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10 Top Facts You Didn't Know About Semi Trucks

Updated: Mar 13, 2020

Every day, hundreds of thousands of semi trucks drive across the country, stocking supermarket shelves with foods, transporting materials from place to place, and providing gas that fuels the country. We all know the semi trucks to be the monster of the road and impossible to miss, but what we don't all know are the interesting facts about these impressive vehicles that have been dominating the roads since the nineteenth century. Here are 10 top facts you probably didn't know about semi trucks.

1. A semi truck engine can last for 1 million miles

While car engines can only last for about 200,000 miles, a semi truck's engine can last 5 times that at about 1,000,000 miles. For a truck driver, 200,000 miles would be completed in roughly 2 years, which is why a semi truck's engine is much tougher and sturdier, so it can deal with the amount of miles a truck driver drives.

2. Why are they called semi trucks?

Not many people know the answer to this, including some truckers. The name semi truck comes from the type of trailer that the truck tows. The trailers are called semi-trailers as they only have wheels at the back end and need to attach to the truck cab unit at the front end to drive all over the country.

3. Semi trucks can cost up to $200,000

The process that goes into making a semi truck doesn't come cheap, which is why many people can't afford to buy their own semi, especially brand new ones. A new semi truck will cost around $80,000 at minimum, and the best trucks out there can cost you up to $200,000.

4. the average weight of a semi truck is 80,000 lbs.

It's obvious that a semi truck is huge, and it's not surprising that they are heavy too. The average weight of a loaded semi truck is 80,000 lbs and some can be a lot heavier.

5. The first semi truck was made in 1898

Alexander Winton invented the first semi truck back in 1898 in Cleveland, Ohio. He was a car maker and needed something to transport the cars to their new owners once they had been bought. He eventually started selling the semi truck to other car makers for the same purpose. They didn't look like what we know a semi truck to look like now, in fact they only had 2 wheels back then.

6. Truck drivers drive 140 billion miles each year

140 billion miles - yep, that number is right. And that number is just in domestic freight deliveries.

7. The average truck driver drives on average 45,000 miles per year

Truck drivers across the country together drive around 140 billion miles each year. It is estimated that there is about 13.4 million truck drivers, meaning that each driver will drive about 45,000 miles per year. Although, some drivers will drive a lot more depending on how often they drive and their routes, while other drivers might drive less if they are local carriers. Either way, truck drivers drive a lot!

8. Semi trucks can have up to 18 gears

Semi trucks are all manual and the bigger models can have up to 18 gears on them. No wonder if takes a lot of practice to learn how to drive a big rig - you have to remember all the different gears, what they are for, and how to use them.

9. Almost one-third of all semi trucks operate in 3 states

You'd think since truck drivers cover so much ground on their hauls that they would be registered all over the United States. But, the majority of semi trucks in the US are only registered in 3 states. Florida, California, and Texas are the states with the most registered semi trucks.

10. 70% of all goods across the United States are delivered by a semi truck

Freight is usually transported in one of 3 ways: air, ship, or ground. Air being the most expensive and sea transport being the cheapest. Semi trucks transport about 70% of freight across the country and an estimated 10 billion tons of freight.

Semi trucks are impressive and interesting vehicles and we would not survive without them!

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