What is bobtail in trucking? The term is used in many industries and means many different things, so you may be a little confused.
In the trucking industry, “bobtail” usually refers to semi-truck driving without the addition of a trailer.
Due to their large size, catastrophic injuries often occur when semi-trailer trucks collide. As such, truck drivers need additional training and regulations to keep our roads as safe as possible.
However, truck accidents are still unfortunately common. The risk of accident is even higher when the truck is bobtailing.
What is Bobtailing?
Bobtailing, in simple words, a semi-truck is driving on the road without a trailer.
The semi-truck is in “bobtail” mode when the trailer is not attached. Lorry drivers often drive a bobtail truck as they go to pick up their cargo at the beginning of the shift or after leaving their cargo at the end.
Bobtailing should not be confused with “deadheading”, which is the term for pulling a blank trailer.
Why bobtail in trucking is dangerous?
Although there is no bulky trailer behind it, the bobtail truck is actually more dangerous to other drivers on the road. This is in stark contrast to those who associate increased weight with increased risk.
Bobtail trucks are more dangerous because they are harder to maneuver and brake. Truck drivers must take extra precautions when driving a bobtail truck to avoid accidents.
Trucks are designed to carry heavy trailers, which take longer. Therefore, most of their braking power is on the rear axle, under the trailer.
When a truck is in the bobtail configuration, there is very little weight on the rear axle and the braking force is reduced.
Instead, most of the weight of the bobtail truck rests on the front wheels, with the main purpose being the steering rather than the braking.
This makes bobtail trucks more prone to skidding on tight curves or sudden turns.
For the same reason, bobtail trucks are also lighter in weight but have a longer braking distance.
Driving a bobtail truck is especially dangerous on roads and in wet weather.
Bobtail truck accidents
Although truck drivers adhere to the highest level of safety, bobtailing is not against any laws. After all, every truck has to travel without cargo at some point or another.
In addition, although truck drivers are specially trained for the job, they often have less experience with bobtail trucks, which actually requires more skill and expertise to drive safely.
The result is a risk of collision and injury to other drivers on the road.
What Is Bobtail Parking?
Bobtailing means the truck driver abandons his trailer and drives the rig without the trailer. Any bobtail parking indicates that. This is a smaller truck than the usual fully loaded truck.
What is a Bobtail trucking Fee? Apart from live unloading, a bobtail trucking fee is charged by the trucker to drop the FCL container in the warehouse and pick it up after unloading.
Types of Bobtail Trucks
There are three common types of bobtail trucks.
1. Semi-truck or running bobtail truck:
As the term implies, the “Running Bobtail” truck is a small semi-truck without a trailer. The semi-truck has two main parts; the Truck unit and the trailer. The fifth wheel type attaches the trailer to the truck.
2. Small Bobtail Truck:
Usually small to medium trucks, these vehicles connect all their axles to a single chassis. When traveling without an attached trailer, they are called “small bobtail trucks”.
Applications for these trucks are often limited to light or medium-weight loads, for example – dump carrying, egg transport, bakery product transport, etc.
3. Straight Propane Truck:
Small trucks can be easily converted to propane trucks by fitting a specially designed tank on the rear bed truck.
These round-shaped tanks can maintain adequate pressure and temperature during the ride and have a storage capacity of approximately 5000 gallons.
These types of trucks make a significant contribution to the supply of propane or gasoline to fuel stations and auto dealers.
Bobtail Truck Attorneys Lawyers in the USA
Truck Accident Attorneys in the USA have experience in every type of accident, including bobtail trucks. They can guide you through the legal process and get the best possible compensation if you are injured in a collision.