Some semi-trucks have tinted windows and others don’t. Have you ever wondered why that is?
Do tinted windows make a difference for semi-truck drivers?
Read on o find out everything there is to know about tinting the windows on your semi-truck.
Here’s a quick answer to whether Semi Trucks Can Have Tinted Windows:
Semi-trucks are allowed to have tinted windows, however, there are regulations against how dark the tint can be due to safety reasons such as driving during poor lighting conditions. The laws state that semi-trucks can not have a tint darker than 70 percent on their windows.
Table of Contents
What are Tinted Windows and What is its Purpose?
Windows are tinted by using laminate film and can be installed on either the interior or the exterior of the windows.
Window tinting can be used on cars, boats, and even building windows. They are extremely common and frequently used.
Their purpose is to block out harmful UV rays from the sun. Tinted windows can block up to 90% of UV rays from penetrating the windows.
The result is a much cooler interior for a vehicle, and it makes bright outside light much easier on your eyes, like how sunglasses would work.
Studies have shown that truck drivers often show signs of cancer on the left-hand side of their face and their left arms more often than on the other side.
This is due to excessive sun exposure on the left-hand side where the driver sits in the vehicle. Having tinted windows will greatly minimize this risk.
Tinted windows can also help to prevent those distracting bright glares that often come off other vehicles’ windows. Tinted windows make the glare less sharp and more comfortable for your eyes.
Tinted windows can also protect the interior of the vehicle from sun damage. The steering wheel, seats, and dashboard can become damaged from being in the sun too much.
Although not being the main purpose, window tinting can also prevent a window from shattering since the laminate will hold the window together when it breaks.
What Type of Tints for a Semi Truck do you Get?
There are five main types of windows tinting available for semi-trucks. Each of these has its own advantages and disadvantages.
On top of that, some might be more expensive than others depending on their quality and effectiveness in blocking UV rays.
Here are the different types of window tint you can get for a semi-truck:
Dyed tinting film is the cheapest option, however, it is also the least effective.
It has the ability to block out bright headlights, however, it has a minimal effect when it comes to UV rays. In most cases, it is used for appearance.
Metalized tinting is more effective as it has small metallic flakes in the laminate.
It is more durable than dyed tinting and it blocks UV rays. However, it is also more expensive, and it has a reflective appearance rather than the usual matte finish.
Hybrid tints are a combination of dyed and metalized tints, combining the best features of both and reducing the drawbacks that each one carries with it.
Carbon tints have hundreds of microlayers of polymer and carbon block infrared light from reaching the interior.
This means that your interior will be protected, and it will keep your semi-truck cooler even without using air conditioning.
The ceramic tints are the most expensive. They use ceramic particles that are nonconductive and nonmetallic.
The ceramic elements reflect and reduce solar heat and UV rays while allowing the best visibility.
Are Ceramic Tints for your Semi Truck Worth it?
Ceramic window tints are the best in terms of quality; however, they are also the most expensive types of window tinting.
If you have the budget for ceramic window tinting it can be worth your while. Ceramic tinting can absorb twice as much heat as other types, so you will be using your air conditioning less often, meaning savings on fuel.
It allows electrical signals through, so it won’t interfere as much with your radio and communication equipment.
Ceramic tints are more effective at blocking out bright light, UV rays, and glare from other reflective surfaces, which means your eyes will take less strain.
Ceramic tinted windows also don’t fade and they tend to last longer than other types of tinting, and it has the best visibility compared to the others.
Can Semi Trucks have Tinted Windows?
Semi-trucks are allowed to have tinted windows, however, there are some regulations surrounding window tinting that are important to follow.
Semi-trucks often have tinted windows to protect the driver. Blocking the UV rays is the most important objective as they can do serious damage to the driver’s skin.
Tinting the windows of a semi-truck can also help to prevent the driver from becoming tired as quickly by taking the strain off the driver’s eyes.
The correct type of window tinting can also help with nighttime driving by reducing the harshness of oncoming headlights.
Moreover, having window tinting can significantly reduce the temperatures inside the cabin. This removes the need to use the air conditioning and it allows the semi-truck to save more fuel.
Which Windows in a Semi Truck can you Tint?
On a semi-truck, you can tint the rear windows without restriction.
The windshield and side windows can be tinted, however, there needs to be at least 70 percent light transmittance through the window.
The side windows are the windows where harmful UV rays can cause serious damage to the driver’s skin.
Studies have shown that truckers regularly develop skin problems on the left side of their face and their left arms first.
These are the are most exposed to the sun when driving in a semi-truck. As such, tinting the driver’s side window is very important.
Can you Tint the Windscreen of the Semi-Truck?
You can tint the windscreen of a semi-truck, however, there are stricter regulations in place for the windscreen since it needs to have good visibility.
Windscreens can be tinted as long as there is still 70 percent of light transmittance through the windscreen.
This is dependant on the window tinting you select for your semi-truck. It is important to keep this in mind to stay out of trouble.
What is the Darkest Legal Tint?
There are restrictions in place as to how dark your windows can be on a semi-truck.
Commercial vehicles are allowed to have windows tinted, but not less than 70 percent.
This means that there needs to be at least 70 percent of the light that comes through the window film. This is normally an option given to you when the tinting is being installed.
How Dark is 70 Window Tint?
70 window tint is not very dark. This means that 70 percent of light is still allowed to pass through the window with the tinting on.
In other words, only 30 percent of light is blocked from entering through the tinted glass. This can be good for reflections, glare, and bright lights.
Is 35 Percent Tint Dark?
35 percent tint is still relatively dark. It will only let in 35 percent of light while blocking 65 percent. 35 percent tint will block out harsh light and UV rays.
35 percent tint is ideal for the perfect level of protection during the daytime. It will block enough dangerous UV rays.
Is 30 Percent Tint Dark?
30 percent tint is mid-range when it comes to window tinting. It is relatively dark; however, it will still allow 30 percent of light to pass through the window.
30 percent tint can block out most harmful UV rays and it will soften any harsh and bright lights such as headlights and sunlight.
Can you See Out of 20 Percent Tint at Night?
When windows are tined at 20 percent, it is one of the darkest tints you can get. Only 20 percent of light will be let through the windows.
This might be great for daytime as it will block the bright sunlight and the dangerous UV rays, however when it comes to nighttime driving it can be difficult to see.
When it becomes darker outside, tinted windows will be more difficult to see through since there is less light being allowed through them.
In most cases, it is nearly impossible to see out of windows that have been tinted at 20 percent when driving at night.
How Dark should your Tint be For Day and Night Driving?
In general, 35 percent tint is ideal for day and night time driving. It will give you enough protection during the daytime, and still let through enough light for comfortable nighttime driving.
Unfortunately, semi-trucks are not allowed to have a tint darker than 70 percent on their windows.
However, in some cases, 35 percent can be too dark depending on how good the driver’s eyesight is in low light conditions.
As such, semi-trucks can not have a 35 percent tint on their windows as a safety measure since they often need to drive at night or in low light conditions.
How Much does it Cost to have your Semi Truck Windows Tinted?
It all depends on the type of window tinting you get done on your semi-truck, however, in most cases, it will be between $200 and $500.
Some types of tinting, such as ceramic tinting, can be a lot more expensive than the other types of tinting, however, they also provide better benefits and fewer drawbacks than the others.
It is best to make a decision by analyzing your personal needs when it comes to the tinting on your semi-truck and compare it to your available budget.
FMCSA Window Tint Regulations
The current rule permits windshields and side windows of semi-trucks to be tinted as long as the light transmission is not restricted to less than 70 percent.
This means that only 30 percent of light can be blocked on semi-truck windows.
This is mainly restricted for safety reasons since most semi-truck drivers will drive during the night and during adverse weather conditions when they need good visibility.
What are the Penalties for having the Wrong Tint in your Semi?
In the majority of cases, you will be issued a ticket if the tint on your semi-truck’s windows is too dark. This can be discovered by DOT officers.
The window tint is something that can be checked during your regular DOT inspection, and if you have breached the regulations, you could face a hefty fine.