Semi trucks are the backbone of the transportation industry, hauling goods across the country.

One question that often comes up is how many gallons of fuel can a semi truck hold?

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: A semi truck can hold anywhere from 100 to 300 gallons of fuel, depending on the size of the tank.

In this article, we’ll dive deeper into the specifics of how much fuel a semi truck can hold and what factors affect that capacity.

Average Fuel Tank Sizes

Knowing the size of a semi truck’s fuel tank is important for both truck drivers and fleet managers. It helps them plan their routes and fuel stops, and estimate their fuel costs. The size of a semi truck’s fuel tank depends on its make and model, and whether it has a standard or a larger tank. Let’s take a look at both.

Standard Tank Sizes

The average size of a semi truck’s standard fuel tank is around 100-150 gallons (378-567 liters). However, some can be as small as 50 gallons (189 liters) or as large as 300 gallons (1,135 liters). The size of a standard tank is usually determined by the truck’s weight, engine type, and fuel efficiency. Most standard tanks are made of aluminum or steel, and have a single compartment. They are designed to fit underneath the truck’s chassis, behind the cab.

  • A Freightliner Cascadia’s standard fuel tank size is 100 gallons
  • A Volvo VNL’s standard fuel tank size is 150 gallons
  • A Kenworth T680’s standard fuel tank size is 120 gallons

It’s important to note that a semi truck’s fuel economy can vary depending on driving conditions, payload weight, and other factors. As a result, its range can also vary. On average, a semi truck can travel between 500-700 miles (805-1,126 kilometers) on a full tank of fuel.

Larger Tank Sizes

Some semi trucks have larger fuel tanks to allow for longer trips without refueling. These tanks can range from 200 to 400 gallons (757-1,514 liters), or even larger. Larger tanks are usually an option for heavy-duty trucks that need to travel long distances without stopping for fuel. They are also popular among owner-operators who want to maximize their earnings by minimizing their fuel stops.

Make and Model Larger Tank Size
Freightliner Cascadia 160-200 gallons
Volvo VNL 200-350 gallons
Kenworth T680 180-240 gallons

Keep in mind that larger fuel tanks can add weight to the truck, which can affect its payload capacity and fuel efficiency. It’s also important to note that fuel prices can vary by region and time of year, so fleet managers and truck drivers should always be aware of the current fuel prices and plan accordingly.

Factors That Affect Tank Size

When it comes to the amount of fuel a semi truck can hold, there are several factors that come into play. These factors include the truck model, fuel efficiency, vehicle use, and regulations.

  • Truck Model: The size of the fuel tank can vary greatly depending on the make and model of the truck. For example, a Freightliner Cascadia can hold up to 300 gallons of fuel, while a Peterbilt 389 can hold up to 300-400 gallons.
  • Fuel Efficiency: The fuel efficiency of the truck can also affect the size of the fuel tank. A truck with better fuel efficiency may not need to carry as much fuel, while a less fuel-efficient truck may require a larger fuel tank.
  • Vehicle Use: The type of work the truck is used for can also play a role in the size of the fuel tank. A long-haul trucker who spends days on the road without access to fuel stations may require a larger fuel tank than a local delivery truck that can easily refuel at the end of each day.
  • Regulations: Finally, there are regulations that dictate the maximum size of a fuel tank on a commercial vehicle. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) sets these regulations in order to ensure the safety of the vehicle and other drivers on the road.

It’s important to note that the amount of fuel a semi truck can hold doesn’t necessarily correlate with its overall performance. In fact, carrying too much fuel can actually decrease a truck’s efficiency and put unnecessary strain on the engine. It’s important for truck drivers and companies to carefully consider their fuel needs and choose an appropriately sized fuel tank for their vehicle.

For more information on commercial vehicle regulations, visit the FMCSA website.

Fueling a Semi Truck

As a truck driver, one of your biggest expenses is fuel. Knowing where to fill up, how often to refuel, and some fueling tips can help you save money and keep your semi-truck running smoothly.

Where to Fill Up

When it comes to filling up your semi truck, you have several options. Most truck stops have fueling stations designed specifically for semi trucks. These stations are usually located on the outskirts of the truck stop, away from cars and other vehicles. These fueling stations are equipped with high-flow pumps that can fill your tank quickly. You can also find truck-specific fueling stations along major highways and interstates.

If you prefer to fill up at a regular gas station, make sure the station has a diesel pump that is designed for trucks. Not all diesel pumps are created equal, and some are not designed to handle the high volume of fuel that semi trucks need. Using the wrong pump can cause damage to your engine and fuel system.

How Often to Refuel

The amount of fuel a semi truck can hold varies depending on the size of the fuel tanks. Most semi trucks have two fuel tanks, with a total capacity of anywhere from 100 to 300 gallons. The average semi truck can travel between 500 and 700 miles on a single tank of fuel.

How often you need to refuel your semi truck will depend on your driving habits and the size of your fuel tanks. If you are driving long distances and using a lot of fuel, you may need to refuel every day. If you are driving shorter distances and using less fuel, you may only need to refuel once or twice a week.

Fueling Tips

Here are some fueling tips to keep in mind:

  • Plan ahead and fill up before you hit empty. Running out of fuel can be dangerous and costly.
  • Turn off your engine while fueling. This reduces the risk of fires and explosions.
  • Don’t top off your tank. Overfilling can cause fuel to spill out and create a hazard.
  • Keep your fuel tank clean. Dirt and debris can clog your fuel system and reduce your fuel efficiency.
  • Use fuel additives if recommended by your manufacturer. These additives can improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions.

By following these fueling tips and knowing where to fill up and how often to refuel, you can keep your semi truck running smoothly and save money on fuel costs.

Fuel Costs

One of the biggest expenses for semi-truck owners and operators is fuel costs. With the amount of driving that these vehicles do, it’s easy to see why. Let’s take a closer look at calculating fuel costs and tips for reducing them.

Calculating Fuel Costs

Calculating fuel costs for a semi-truck can be a bit tricky. It’s not as simple as just looking at the cost of gas or diesel fuel. Instead, factors such as miles per gallon (MPG), the total distance being traveled, and the current price of fuel all need to be taken into account.

One way to estimate fuel costs is to use an online fuel cost calculator. These calculators take into account the factors mentioned above and can provide a rough estimate of how much fuel will be needed for a particular trip, as well as the associated costs.

Reducing Fuel Costs

While fuel costs are a significant expense for semi-truck owners and operators, there are ways to reduce them:

  • Maintain Your Vehicle: Keeping your truck in good condition can help improve fuel efficiency. Regular maintenance, such as oil changes and tire rotations, can help keep your truck running smoothly.
  • Drive Efficiently: How you drive can also impact fuel efficiency. Avoid idling whenever possible, and try to maintain a consistent speed while driving. Accelerating and braking too quickly can also decrease fuel efficiency.
  • Use Technology: There are a number of technology solutions available that can help reduce fuel costs. For example, GPS systems can help drivers find the most efficient routes, while engine monitoring systems can alert drivers to potential issues that may be impacting fuel efficiency.
  • Consider Alternative Fuels: While diesel fuel is the most common fuel type for semi-trucks, there are alternative fuel options available. For example, some companies are experimenting with electric or hydrogen-powered trucks.

Comparison Table: Average Miles Per Gallon by Truck Type

Truck Type Average MPG
Class 7 (single axle) 6-8 MPG
Class 8 (tandem axle) 5-6 MPG
Heavy Haulers 3-6 MPG

By implementing some of these strategies, semi-truck owners and operators can help reduce their fuel costs and improve their bottom line.


In conclusion, the amount of fuel a semi truck can hold varies depending on the size of the tank and other factors.

If you’re a truck driver or in the transportation industry, understanding fuel tank capacity is crucial for logistics and budgeting.

By knowing how much fuel your truck can hold and how to optimize fuel efficiency, you can save money and ensure timely deliveries.

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