Whether you’re a professional driver with decades of experience, or wouldn’t know a Peterbilt from a Packard, there’s no denying that the 18 wheeler is an impressive machine.
For those who’ve never eased a heavy Freightliner down a mountain pass or backed a Kenworth under a loaded trailer, we’ll cover the basics first.
Now most semi trucks have devices on their engines that limit speed. For fleets they’re typically set between 62 and 68 miles per hour for safety and economy.
Unlike car engines that rarely hit the 200,000 mile mark, it’s common for over-the-road diesels to last 1 million miles or more.
Owner-operators and heavy haulers typically spec their rides with bigger transmissions like 13 and 18 speeds.
Fifth wheels are the large u-shaped slabs of steel bolted to the tractor’s frame behind the cab.
Their jobs are to improve aerodynamics and increase fuel efficiency thereby decreasing the vehicle’s operating costs.