How Wide is a Semi-Trailer? – Different Types and Their Width

We don’t bother ourselves about how long an SUV or Microbus cars are, do we? We only care about how safe they could be or how easy they are to function. The vehicles that carry passengers are more or less always fit into parking areas. But what about the vehicles that carry goods and items?

You would be surprised to know that semi-trailers can fit right into those parking areas and they can easily maneuver on the highway roads. How can they do that?

Well, to answer how they can do that we need to know how wide is a semi-trailer. We also need to know how long they are and if different types of semi-trailers are of different sizes?

We know that you are eager to know the answers, so, let’s not waste anymore of your time and just get straight to the point, shall we?

Different types of semi-trailer

Before we get into how many sorts of semi-trailers are there and what they are, let’s see what exactly is a semi-trailer.

A semi-trailer is a cargo vehicle that is a combination of a tractor and a truck. It was invented to carry goods from one place to another. The semi-trailer is attached to a tractor with a hitch, which is also known as a fifth wheel. The types of semi-trailers are:

  • Box trucks
  • Flatbed trucks
  • Car haulers
  • Tankers
  • Lowboys
  • Container trucks

And the companies that manufacture these semi-trailers in the USA are Ford, Kenworth, Volvo, Peterbilt, Mack, and others.

How wide is a semi-truck trailer

Well, if you want to know how wide a standard semi-trailer is, then it’s 8 feet 5 inches. But what about the types of semi-trailers we’ve talked about. Let’s get to know about the whole dimensions of different types of semi-truck trailers.

Semi-trailer’s inside

First, let’s see how wide is a semi-trailer inside. It’s 7 feet 8 inches wide inside. The measurement is for a regular semi-trailer. Different types of trailers have different dimensions.


Tankers are being used to transfer liquid from one place to another. Most of the time they carry only gasoline. These are also used to transfer gases. The width of tankers is 8 feet and 2 inches. It can carry up to 5,000 pounds to 11,000 pounds of liquid and gases.


These semi-trailers are used to carry large weights on a daily basis. They are usually regarded as intermodal haulers, it’s because they can run anywhere from 20 to 53 feet. The containers are mostly used in China but there are a few that are used in the USA. The average width of containers is 7 feet and 10 inches.

Car Hauler

As the name suggests, it carries cars from one place to another. It’s mostly used to transfer the cars from the manufacturers to the car dealership. Sometimes, the dealers sent the vehicles to repair shops by the car haulers.

Although the average width of a car hauler is only 8 feet and 5 inches, the length is 14 feet to 24 feet. It’s no surprise as car haulers need to fit about four cars in a rack and four more cars above them.

Flatbed Truck

The flatbed trucks used to be large back in the 1980s. But right now, how wide is a flatbed semi-trailer?

These semi-trailers are used to transport heavy items, even though they can’t carry delicate items due to lack of safety. The usage of the truck depends on the weather. On a rainy day, it could be one of the worst trucks to transport your items. The length of a flatbed truck is 48 feet to 53 feet and the width is 8 feet 6 inches.

Lowboy Truck

These types of trucks have a large variety when it comes to carrying weights and items. It’s because it can maneuver its decks based on what kind of items you are loading in on it.

And of course, the width of this truck is 8 feet 5 inches. Now, you know we weren’t kidding when we said the standard width of a semi-trailer truck is 8 feet 5 inches.

53 feet Trailer

We just knew that the flatbed truck is 48 to 53 feet long, didn’t we?

So, what were the 53 feet trailer dimensions? It was 53 feet long and 8 feet 6 inches wide. Now, you know, how wide is a 53-foot semi-trailer?

What are the laws about the width of semi-trailers?

When it comes to the law, we have to know about certain things. Just like, what is the legal width of a semi-trailer? Or, what is the maximum width of a semi-trailer that can travel on the road without any difficulties?

Well, the law varies from country to country. For example, in the United States of America, the maximum width of a semi-trailer has to be 102 inches or 8 feet 6 inches. This means the Lowboy truck is the widest semi-trailer that is allowed by the US government.

While in Hawaii, the semi-trailers that are up to 108 inches wide can travel through roads. It’s because there are less population in Hawaii and the roads are more open and free than in any US state.


Now, you know how wide each type of semi-trailer is and can they fit into your local parking lot. 

You also know how wide semi-trucks are allowed in the USA. This will make you avoid breaking any sort of rules regarding the size of your semi-trucks.

So, be careful when you drive or park your semi-trailers.

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