8 Facts About 18 Wheelers Do You Know Them All?

December 11, 2014

Facts About Trucking

It's not hard to figure out where 18 wheelers get that name from, but do you know why we also call them semi-trailer trucks? Here are some interesting bits of trivia and trucker tips that you might not have known.

Why the Name "Semi"?

The name "semi-trailer" is believed to come from the fact that the trailer part has to be connected to the trailer in order to go anywhere, since it doesn't have any front wheels.

How Big Are Truck Engines?

Truck engines in 18 wheelers are about six times bigger than car engines, and they give you up to 1,800 more pound-feet of torque. That's because they have 300 to 400 more horsepower.

How Much Can They Haul?

Most 18 wheelers are 70 to 80 in length and can haul up to 80,000 pounds, but Australian "road trains" can haul 300,000 pounds or more. They're able to do this since the tractors have four trailers connected to them.

What's the Engine Lifespan?

Semi engines can last up to 800,000 more miles than standard car engines, which makes sense since they're built to run more often.

What Does "Jackknife" Mean?

Jackknife means that there's a 45-degree angle between the trailer and tractor on your 18 wheeler. This angle happens at the kingpin that connects the two.

Where Are Most 18 Wheelers Registered?

Semis are registered all over the US, but California, Texas and Florida have the biggest numbers among them. Roughly one-third of semis are registered in these states.

How Is Driving a Semi Different in Europe?

For one, European 18 wheelers have speed limiters on them that prevent them from going above 56 MPH. Truckers in England aren't allowed to smoke in their semis.

How Long Does It Take to Brake?

Usually, it takes about two football field lengths to stop safely, but it takes even longer when you're driving on smooth roads with little or no resistance.

If you're in the market for a new 18 wheeler, visit Trucker to Trucker. We have a wide selection of new and used commercial trucks for sale.

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