Driving on Florida highways and surface streets, you have probably run across several heavy truck tractors driving around without a trailer. Many drivers find this particular configuration much less intimidating than traditional tractor-trailer setups, and they will often drive much closer to these trucks than they would their larger counterparts.
Truck drivers call driving this setup, a truck without a trailer, bobtailing. While this may seem safer, many truck drivers are incredibly uncomfortable driving in a bobtail configuration. The truck is much more challenging to control and stop, which can lead to dangerous accidents.
Why a Bobtail Truck Is Difficult to Handle
Are you wondering how a lighter vehicle would be more challenging to stop and control? You are not alone! Picture a typical tractor-trailer, which can weigh tens of thousands of pounds when it is fully loaded. While the truck takes more time to slow and stop, its load is evenly distributed among all axles of the truck and trailer.
With no trailer, the truck is very heavy in the front—the entire weight of the cab, engine, and much of the fuel is over the front axle of the truck. This leaves virtually no weight over the rear axle, compromising the overall balance of the truck. Have you ever tried to drive a rear-wheel-drive vehicle in snow or mud? Have you locked only the front brake on your bicycle while trying to stop? The instability in both scenarios is very similar to what a trucker experiences while trying to maneuver and brake in a truck that is bobtailing.
While driving a truck without a trailer is a challenge, properly trained drivers should be fully capable of handling the truck safely. If you have been injured in an accident with a bobtail truck, reach out to our firm today by clicking on the live chat feature on this page. We can help you get a start on your case.