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What Is a Bobtail Truck?

In the trucking industry, there are three types of “bobtail trucks.” The first type of bobtail truck is a semi-truck that doesn’t have a trailer attached. This is also known as simply a semi-truck, and truckers will often say they’re “running bobtails.” 

The second type of bobtail truck is one in which every axle on the truck is attached to the same chassis. These are typically small- to medium-sized trucks, such as a bobtail delivery truck or a bobtail dump truck. In some cases, you don’t even need a special license to drive this kind of bobtail truck.

The third type of bobtail truck simply refers to a straight propane truck. In some cases, a bobtail truck fits the last two categories: a small truck with a specifically-designed small tank attached to the back of the vehicle.

Any and all of these types of bobtail trucks can be dangerous to other drivers. Depending on what they’re hauling, the load may be uneven, and it could even be explosive. If you’re injured in an accident with a bobtail truck, we can help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact the truck accident lawyers at Auger & Auger today by calling (800) 559-5741 or contacting us online for a free, no-obligation consultation.

Why Are Semi Trucks with No Trailer So Dangerous?

Even though this type of bobtail truck isn’t hauling a heavy load, it can be even more dangerous than a fully-loaded 18-wheeler. That’s because bobtail trucks are more difficult to brake and maneuver. These trucks are designed to carry heavy trailers. As such, most of the braking power is under the trailer in the rear axle. Without a trailer, there’s not as much weight over the rear axle, and the braking power is therefore reduced.

Instead, most of the braking power is moved to the front wheels. However, this axle is designed for steering rather than braking. As such, bobtail trucks are more susceptible to skidding in sudden turns or tight curves, especially if it’s raining. And because there isn’t as much braking power, it can take the truck a long time to stop. 

The Dangers of Small Bobtail Trucks

As we mentioned before, short bobtail trucks that have all of their axles connected to the same chassis can often be driven without a special license. Think a moving truck or a delivery truck. If you rent a moving truck, you can do so as long as you show you have a regular license and insurance. In addition, companies making significant amounts of deliveries hire seasonal drivers to deliver parcels all over local areas. These drivers typically don’t have a commercial license.

Because these drivers may be more inexperienced when it comes to driving bobtail trucks, the risk of getting in a wreck is high. Drivers may not load their trucks properly, or may not be familiar with the blind spots of their vehicles. In addition, they might make maneuvers that would be considered fine in a regular car but could be highly dangerous in a truck.

Propane Trucks Are Highly Dangerous

Whether they’re full-sized propane trucks or small bobtail ones, propane tanks are incredibly dangerous. The tanks they use are highly regulated, but if you’re in an accident with one of these trucks, it could be devastating. After all, propane trucks are heavy, and the simple physics of one hitting a passenger car means the car will likely be destroyed, especially at high speeds.

In addition, propane itself is highly explosive. It’s not common for a propane truck to explode upon impact, but it can happen, especially if a car gets trapped underneath the truck. If the propane bobtail truck rolls over, it could spill its contents, causing an ecological hazard that could leak out to local groundwater and other areas.

If you’re injured in an accident with a bobtail truck, we can help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact the truck accident lawyers at Auger & Auger today by calling (800) 559-5741 or contacting us online for a free, no-obligation consultation.

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