An 18-wheeler tow truck, which is used in certain emergency roadside assistance situations, is sometimes referred to as a semi truck or semi. With these trucks, the cab and engine are separated from the trailer at the rear. Since the trailer does not have any front wheels and is used only when hooked to the tractor, it’s referred to as a semi-trailer.
Most trailers on these types of trucks are around 53 feet long. The truck cab comes with brakes which are automatically used when the trailer is unattached from the truck. However, when the truck is hooked up to its trailer, and the engine started, the truck’s air pump will release the brakes, enabling the truck to roll down the road.
An 18-wheeler engine is created to constantly run. The only times it is shut down is when the oil needs changing, when someone is servicing it, or to obey idling rules and regulations.
An 18-wheeler tow truck will take more than 15 quarts of oil. So imagine asking your nearest Quik-Change to do that!
An 18-wheeler tow truck needs around 40 times the stopping length of a standard car.
There are around 6 million of these registered to use as an emergency roadside assistance vehicle in the U.S.
Around 30% of 18-wheeler tow trucks working within the United States are registered only in three states, which are Texas, Florida and California.
Semi truck drivers cover many hundreds of miles in a given year. On average, drivers will finish trips that total over 140,000 miles each year.
Some semi tow trucks are over 20 feet wide. However, drivers regularly manoeuvre through spaces with just inches to spare on each side, and never get so much as a scratch on their 18-wheeler tow truck.