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What Is a Cab in Trucking?

The word “cab” is often used in reference to vehicles in the trucking industry. But what is a cab in a truck? If you are not familiar with these vehicles or the daily life of a truck driver, you may not know for sure.

In trucking, a “cab” most often refers to the part of the vehicle where the truck driver sits and, sometimes, sleeps. The word “cab,” in this case, is short for “cabin.”

Technically, the “cabin” is just the interior area of the front vehicle unit, or “tractor unit.” However, people can often use the word “cab” as a short-hand to refer to the tractor unit as a whole. The tractor unit is the part of the vehicle that contains the engine, the cabin, and a hitch for the trailer behind it. Thus, “cab” can stand for the tractor part of the word “tractor-trailer” in many contexts.

Why a Truck Cab Might Be Relevant to Your Truck Accident Case

Whether “cab” refers to the actual cabin or the tractor unit as a whole, the word has important meaning for certain truck accident cases. Some truck accidents start with or primarily involve the trailer. The trailer may have become unhitched, made contact with another vehicle, lacked sufficient lighting or under guard protection, etc. 

Other accidents involve the “cab” or tractor unit, primarily. The cab unit may have:

  • Changed lanes on top of a vehicle without checking its blind spot
  • Had an unreasonable amount of visual obstructions because of vehicle modifications or trash on the dashboard
  • Lacked mandatory safety features, like functional ABS
  • Been rated to haul less than the trailer it was pulling at the time of the accident.

No matter what the circumstances were, working with a truck accident lawyer provides you with the legal resources and experience it takes to fully investigate your accident. Your attorney will determine whether the cab was 100% in compliance with industry regulations, was fully functional, and whether collisions involving the cab were the result of crucial mistakes.

Find out more about how to investigate your accident in order to prove fault and file a personal injury claim during a free, no-obligation case review from Auger & Auger.

Call (800) 559-5741 or contact us online to schedule your free case evaluation today.

Different Meanings of the Word Cab

There may be some confusion about the word “cab” when it is used to refer to large trucks. This confusion comes from the fact that there are other uses of the word “cab” in the English language that refer to commercial vehicles.

Truck Cab

“Cab” in the sense of a truck refers to a “cabin.” This is the part of the vehicle that a person can safely occupy. They may also sleep in the cab, as referenced in the “Different Types of Semi Truck Cabs” section below.

“Cab” can also be a synonym for the tractor unit or a “bobtail truck” without a trailer attached.

Taxicab

A “cab” can be a shorthand word to refer to a “taxicab,” but this use has a different meaning. This version of “cab” is short for “cabriolet,” which was a type of horse-drawn buggy popular in the mid 18th to late 19th centuries. Cabriolet wagons were often used to provide rides-for-hire, identical to modern taxi service today.

CAB (Central Analysis Bureau)

“CAB” written in all caps can refer to a different part of the trucking industry entirely: insurance. The Central Analysis Bureau, or CAB, generates special reports that are used to set rates or reject certain drivers or carriers if they are deemed too risky. CAB reports contain a record of every incident the driver, vehicle, or company has been involved in, providing useful information for truck accident investigations. 

Different Types of Semi Truck Cabs

A semi-truck cab can have a wide number of designs and configurations. While some cabs are completely barebones with just a single seat for the driver, others can have the equivalent of a luxury RV suite in the back.

Single Row Cab

A large number of heavy commercial vehicles have a limited cabin space that sits behind or on top of the massive engine. These cabs will have just a single row of seats, including one for the driver. Some cabs will only have one seat to make room for extra storage, mechanical systems, or provide functional access, such as in large delivery trucks.

Examples of vehicles that are likely to have just a single row cab include: Special-purpose hauling vehicles (“day” trucks), construction vehicles, concrete mixers, dump trucks, box trucks (cargo truck), and many straight trucks.

Truck Sleeper Cab

This type of cab will have space behind the front row of seats. It can be used for drivers who make long over-the-road hauls and need space to rest, take naps, or spend the night.

A semi truck sleeper cab can be fairly spartan, with just enough room for limited storage and a twin mattress. Other cabins have more comfortable accommodations, sometimes with enough room and built-in fixtures for a driver to spend weeks at a time sleeping just in their cab.

Trucks with sleeper cabs will have a longer tractor unit compared to ones with just a single row. The sleeper cab may also have its own windows or a seperate entrance door.

Double Cab Truck

A “double cab” is a semi truck cab with a tractor unit twice as long as a normal sleeper cab. These long tractor units will almost always have additional windows or doors behind the driving area.

A double cab can be used for many things, but the most common use is to provide even more comfortable sleeping and living quarters than a normal sleeper cab. The owner of the vehicle may have a queen bed, a mini fridge, dresser drawers, space for personal item storage, and sometimes even a portable washing machine. Vehicle occupants may also enjoy private bathroom, kitchenette, and other home-y features. 

Essentially, a double cab transforms a hauling vehicle into a giant RV, capable of going anywhere over the road for long periods of time without needing other lodging to stay comfortable. 

These large units add weight, however, and can be more difficult to control. Some truck drivers have caused accidents by misjudging the braking distance it takes to stop their double cab or the amount of space they need to safely maneuver.

Why Truck Cabs Can Relate to the Question of Negligence

Truck drivers need to be familiar with the features and operation of their cab in order to safely drive on the road. They must also use common sense practices, like securing all cargo in the rear of the cab so that it doesn’t shift unexpectedly or become a flying object hazard during sudden maneuvers. Things in the cab like TVs or smart speakers may also become a driving distraction.

Trucking companies must ensure that all cabs are in compliance with safety regulations and that they are rated to haul the specific trailer unit behind the vehicle. Tractor units must be in full working order, including brakes, lights, and other critical safety systems.

When a driver is unfamiliar with their cab or a trucking company allows an improper cab to go into service, it can count as a breach in their duty of care to keep others safe on the road. Some cabs may also have critical safety defects, such as unreasonably large blind spots and mirrors that don’t account for them.

Your attorney will review the totality of circumstance in your accident to determine whether any parties involved could have been negligent in their use of or design of the truck cab unit. This information can then be used to allege negligence, which opens up the at-fault party to a third-party liability claim. 

If you have further questions, do not hesitate to consult with an experienced trucking accident attorney at Auger & Auger. Call (800) 559-5741 or contact us online to schedule a free, no obligation case review now.

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