Top Surprising Facts About Semi Trucks

October 23, 2021 11:31 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Right now there are more than 15 million trucks operating in the United States, so chances are that whenever you’re driving down a highway, you’re going to see at least a couple of semi trucks. Yet most people don’t know how these trucks operate.

Here are the top unknown facts about semi trucks.

Semi trucks’ engines are designed to run all the time

The diesel engines that power big rigs were designed to run extended duty cycles; however, even though they’re capable of running for long periods of time, it’s not the best practice to do so. When a semi truck idles for an hour, it uses up a gallon of fuel. Besides that, leaving an engine running for an extended period, like overnight, means the fuel won’t burn completely, which could lead to engine problems down the road.

Big rigs utilize more efficient diesel fuel

Semi trucks use diesel because it’s more efficient than gasoline. The fact is that only a small percentage of the gasoline burned in a conventional car or truck moves it down the road. The rest is for powering the engine and accessories. Diesel is capable of up to 15 percent better energy usage compared to gasoline, which leads it to get far more miles per gallon. Semi trucks need more power to accelerate and go long travel distances, meaning that they benefit from the extra efficiency boost from diesel.

Mud flaps increase safety and fuel efficiency

If you’ve ever seen mud flaps on a big rig, you probably know that they’re for protecting other vehicles and pedestrians from mud or debris that can kick up from the 18-wheeler’s tires. Today’s mud flaps are also more aerodynamic to provide better airflow, reduce water spray and limit drag. This leads to improved efficiency in fuel usage and enhanced safety.

U-turns are unsafe for semi trucks

Tractor trailers are massive vehicles, up to 75 feet long. That means they need at least 55 feet of space to execute a U-turn safely. Highways aren’t wide enough to accommodate this. Truck drivers attempting to make a U-turn may put themselves and other drivers at risk.

Diesel is becoming an environmentally-friendly energy source

Over the years, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has devised ways to limit sulfur levels in diesel to make it greener. In the past, diesel engines were known for being major polluters, but now low-sulfur diesel is changing that.

18 wheels, 18 gears

Most semi trucks have 10 gears; however, some big rigs can have more than that—up to 18 gears! These additional gears can be useful to slow down and speed up when doing heavy-duty hauling.

We hope these facts you didn’t know about big rigs proved interesting. For the premier mobile diesel mechanic in Wytheville, VA, choose the professional team at Complete Truck Service, Inc. Our mobile diesel mechanics can do it all, from emergency services to routine maintenance. Stop in today or give us a call to schedule services. We look forward to serving you soon!

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