How Much Does a Semi Truck Weigh?

If you’ve been behind the wheel of one of these behemoths, you may be wondering, “How much does a semi truck weigh?” Semi truck weight depends on several factors, the most important one being safety on highways. Make and model semi truck weights vary, too. And of course there’s a big difference between a trailer that’s loaded with cargo and one that’s empty. Take a look at how semi truck weight works, what semi truck weigh stations are for, and more with Rechtien International Trucks.

Semi Truck Weight by Part

On average, a semi truck without cargo in will weigh around 35,000 pounds. This takes into account the weight of the engine, 15 or more gallons of oil, and diesel fuel to get started in . Here’s an approximation of how much semi trucks usually weigh:

Approximate Weight by Parts

  • Tractor weight — 17,000 – 22,000 pounds
  • Empty Trailer weight — 10,000 pounds

Just because a semi truck is big doesn’t mean it can carry as much weight as the owner wants. Drivers also have to keep in mind federal weight limits that are checked at semi truck weigh stations on federal interstate highways. Sometimes these limits can be waived in advance with oversized load permits. Without a permit, here are the weights and how they are to be distributed in a semi truck:

Federal Weight Limits

  • Steer Axle weight limit — 12,000 pounds
  • Drives weight limit — 35,000 pounds
  • Cab and Trailer at Maximum Capacity weight — Up to 80,000 pounds (40 tons)

What are Semi Truck Weigh Stations?

In the United States, the law is that a semi truck with a loaded trailer can’t weigh more than 80,000 pounds with the weight spread over five axles. Most states also collect tax based on semi truck weight. Semi truck weigh stations keep them in check. There are three types of scales at semi truck weigh stations:

  • Single Axle weighs each axle at a time as the truck gradually drives over the scale, stopping for each axle to be weighed.
  • One-Stop is a series of connected scales that electronically add each axle for the gross weight when the semi truck stops on them.
  • Weigh-in-Motion is a sensor pad that’s becoming more popular, since it weighs the truck and weight distribution without the semi stopping.

Learn More About Semi Trucks with Rechtien International Trucks

Rechtien International Trucks is your source for the latest in semi truck information, from semi truck maintenance questions, model questions, and more, Rechtien International Trucks is here to help you. Contact us today!

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