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In today's market, there really is no limit to how long the tractor can be, Once the Federal Government did away with the overall length limitation for a truck & trailer combination, there were 2 notable changes in American truck manufacturing and sales.

1, It was the immediate death of the manufacturing of cab overs. Being that here in the states the only real reason for making them was to keep the tractor short & the trailer long for cargo space.

2, it started the free for all of the "Mega sleeper" since you could have a BBC of 20' in front of a 53' van trailer with no state to state restrictions, it signaled the birth of the "Large Car".

Ironically, as I have witnessed 1st hand, just because one can have a super long tractor, does in no way mean the driver can make the turns in most of the east coast city's, or back up in tight spaces.

But each to his own, and if nothing else, the comedy of the shortfalls make for fun viewing.


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One reason why they became popular in the western part of the United States was that some of the states in that area had what was called a "bridge law". This allowed an axle to hold more weight if it was spaced out from the next closest axle. Basically the longer the truck, the more weight you were allowed to carry in certain areas. This was to help distribute the weight over a greater length of a bridge. These laws have mostly gone away now, but people liked the look, and most roads are open and straight in the western US, so some people still like to have long trucks. It is pretty rare to see them in the eastern US, as most of the roads are tighter.

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thanks for the replies everyone.

I just look at pics of US trucks and notice on some of them behind the sleeper there's enough room to fit another sleeper!

Wasn't sure of the reason behind it. We'd never get away with the trucks you run over here, but we run length laws still.

Cheers Rob

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I believe another reason is that some think the modern lowered custom trucks with loooooong chassis looks cool...it's not necessary with all that length...and definately not without a sleeper.

Over here in Sweden we also have lenght restrictions and the longest legal vehicle combination over here is 25.25 meters (82 feet 10 inches) and a legal gross weight of 60 metric tonnes (just over 66 US Tonnes) but there are trials with even longer combinations up to 30 meters (100 feet) and higher gross weights on some roads (up to 75 metric tonnes (82.6 US).
But that's not that much as you Aussies are the kings of long vehicle combinations with your road trains. ;)

Edited by Force
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