Logistics is a an extremely progressive market that web links consumers and producers through a it is provided chain network that employs various modes the transportation, most notably trucks. A semi-truck without an attached trailer in ~ a offered time is known as a "Bobtail truck" or stated to it is in "Bobtailing.” It’s difficult to imagine trucking there is no Bobtailing.

You are watching: How long is a bobtail truck


A Bobtail van does no contain any type of freight, so the cannot generate revenue for its owner. This is one of the reasons that "Bobtailing" is often confused with "deadheading.” Both terms refer to cargo-free trucks at a particular time, but a little difference exists. Bobtailing is control a freight carrying truck there is no an attached trailer, conversely, in "deadheading,” trucks have an attached however empty trailer.

In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about Bobtailing. What room the different varieties of Bobtailing? What go the ax mean? and why perform truck chauffeurs dislike Bobtailing?

Where go The hatchet “Bobtail Truck” Originate?

There space two well-known assumptions regarding the origins of the hatchet “Bobtail” as it comes to trucks.

In the 19th century, composer James Pierpont created a standard holiday song, "Jingle Bells.” In the song, he provides a line the reads "Bells on Bobtails ring,” which part correlate come the beginning of Bobtailing. Pierpont describes a "Bobtail" as the horsetail cut down to prevent entangling the tail in the horse-drawn sleigh.The term is likewise said to originate native the breed of cats that have quick tails. A semi-truck without a trailer look at somewhat comparable to this short-tailed cats.

Types of Bobtail Trucks

There are three common types of Bobtail trucks.

1.Semi-Truck or running Bobtail Truck:

As the term might imply, a “running Bobtail” van is a smaller sized semi-truck without a trailer. A semi-truck consists of two key components; a tractor unit and a trailer. A fifth-wheel form hitch attaches the trailer v the tractor unit.

2. Tiny Bobtail Truck:

Usually tiny to medium-sized trucks, this vehicles have actually all their axles associated to the exact same chassis. When traveling without an fastened trailer, they room termed "small Bobtail trucks.” these trucks' applications are often limited to lighter or medium-weighted loads, for instance - dump carrying, egg transportation, bakery product transportation, etc.

3. Right Propane Truck:

Small trucks are conveniently convertible to propane van by installation a specially-designed tank on the rear bed truck. These rounded shape tanks deserve to maintain adequate pressure and temperature throughout the ride and also have a storage volume of about 5000 gallons. These varieties of trucks are significant contributors to supplying propane or gasoline to fuel stations and also auto dealers.

Why does Bobtailing Occur?

Bobtailing commonly occurs for one of two reasons:

A driver move a truck from its terminal come the industry's dispatch site to choose up a loaded trailer.A van driver travels earlier to the terminal after ~ unloading the cargo-carrying trailer.

Why are Bobtail van Dangerous while Moving?

Common perception would certainly lead plenty of to think that overloaded trucks possess an boosted risk. While this is true, a Bobtail truck deserve to pose even further risk since of plenty of reasons.

The prior wheels space the steering wheels and also are usually less load-bearing, thus giving adequate regulate over the vehicle. But a Bobtail configuration reverses the role, and also the front wheel bear the brunt the the load, making it more difficult for the driver to control the vehicle.The truck's braking mechanism is ~ above the rear wheels, as the truck's design is based majorly on the invited conditions. A Bobtail construction reduces the braking power because of the limited weight top top the rear wheels. Once the driver presses the brake hard, the rear wheels seize, and the van will try to pivot approximately the front wheels.As frictional force is a truck's major mover, less weight top top the rear wheel produces much less friction. The absence of adequate frictional force can cause skidding and potentially make the auto overturn as soon as taking sharp transforms or tight curves.A Bobtail truck deserve to pick an ext speed than a invited truck, i m sorry may rise the risk of an accident.The compressibility of the feather suspension walk not work correctly because of a absence of freight.The truck braking distance increases dramatically during Bobtailing, so a far-reaching space in between the truck and other vehicles is command at all times if Bobtailing.Bobtailing is extremely hazardous ~ above snowy or wet roads since the friction force in between the tires and the road decreases significantly.

Why Truckers Dislike Bobtailing

The truckers are not interested in Bobtailing due to the complying with reasons.

Bobtailing is a exercise that generates no revenue because that truckers. Additionally, they need to pay because that fuel, i beg your pardon is a load on the pocketbook.Bobtailing is dangerous due to the fact that the truck's stability and braking are not operation at their highest level.Without a trailer, semi-trucks and also other Bobtailers produce a bumpy ride, which deserve to be both daunting and exhausting. Much more attentive driving practices are likewise necessary during Bobtailing.It’s very difficult to Bobtail in wet weather conditions like rain or snow.

See more: What Is 30 Percent Of 1500 Dollars Or Pounds, What Is 30 Percent Of 1500


In the fast-paced world of trucking, it’s all but impossible to avoid Bobtailing completely. A van without a trailer is a part of practically every single movement of goods in between producers and consumers nationwide. Truck chauffeurs are normally on their way to choose up a invited trailer or travel after unloading it, therefore sooner or later, nearly every van driver will need to Bobtail for part duration the time.