How Long Are Tractor Trailers?

There are myriad reasons why you might want to know how long a tractor-trailer is, just like you would want to be knowledgeable of the full length of any vehicle that is left at your disposal. It could be because you want to know the parking arrangements that would be necessary based on the length or just so that you can easily abide by state rules. But, unfortunately, finding the average length of tractor-trailers, especially if you don’t own one, could be difficult.

Fortunately, we’ve done our homework and have the solution for you!

What Really is a Tractor Trailer?

Before we talk about the length of tractor-trailers, let us start by understanding what tractor-trailers are. Tractor trailers are also called semi-truck or semi-trailers, amongst other names. It is a combination of one or more semi-trailers with a tractor unit. Simply put, a semi-trailer is attached to a truck. These tractor-trailers can also be referred to as 18-wheelers.

In much simpler terms, a tractor-trailer is a combination of a tractor and a trailer. A trailer is a nonautomotive vehicle that is specially designed to be hauled by road. That is, a trailer is not made to move. Instead, it is made to be attached to another moving automobi.le that can bear its weight. It is also made to transport large and heavy items. While a tractor, on the other hand, is a powerful motor-driven vehicle with large treads that can be used to pull machinery, other vehicles, and even trailers. These two different vehicles are usually joined together by metal bars.

Importance of Tractor Trailers

These tractor-trailers are very effective and have been used to transport large objects across the United States and other countries worldwide. They have served very important purposes in increasing the economy, not just in their use. Through the tractor-trailers, many drivers have been raised and are being paid. Manufacturers have more coming into their hands as things are always being transported. Mechanics also have their hands full as these tractor-trailers would need servicing from time to time.

Then when it comes to the reason why they were created. They have done a good job and made it easy for people to access whatever they need. They also made it easy for a branch of a company in a particular location to have their goods halfway across the country in good shape—both the products and the people assigned to the products.

Different Types of Tractor Trailers

How Long Are Tractor Trailers?

Just as there are different types of cars in different shapes, colors, and sizes, there are also different types of tractor trailers, and they are also designed for different cargo things. Some of these include

Box or van trailers.

They are the most common type and are simple; a metal door on wheels with doors at the back and, in a few, additional doors on the sides.

Bus-bodied trailers

These are attached to a tractor unit and form a trailer bus.

Car carrier trailers

They carry multiple cars, usually new cars from manufacturers and used cars.

Conestoga trailers.

They are a unique type of flatbed trailer with a very flexible but retractable roof and siding used in carrying large pieces of equipment that can only be lifted using a crane.

Some tractor-trailers transport liquids alone, others transport solids, others transport vehicles, and some even function in farms. The different types of tractor-trailers determine what can be transported on them.

It is also essential to note that the weight of these tractor-trailers differs depending on what they are transporting, and that would also affect the speed at which they move.

How Long Are Tractor Trailers?

How Long Are Tractor Trailers?

You might be wondering why there is a need to know about the length of a tractor-trailer, there are several reasons, but just one would be mentioned. It is important when it comes to parking. Whether you are driving the tractor-trailer or someone else is driving it, it will help you know how to get the required parking space that will be just right for the tractor-trailer.

The average length of a tractor-trailer in the USA is 72 feet long, from the front bumper to the end of the trailer. Nonetheless, there are a few exceptions to these rules as there are different types and sizes of these trailers.

Single trailer

Aside from the 72 feet long trailers, which are a combination of the tractor and the trailer, the US has decreed that a single trailer should be about 48 feet long.

Double trailer

The trailers attached to the tractor are smaller and have a combined length of about 65 feet.

Triple trailer

Triple trailers being attached to a truck are quite uncommon as not many states allow it due to the safety of the drivers of the truck, the materials they are transporting, and the people they are sharing the road with. And only about 13 states allow triple trailers in the US. The maximum length of a triple trailer is 105 feet, although some states have theirs set at 100 feet.

How to Measure the Length of a Tractor Trailer?

How Long Are Tractor Trailers?

As stated earlier, the standard length of a trailer should be about 48 feet long. And to measure it, you would need tape. The measurement is usually taken from the exterior wall and continues to the outer wall at the opposite end of the trailer.

It is that simple. All you will need is a good measuring tape. With it, you will be able to measure the length of any trailer. Whether single, double or triple. This means that anyone can measure the length of a tractor-trailer as long as they know the basis of measuring.

Of course, not everyone would have the right measuring tape, but with great determination, you can successfully measure a tractor-trailer with the length of tape you have.


A tractor-trailer is a really important vehicle used on a farm or to transport other kinds of materials. It comes in different types and lengths, depending on the states’ laws. But the average size of a single trailer is 48 feet, while the size of a trailer and a truck combined together should be about 72 feet. The lengths for double and triple trailers differ. The weight of these trailer trucks also differs depending on the weight of the object they are carrying.