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How Tall Is A Semi-Truck?

I need to quote a dual height semi-truck pedestal and need to know a few different vehicle heights.
Published: Thursday, 15th of May 2014
Categories: Pedestal

It has always been perplexing to us why the industry standard pedestal for semi trucks is 72”.  We don’t know where this measurement originated but have worked tirelessly to inform OEM’s, distributors, dealers, system integrators, government agencies, and end users of the true height of a semi truck’s window as well as the actual heights of other vehicle types.

It has been suggested that the center of the window is the ideal location to place card readers, intercoms, keypads, parking control push buttons, card insertion housings, etc.  Whereas this might work well for cars, it has been argued that a truck’s mirror (SUVs, delivery trucks, buses, semi-trucks, etc.) tends to make contact at this height resulting in possible damage to the devices, their housings, and the mirror!  Installing these units slightly below the mirror could be a good thing.

The information in the following table is a helpful guide to those unsure of which height(s) best work for their access control solutions.


As you can see there are significant height variations between vehicle types.  Using the centers of their windows for comparison, lower profile vehicles have window heights under 40” whereas typical sedans fall between 44-47”.  SUV’s and small trucks are also not equal–  SUV’s average between 55-58” and small passenger trucks measure between 61-63”.  Lastly, commercial trucks, buses, and semi-trucks also record very different heights.  School buses measure 84” and semi-trucks are determined to be 98”.  

If more than one type of vehicle needs parking access or perimeter access then either:  1) more than one card reader intercom pedestal is required, or 2) a dual height card reader pedestal or even a triple height card reader pedestal mount is needed, or 3) a bollard style pedestal such as a stainless steel bollard that can accommodate multiple access control stations at different heights is recommended.

It has been our experience that determining the height preference is unique among end users.  As an example, some property owners believe requiring truck drivers to get out of their truck cabs to access the pedestal’s keypads, card readers, intercoms, telephone entry, etc. is helpful in avoiding a truck mirror from hitting and damaging the pedestal’s devices.  Other owners prefer to have the pedestal poles much taller (104”) so a driver doesn’t have to exit the truck cab.  Consult with your customer to determine how they want the installation to work.  We can accommodate virtually any preference. 

Furthermore, curbs, islands, and concrete bases also serve as x-factors.  Typical curb requirements are 6” tall but we have seen installations on top of one inch concrete lips and others on concrete bases four feet tall!  Regardless of the these averages and x-factors, most customers appreciate this table data and well-planned measurements in the design process to make their own decisions.


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