Here are 10 things you didn’t know about big rigs.
Big rigs seem to be just about everywhere, which may be why we often just accept their presence as part of the landscape and don’t give the trucks a lot of thought.
Well, here are 10 things you probably didn’t know about them.
Number 10. Some haul multiple trailers. They’re called road trains and are most often used to get lots of stuff to remote areas efficiently and quickly. A fully loaded one can weigh up to 300 thousand pounds.
Number 9. The engines are built to last. Many can rack up a million miles before needing an overhaul. They also don’t really ever need to be shut off, except for when it’s time to change the oil.
Number 8. Freightliner is the General Motors of the trucking world. It’s the best selling brand of semis, accounting for nearly a third of all annual big rig sales.
Number 7. Fully loaded trucks are easier to stop. The braking mechanisms are specifically designed to provide optimal performance when pulling a full trailer. Further, the weight of the cargo helps keep the tires fixed to the road, giving them more traction.
Number 6. Fully loaded trucks have a higher risk of rolling over. The load shifts the vehicle’s center of gravity upwards. Should there be a collision, a full semi is 10 times more likely than an empty one to lose its balance and flip.
Number 5. In Europe they put the engines under the driver’s cab. That allows them to make flat-nosed fronts, which provide more cargo room. There, simply making a bigger trailer isn’t an option due to imposed limits on truck length.
Number 4. Truck races are organized events. They’re not as popular as NASCAR, but are gaining popularity in parts of the world. Competitors modify their vehicles and turn them into high performing speed machines.
Number 3. There are 1.9 million big rigs roaming the US. Oddly, one third of them are registered in the states of Texas, California, and Florida.
Number 2. Smoking in some is illegal. In areas of Canada the truck cab is regarded as a workplace. The prohibition of lighting up on the job is extended to those who work on the road. In England, smoking in vehicles considered public, which trucks are, is forbidden.
Number 1. It’s not strictly a guy thing. 200 thousand truck drivers are female. Also, this past August, 11 women competed in the National Truck Driving Championship, the largest number in the 77 years the event has been held.
Which bit of information do you find the most interesting?
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