What Is the Minimum Turning Radius of a Semi Truck?

Semi-trucks or ‘big rigs’ are the large tractor-trailer vehicles used to transport goods over long distances. Knowing the turning radius of these behemoths is essential for truck drivers and those maneuvering around them on the road.

The minimum turning radius of a semi truck is determined by its wheelbase, which is the distance between the front and rear axles. This can range from 135 inches to over 220 inches, depending on the size and model of the truck. The longer the wheelbase, however, the larger the turning circle it will require to make a complete turn.

The turning radius is also influenced by other factors such as tire size, vehicle weight, and speed. The larger and heavier a vehicle is, for example, the more ground it will need to cover in order to make a full rotation. Likewise, if a semi truck is travelling at higher speeds it will require more distance to complete its turn.

To make matters more complicated, some semi trucks are equipped with special features such as extended trailers or articulating axles that can further reduce or increase their minimum turning radius. These features can be used to increase maneuverability in tight spaces or for navigating roads that have sharp curves.


When it comes to understanding what is the minimum turning radius of a semi truck, there are several factors that come into play such as wheelbase length, tire size, weight and speed. Additionally, certain features such as extended trailers or articulating axles can also affect this figure. As such, knowing exactly what this number is for any given semi truck can be difficult without doing an in-depth assessment of all these variables.

Photo of author

Stephen Dunn