## Tuesday, June 10, 2008

### Fun Facts About Tractor Trailers*

http://infosthetics.com/archives/2008/05/marshalite_alternative_traffic_light.html

http://i239.photobucket.com/albums/ff241/frankcapri/Album%202/00BTFstreet2.jpg

http://www.eyje.com/pictures/funny/It_is_The_Purest_Form_of_Art_PIC_

The trailer is a 'semi-trailer' (semi because it doesn't have wheels in the front), and the truck is a tractor. I never knew 'semis' were the same as tractor trailers.

Max weight is 80,000lbs, about 10k -15k each for tractor and trailer, so 60k max in cargo.

About 6mpg, although newer models up to 10mpg, also highly dependent on terrain.

2 150 tanks, 300 gallon capacity $1,425 to fill at$4.75 a gallon. 1,800 mile range at 6 mpg.

This works out to $13.19 to send 1000lbs 1000 miles, or$21.53 if you add \$0.50 a mile for driver costs and maintenance (probably a low estimate). Also keep in mind there are base costs, you are still pulling 20k worth of truck even if it's empty, thus this price only works on the large scale.

The flat front tractors (cab over engine) are European.

The brakes use air pressure to push the spring loaded pads off the rotors. Which prevents brake fad due to boiling fluid, prevents brake loss due to a leak (fails safe to brakes on), and is why the parking brakes always make that air rushing sound (air being released from the system).

They also have an engine brake known as a Jake Brake. They use the engine to provide constant slowing, which prevents overheating on down grades. They also make a loud chattering or machine gun noise, which is why if you remember there were signs banning their use in some places.

Weigh stations are pretty much just to make sure the trucks are with in safety regulations.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semi-trailer_truck

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weigh_station

http://www.straightdope.com/mailbag/mtruckwe.html

*Note: "Fun Facts" may not actually be either fun or facts.