doors. Are you tired of feeling like just another number or potential payout for a massive law firm? Choose a local firm that cares about each client as if they were family. Look to Brooks!

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