10 Crazy Facts About Big Rig Trucks

Every Gearhead Should Know

10. First, Let’s Talk About Some Math

Considering these are huge trucks you may wonder as to how much weight can they truly hold or haul.

The maximum weight that a big rig can hold is 80,000 pounds and if it sounds a little less to you, it translates to around 20 medium-sized cars or 450 people with average weight.

The reason that they are called 18 Wheelers doesn’t just lie in the wheels but the fact that they can also have up to 18 gears. That’s a crazy amount of downshifting and upshifting.

9. Big Rigs Run On Diesel Because Efficiency

Ever wondered why your sedan can come gasoline-powered, but the most powerful pickups run on diesel? It’s because diesel fuel is more efficient than gasoline considering it contains more usable energy.

Running a vehicle on diesel means it can run 30% further per gallon than it can, with gasoline.

8. Fuel Efficiency Is Still A Joke

The tank of a big rig can hold between 100 and 400 gallons of fuel so a lot of that 18,000-pound weight is liquid.

In case you are curious big rigs that are fuel tankers, hold about 9000 gallons of fuel.

7. Diesel Fuel Is Not As Polluting As You Think

Most heavy vehicles still run on diesel and are likely to do so in the recent future so the environmental protection agency (EPA) has found ways to reduce sulfur levels in diesel.

In the past diesel engines were not as efficient as the ones of today and released toxins such as soot, nitrous oxide, and plenty of carbon emissions.

6. The Reason Why They Are Called Semis?

Considering these big rigs are massive, have you ever wondered why they are called semi-trucks, because they’re bigger than trucks in the first place?

The answer lies in the fact that the actual part of the semi-truck isn’t a truck at all and rather a huge container full of stuff that is being transported.

5. The Engines Are Designed To Keep Going

The engines in big rigs are designed to keep on going nonstop but at the same time keeping them idling can cause many internal engine problems.

Big rigs do not burn fuel efficiently when idling and not only does this waste fuel, but it can also clog up the engine.

4. Big Rig Companies Have Their Own Brand Preference

If you thought that a muscle car era had cutthroat competition, meet the big rig manufacturers.

As of 2017, the Freightliner holds over 37% of the market share, and it’s the most popular class 8 or big rig truck manufacturer in the USA.

3. Mud Flaps Are Designed to Be Aerodynamic

With vehicles this size that drink gallons of fuel at a time, big rig makers are doing their best to turn the machines into their efficient best.

This is where specially designed mud flaps come in that not only protect the traffic and pedestrians around from the debris that can fly off from a semi’s massive tires but can also add an aerodynamic advantage.

2. Hollywood Loves Its Big Rigs

From time to time Hollywood movies love to show a big rig.

Whether it’s the Peterbilt Transformers Optimus Prime or criminal TV shows that often show a big rig driver as either a serial killer or as a Good Samaritan, big rigs are a big attraction on the silver screen.

1. Big Rigs Need Big Space To Make A U-Turn

On average big rigs are usually 70 to 75 feet long and need a minimum of 55 feet to make a safe U-turn.

That’s said; US highways are generally only 12 feet wide which means a semi-truck cannot make a safe or legal U-turn on an American highway.

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