What Are the Standard Dimensions of an 18-Wheeler Trailer?

The U.S. Department of Transportation specifies that the maximum width for commercial motor vehicles is 102.36 inches, while the maximum length is 48 to 53 feet and the maximum height is 13 to 14 feet. The federal government imposes no height restrictions on trailers, but local states determine the maximum height at which they may travel.

While federal regulations leave it to the states to decide length limitations, the Department of Transportation claims that states must allow certain minimum lengths for trailers. 48 feet is the minimum length for a semi-trailer. Minimum length for a tandem trailer is 28 feet for each trailer. There is no maximum length restriction if the cab is included. It is permissible for states to prohibit trailers from traversing low overpasses.

Rearview mirrors and other specialised devices are excluded from federal width standards. On highways, semi-trailers cannot weigh more than 80,000 pounds because excessive weight can cause bridges to collapse.

There are length restrictions for specialised vehicles on highways. Minimum length for conventional auto and boat shipments is 65 feet. Transport trailers for beverages must be 28 feet long. The federal requirement for saddlemount vehicle length is 75 feet. Weight restrictions were established in 1991, and linear measurement standards were established in 1982.


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