Frequently asked questions about semi-trailers

Semi-trailers are essential in any business transporting raw materials, finished products, or dangerous materials. There are semi-trailers on the roads every day, and most people don’t know a lot about them or how important they are.

Whether you want to buy a semi-trailer or learn more about them, here are some of the most asked questions.

What is a semi-trailer?

These are trailers supported by a truck since they don’t have front wheels. They are also known as 18-wheelers, tractor-trailers, big rigs, semi-tractor trailers, or semi-trucks.

What is the average weight of semi-trailers and their freight?

The gross vehicle weight limit of semi-trailers is 80,000 pounds, the trailer’s mass, and the cab. Although they can carry huge loads at once, there are a few federal limits they can’t pass.

Single-axle trucks, for example, can’t carry over 20,000 pounds, while the limit for tandem-axle loads is 34,000 pounds. Longer combination vehicles, which are third subsets of combination trucks, are the only ones that can carry more than 80,000 pounds but only operate in several states.

Should you buy a used or new trailer?

As the experts at Hale Trailer explained, this decision depends on many factors. One of the main factors is whether the new trailers market has been affected by lack of availability, import tariffs, and the exchange rate.

Also, if you are starting a new business, buying a used trailer will help you cut costs. If you are not using the semi-trailers, consider looking for commercial trailers for rent.

How available are used trailers?

If you buy a new trailer, it could take two months and a year to get to you. Used trailers, however, are usually lying on a lot, and you can easily find one depending on the features you want in it.

Is provincial trailer safety important?

You can choose to buy a trailer as it is, with current safety or new safety. With a new safety, a qualified technician first inspects the trailer and identifies any issues. To pass the provincial safety standards, all issues have to be fixed, after which it gets a provincial sticker indicating that it is good for operation up to a year after the inspection.

A current safety means that the trailer was inspected within the last year and most likely has a sticker. However, you can look at the sticker to see how long the safety has to expire because you must safety it within the remaining period.

If you buy it as it is, the safety has expired, and you have to safety it again before driving it.

Does the floor of the trailer matter?

Yes. You can choose a flat floor or duct floor. A duct floor is a good choice if you transport tightly-packed loads like meat or drinks because it increases airflow. They are also good if you will only load or unload once a day, unlike flat floors that drivers can load and unload several times.

Why do semi-trailers crash?

The trucking industry has worked hard to better the safety features of these trucks every year. In 1997, for example, they made the anti-lock brake systems mandatory in all semi-trailers. That helps prevent jackknifing, which happens when truck drivers brake suddenly, resulting in the trailer swinging around to the cab.

These days, the main reason why semi-trailers crash is because of rolling over. This can happen because of bad roads or poor weather conditions like ice, snow, and rain.

Semi-trailers are essential for business, but you have to decide whether you want to buy or rent. For example, when looking for commercial trailers for rent, look at the renting company’s reputation, fleet, and prices.

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