Truck Weight

Last Edited: July 23, 2017 // by TruckerScape, Inc.

Total allowable weight of my truck including freight is 80,000 pounds in most states.  My tractor weighs about 21,000 pounds including fuel and me, and an empty dry van trailer weighs around 14,000 pounds.  So the maximum freight I can carry is about 45,000 pounds.  The trailer with maximum load is significantly heavier than my tractor, at almost 60,000 pounds.  As you might guess, in some conditions such as hard stops or in a skid on a slick surface the trailer can push the tractor around, much like the “tail wagging the dog.”  Because of its size and weight, I have to concentrate on “driving the trailer.”

Quite often my trailer is loaded to near capacity.  Assuming you and your personal vehicle weigh around 4,000 pounds, my fully loaded truck and I outweigh you by a factor of 20.  In a collision, my truck is likely to crush your vehicle and you in it.  Even in good weather on a dry road surface, at highway speed it takes about 500 feet for me to stop my fully loaded truck.  So whenever possible I stay a considerable distance behind traffic in front of me.  When you pass me I appreciate your pulling away from my truck rather than settling close in front, provided it is practical, safe and lawful to do so (see the Passing Me Basics tip in the Passing Me chapter).


Whenever you are driving in front of a truck stay as far away as practical, safe and lawful.

In a collision with a truck, you and your vehicles will be the losers.

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