Interesting Facts About Commercial Trucks

You are likely familiar with commercial trucks; as a child, you may have even pumped your fist at a semi-truck passing on the highway in an attempt to get the driver to honk the horn at you. Tractor-trailer trucks are a common sight on the highways and interstates; however, there may be a few fun facts about these trucks that you are not be aware of.


Tractor-trailer trucks are massive. But just how big are they?

  • In most cases, an eighteen wheeler can have a maximum weight of up to 80,000 pounds, or 40 tons. By comparison, a humpback whale weighs between 30 to 50 tons.
  • A tractor-trailer truck is generally between 70 and 80 feet long. If you laid a six or seven story building on its side, it would be roughly the same length as an average tractor-trailer truck.  


Commercial trucks are used to transport everything from food items to new cars. In fact, trucks make up a large portion of freight transportation within the USA.

  • Around 70% of all goods delivered in the USA arrive at their destination thanks to a truck.
  • The trucking industry travels over 400 billion miles a year to deliver goods.
  • Trucks can haul tens of thousands of pounds. The weight they are allowed to haul depends on the weight of the empty truck added to the weight of the load. Both weights added together cannot exceed the legal weight limit of 80,000 pounds that most tractor-trailer trucks are allowed to haul.

Bizarre trucking stories

With as many miles as trucks travel each year, it stand to reason that you will hear some interesting and somewhat bizarre stories cropping up over the miles.  

  • In Louisiana, a truck driver got into a sticky situation when he pulled his 18 wheeler off of the road and got stuck. Fortunately, his cargo—several elephants en route to a circus—were able to help. Two of the animals used their weight to brace the truck upright until a wrecker truck arrived and rescued the stranded semi.  
  • While many strange trucking stories originate in the USA, they aren't all limited to this continent. A Taiwanese town got more than it bargained for when a sperm whale, who had died after beaching itself, was transported through the streets on a trailer truck. As the truck made its way through the city toward a research facility, the whale exploded creating a huge and stomach turning mess on the street, as well as soaking several pedestrians.  

Pumping your fist at a truck driver trying to get them to honk may be a distant childhood memory; however, the next time you see a commercial truck hauling freight, you now know a few interesting facts about the trucks that are an indispensable part of your country's infrastructure. Talk to a professional like Decatur Trailer Sales & Service Inc for more information.