You might assume that driving a truck without its trailer would be easier than driving with it. However, driving these bobtail trucks can actually be more risky than you’d expect. Driving bobtail requires one to be focused and aware of how their truck changes…
Bobtail Trucks: Driving Safely
Understand the Risk
As mentioned before, bobtail trucks are trucks which are driving without a trailer attached. At first glance, this may appear to be the safest way to drive these trucks. The trucks look like they should preform even better without the added weight of the trailer. However, it turns out this isn’t quite the case.
The added weight of a trailer helps a truck keep all its tires on the road. Removing these trailers then places all the weight on the front two tires of the truck. This means truck drivers will have to be aware of how differently their truck will handle while driving bobtail.
Ease on the brakes
Truck drivers normally have to use some force when they want to brake. However, with bobtail trucks, braking becomes a different story. Hitting the brakes hard could result in your truck flipping over due to the unbalanced weight. It helps to visualize it like you’re riding a bike. You’ll flip your bike if you brake with all the weight on the front wheel, and the same idea applies with bobtail trucks.
To avoid this, you should try to ease on the brakes instead. This will help keep the truck grounded and come to a safer stop. Furthermore, this helps the truck come to a stop sooner as well. You might also want to avoid other braking methods like engine braking when driving bobtail.
Check you clearance
Something else to keep in mind is your truck’s clearance when driving bobtail. Truck drivers know they have to make sure their clearance is at a level that allows them to pass under bridges or through tunnels. A trailer actually helps lower a truck’s clearance. The added weight helps to push the truck just a bit lower to the ground than usual.
However, without this added weight, your truck might have raised back up in height. That’s why it helps to double-check your clearance just in case. After all, you wouldn’t want to realize your truck’s too tall after its too late!