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How Long Is A Semi Truck | Semi Truck Dimensions

In this discussion, we will not only address the question of “How Long Is A Semi Truck?” but also provide comprehensive information on pickup truck sizes. By exploring the various dimensions of pickup trucks, we aim to empower you to make an informed and confident purchasing decision.

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How long is a semi-truck?

A standard semi-truck typically measures about 70 feet in length when the tractor and trailer are combined. However, the actual length can vary significantly depending on various factors.

1. Type of tractor.

Typically, day cabs are around 20 feet long, although the length can be altered by each manufacturer and spec. For those drivers who haul over-the-road and require a bed inside, sleeper cabs also have a length of approximately 20 feet.

2. Type of trailer.

The length of trailers can vary depending on the type.

A standard dry van trailer is typically 53 feet long and overlaps a few feet over the tractor, resulting in a unit length of about 70 feet.

-Pup trailers, on the other hand, are usually 28 feet long. It’s common to see two pup trailers pulled together, creating a total length of around 56 feet.

-Intermodal containers generally have lengths of either 20 or 40 feet, but they can also match the standard 53 feet.

-Tanker trailers, flatbeds, and other types of trailers typically range between 48 to 53 feet.

-For the longest trailers available, there are extendable double drops and Removable Goosenecks (RGN) which can reach up to 80 feet when fully extended. These trailers are often used to transport vehicles and large equipment.

3. State requirements.

Companies have the flexibility to customize the length of their equipment for specialty freight requirements; however, it is crucial to adhere to varying state regulations on overall length. For instance, Texas and Oklahoma allow trailers up to 59 feet long, while many states set a limit of 53 feet for trailer length.

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How tall is a semitruck?

The height of a standard semi-truck is approximately 13 ½ feet tall. This measurement can vary based on several factors.

1. Type of tractor.

Tractors, whether sleeper or day models, typically measure 13 ½ feet in height, which includes the wind fairing. The height of the cabs can vary from 6 to 10 feet, depending on the make and model of the tractor.

2. Type of trailer.

  • Standard dry van trailers usually have a total height of 13 ½ feet, with the door height accounting for 9 feet.
  • Flatbed trailers, on the other hand, are typically 5 feet tall, but can accommodate cargo up to 8 ½ feet tall.
  • Intermodal trailers, which need to meet both railway and road standards, typically reach 9 ½ feet in height.
  • For less standard trailers, such as step decks and double drops, their heights can go as low as 3 ½ feet and 1 ½ feet respectively.

3. State requirements.

The height of commercial vehicles varies by state due to different regulations. However, national regulations for bridge height typically restrict semi-trucks to a maximum of 14 feet. This aligns with guidelines set by the Federal Highway Administration (FHA) which states that bridges should not be lower than 14 feet or higher than 16 feet. Thus, a standard height of 13 feet and 6 inches is maintained for semi-trucks.

How wide is a semitruck?

The width of a standard semi-truck is typically 8 ½ feet. However, it can vary depending on various factors.

1. State requirements.

In the United States, the width of semi-trucks is generally consistent, unlike their length and height. Almost all states adhere to a maximum width of 8 ½ feet, with the exception of Hawaii, where it is 9 feet.

This limit is primarily determined by the standard size of U.S. highway lanes, which typically measure 12 feet in width. In the event that a commercial vehicle exceeds the 8 ½ feet width, it is classified as an oversize load and will usually require a special permit for highway travel.

2. Type of trailer.

An 8 ½ feet width is employed for various types of trailers, including intermodal, flatbed, tanker, reefer, and dry van trailers.

3. Type of tractor.

Both day and sleeper cabs for tractors adhere to the standard width of 8 ½ feet. Nevertheless, certain components like mirrors, handholds, and safety equipment are excluded from the maximum legal width.

Trucks, on the other hand, are granted an additional 10 inches on each side for mirrors, allowing semi-trucks to have a total width of 10 feet, provided they comply with this special exception.

Which Are the Semi-Trailer Dimensions?

When considering the dimensions of a semi-truck, including its length, height, and width, it is crucial to also understand the dimensions of the semi-trailer. This understanding ensures adherence to state and federal regulations.

How Long Must Semi-Trailers Be ?

There is no overall length limit for 18 wheelers or big rigs, as previously mentioned. However, there are minimum lengths for tractors and trailers attached to the rear axle.

Semi trucks with two cargo units, the total length should not exceed 65 feet. Each unit must fall between 28 to 28.5 feet in length. If it’s a maxi cube unit, the cargo boxes should not extend beyond 34 feet.

In addition, in Nevada, the maximum length for grandfather semi trailers is 53 feet. Furthermore, these vehicles must have a tandem axle distance of 40 feet for the kingpin-to-center measurement.

How Much Does a Trailer Truck Weight?

We have weight measurements for axle trailers.

Tractor-trailers can weigh approximately 35,000 pounds, while fully loaded trucks can weigh around 80,000 pounds. On the other hand, a standalone semi-truck typically weighs between 10,000 and 25,000 pounds, depending on its size and type.

There are three types of trucks available: light, medium, and heavy-duty trucks. Light trucks, belonging to classes 1 to 3, include non-commercial vehicles such as SUVs and minivans. Classes 4, 5, and 6 fall into the category of medium trucks.

Let’s begin with Class 4 trucks, which usually weigh between 14,000 to 16,000 pounds. This class comprises box, city delivery, and super-duty pickup trucks.

Moving on to Class 5 trucks, they weigh from 16,000 to 19,500 pounds and include delivery and bucket trucks.

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

To heavy-duty trucks, we have classes 7 and 8. Class 7 trucks weigh around 26,000 to 33,000 pounds, while Class 8 trucks exceed 33,000 pounds in weight.

It’s important for truckers to note that the gross vehicle weight limit in Nebraska is 129,000 pounds.

FAQs About How Long Is A Semi Truck

What’s the length of a semi with a 53 foot trailer?

A semi-truck, when coupled with a 53-foot trailer, can have a total length of approximately 75 feet. This measurement accounts for the 20-foot tractor unit and the 53-foot-long trailer. However, it’s important to note that the length of tractor-trailer combinations can vary.

What is the typical size of an 18wheeler?

An 18-wheeler, also known as a semi-truck with a trailer, typically measures 70 to 80 feet in length, depending on the tractor-trailer combination. With a width of approximately 8.5 feet and a height of around 13.5 feet, these vehicles can weigh up to 80,000 pounds.

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Semi trucks in the United States measure approximately 72 feet in length, 8.5 feet in width, and 13.5 feet in height. They can have a gross weight of up to 80,000 pounds. Opting for a used truck provides even more choices, including different lengths, widths, heights, as well as options for day cab and sleeper cab sizes. Discover more about the semi truck dimensions for some of the industry’s most popular vehicles, such as those offered by International and other top brands.

Timothy Ballard

I’m Timothy Ballard, owner of a used car dealership in Springfield. I love just about everything automotive, but I have a special place in my heart for trucks. I’m an ASE Certified Master Technician, so I know my way around a car. In my spare time, I enjoy traveling with my family and hiking new trails.

1 thought on “How Long Is A Semi Truck | Semi Truck Dimensions”

  1. In the United States, semi trucks have an average length of around 72 feet, a width of 8.5 feet, and a height of 13.5 feet. These trucks can reach a gross weight of up to 80,000 pounds. Opting for a used truck offers a wider range of choices in terms of length, width, and height, as well as day cab or sleeper cab sizes.


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