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What do you really know about large commercial trucks?

You ride alongside them on the highway every day, but what do you really know about the large trucks sharing the road with you? Below are some interesting facts about commercial big rigs.

-- Engines in semitrucks are designed to run for a million miles compared to the 150,000 or 200,000 miles for passenger vehicles.

-- It takes roughly three times as much oil to run a semitruck as it does a car.

-- It takes 40 percent more time and distance for a semitruck to stop than a passenger vehicle. Fully loaded trucks can take even longer to stop.

-- The so-called "fifth wheel" is not an actual wheel but a rounded plate located on top of the drive tires. It serves as a coupling hooking the truck to its trailer.

-- Most 18-wheelers have 12 gears (10 forward, two reverse). They can have as few as nine and as many as 18, however.

-- Jackknifing occurs when the trailer of a semitruck skids and swings around to make contact with the cab. Most jackknife incidents are inevitable after a 45-degree angle is exceeded.

-- A "bobtail" is a truck without a trailer attached.

-- "Dualies" are trucks with double rows of wheels, a redundancy for safety's sake if one wheel blows out.

-- Tandems are two sets of axles, one behind the other, to allow more weight to be carried safely.

-- To shift gears in a 18-wheeler requires "double-clutching." Experienced drivers learn a technique called "floating" which only requires the clutch to be used when starting and stopping. Floating saves both wear and tear and fuel and is the preferred technique.

Now that you know more about them, you can perhaps avoid collisions with 18-wheelers. Those injured in accidents with big rigs may have to file litigation in order to receive compensation for their losses and damages.

Source: Truckers Report, "Facts About Trucks – Everything You Want To Know About Eighteen Wheelers," accessed Dec. 02, 2016

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