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6 Essential Facts You Might Not Know About Commercial Trucks

Thursday, May 27th, 2021
row of Semi trucks

Commercial vehicles are all over the roads across the world. From small delivery vehicles to massive semi-trucks, people rely on them for food, materials, clothing, and other necessities. There are many facts about semi-trucks that many people don’t know, even truck drivers themselves. 

 

Types of trucks

 

The first truck was introduced in 1917 by Ford, the Model TT. Since that first model, there are now numerous passenger and commercial vehicles available. The type of truck describes the cargo it hauls and its chassis structure.

 

Car Carriers: Double-decker trucks that haul vehicles to dealerships.

Boat Haulers: A low-deck truck that carries large boats.

Reefers: Refrigerated trucks that haul produce, poultry, and meat.

Flatbed Trucks: A level bed that carries heavy cargo that doesn’t need the protection of a closed space.

Concrete Trucks: a concrete mixer attached to the back of a truck.

Firetrucks: A specialized vehicle that carries water, hoses, pumps, ladders, and firefighters.

Dump Trucks: These vehicles carry gravel, sand, and demolition rubble. Drivers can lift their back to dump out their load.

Logging Trucks: A specially designed vehicle that carries lumber.

Livestock Trucks: Ventilated trucks that haul large animals.

Tankers: Specialized trucks that carry dangerous liquids such as pesticides, oil, fertilizers, chemicals, and fuels

 

The dangers of large commercial vehicles

 

In 2018, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), about 11 million trucks operated on U.S. roads. Semi-trucks weigh about 20 to 30 times more than the average car. It takes them significantly longer to come to a stop than passenger vehicles because of this. Therefore, if a commercial vehicle ever collides with a passenger vehicle, it can cause significant damage. 

 

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 97 percent of fatalities involved in accidents with trucks were in passenger vehicles. These stark statistics have less to do with who is at fault and more to do with the fact that trucks are so much larger than passenger vehicles.

 

Causes of commercial vehicle accidents

 

Driver error: Truck drivers are certified commercial operators and undergo extensive training and education before they can get behind the wheel. Because of this, drivers are also subject to harsher penalties when they fail to operate their trucks safely or follow posted signs.

 

Poor vehicle maintenance: Commercial trucks operate far more often than passenger vehicles, so they are subject to significant amounts of abuse. Semi-trucks need to operate in all weather conditions for hundreds of hours, sometimes without check-ups. Serious problems arise when brakes and tires aren’t replaced regularly.

 

Equipment failure: Commercial vehicles are complicated machines that depend on every part working. Like anything that is manufactured, they are subject to manufacturing defects that could result in accidents.

 

Improper cargo loading: There are right ways and wrong ways to load cargo onto trailers. They even go as far as to be specific for truck and trailer types, like flatbed trailers. Government regulations proscribe specific requirements on how to load cargo onto which type of truck.

 

Types of truck accidents

 

Rear-end accident: Semi-trucks take a long time to slow down. So, if one is following too closely to the vehicle in front of them, it is highly likely the truck will rear-end that vehicle. A rear-end collision usually isn’t that serious between passenger vehicles, but the result is different with commercial vehicles.

 

Blind spots: Large trucks have many blind spots. You have probably seen signs on the back of the trailers warning other vehicles that if you can’t see the driver, then they can’t see you.

 

Jackknife: A jackknife occurs when a driver loses control of their vehicle causing the trailer to shift and skid behind the truck. A jackknife accident can block entire highways and usually results in multiple injuries.

 

Under-ride: If a semi-truck suddenly applies its brakes, cars following too closely behind can get lodged under the rear of the truck and incur substantial damage.

 

Dangers to truck drivers

 

When it comes to truck driver safety, it is extremely important for the driver to have a safety ladder. While most truckers are comfortable moving around their truck and trailer, there are still a large number of injuries that can happen to the driver from falling. Falls can happen from taking a misstep or being over-exerted, and the injuries can be anywhere from minor to severe. 

 

Special Issues with delivery trucks

 

Not long ago, suburban neighborhoods were relatively quiet, safe places for kids to play in the street. However, now, suburban neighborhoods are clogged with delivery trucks from FedEx, UPS, and Amazon. These delivery fleets will likely expand as other major retailers offer quick delivery times. Like long-haul commercial truckers, these delivery drivers are under intense pressure to “beat the clock,” which can result in drivers taking unnecessary risks that endanger other passenger vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists.

 

Delivery trucks are involved in accidents in various ways. For example, some delivery drivers miss the address and, rather than circle the block, backs up. Drivers fail to check their blind spots, change lanes without signaling, or are distracted by onboard computers or phones.

 

Gateway Supply in Pampa, Texas, is the U.S. distributor of the Deckmate Ladder and is ready to fill an order for you today. Contact us today at  (806) 665-7990  with any questions you have or Send Us an email to learn more!