Big Truck Accidents: Tractor Trailer, 18 Wheelers, and Semis

Big Truck Accidents: Tractor Trailer, 18 Wheelers, and Semis

Commercial trucks are the biggest vehicles on the road, and they go by many names. Tractor trailers, 18-wheelers, and semis all refer to big trucks that you see regularly. They are an important part of how our country works, but they can also be the most dangerous vehicles on the road.

Big truck accidents often lead to serious injuries and major expenses. Fortunately, you may be able to hold the truck driver liable for the accident and the resulting expenses. For this, you may need the help of a Georgia personal injury attorney. You can contact Joshua J. Smith, Attorney at Law, for help with a personal injury case involving a big truck.

Subtle Differences in Big Trucks

Big trucks are designed to do one thing: move lots of heavy cargo quickly. Although the names are used interchangeably, there is a subtle difference between the different kinds of big trucks that you should be aware of.


Big trucks come in two pieces: the tractor and the trailer. The vehicle part that is at the front where the driver sits is the tractor, and the load it pulls is the trailer. It is referred to as a semi because it is a semi-truck, or partial truck, without a load to pull.

Semis do the work when it comes to moving cargo. They can be detached from their trailers and travel on their own. They can also be used to pull any type of trailer that has a compatible connector and is under the weight limit.

Semis move amazingly heavy loads measured in tens of tons in some cases. For example, several semis working together can move whole sections of underwater car tunnels that can weigh hundreds of tons each.

Tractor Trailer

A tractor-trailer is a semi that has a load behind it, usually in the form of a trailer. Tractor trailers are synonymous with semis because they are, essentially, the same thing. However, a semi usually refers to the truck by itself, while a tractor-trailer is a truck with its trailer.

There are many types of trailers available, from the standard box trailers that you see carrying cargo to stores to flatbeds that carry construction equipment. When paired up, tractor-trailers are extremely heavy and can be dangerous to get close to on the road.


An 18-wheeler is a tractor-trailer that has a box trailer, like the kind that you see taking products to Target and Walmart. This is what people picture when they name any of these three trucks. It’s called an 18-wheeler because the semi and the trailer combined have 18 wheels. All of those wheels are under an immense amount of pressure, which is why they experience so many blowouts on highways. It is a good idea to stay clear of an 18-wheeler as much as possible since they are heavy and hard to handle without proper training.

Hit By an 18-Wheeler, Semi, or Tractor Trailer

As you can imagine, getting hit by an 18-wheeler, semi, or tractor-trailer can do a lot of damage. You’ll likely end up in the hospital with serious injuries, not to mention the costs associated with major truck accidents.

If this happens to you, you can take legal action against the truck driver or their company to collect compensation to help pay for your recovery. For this, you may need the help of a truck accident attorney.

Contact a Georgia Accident Attorney

Truck accidents can be difficult to recover from, especially if you don’t have the insurance coverage or resources to pay for necessary treatments and expenses. If you or a loved one is hit by a truck, contact a truck accident attorney to discuss your case.

Joshua J. Smith, Attorney at Law, may be able to help you collect compensation from the truck driver. Start the process by calling us at (706) 217-2095 or filling out our contact form.


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