They say knowledge is power, and to a large extent, it is true. Knowledge adds to your prowess helping you climb one more step up in the ladder. The more information you have on something, the better understanding of that you gain.
Ordinary people, who meet with truck accidents and later sue the trucking company often fail to comprehend the meaning of certain legal terms. Those people are also largely unaware of how a semi-truck works and what are the pertinent legal clauses.
Keeping them in mind, I’m going to discuss semi-trucks in this article. You can stop being hit by a semi-truck if you know enough about it. My purpose is to educate you about semi-trucks, so you can figure out the reason behind most of the accidents on the interstate and avoid an accident.
Why called semi-truck?
I bet this question has struck you before. If you haven’t found the answer already, here it is; a semi-trailer has two ends. One end runs on wheels and the other end needs a tractor. That’s the reason semi-trucks are often called tractor-trailer trucks. They are also called 18-wheeler trucks.
A railcar is twice the size of a semi-truck. A semi-truck is called semi because it’s half the size of a railcar. Semi means half. The length of an average semi-truck in the United States is 40-50-feet, and that of a railcar is 80-feet.
Who owns them?
In the United States, almost 2 million semi-trucks run on the highways and the total number of truck drivers is 3.2 million. There’s the asymmetry in the distribution of those 2 million trucks as the majority of (90%) of trucking companies and operators own less than six trucks.
So if you meet with a truck accident, sue the owner/operator, who employed the truck driver to lay your hands on reimbursement.
Third-party data indicate semi-trucks supply nearly 68% industrial and consumer goods in the US. This implies every single year, semi-trucks deliver 60000 pounds of good for each American.
Federal laws require all semi-trucks to carry a certain volume of weight. If the weight carried by truck exceeds the stipulated volume, it might cause an accident on a highway. So if you’ve been hit by a semi-truck, tell your lawyer to conduct a probe to know how much weight the truck was carrying on the day of the accident.
On paper, a semi-truck travels 45000 miles a year. But in practice, it covers a distance of 100000 miles every year. Because they drive so many miles, semi-trucks are also known as long-distance operators. Even though only 15% of commercial trucks in the US are semi-trucks, they travel nearly 42% of all distances traveled by all commercial trucks. The combined distance traveled by all US semi-trucks is 140 billion miles.
Semi-trucks consume a lot of power. They run on turbocharged diesel engines. A semi-truck engine produces 1.25 times the foot-pound of its rotations per minute. On an average, a turbocharged diesel engine undergoes 960-1640-rpm, which means those engines produce 1200 to 2050 lb-ft of power. Such an enormous power is needed to move the weight the truck carries.
Engine weight and life expectancy
A semi-truck engine comes with more weight and a better life-expectancy compared to a passenger vehicle engine. On average, a semi-truck engine comes with 800000 more miles of life than its ordinary passenger vehicle counterpart. A semi-truck engine comes with a different design so that it lasts longer.
As the truck keeps moving, the oil in the engine keeps flowing and lubricating the inner parts. Opposed to a passenger vehicle, semi-truck drivers hardly feels the need to shut the engine down.
A semi-trucks is not fuel-efficient as its engine requires more than 15 gallons of oil. The engine might undergo a lot of damage and to fix them, the operator might have to shell out nearly 100000 a year.
A semi-truck couldn’t stop as quickly as a passenger vehicle can. That’s one of the reasons these vehicles cause accidents. The driver may push down on the brake, but the truck might take a few minutes to stop and ram a car that’s too close to it. All drivers should know how to stop a semi-truck quickly in time of an emergency.
Greg Baumgartner handles truck accident lawsuits for victims of truck accidents in Texas. He is an expert Texas Truck Accident Lawyer with an exemplary track record.