How Tall is a Semi-Trailer? Exploring 53-Foot Trailer Dimensions, Including Height, Weight, and Length

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Are you looking for an expert guide about how tall a tractor-trailer is – specifically the big rig, 53′ trailer dimensions including weight, height, and width?

Knowing exactly how tall a semi-trailer is and what load sizes for cargo are can help manage your shipping costs. So, understanding the dimensions or knowing how tall a semi-truck is will help you manage your shipping cost like a pro.

In this super detailed report, we have supplied answers to all your queries about 53′ trailer dimensions, as well as trailer height, how wide, their weights and every vital info in between. Now carefully read along (also watch a brief video) to have a better under of tractor-trailer height and much more!

53 foot trailer weight limit

53′ Trailer Dimensions and Weight, Length and Sizes

The length of a semi-trailer is considered very important mainly because of state and DOT laws. There are different maximum specifications across each county. In some cases, the length of the trailer could prevent it from accessing certain roads even if it is accepted by others.

The 53 ft trailer dimensions – that is, trailer width and trailer height of semi-trailers are usually similar, hence the lack of fuss around that.

However, there can be up to a 5 or 10-foot difference in semi-trailer length between a brand of semi-trailer and another. Here are some brands, including the semi-truck length with 53′ trailers. 

S/NBrand/Maker Dry Van LengthFlatbed LengthRefrigerated Trailer Length
2.Hyundai Translead 53’48’53’
4.Great Dane48’48’53’

How Tall Is A Trailer Tractor Semi?

So, how tall are semis or the importance of tractor-trailer height dimensions? A semi-trailer height varies by state, but most trailers are between 13 and 14 feet tall. These variations are due to differences in state law regulations and manufacturer specifications.

So, how tall is a semi-trailer average? The standard tractor-trailer height is 13.5 feet (162 inches), and the average truck-trailer height differs across states.

Furthermore, trailers are built on truck chassis, and these parts are designed to work together under the same overall semi-trailer height limit. Read out the big rig hiring guide – how much it costs to rent a semi truck weekly!

How Wide Is A Tractor Trailer?

A tractor-trailer’s width depends on the variations in length and height resulting from the different body styles of trailers and the load distribution methods.

So, how wide is a tractor-trailer? The standard trailer width is about 8.5 feet, slightly more than 2 feet wider than a typical car and 7 inches larger on all sides.

The terms “tractor-trailer” and “semi-trailer” are used interchangeably. Hence, a semi-trailer width is basically the same as a 53-foot trailer width, which is relatively wide to its standard measurement. 

Large trailers are common because they play an important role in transportation by carrying more items with more space and weight distribution. As a result, if you need to transport many delicate items, you’ll need a tractor-trailer, preferably one with a trailer width of 53 feet.

sealed cargo driving in rain

How Long Is A Semi Trailer?

How long are semi-trailers on average? This differs depending on the tractor model, tail height, and extended features. A typical semi-tractor length is 48 – 53 feet (576 – 636 inches), which is the distance between the front and rear axles of the semi-trailer. 

Similarly, the length of a tractor-trailer depends on its shape, size, and design, but it is usually more than the length of a semi-tractor.

How Long Is A Semi Truck?

On average, a semi-truck without a trailer is 25 feet to 30 feet long. However, we consider this length measuring the semi-truck from the bumper to the end of the rear wheels/end rails, i.e., an extended part of the semi-truck, excluding the body.

How Long are the Semi-truck and Trailer together?

The average length of the semi-trucks from the front bumper to the end of the trailer is 72 feet. It is the complete length, the semi-truck body, plus the trailer. The trailers lack front wheels, they can only move and be controlled when attached to the truck. So when attached to the semi-truck, a little more than 15 feet falls on the extended portion of the semi-truck, i.e., the rail end.

Thus, when the length of the semi-truck is calculated in its entirety, the average length of the semi-truck with a trailer is 72 feet. The length of the trailers also generally varies between 48 and 53 feet.

Why Are Semi Trailer Dimensions (length, width) Important?

What are 53-foot trailer dimensions as per length and width? Semi-trailers aren’t all designed for the same use. This is why there is a difference in 53 ft trailer dimensions and load weight depending on the cargo they will be hauling.

Here are some common 53-foot trailer dimensions and limited legal weight for 53′ trailers of different types and models.

Flatbed trailers:

  • The flatbed trailer is designed to haul a maximum of 48,000 pounds, but tri-axle trailers can haul a maximum of 65,000 pounds, making them suitable for heavy cargo.

The dimensions of a flatbed trailer are usually:

  • Trailer Length: 48 ft to trailer 53 ft
  • Trailer Width: 8.5 feet
  • Trailer Height: 8.5 ft

Learn more about Flatbed trucking, dimensions and benefits here!

Dry Vans

The legal weight for a 53′ trailer of dry vans ranges from 42,000 pounds to 45,000 pounds, depending on the particular van. When it has a tri-axle, the dry van can haul 63,000 pounds.

The dimensions of a dry van trailer are usually:

  • Length:48 to trailer 53 feet
  • Width:8.2 feet
  • Height: 8 feet
Big moving rig while 40 foot container

Refrigerated trailers

The refrigerated trailers are designed to transport temperature-sensitive products, such as dairy goods, farm produce, and other foods.

These trailers have a maximum freight weight of 42,000 to 45,000 pounds for the standard refrigerated trailers, while the tri-axle has a maximum freight weight of 63,000 pounds.

Some of the common dimensions, including the 53 ft trailer weight of a refrigerated trailer, are:

  • Length: 48 to 53″ feet
  • Width: 8.2 feet
  • Height: 8 feet.
  • LowBoys

The standard lowboy trailers with 2 axles have a maximum freight weight of 40,000 pounds. However, users can add a trailer to haul a maximum weight of 95,000 pounds, depending on the number of axles the trailer has.

Some of the common dimensions of lowboy trailers are:

  • Length: 24-29.6 feet
  • Well, height:18 to 25 inches
  • Width:8.5 feet
  • Freight height allowed:11.5-12 feet
  • Legal Overall Load Height:14 feet
blue truck containers on highway
What is the semi-truck length with a 53′ trailer?

Step decks

Step decks have a maximum freight weight of 48,000 pounds for the standard trailer and a maximum cargo weight of 65,000 for the tri-axle.

The standard dimensions of a common step-deck are:

  • Length of 48 feet to 43 feet
  • Width of 8.5 feet
  • Truck Trailer Height of 10 feet.

What is the Total Semi Truck Length with 53′ Trailer?

How long is a trailer with a tractor? The standard tractor-trailer length is 70-80 feet. This is measured from the back of the trailer to the front of the trailer bed and from the center of the rear wheel to the center of the steer. 

Additionally, tractor-trailer length limits vary from state to state depending on several variables, including weight, trailer type, roads, and distance traveled. A typical tractor-trailer can be up to 90 feet long, but due to the size of its load, it is usually only about 80 feet long.

How Tall is The Inside of A Semi Trailer & Length Interior?

When considering a 53 ft trailer, dimensions vary slightly from the interior to the overall body. But generally, the inside height of the semi-trailer (interior dimensions) is an average of 630 inches by 102 inches by 13 ft 6 inches (length x width x height). These dimensions don’t include the driver’s cabin.

The 53 ft trailer dimensions on the interior are 47.6 long, 98.5 wide, and 108 inches high. The door opening at the back has a width of 94 inches and a height 102. The capacity of 53 ft semi-trailers is usually 3,489 cubic feet, weighing 13,500 lbs.

The standard dimensions of a trailer can, therefore, be summarized as:

  • Length: 28 to 53 foot
  • Width:96 to 102 inches
  • Height: 12.6 to 13.6 ft
  • The capacity of 2089 cubic feet to 3489 cubic feet
  • Door types: Roller/Swing doors
  • Maximum weight: 45,000 lbs can be hauled by a 53 feet trailer
  • Overall length: 80”
  • Total weight: 80,000 lbs.

Inside Width of Semi Trailer?

The inside width of a semi-trailer is a little over 8ft. This is the standard cargo trailer interior dimension used by most semi-trailers to allow for easy loading and unloading of large cargo.

Asking, “How wide is the inside of a semi-trailer?” is a reasonable question because their outer width may appear dissimilar, but there is only a slight difference.

Essentially, a semi-trailer has an outside width of approximately 8.5ft (102 inches) and a width of 53-foot trailer inside of 8.3ft (100 inches).

53-foot Trailer Dimensions and Weight

53′ trailers are among the most popular trailer sizes among those who travel across the country and must transport cargo from one state to another.

They vary in length, width, height, and weight depending on whether empty or fully loaded. These two classifications have similar dimensions, but a few differences are listed below.

Empty 53′ Trailer

An empty 53′ trailer is a free-capacity trailer with no load or goods inside. Its interior dimensions are 53′ long, 8’6″ wide, and 8 ft tall, and it weighs approximately 35,000 pounds.

Furthermore, depending on the manufacturer’s design, the interior dimensions can vary and are limited to a maximum load capacity based on actual use.

Fully Loaded 53′ Trailer

On the other hand, a fully loaded 53′ trailer has similar interior dimensions of length 48-53 ft, width 8.2 ft, and height 8 ft. Still, it differs in weight capacity because it is now completely loaded with cargo goods.

When fully loaded, the max weight for a 53′ trailer is around 80,000 pounds, which varies depending on the 53′ tractor type.

For example, a 53-foot dry van trailer has a maximum cargo capacity of 42,000 to 45,000 pounds for similar interior dimensions. This estimate is based on the specifications of a fully loaded 53 trailer and the weight of its standard load, which should not exceed its maximum capacity.

Why is Tractor Trailer Height Important for Commercial Trucks?

The height of commercial trucks significantly impacts their volume and capacity to transport various goods and products.

The semi-trailer height varies depending on the trailer type, capacity, and the truck’s brand. The weight rating of the trailer is also an important factor in determining the height of a semi-trailer.

Semi-trailer heights are typically between 8.5 and 13.3 feet, with the most common and popular brands and trailer heights detailed below.

1.Flatbed Trailer8.5 feet 
2.Refrigerated Trailer8 feet 
3.Dry Van Trailer8 feet 
4.Step Deck Trailer10 feet
5.Lowboy Trailer11.5 feet

PS: There are other semi-trailer height dimensions!

What are 18 Wheeler Dimensions?

The maximum width of an 8-wheeler is 102 inches, which translates into 2.6 meters. These are the standard trailer width measurements of a commercial motor vehicle (CMV).

All trailers currently have an internal limit of 102.36 inches, but this applies to the body or chassis of the big rigs. Some states in the United States allow the trailer width to be extended beyond 102″.

Special equipment such as rear mirrors, strap winches, and lights could take the rig’s width to more than 110 inches. Mirrors tend to stick out for drivers to get a clear highway view.

If an 18-wheeler is 8.6 wide, it uses a lane width of 12 feet, the trailer width on most highways. To measure the width of a trailer, you should take the dimensions from the widest points.

Where the wheels are outside the trailer’s frame, the trailer width should be measured from the outside of one fender to the outside of the other fender. How tall is a semi-truck or 18-wheeler? As mentioned above, the standard height is 13.5 feet (162 inches)

What Is 53′ Dry Van Dimensions?

The 53 dry van dimensions are 53ft x 8ft 6 inches x 8ft 6 inches. In addition, the interior dimensions of the 53′ dry van are 52’6” by 8’6” by 13’6”. Dry van measurements vary depending on the volume of freight and the type of shipment or equipment used.

The 53′ dry van’s inside dimensions boast about 3,500 cubic feet of cargo space in which various commodities and materials are transported to their intended destinations.

What is Standard Tractor Trailer Height, and how do you calculate it?

The standard truck trailer dimensions are as follows: length: 48-53 ft; width: 8.2 ft; height: 8 ft. A 53-foot trailer’s interior dimensions are typically 52.5 ft by 8.5 ft by 13.5 ft.

Truck trailer dimensions can be calculated by estimating the length, width, and height as measured from the center of one axle to the center of another. It varies depending on the type of trailer, its purpose and size, and the brand or company.

Different Semi Trailer Sizes

Different tractor-trailer sizes exist depending on the trailer type. Tractor-trailer lengths and heights vary, but widths are more consistent. The length is typically 48′-53′, the width is 8.5′, and the height is 13.5′. 

The sizes of tractor trailers of different types, such as flatbed, dry van, and reefer, are highlighted in the table below.

Trailer TypeTrailer Size
Dry Van Trailer53’ by 8.5′ by 13’6”
Flatbed Trailer48’-53’ by 8.5′ by 5′ 
Reefer Trailer48’-53’ by 8.5′ by 13’6”
Step Deck TrailerLower Deck: 37’-43’ by 8.5′ by 3.5’/ Upper Deck: 48’-53’ by 8.5′ by 5′
Double Drop Trailer49’ by 8.5′ by 1.5’-2’
Intermodal Trailer53’ by 102’ by 9.5′

And 53-Foot Trailers Weight By State Standard?

The weight capacity of a 53-foot trailer varies by city and state.  Trailer weight restrictions vary by state to ensure the safe transport of large loads.

To comply with regulations, the trailer must have enough cargo space to carry a maximum weight of 100% of its weight rating. The 53-trailer weight limit in major US states is as follows:

  • California: The 53′ trailer gross weight on any axle shall not exceed 20,000 lbs, and the gross weight upon any one wheel shall not exceed 10,500 lbs.
  • New York City: The maximum weight limit for a 53-foot trailer is 80,000 lbs or less, depending on axle spacing.
  • Florida: The maximum weight allowed for the 53′ trailer is 73,271 lbs and is lower when the hitch is on a two-axle truck.
A trailer and semi fleet

FAQ about 53 trailer dimensions!

What is the semi-trailer height from the ground?

How tall is a tractor-trailer from the ground? Semi-trailers have an internal height of 8′ (2.4m) and an exterior height of 12′6′′ (3.7m) above the ground. This height is also known as the semi-trailer load height and is a standard dimension.

Furthermore, the maximum cargo height capacity of a 53-foot semi-trailer is between 108 and 110 inches, which can be used to approximate the height of the cargo that can be loaded and unloaded into the semi-trailer.

How much weight can a 53 ft trailer hold?

A 53′ trailer weight capacity ranges between 42,000 and 45,000 lbs, depending on the trailer and the hauling commodity. The actual load is determined by variables such as width, height, and travel distance, but its dimensions are somewhat standardized.

Due to safety and maintenance concerns, the 53-foot trailer weight limit should not exceed 45,000 – 48,000 lbs. If the trailer’s load exceeds this recommended limit, it can cause overload, bed corrosion, excessive fuel consumption, structural damage, and the risk of violating state regulations.

53-foot reefer trailer dimensions and weight 

The dimensions of a 53′ reefer trailer are similar to those of cargo and flatbed trailers. They measure 53′ long, 13′ wide, and 13’6′ tall.

Their internal height is approximately 8′ 7″ with a door height of 9’2″ on a 46.5-inch fifth wheel. Their weight capacity differs slightly, with a GVWR of 65,000 lbs and a payload capacity of 55,000 lbs.

Additionally, the maximum weight that can be loaded into a reefer is 43,500 lbs, while the 53′ flatbed trailer weight capacity is between 43,000 and 45,000 lbs. These refrigerated vehicles are common in the food distribution industry and are ideal for long-distance hauling.

53' flatbed trailer weight capacity

What is the maximum width of a trailer allowed on the highway?

The maximum width of a trailer allowed on the highway is 8.5 feet. Any load wider than 8.5 feet is considered overweight, and the owner must obtain a permit to drive that size of trailer on the highway.

A few exceptions exist where a trailer exceeds this limit and must travel on public highways with a state permit. In essence, the maximum width for a trailer on the highway is 8.5 feet, but each state has its own regulations and permits.

53 ft dry van empty weight Vs 40 ft Vs 48ft trailer?

What is the trailer weight capacity when empty? Wondering how much does a semi-trailer weigh empty? This varies depending on the size of the trailer and its volume capacity.

The 53′ trailer has a similar weight capacity to the 40′ and 48′ trailers, but they differ regarding wheelbase and load distribution. The tare weights of these various trailer sizes are as follows:

Trailer SizeDimensionVolume Capacity (cu ft.)Empty Weight (lbs)
53’ Trailer53’ by 8.5′ by 13’6”3489 cu ft.15,000 lbs
48’ Trailer48’ by 8.5′ by 13’6”3464 cu ft.14,500 lbs
40’ Trailer40’ by 8’ by 13’6”2702 cu ft.11,500 lbs

Summary of 53′ trailer dimensions!

Understanding how tall a tractor-trailer is and the vital 53′ trailer dimensions can help prevent overloading your trailer. This can also help to increase your safety on the loads.

To stay on the safe side of the law by avoiding exceeding the tow weight, you should know the dimensions of your tractor-trailer height and similar details within the truck. Safe Hauling.

driving past fellow driver

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