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Semi Trailer Height


Standard Semi-Trailer Height

semi trailer heightGiven that semi-trailers are of different dimensions. There has to be a parity between most of them when it comes to the height of the vehicles.

An important thing to remember is the standard height. It is supposed to act as a benchmark for most of the states. The trailer’s height  is around 13 feet and 6 inches as stated in regulations formulated by the authorities.

To make sure that the height is properly seen on the vehicles.  Therefore, it is usually marked at the leading edge of the trailer. The height marking on the semi-trailer helps the owner and drivers remember the dimensions of the vehicle.

A semi-trailer truck or a tractor is a versatile vehicle that acts as a credible tool for commercial transport in daily life. Because of its multipurpose nature, it can be used as a transport truck, semi-truck and, eighteen-wheeler among other variants. The semi trailer height must be know by its driver.

Standard Semi- semi trailer height Marking Schemes



To make sure that the height is properly written and is present on the vehicles, it is usually marked at the leading edge of the trailer. The height marking on the semi-trailer helps the owner and drivers remember the dimensions of the vehicle.

Now, these trailer rigs are driven over the highways, which is why the height should be written on the truck with proper orientation. In order to succeed here, the semi-trailers are clearly marked or painted in the reverse order.

This is primarily done for the drivers of the truck as they can view it in their rearview mirrors. Notably, the bold marking will help others to see it. With the help of these markings, the drivers can see the height clearly, to navigate the semi-trailer better.

Because these vehicles are driven majorly on highways, they are bound to come across overhead bridges. These bridges generally have a roadside sign from where the drivers can view the height of these structures. This helps them to prepare for the oncoming bridge. Therefore, The driver must be aware of the height of the truck as well as the bridges. Especially the overhead ones to keep both the truck and themselves plus the others drivers safe.

Rules And Regulations Related To Height

As it is well known, driving semi-trailers on the road means following two sets of rules and regulations, which are pretty stringent about the height of the trucks. These two sets belong to federal and state rules and regulations which may have differences among them. The primary reason here is that not all states follow the same sets of rules.

When it comes to federal regulations, they tend to govern almost all the aspects of the semi-trailer dimensions. But even then, they have not set a cap on the height of the trailers. So the way these trailers usually come to a consensus on maintaining the height limit is broadly based on the bridges they pass.

Rules And Regulations Differences

They follow strict limitations when it comes to the height of semi-trailers. Most states here follow the standard height limitation of the trailers and cap it off at 13 feet and 6 inches but there are states which may have different benchmarks for them.

In a nutshell, the federal regulation suggests that the height of the trailers should be lower than the bridge clearance as measured by the government. But the story becomes a lot clearer once the states come to the table with the height aspect of the truck dimensions.

Some states like Florida have a height limitation of around 14 feet allowed to commercial semi-trailers. Whereas a state like Colorado allows a cap of 14 feet 6 inches. Which is a total 1 feet more the standard height adhered by most states.

Low Clearance Bridges – How It Affects The Height

Once the semi-trailer is on the highway, it is bound to come across various kinds of features including bridges. Usually, these vehicles pass under the overhead bridges with ease as long as they adhere to the height of the bridges.

But when it comes to low clearance bridges, they need to be careful. The reason for the existence of these structures is the geographical conditions faced during the construction of highways. Which has limited the height of the bridge.

As the highways are usually assessed by the state authorities, they are aware of the heights and lengths of the bridges within its jurisdiction. This is the reason they sett up various signs along the highway. Henceforth, letting the drivers know of the low clearance bridges that they might come across. This also serves as a warning to the drivers who may not be attentive.

Therefore, the states also laid down guidelines letting the drivers know of the do’s and don’ts on the highway, including the kind of trailers allowed to ply on a particular highway. An important reason for this step can be attributed to the accidents that can occur if measures are not taken by the driver while they are on the road.


Low Clearance Bridges – Accidents

There have been a lot of accident cases on the highways when unsuspecting drivers have gone through low clearance bridges carelessly. These accidents can be dangerous and also be fatal to the truck driver sometimes. Every year, these accidents claim the lives of drivers of semi-trailers for not adhering to the norms set by the highway authorities.

Along with the loss of life, it also causes economic fallout. Because these accidents cause damage to the products they are carrying. Here is a tip for the drivers to avoid this would be to look into the rearview mirror. The reason is, to check the height of the trailer. Indeed, it is visible at the eye level of the driver with the rearview mirror.

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