OT: how much weight in a semi

We're packing a semi load of apples this week...

How much total weight can I put in the typical 48' semi trailer without going over the weight restrictions?

Reply to
Karl Townsend
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"Karl Townsend" wrote in message news:IhrYg.7413$ snipped-for-privacy@newsread1.news.pas.earthlink.net...

Depends- gross weight in most states is 80,000 lbs with 99,000 lbs allowed by some states on certain roads. You will need to know the tare weight of the trailer and tractor to find the load weight. The trucker/trucking company should have that info at their fingertips. If they don't, find someone else.

Hope you had a good season- here in New York they're expecting a bumper crop if the snow holds off.


Reply to
Carl Byrns

I used to sell Hurricane Steel fencing materials by the truckload. I remember 40,000 as the most I could put on an 18 wheeler.


Reply to
Wayne Lundberg

My Pete and flatbed weighed 28-30k. I could haul 50k. Add a few lbs for a dry van, fugure a max loadout of 45k.

Reply to
Clif Holland

Depends on the number of axles the semi has. A typical semi has 5 axles, 3 on the tractor and 2 on the trailer. That combo should allow you to load you to load 40,000 lbs to 48,000 lbs depending on the empty weight of the truck and the type of trailer, refer trailers are heavier that flatbed trailers. Other tractor/trailer combinations up to 8 axles could allow you to load up to about 65,000 lbs. The laws vary between the states once you get over 5 axles. The thing to remember is that the laws don't govern the weight of the load, they regulate the maximum weight of the truck when loaded. So a truck that has a lighter empty weight will be able to haul a heavier load.


"Karl Townsend" wrote in message news:IhrYg.7413$ snipped-for-privacy@newsread1.news.pas.earthlink.net...

Reply to

Thanks, there's easily room for 22 pallets of 48 bushel each = 42,240 lbs. I was thinking of wedging 24 pallets in, but that looks like overweight.


Reply to
Karl Townsend

You have to work that one out with the driver of the truck when he arrives - he's the one that gets the ticket if the loading is way off. IANA Trucker or a Cop, but I can offer general ideas from years of observation so you can start planning.

There are several limits - If you don't want to get a special permit, the max is 80,000 pounds gross.

Another limit is the weight of each axle over the scale one at a time - California has a hard limit of 20,000 pounds per axle on a straight truck, if the axle and tires are rated for it. For semi-trucks and trailers, it's 18,000. Steer axle 12,500 max.

And there's an overall limit that slides with overall vehicle length between axles, meant for spreading or limiting the load on bridges. Go look at CVC 35550, 35551 at this starting page:

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(Most state laws on truck loading and operation are *roughly* the same by compact - it's the little differences that'll trip you up.)

Even in the fall, you probably want to use a reefer set at 45 - 50F to make sure the shipment doesn't turn into baked or frozen apples depending on the destination, so there's the weight of the reefer unit and fuel to consider.

Put temperature monitors inside the load, so the trucker pays for the ruined load if he turns off the reefer, seals the vent hatches and parks it in the sun for a day. Or detours the route through International Falls MN and freezes them.

The trailer floor has load limits for forklift use so you don't break the boards, know how much the pallet and forklift weigh - you might have to load the pallets short and double-stack. And there is an upper stack height limit on reefers, you have to leave airspace at the roof for circulation.

And remember to put two stacks of pallets or a safety prop under the trailer's nose if the tractor isn't hitched, then drop the landing gear a bit to put weight on them - I wouldn't want to be on the forklift while the first or second pallet forward of the landing gear tips the trailer up on it's nose, then the landing gear collapses and drops you back the other way...

It's bound to be a wild ride - "Here, Hold my beer and Watch This!"

You drive the forklift, I'm going to stand Waaaaay over there -->, well out of the fallout zone, and film it for AFV... ;-)


Reply to
Bruce L. Bergman

Right, the guy with the dinky non-sleeper truck can haul more cargo than the one with the mega sleeper cab given the same trailer tare weight.

40,000# is a whole lot of apples...

Pete C.

Reply to
Pete C.

THe warning is wise. I've seen some odd things just by being a civilian around trucks. Haven't seen a trailer bronco buck a forklift yet tho. Did see a truck parked between the lanes east of Flagstaff perpendicular to the road with absolutely no tracks in the snow nor snow on top of the truck or trailer. No idea of how he got there but the road was pure black ice and everybody but one driver westbound was doing 10mph to keep the troubles down.

-- Yeppie, Bush is such an idiot that He usually outwits everybody else. How dumb!

Reply to
Bob May

45,000 with a full load of fuel, chains and a swamper


"A prudent man foresees the difficulties ahead and prepares for them; the simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences."

- Proverbs 22:3

Reply to

Hi Karl,

I got a couple crappy pictures last evening of the apple truck that goes by the house several times a day:

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I count 78 crates/boxes or whatever you guys in the industry call them now.

If I did my math right and he has the good high pressure tires on the front end, he is legal for 125,000 lbs gross. Just guessing at what one of these crates really weighs he is probably pretty close to the max too. Any idea what one of these crates/boxes holds and weighs when full of apples?

Michigan has some crazy weight laws. With a full 11 axle rig like the steel haulers usually run you can legally scale

154,000 lbs gross. The hardest part is getting those heavy coils spaced out properly on the trailer so all those axles have the proper max weights.

And then people wonder why Michigan roads are in such poor shape...

Reply to
Leon Fisk

Knowing that Karl is in Minnesota, I'll weigh in on this.

Minnesota has the same weight restrictions. Per axle ratings the same as well. All roads, unless otherwise marked, can be considered to be 9 ton roads(18,000 lbs).

I can carry around 55,000 lbs, with a 25,000 truck. (scale sheet in front of me right now I was 24,480 this morning). But I am usually a little borderline on axle weights when I get loaded that heavy. My pivot plate isn't far enough forward, so my rear axles carry too much weight.

It will be dependent on your truck configuration. Somewhere between

40,000 and 55,000. I have a pretty light truck(aluminum body, frame, wheels, non-sleeper). Someone with a full sleeper and a steel frame may be significantly heavier, so their net weight will be lower.


Reply to

Single axel on drive or trailer 20,000 lbs (assuming the axel and tires are rated for this also, and a tandem axel has a limit of 34,000.

Reply to
Roger Shoaf

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