There are many types of commercial trucks on U.S. roadways. Each truck is designed for a different task. Some of the most common truck types, their cargo, and the risks they pose include:
A tractor-trailer is also known as a “semi-trailer,” “18-wheeler,” or “big rig.” A tractor-trailer has large blind spots making it easy to hit merging vehicles. A tractor-trailer also has a high center of gravity, which makes a greater risk for the truck to roll over in an accident. A tractor-trailer can carry many different types of cargo based on its attached trailer. For instance, a refrigerated trailer will transport produce, while a dry van trailer may transfer Fed-Ex deliveries. The maximum weight of a tractor-trailer without a tandem is 20,000 pounds.
A tanker truck transports liquids or gases. Normally, tanker trucks carry classified hazardous materials. Tanker trucks are large with a high center of gravity and move very dangerous cargo. This makes any sort of accident incredibly unsafe as they are prone to rollovers and can blow up easily. An example of a tanker truck may be a Shell Jet A refueler tank truck or irrigation water tanker truck. Tanker trucks have a maximum combined cargo and truck weight of 80,000 pounds.
Dump and Garbage Trucks
Any sort of garbage, trash, or work vehicle is considered a dump truck. A dump or garbage truck tends to be riskier for pedestrians or bicyclists. However, an accident with a motor vehicle can happen and is detrimental to a standard auto vehicle. Dump trucks carry waste, dirt, demolition debris, gravel, construction material, sand, and dry materials. Any accident with a garbage or dump truck can result in tip-overs and flying dangerous debris. Garbage and dump trucks usually weigh around 51,000 with cargo. A company that uses dump trucks consistently is the Waste Management companies in your area.
A tow truck is normally owned by a private operator or company. Tow trucks are large, weighing at 10,000 pounds and make up the majority of truck accidents. Accidents with tow trucks also can be dangerous due to the cargo they are carrying. For instance, a tow truck may have another car attached to its trailer and in an accident, the vehicle may be unattached and impact your automobile. Tow trucks are considerably smaller than most trucks. A tow truck can tow up to around 13,000 pounds.
Trucks with long open trailers that accommodate easily loadable cargo are flatbed trucks. Flatbed trucks do not have walls or sides where the cargo is placed. Normally, flatbed trucks hold items that do not fit in trailers such as cranes, building materials, or machinery. A flatbed truck accident is incredibly dangerous since they can carry more weight than an enclosed tractor-trailer. Additionally, the cargo can dislodge and create lasting damages. The military very regularly uses flatbed trucks to move their heavy machinery and equipment. Flatbed trucks normally weigh around 45,000 pounds.