Have you ever driven down the highway and passed the tractor of a truck without a trailer attached? It can look rather strange.  The practice is referred to a driving a truck bobtail.  Not only does it look strange, bobtailing has its hidden dangers.  

One danger specific to bobtailing is that a tractor that is traveling without the weight of a trailer has reduced traction, which increases the risk of skidding out of control.  This is particularly true when the roads are wet or icy.  If you are in the rain and snow traveling near a trucker driving bobtail, keep your distance! 

A second danger is one that seems to make no sense.  It actually takes longer to stop a short bobtail truck than it does to stop a truck carrying a loaded tractor.  This is because the weight of the trailer helps the tractor to brake, and without any weight behind the tractor, stopping is more difficult. 

Third, the lack of a trailer makes a tractor more susceptible to rolling over, since the weight distribution of the truck changes.  Bobtailing trucks also have stability issues in windy weather. 

Jill Bollwerk has handled some crash cases where a truck driving bobtail was involved, and some of the crashes likely would not have occurred had there been a loaded trailer behind the tractor.   If you are involved in a crash with a truck driving without a tractor, give us a call.  

Jill S. Bollwerk
Helping St. Louis area residents with personal injury, workers' compensation & insurance appeals/disputes.
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