Often asked: What Is Legal Weight Of A Tractor Trailer?

What is the Legal Weight Shippers Permitted to Load Cargo?

The majority of InTek’s freight business is moving loads for shippers who require 53′ domestic intermodal or truckload capacity. Loading a truck with more than what is allowed to be carried on the interstate is illegal; however, there are exceptions to the rule, which we will discuss further in this article.

Total Legal Cargo Weight for Truckers

The total legal weight a carrier can transport on the interstate is 80,000 pounds, which includes the tractor, trailer, and cargo weights, all of which are variable and depend on the type of trailer and container being transported, with the average trailer weighing 44,000 to 45,000 pounds.


The weight of a tractor’s fuel tank can make or break a driver’s ability to operate a vehicle on the road; each gallon of diesel fuel weighs about 7 pounds, and each big rig has between 120 and 150 gallons, this could mean the difference between being legal and not being legal.

Semi Tractor

Day cabs and sleepers are the two versions we typically see on the road; day cabs are about the same weight, with the only difference being single or double axle.

Freight Equipment / Mode Type

The most common modes of transportation are flatbeds, dry vans, and temp trailers. Flatbeds are made of lightweight aluminum and do not have walls or a ceiling, reducing the weight of the equipment. Dry vans can only carry up to 44,000 pounds, whereas a temp trailer can only carry 42,500 pounds. The maximum payload for intermodal shipments is strictly 42,500 pounds.

See also:  Readers ask: What Is The Best Lawn Tractor To Buy?

Weight Distribution

Each axle can weigh up to 40,000 pounds for tandem axles and 20,000 pounds for trailer axles, with some exceptions based on the distance between tandems.

Other State Exceptions to Legal Cargo Weight

There are some state-by-state variations to the standards that allow shippers to load heavier, such as Rocky Mountain Doubles and Michigan Octopodes. California also has bridge laws that limit the amount of weight that can run over them, so we recommend familiarizing yourself with these rules as well.

Final Comment Payload Limits on Semi Tractor Freight

Visit InTek Freight and Logistics for more information on 53′ domestic intermodal, 0truckload, and managed transportation services.

What is the maximum weight for a tractor trailer?

The weight of the second trailer must not exceed the weight of the tractor drive axle(s) plus the weight of the axle(s) on the first semitrailer, a total of 53,500 kg.

How much weight can you load on a 53 foot trailer?

53-foot trailers are the most common dry vans on the road, with typical dimensions of 53u2032 x 8u2032 6u201d x 8u2032 6u201d (lwh) and the ability to carry up to 45,000 pounds of freight and 26 standard pallet positions across their floor space.

What is the max legal weight allowed for semi tractor?

Federal regulations require a gross vehicle weight of 80,000 pounds, a single axle weight of 20,000 pounds, and tandem axle weights of 34,000 pounds.

What is considered overweight for a tractor trailer?

Linan’s job is to find trucks that are over the state’s weight limit, which is 80,000 pounds for tractor-trailers with freight and 64,000 pounds to 70,000 pounds for dump trucks like Reinoso’s.

See also:  Often asked: What Is Red Tractor Meat?

Why are trucks 53 feet long?

The typical North American grocer’s pallet is 48 inches long by 40 inches wide, and as trailers grew in size, they did so in multiples of 4 feet until the regulations were changed, and the industry adopted the 53-foot trailer, which has room for 13 rows of pallets plus an extra foot to allow for the door to close.

What is the dot weight limit?

According to DOT weight regulations, a vehicle with a single rear axle can only haul 20,000 pounds, while a tandem axle vehicle can haul 34,000 pounds. The maximum gross vehicle weight for any commercial vehicle is 80,000 pounds.

How many pallets can you get on a 53 foot trailer?

A standard GMA pallet is 48″ long by 40″ wide, so a 53-foot trailer (which is 636″ long) will fit 13 pallets lengthwise, plus about 1 foot extra, and these trailers are wide enough for two rows of pallets, so each 53-foot trailer will hold 26 pallets.

How much does a 53 foot reefer trailer weigh?

Normally, load 48000 pounds in the box, but check fuel tanks against any scales you’ll be crossing; it’s close to 80000 pounds, though today’s 53-foot trailers with reefers will be slightly heavier.

How do you distribute weight on a 53 foot trailer?

Methods for redistributing the trailer’s weight

  1. Sliding the 5th wheel.
  2. Sliding the trailer tandem axles.
  3. The amount of fuel onboard and the location of the fuel tanks may also affect the weight distribution inside the trailer.

How many seconds is a safe following distance for a 18 wheeler?

What is the proper following distance for truck drivers? The proper following distance for truck drivers is seven to eight seconds, which you should strive to maintain and be ready to increase to double that amount if the weather worsens.

See also:  FAQ: Who Turns Tractor Tires Inside Out For Feeders?

What is the gross vehicle weight of a semi truck?

80,000 lbs. gross weight

How heavy is an empty semi truck?

A semi towing an empty trailer weighs about 35,000 pounds, while a big rig towing a fully loaded trailer weighs around 80,000 pounds.

Can you go to jail for being overweight?

The California statute that establishes the permissible weight limits for commercial vehicles is Vehicle Code 35551a VC. If a driver violates the law, the vehicle is deemed overweight, and a violation can result in misdemeanor charges and up to six months in county jail.

Who is responsible for overweight truck?

In California, the trucker is solely responsible for ensuring that his or her truck and trailer comply with all safety regulations, including the weight limit.

What happens if a truck is overweight?

For overweight loads up to 10,000 pounds, a truck company can be fined $65 per pound; after 10,000 pounds, the fine rises to $125 per pound. State laws vary across the country, and many only charge a few pennies per pound when the load is overweight.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *