10 Interesting Facts About Semi Trucks You Ought To Know

The eighteen wheeler or the semi truck is a beast that reigns the road like a king. These trucks are formed by a combination of a tractor unit attached to a semi-trailer unit. Unlike the standard vehicles, a semi truck is a vehicle that no one can ignore owing to its looks and size. If these semi trucks have always amazed you, these interesting facts would surely entice you.

The Must-Know Facts About A Semi Truck

The gigantic looks of semi trucks have always given a reason to wonder how something such as an eighteen-wheeler can exist. The fact is, technology has made it possible! Here are some facts about semi trucks you would love to know.

1. The Expense Factor

Just like the size of a semi truck, its price is gigantic too. A brand new tractor unit can cost you a whopping amount of $130,000 to even $200,000. As far as the trailer is concerned, it adds up to the cost. A trailer cost ranges from $30,000 to $80,000. In short, semi trucks are a luxury only a few can afford.

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2. Why Is A Semi Called A Semi

A semi truck is an amalgamation of a semi-trailer, and a semi-tractor. It is these two individual parts that make for the whole structure. The semi-trailer is devoid of front wheels that need a support of the semi-tractor to make a move, i.e., a trailer can only roll when attached to the tractor. The two halves make a one, thus the reason why is a semi called a semi.

3. The Maximum Capacity

If contemplating as to how much weight a semi truck carry, the stats would take you by surprise. The maximum weight that a semi-truck can carry is about 80,000 pounds that are spread across the entire length of the vehicle. Isn’t it an unbelievable capacity? The amazement does not end here. A semi truck is also called “road trains,” as the maximum trailers attached to a tractor unit accounts to four.

4. An Industrial Asset

Semi-trucks have become an essential asset of the industries in the US. Every major industry that needs supplies has a fleet of semi trucks to undertake the job at hand. As per the stats, in 2016 alone, semi trucks have driven as far as 175 billion miles. Being a chief goods carrier, industries like agriculture and construction mainly depend on semi trucks. You could also refer to industry knowledge for more interesting facts on buses.

Diesel semi truck engine
Semi truck as an industrial assets. Source: Daimler AG

5. Semi Trucks Use Diesel

The semi trucks use diesel over gasoline, for it is found to be more efficient. Diesel is believed to contain most usable energy unlike gasoline, which does not power a vehicle to its full capacity. When semi trucks run on diesel, better energy utilization makes the heavy load vehicles not that problematic. In simple terms, diesel semi trucks engine contains more energy, thus making the truck move up to 30% farther per gallon.

6. U-Turns Are A Challenge

Owing to the long length of semi trucks, i.e., as long as 70-75 feet, making a turn becomes a challenge. These trucks are not built to be run on hilly roadways as the risk of an accident increases exponentially. A semi-truck needs at least 55 feet wide space to turn safely. The more the straight terrains, the better! The U-turns can lead to danger to the truck, the driver, and other vehicles on the road.

7. Luxury For The Long Travels

Traveling day and night and over days is a common thing for semi truck drivers. That is why; for the convenience of the driver and others, there is a sleeping area inbuilt in the interiors. A space behind the driver’s cabin is specially customized onto some semi-trucks. Luxury varies from truck to truck but basic amenities like beds, tables, refrigerators, TV, and closets are common.

8. A Touch Of Automation

Self-driven cars are a known concept by now, but can you believe a semi truck driving on its own? Yes, that is possible! Automation has made what was once impossible, possible. Semi-trucks are being built in a way that it requires no driver to maneuver it to its destination. It is an exciting as well as a surprising thing too. It was the Otto and Budweiser who collaborated back in 2016 for their first automated delivery.

Automated delivery of semi truck
Otto semi truck. Source: Otto

9. An Ode To Unique Attributes

Building a semi truck is nowhere same to other vehicles. The components that make up a semi truck are unique and one of its kind. Do you know that an 80,000 pounds semi truck weighs up to 30 times more than a standard car does? This is not it! A semi truck’s engine is up to six times larger than a normal car. Semi trucks gas mileage accounts for 2.9 when going down the hill, which may exceed over 23 when moving downhill.

10. Gear Count Varies

An eighteen wheeler semi truck can have up to eighteen different gears. A standard semI truck has ten gears installed in them. The big or the superior semi trucks may also have gear count of 13, 15, or even 18 gears. These gears are installed keeping in mind the amount and the kind of weight the truck would be carrying. The additional gears aid in driving on all kinds of roads.

Gear count of semi truck
Semi truck and its mileage. Source: Wallpaper Cave

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Wrapping Up

Looking at the interesting ten facts revolving around a semi truck, you would know how these road giants are different from others. You may never know while you are reading this how many semi trucks are already on their way to their respective destinations.