Trucks room big, we all know that. Yet some van are bigger than others, and when a fully-loaded semi roars down the highway, you deserve to feel the rumble from numerous yards away. With the exception of part custom, specially-made vehicles favor SpaceX’s rocket transport, semi-trucks are regularly the largest vehicles top top the road. Yet while plenty of of us have a good idea of how large they are, how numerous of us recognize how hefty they are?


We have actually taken the liberty to placed together a quick guide on exactly how much a semi-truck weighs and the approaches employed to determine these figures. For this reason let’s gain started!

Laden vs. Unladen Weight

There room two ways to measure the weight of a semi-truck.

You are watching: How much does an empty semi trailer weigh

The very first is to merely measure the merged weight the the tractor and trailer. This figure represents a semi’s unladen weight.

The various other measurement is the laden weight, which represents how much the van weighs as soon as it’s fully loaded.

The laden weight will certainly vary relying on the load. For example, a truck full of empty water party weighs a lot much less than a truckload of full ones. Semi-trucks have a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) that states their best weight.

The GVWR has the load of the truck, cargo, fuel, passengers, and anything else on plank or attached come the vehicle. Under us federal law, the best laden weight for semis is 80,000 pounds. Some heavier-duty van may have a higher GVWR because that safety, but it stays illegal to load them previous 80,000 pounds.

The unladen weight of a semi-tractor have the right to vary in between 10,000 and 25,000 pounds, relying on how powerful the engine is, how much it’s designed come tow, and also whether or no it’s a sleeper cab. An unladen 53-foot trailer weighs around 10,000 pounds, audit for a total unladen weight of about 35,000 pounds.

Different van Classes

Trucks are sorted into various classes, depending on their GVWR. The lightest great (1-3) are tiny vehicles favor minivans, SUVs, and pickup trucks. This are generally personal, non-commercial vehicles (although numerous pickups are provided for commercial purposes).

Classes 4-6 incorporate medium-duty trucks v a GVWR in between 14,000 and 26,000 pounds. Class 6 trucks have a GVWR of 19,500-26,000 pounds and also are the heaviest class that can be pushed legally there is no a CDL. Bigger single-axle crate trucks also fall into this category, making castle a popular selection for rental companies.

Class 7 trucks room triple-axle vehicles the weigh up to 33,000 pounds. In addition to the colossal box trucks stated above, vehicles favor city buses and also garbage van fit right into this class.

Semi-trucks, or trucks with much more than three axles and also 33,000 pounds in GVWR, fall into class 8, the heaviest class of vehicles known by the room of Transportation.

Semi Truck protecting against Distance

It likely goes without saying that also unladen semi-trucks can take much much longer to stop than a standard car due come their substantial weight.

At highway speed of 65 miles per hour, the average auto can concerned a finish stop in around 300 feet. Top top the various other hand, a totally loaded semi have the right to travel as far as 600 feet prior to coming come a finish stop, and also this distance can be even further once you account for conditions like rain, ice, or snow.

For this reason, it’s necessary you never cut off a semi in traffic and avoid abruptly preventing in front of them whenever possible. Doing so may develop a dangerous case that put your and also other’s stays in peril.

See more: How To Wear A Graduation Tassel Which Side Does It Go On ? What Side Does The Tassel Go On


As we highlighted above, there room several methods to measure up a semi-truck’s weight, and the preferably legal weight for a fully-loaded semi in the United says is 80,000 pounds. The lowest unladen load is approximately 25,000 pounds, yet will frequently be closer to 35,000. When there will certainly be exceptions throughout the board, we hope this generalization will help shed some light on these large, powerful vehicles.

To learn more about trucks, cars, and also all points automotive, stick around and also read an ext of our guides!