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Maximum tractor-trailer lengths and widths


Have you ever noticed that tractor-trailers all seem to have standard widths and trailer lengths? Tractor-trailers that operate in Pennsylvania must conform to the federal government's size regulations. The federal government regulates the width of tractor-trailers, and it also regulates the length of their trailers. This blog post will provide a brief review of these regulations.

Commercial motor vehicles are allowed to be no wider than 102 inches. This limit applies to the trailer and to the tractor. This limit does not include mirrors and some other kinds of safety equipment. This limit does not apply to farm equipment, livestock transport equipment, military equipment, road construction equipment and emergency vehicles. States like Pennsylvania are allowed to permit other kinds of wider vehicles on roads, but the state must issue a permit for the vehicle to operate.

Commercial motor vehicles also must conform to regulations governing trailer lengths. These lengths vary by state. In Pennsylvania, trailers are allowed to be up to 53 feet in length. Many states only allow trailers to be 48 feet in length, while several states permit trailers to be longer than 53 feet. The federal government only allows states to regulate trailer lengths; it does not allow states to regulate overall vehicle lengths.

These regulations were adopted to keep our roads safe from overly large commercial motor vehicles. Truck owners and operators have a duty to abide by these regulations. If a victim suffers injury in a tractor-trailer crash caused by a tractor-trailer's being out of conformity to size regulations, the victim may be owed compensation.

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