What Is a Bobtail Truck?

If you’re involved in a truck accident, you’ll likely hear trucking industry terminology you’re unfamiliar with during the claims process. One such term is “bobtail truck.” What is a bobtail truck? It typically refers to a semi-truck with no trailer attached. Have you seen a large truck cab traveling down the road without any cargo trailer attached? That would be a bobtail truck.

Bobtail truck accident lawyer

What Is Bobtail in Trucking?

The term “bobtailing” is the act of driving a semi-truck without a trailer. The trucking company might refer to it as bobtailing rather than a bobtail truck. This situation often occurs when a truck driver is dispatched for a pick-up assignment but must pick up his trailer first. One key thing to note is that bobtailing is different from deadheading. Deadheading refers to driving a truck with an empty trailer attached rather than no trailer.

Different Types of Bobtail Trucks

When discussing a semi-truck bobtail, it can become confusing. That’s because there is a bobtail truck that resembles one with a trailer. Here’s a look at the three main types of bobtail trucks

  • Traditional bobtail. Your typical semi-truck without a trailer attached. It’s the most common usage of the term. If a trucker says, “I’m running bobtail,” they are likely referring to this. 
  • Compact bobtail trucks. These trucks have all axles affixed to a single chassis. They’re often medium or small in size, such as bobtail delivery trucks or bobtail dump trucks. Their smaller stature doesn’t necessarily require a special driving license. 
  • Propane bobtail truck. It’s a modified bobtail truck used primarily for transporting propane gas. It has a round tank on the rear that can hold propane. These trucks must maintain the proper pressure and temperature because their cargo is explosive. Propane trucks are the only ones you might mistakenly call “bobtail trailers.” 

Understanding the different kinds of bobtail trucks is helpful, but it’s not imperative to know the difference when pursuing a personal injury claim.

Bobtail Trucks and Safety Considerations

Any of the three types of bobtail trucks can pose risks to other motorists on the road. Without any load, it’s easier for the driver to speed. The faster these large trucks go, the higher the risk of a deadly collision. Manufacturers design these trucks to haul cargo. Driving without a trailer can make the truck more challenging to steer and control. This issue is so well-known that some insurance companies offer “bobtailing insurance.”

Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer Near You

If you need assistance with a truck accident claim, contact Starpoint Law. We have decades of experience handling accident claims involving large trucks, including bobtail trucks. Attorney Aidin Ghavimi previously worked in insurance defense, representing large insurance companies. This experience gives him unique insight into how insurance companies negotiate a claim. Don’t let the trucking company or their legal team take advantage of you after an accident. Contact Starpoint Law to learn more about how we can help.

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Starpoint Injury Law Staff

Starpoint Law was founded on a number of core principles that allow us to help our clients and develop deep and meaningful relationships. If you have suffered injuries or facing an issue with your employer, reach out to our legal team and we can sit down for a free consultation and start the process immediately.

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