How Long Is a Semi Truck? Guide to Truck Sizes and Limits

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How Long Is a Semi Truck? Guide to Truck Sizes and Limits

Find Out How Long Is a Semi Truck Here

  •  Semi Trucks
  • Nov 27,2020
  • By LV Road Tech Assistance

When it comes to semi-truck dimensions, there are a wide variety of factors to consider. For this reason, we’ll teach you how long is a semi truck, along with its width, height, and even weight limit as well.

So, keep on reading to learn more!

Which Are the Dimensions of a Semi Truck?

First, you must know that the semi-truck dimensions vary on a lot of things. From the federal government standards to state regulations, each truck might count on slight differences.

That’s why we’ll go over each of these proportions.

Most semi-trucks in the United States tend to be around 8.5 feet wide, 72 feet long, 13.5 feet tall, and weigh up to 80,000 pounds. Nevertheless, factors such as the semi-truck type, model, brand, and state laws make these dimensions vary.

How Long is a Semi Truck ?

When calculating a semi-trucks length, most truckers tend to reference this measurement as the BBC, which stands for Bumper to Back of Cab.

So, how long is a semi truck? Generally speaking, American semi trucks tend to be around 72 feet long. However, this is only the standard measurement from the bumper to the back of the trailer. When it comes to the BBC, the average length is around 10 feet.

Of course, the BBC length can range according to the type of cabin, just like we stated above. After all, some cab areas might include long hoods, sleepers, and add-on boxes. These extra features can add to the cab’s length between 2.5 and 6.25 feet.

On the other hand, tractors that don’t count on these extra features, such as day cabs, tend only to be around 9.5 feet.

Moreover, you should know that there isn’t any overall length limit when it comes to truck-trailer combinations. However, according to the US Department of Transportation, there are limits for the semi trailer’s length, which we’ll talk about later in this blog.

What Is the Width of Semi Trucks ?

When it comes to the width, the max-width for commercial trucks must be 102 inches, that is, 8.5 feet.

Of course, this measurement doesn’t include features such as rear-view mirrors, load-induced tire bulges, and the cab’s handholds.

In order to be considered extended devices, they must follow four requisites.

First, loading and unloading features must not extend beyond 24 inches from the back part of the cab.

Second, resilient bumper assemblies can’t stick out longer than 6 inches from the rear or front end of the truck.

Third, any aerodynamic devices must be under 5 feet beyond the back of the cabin.

Lastly, these extended features must not be over 3 inches wide. For this reason, any tarping system often is part of the excluded devices as long as they don’t stick out more than 3 inches from the sides of the cabin.

Moreover, mirrors can extend up to 10 inches on either side of the cabin.

What’s the Semi Truck Height?

While most state height limits range from 13 to 14 feet, commercial drivers must know that there isn’t any Federal height requirement for trucks. However, there are certain exceptions when it comes to roads with lower clearance.

Which Are the Semi-Trailer Dimensions?

Now that we discussed how long is a semi truck, along with its height and width, you must also know the semi-trailer dimensions. That way, you can be sure that you’ll follow the state and federal regulations.

How Long Must Semi-Trailers Be ?

Just as we stated before, there’s no overall length limit for 18 wheelers or big rigs. Even so, there are certain minimum lengths for tractors and trailers attached to the rear axle.

First, we have the classic truck tractor-semitrailer combination. The Federal length minimum for these semi-trailers is 48 feet.

Moreover, if the semi truck counts on two cargo units, then the total length must not go over 65 feet. In other words, each unit must be between 28 to 28.5 feet long. If it’s a maxi cube unit, then the cargo boxes must not extend 34 feet maximum.

In the state of Nevada, the maximum length for grandfather semi trailers is 53 feet. Moreover, these motor vehicles must count on a tandem axle distance of 40 feet for the kingpin-to-center measurement.

How Much Does a Trailer Truck Weight?

Lastly, we have the weight measurements of axle trailers.

While tractor-trailers can weigh around 35,000 pounds, fully loaded trucks weigh about 80,000 pounds. On the other hand, a semi-truck alone weighs approximately 10,000 to 25,000 pounds. Of course, this depends on the size and type of the tractor.

There are three types of trucks out there: light, medium, and heavy-duty trucks. While light and medium trucks count on three classifications, heavy-duty trucks only count on two classes.

Light trucks, which are from classes 1 to 3, are non-commercial vehicles such as SUVs and minivans.

Then, classes 4, 5, and 6 fit into the category of medium trucks.

First, there’s the Class 4 truck. They generally weigh between 14,000 to 16,000 pounds. These trucks include box, city delivery, and super duty pickup trucks.

Next, we have Class 5 trucks. These types of commercial vehicle weigh from 16,000 to 19,500 pounds. Delivery and bucket trucks fit into this category.

The last category of medium trucks is Class 6, which usually ranges from around 19,500 to 26,000 pounds. This classification often includes single-axle vehicles, such as beverage and rack trucks.

Finally, when it comes to heavy-duty trucks, there are the classes 7 and 8. Class 7 trucks weigh around 26,000 to 33,000 pounds, while Class 8 ones simply weigh more than 33,000 pounds.

Additionally, truckers must know that the limit for the gross vehicle weight in Nebraska is 129,000 pounds.

By knowing how long is a semi truck, along with the other dimensions, you’ll now be able to pick a semi truck and trailer that best suit your needs! Remember to call an expert when in need of emergency truck repair!


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