What Are Single Axle Tractor Weight Limit and How Much to Lease Them?

Author: Rohan Paulos
Updated On:

The single axle semi trucks and tractors are probably the most common big rigs on the market for hauling heavy trailers on American roads.

While they do not haul trailers as heavy as those hauled by tandem axle trailers, they haul pretty heavy stuff and keep wholesalers, retailers, companies, and businesses running. In this guide, you will discover why one axle tractors are important, single axle tractor weight limit as well double or tandem axle tractor.

Truck engine area

What is Single Axle Semi?

A semi truck aka a truck cab is the part of a truck that has the engine and the driver. It is different form a semi-truck-trailer, which is the combination of a semi-truck and semi-trailer.

A single axle semi-truck is one with one rear axle. It may not be as powerful as a typical tandem axle semi truck but it will almost always have a better gas mileage than most tandem axle semi-trucks.

Single axle semi-trucks are bought to transport relatively lightweight cargo such as beverages. Cargo heavier than 20,000 pounds typically requires a tandem axle semi truck. Also, read full info about semi truck rental and costs!

What is Single Axle Tractor Weight Limit?

What are weight limit and how much weight can a single axle tractor pull? As per federal law, the maximum amount of weight that can be carried by a single axle is limited to 20,000 pounds. The gross vehicle weight is limited to no more than 80,000 pounds.

Therefore, if you have a single axle truck, you should not haul more than 20,000 pounds of weight. In other words, what is in the semi trailer behind your tractor should weigh less than 20,000 pounds.

Fleet of semi trucks
What is a single axle truck and benefits?

What Is A Tandem Truck and Are They Used?

Tandem trucks are powerful trucks with two drive axles. Unlike single axle trucks, tandem trucks have more power to carry more cargo. In other words, tandem trucks generally carry more weight when compared to single axle trucks.

Because they are more powerful, tandem trucks are often used as water trucks or fire trucks to carry water, and as dump trucks to carry heavy construction materials such as sand, concrete, building blocks or cement.

How Single Axle Tractors Works?

A single axle tractor is a tractor (a towing truck) featuring a single rear axle semi instead of two as is normally the case. Most tractors you see on the road are double axle or tandem axle tractors. They have two rear axles. A single axle tractor trailer has only one.

Single axle tractors pull lighter loads than double axle tractors. This is because they have less towing power and load handling capacity when compared to double axle tractors.

While single axle tractors typically pull lighter loads than double axle tractors, they also usually have a lower gas mileage than double axle semi truck.

tandem axle truck

Single Axle vs Double Axle Truck

What are major difference of single axle vs tandem axle trucks? The main difference between a single axle tractor and a tandem axle tractor is the number of rear axles. A single axle equipment has only one rear axle, while a tandem one has two rear axles.

Because single axle tractors have fewer wheels, they tend to be easier to maneuver and to tow. However, while SAT are easier to tow and maneuver, they typically have relatively lower hauling capacity compared to tandem axle tractors.

Therefore, if you want a tractor to haul relatively lightweight cargo through city streets, you should simply get a single axle tractor. If you want one to haul heavy cargo especially between long distances, you should get a double axle tractor.

Difference Between Single axle and Multi axle Trucks?

The difference is in the number of rear axles. A single axle vehicle has one rear axle, while a multi axle vehicle is a vehicle with more than one axle (usually two or three).

Single axle vehicles tend to be easier to drive and maneuver when compared to multi axle vehicles. In contrast, in terms of weight capacity, multi axle vehicles tend to have a higher weight capacity compared to single axle vehicles.

 Twin Axle truck wheel

What is Single Axle Day Cab Weight Limit?

The weight limit for a single-axle day cab is typically around 20,000 pounds, although this can vary depending on the specific vehicle and local regulations. It’s important to note that weight limits for commercial vehicles are set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and enforced by state and local authorities. Hence, it is always best to haul at most 20,000 pounds if you have a single-axle day cab.

Single Axle Semi for Sale: With and Without Sleeper

Single axle semis without a sleeper are single axle tractors that do not have a formal sleeping space behind the driver’s seat. They are cheaper than those with a formal sleeping area behind the driver’s seat. They are also called day cab trucks. The advantages of single axle semis without a sleeper are many.

First, they are cheaper to acquire because they are smaller and have fewer features. Second, they are more fuel efficient because they are more compact and lightweight than single axle semis with a sleeper. Lastly, they are easier to manoeuvre because they are more compact than trucks with a day cab.

The disadvantages of single axle semis without a sleeper

First, you cannot sleep in one literally or legally because of the lack of a sleeping space. Second, these tractors are not super comfortable compared to those with a sleeper.

The advantages of single axle semis with a sleeper.

First, you can literally relax or sleep in one. You are also allowed to legally sleep in one when parked in the right place.

Second, semi-trucks with a sleeper tend to have facilities for comfort. Some even have a sink, a shower, and a toilet.

The disadvantages of single axle semi-trucks with a sleeper.

First, they are often more expensive because they are bigger and more equipped. Second, they are slightly difficult to manoeuvre because they are bigger and heavier.

Basically, if you have good money, you should go ahead and purchase a semi-truck with a sleeper. This is because it is more comfortable and more fun to drive.

If you do not have a lot of money or your cash flow is low, you should go for a semi-truck without a sleeper because it will be more affordable and appropriate for you.

Heavy duty truck illustration
Differences between single axle truck vs double axle!

Popular Single Axle Questions!

1 axle vs 2 axle truck better than single?

Yes, it is. This is because a vehicle with a rear twin axle will almost always be more stable than a vehicle with a rear single axle.

Moreover, a twin axle vehicle can almost always safely be brought to a halt in case of a tire blowout. In contrast, a single axle vehicle will almost certainly be difficult to control and stop in case of a tire blowout.

How much weight can a 3500 axle carry?

A 3,500 axle can carry a maximum load of 3,500 pounds. This weight includes the weight of the cargo plus the weight of the trailer frame. If, for instance, the trailer frame is 700 pounds, it means that the weight (cargo weight) that can be carried by the axle is 2,800 pounds.

How to count axles on a truck?

Go to the side of the vehicle and count the sets (pairs) of rear tires. If you count one pair then you have a single axle vehicle. If you count two, you have a double axle vehicle. If you count three, then you have a multi axle vehicle.

Will a 1 axle motor mover work on a twin axle?

A single axle motor mover can definitely work with a double axle or twin axle. However, there is a lot that needs to be done to make the two different systems work together. You are better off just renting directly compatible vehicles.

Summary of single axle semi

Finally, you are now armed with pro information about single axle semi trucks, when they are absolutely a must have versus tandem axle tractor benefits.

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