Collision reconstruction often involves calculations and computer simulations, which require an estimation of the weights of the involved vehicles. Although weight data is readily available for automobiles and light trucks, there is limited data for heavy vehicles, such as tractor-semitrailers, straight trucks, and the wide variety of trailers and combinations that may be encountered on North American roads. Although manufacturers always provide the gross vehicle weight ratings (GVWR) for these vehicles, tare weights are often more difficult to find, and in-service loading levels are often unknown. The resulting large uncertainty in the weight of a given truck can often affect reconstruction results.
In Canada, the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario conducted a Commercial Vehicle Survey in 2012 that consisted of weight sampling over 45,000 heavy vehicles of various configurations. This paper analyzes that weight data according to the vehicle configuration, body style, and total number of axles. Results are presented for the empty and in-service weights of the surveyed trucks. Comparison of the results of this study to prior studies indicates that the results likely apply to most jurisdictions throughout North America.