Discover 53′ Trailer Dimensions – How Tall Is A Semi Trailer as Well Length, Weight Wide and Height? (WATCH VIDEO)

Author: Rohan Paulos
Updated On:

Are you looking for expert guide about how tall is a tractor trailer – specifically the big rig, 53′ trailer dimensions including weight, height, width?

Knowing exactly how tall is a semi trailer as well sizes of load for cargo can help to manage your shipping costs. So, understanding the dimensions or knowing how how tall is a semi truck, will help you to manage your shipping cost like a pro.

In this super detailed report, we have supplied answers to all your queries about 53′ trailer dimensions, as well semi trailer height, how wide, their weights and every vital info in-between. Now carefully read along (also watch a brief video) to have better under of tractor trailer height and much more!

53 foot trailer weight limit

53′ Trailer Dimensions and Weight, Length and Sizes

The length of a semi trailer is considered very important majorly because of state and DOT laws. There are different maximum specifications across each county, and in some cases, the length of the trailer could prevent it from accessing certain roads even if it is accepted on others.

The 53 ft trailer dimensions – that is, trailer width and trailer height of semi-trailers are usually similar to each other, hence the lack of fuss around that.

However, there can be up to 5 or 10 feet difference semi trailer length, between a brand of semi trailer and another. Here are a couple of brands including semi truck length with 53′ trailer. 

S/N Brand/Maker  Dry Van Length Flatbed Length Refrigerated Trailer Length
1. Utility 53’ 48’ 53’
2. Hyundai Translead  53’ 48’ 53’
4. Great Dane 48’ 48’ 53’

How Tall Is A Trailer Tractor Semi?

So, what are how tall are semis or importance of tractor trailer height dimensions? A semi trailer height varies by state, but most trailers are between 13 and 14 feet tall. These variations are due to differences in state law regulations and manufacturer specifications.

So, how tall is a semi trailer averagely? The standard tractor trailer height is 13.5 feet (162 inches), and the average truck trailer height differs across states.

Furthermore, trailers are built on truck chassis, and these parts are designed to work together under the same overall semi trailer height limit. Read out big rig hiring guide – how much it cost to rent a semi truck weekly!

How Wide Is A Tractor Trailer?

A tractor trailer width is dependent on the variations in length and height resulting from the different body styles of trailers and the methods of load distribution.

So how wide is a tractor trailer? The standard trailer width is about 8.5 feet, which is slightly more than 2 feet wider than a typical car and 7 inches larger on all sides.

The terms “tractor trailer” and “semi trailer” are used interchangeably, so a semi trailer width is basically the same as a 53 foot trailer width, which is relatively wide to its standard measurement. 

Large trailers are common because they play an important role in the transportation industry by carrying more items with more space and weight distribution. As a result, if you need to transport a large number of delicate items, you’ll need a tractor trailer, preferably one with a trailer width of 53 feet.

sealed cargo driving in rain

How Long Is A Semi Trailer?

How long are semi trailers on the average? This differs depending on tractor model, tail height, and extended features. A typical semi tractor length is 48 – 53 feet (576 – 636 inches), which is the distance between the front and rear axles of the semi trailer. 

Similarly, the length of tractor trailer depends on its shape, size, and design, but it is usually more than the length of a semi tractor.

How Long Is A Semi Truck?

A semi truck without a trailer, on average, is 25 feet to 30 feet long. However, we consider this length measuring the semi-truck from the bumper to the end of the rear wheels/end rails, i.e., an extended part of the semi-truck, excluding the body.

How Long is Semi-truck and Trailer together?

The average length of the semi-trucks from the front bumper to the end of the trailer is 72 feet. It is the complete length, the semi-truck body, plus the trailer. The trailers lack front wheels, they can only move and be controlled when attached to the truck. So when attached to the semi-truck, a little more than 15 feet falls on the extended portion of the semi-truck, i.e., the rail end.

Thus, when the length of the semi-truck is calculated in its entirety, the average length of the semi-truck with a trailer is 72 feet. The length of the trailers also generally varies between 48 and 53 feet.

Why Are Semi Trailer Dimensions (length, width) Important?

What are 53 foot trailer dimensions as per length and width? Semi trailers aren’t all designed for the same use. This is why there is a difference 53 ft trailer dimensions and load weight depending on the cargo they will be hauling.

Here are some of the common 53 foot trailer dimensions and limit legal weight for 53′ trailer of different types and models.

  • Flatbed trailers

The flatbed trailer is designed to haul a maximum of 48,000 pounds but tri-axle trailers can haul a maximum of 65,000 pounds making them suitable for heavy cargo.

The dimensions of a flatbed trailer are usually:

  • Trailer Length: 48 ft to trailer 53 ft
  • Trailer Width: 8.5 feet
  • Trailer Height: 8.5 ft

Learn more about Flatbed trucking, dimensions and benefits here!

  • Dry Vans

The legal weight for 53′ trailer of the dry vans ranges from 42,000 pounds to 45,000 pounds depending on the particular van. When it has a tri-axle, the dry van can haul 63,000 pounds.

The dimensions of a dry van trailer are usually:

  • Length:48 to trailer 53 feet
  • Width:8.2 feet
  • Height: 8 feet

Big moving rig while 40 foot container

  • Refrigerated trailers

The refrigerated trailers are designed for the transportation of products that are temperature-sensitive such as dairy goods, farm produce, and other foods.

These trailers have a max freight weight of 42,000 to 45,000 pounds for the standard refrigerated trailers while the tri-axle has a max freight weight of 63,000 pounds.

Some of the common dimensions including 53 ft trailer weight of a refrigerated trailer are:

  • Length: 48 to 53″ feet
  • Width: 8.2 feet
  • Height: 8 feet.
  • LowBoys

The standard lowboy trailers with 2 axles have a maximum freight weight of 40,000 pounds. However, users can add a trailer to haul a maximum weight of 95,000 pounds depending on the number of axles the trailer has.

Some of the common dimensions of lowboy trailers are:

  • Length: 24-29.6 feet
  • Well height:18 to 25 inches
  • Width:8.5 feet
  • Freight height allowed:11.5-12 feet
  • Legal Overall Load Height:14 feet
blue truck containers on highway
What is semi truck length with 53′ trailer?
  • Step decks

Step decks have a maximum freight weight of 48,000 pounds for the standard trailer and maximum cargo weight of 65,000 pounds for the tri-axle.

The standard dimensions of a common step-deck are:

  • Length of 48 feet to 43 feet
  • Width of 8.5 feet
  • Truck Trailer Height of 10 feet.

What is Total Semi Truck Length with 53′ Trailer?

How long is a trailer with a tractor? The standard tractor trailer length is 70-80 feet. This is measured from the back of the trailer to the front of the trailer bed and from the center of the rear wheel to the center of the steer. 

Additionally, the tractor trailer length limit for tractor trailers varies from state to state depending on a number of variables, including weight, trailer type, roads, and distance traveled. A typical tractor trailer can be up to 90 feet long, but due to the size of its load, it is usually only about 80 feet long.

long dry footer container

How Tall is The Inside of A Semi Trailer & Length Interior?

When considering a 53 ft trailer dimensions will vary slightly from the interior to the overall body. But generally, the inside height of semi trailer (interior dimensions) is averagely 630 inches by 102 inches by 13 ft 6 inches (length x width x height). These dimensions don’t include the driver’s cabin.

On the interior, the 53 ft trailer dimensions inside is 47.6 long, 98.5, wide, and 108 inches high. The door opening at the back has a width of 94 inches and a height of 102. The capacity of 53 ft semi trailers is usually 3,489 cubic feet and they weigh 13,500 lbs.

The standard dimensions of a trailer can, therefore, be summarized as:

  • Length: 28 to 53 foot
  • Width:96 to 102 inches
  • Height: 12.6 to 13.6 ft
  • The capacity of 2089 cubic feet to 3489 cubic feet
  • Door types: Roller/Swing doors
  • Maximum weight: 45,000 lbs can be hauled by a 53 feet trailer
  • Overall length: 80”
  • Total weight: 80,000 lbs.

double tractors transporting

Inside Width of Semi Trailer?

The inside width of a semi trailer is a little over 8ft. This is the standard cargo trailer interior dimension, which is used by the majority of semi-trailers to allow for easy loading and unloading of large cargo.

Asking “how wide is the inside of a semi trailer?” is a reasonable question because their outer width may appear to be dissimilar, but there is only a slight difference.

Essentially, a semi-trailer has an outside width of approximately 8.5ft (102 inches) and an width of 53 foot trailer inside of 8.3ft (100 inches).

53-foot Trailer Dimensions and Weight

53′ trailers are among the most popular trailer sizes among those who travel across the country and need to transport cargo from one state to another.

They vary in length, width, height, and weight depending on whether they are empty or fully loaded. These two classifications have similar dimensions, but there are a few differences that are listed below.

Multiple pallets

  • Empty 53′ Trailer

An empty 53′ trailer is a free capacity trailer with no load or goods inside. Its interior dimensions are 53′ long, 8’6″ wide, and 8 ft tall, and it weighs approximately 35,000 pounds.

Furthermore, depending on the manufacturer’s design, the interior dimensions can vary and are limited to a maximum load capacity based on actual use.

  • Fully Loaded 53′ Trailer

A fully loaded 53′ trailer, on the other hand, has similar interior dimensions of length 48-53 ft, width 8.2 ft, and height 8 ft, but differs in weight capacity because it is now completely loaded with cargo goods.

The max weight for 53′ trailer when fully loaded is around 80,000 pounds, which varies depending on the 53′ tractor type.

A 53-foot dry van trailer, for example, has a maximum cargo capacity of 42,000 to 45,000 pounds for similar interior dimensions. This estimate is based on the specifications of a fully loaded 53 trailer and the weight of their standard load, which should not exceed its maximum capacity.

Lone red color sleeper

Why is Tractor Trailer Height Important for Commercial Trucks?

The height of commercial trucks significantly impacts their volume and capacity to transport various goods and products.

The semi trailer height varies depending on the trailer type, its capacity, and the truck’s brand. The weight rating of the trailer is also an important factor in determining the height of a semi trailer.

Semi trailer heights are typically between 8.5 and 13.3 feet, with the most common and popular brands and trailer heights detailed below.

1. Flatbed Trailer 8.5 feet 
2. Refrigerated Trailer 8 feet 
3. Dry Van Trailer 8 feet 
4. Step Deck Trailer 10 feet
5. Lowboy Trailer 11.5 feet

PS: There are other semi trailer height dimensions!

What is 18 Wheeler Dimensions?

The maximum width of an 8 wheeler is 102 inches, which translates into 2.6 meters. These are the standard trailer width measurements of a commercial motor vehicle (CMV).

All trailers currently have an internal limit of 102.36 inches but this applies to the body or chassis of the big rigs. Some states in the United States allow for the trailer width to be extended beyond 102″.

When special equipment such as rear mirrors, strap winches, and lights, could take the rig width to more than 110 inches. For drivers to get a clear view of the highway, mirrors tend to stick out.

If an 18-wheeler is 8.6 wide it uses the lane width of 12 feet, which is the trailer width in the majority of highways. To measure the width of a trailer, you should take the dimensions from the widest points.

Where the wheels are outside the trailer’s frame, the trailer width should be measured from the outside of one fender to the outside of the other fender. how tall is a semi truck or 18 wheeler? As mentioned above, the standard height is: 13.5 feet (162 inches)

What Is 53′ Dry Van Dimensions?

The 53 dry van dimensions are 53ft x 8ft 6 inches x 8ft 6 inches. In addition, the interior dimensions of the 53′ dry van are 52’6” by 8’6” by 13’6”. Dry van measurements vary depending on the volume of freight and the type of shipment or equipment used.

The 53′ dry van inside dimensions boasts about 3,500 cubic feet of cargo space in which various commodities and materials are transported to their intended destinations.

Large cold cargo container

What is Standard Tractor Trailer Height and How to Calculate It?

The standard truck trailer dimensions are as follows: length: 48-53 ft; width: 8.2 ft; height: 8 ft. A 53-foot trailer’s interior dimensions are typically 52.5 ft by 8.5 ft by 13.5 ft.

Truck trailer dimensions can be calculated by estimating the trailer length, width, and height as measured from the center of one axle to the center of another. It varies depending on the type of trailer, its purpose and size, as well as the brand or company.

Different Semi Trailer Sizes

Different tractor-trailer sizes exist depending on the trailer type. Tractor-trailer lengths and heights vary, but widths are more consistent. The length is typically 48′-53′, the width is 8.5′, and the height is 13.5′. 

The sizes of tractor trailers of different types such as flatbed, dry van, and reefer are highlighted in the table below.

Trailer Type

Trailer Size

Dry Van Trailer 53’ by 8.5′ by 13’6”
Flatbed Trailer 48’-53’ by 8.5′ by 5′ 
Reefer Trailer 48’-53’ by 8.5′ by 13’6”
Step Deck Trailer Lower Deck: 37’-43’ by 8.5′ by 3.5’/ Upper Deck: 48’-53’ by 8.5′ by 5′
Double Drop Trailer 49’ by 8.5′ by 1.5’-2’
Intermodal Trailer 53’ by 102’ by 9.5′

And 53 Foot Trailers Weight By State Standard?

The weight capacity of a 53-foot trailer varies by city and state.  To ensure the safe transport of large loads, trailer weight restrictions vary by state.

The trailer must have enough cargo space to legally carry a maximum weight of 100% of its weight rating to comply with regulations. The 53 trailer weight limit in major US states are as follows:

  • California: The 53′ trailer gross weight on any one axle shall not exceed 20,000 lbs, and the gross weight upon any one wheel shall not exceed 10,500 lbs.
  • New York City: The maximum weight limit for a 53-foot trailer is 80,000 lbs or less, depending on axle spacing
  • Florida: The maximum weight for the 53′ trailer allowed is 73,271 lbs and is lower when the hitch is on a two-axle truck.

A trailer and semi fleet

FAQ about 53 trailer dimensions!

What is semi trailer height from ground?

How tall is a tractor trailer from ground? Semi trailers have an internal height of 8′ (2.4m) and an exterior height of 12′6′′ (3.7m) above the ground. This height is also known as the semi-trailer load height, and it is a standard dimension.

Furthermore, the maximum cargo height capacity of a 53-foot semi trailer is between 108 and 110 inches, which can be used to approximate the height of the cargo that can be loaded and unloaded into the semi trailer.

How much weight can a 53 ft trailer hold?

A 53′ trailer weight capacity ranges between 42,000 and 45,000 lbs, depending on the trailer and the commodity being hauled. The actual load is determined by variables such as width, height, and travel distance, but its dimensions are somewhat standardized.

Due to safety and maintenance concerns, the 53 foot trailer weight limit should not exceed 45,000 – 48,000 lbs. If the trailer’s load exceeds this recommended limit, it can cause overload, bed corrosion, excessive fuel consumption, structural damage, and the risk of violating state regulations.

53 foot reefer trailer dimensions and weight 

The dimensions of a 53′ reefer trailer are similar to those of cargo and flatbed trailers. They measure 53′ long, 13′ wide, and 13’6′ tall.

Their internal height is approximately 8′ 7″ with a door height of 9’2″ on a 46.5-inch fifth wheel. Their weight capacity differs slightly, with a GVWR of 65,000 lbs and a payload capacity of 55,000 lbs.

Additionally, the maximum weight that can be loaded into a reefer is 43,500 lbs, while the 53′ flatbed trailer weight capacity is between 43,000 and 45,000 lbs. These refrigerated vehicles are common in the food distribution industry and are ideal for long-distance hauling.

53' flatbed trailer weight capacity

What is max width of a trailer allowed on highway?

The maximum width of a trailer allowed on the highway is 8.5 feet. Any load wider than 8.5 feet is considered overweight, and the owner must obtain a permit to drive that size of trailer on the highway.

There are a few exceptions where a trailer exceeds this limit and must travel on public highways with a state permit. In essence, the maximum width for a trailer on the highway is 8.5 feet, but each state has its own regulations and permits.

53 ft dry van empty weight Vs 40 ft Vs 48ft trailer?

What are trailer weight capacity when empty. Wondering how much does a semi trailer weigh empty? This varies depending on the size of the trailer and its volume capacity.

The 53′ trailer has a similar weight capacity to the 40′ and 48′ trailers, but they differ in terms of wheelbase and load distribution. The tare weights of these various trailer sizes are as follows:

Trailer Size


Volume Capacity (cu ft.)

Empty Weight (lbs)

53’ Trailer 53’ by 8.5′ by 13’6” 3489 cu ft. 15,000 lbs
48’ Trailer 48’ by 8.5′ by 13’6” 3464 cu ft. 14,500 lbs
40’ Trailer 40’ by 8’ by 13’6” 2702 cu ft. 11,500 lbs

Summary of 53′ trailer dimensions!

Understanding how tall is a tractor trailer and vital 53′ trailer dimensions can help to prevent the overloading of your trailer. This can also help to increase your safety on the loads.

To stay on the safe side of the law by avoiding exceeding the tow weight, you should know the dimensions of your tractor trailer height and similar details within the truck. Safe Hauling.

driving past fellow driver


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