Most large rigs in the U.S. Have actually tanks that range in capacity from 120 gallons every tank approximately 150 gallons and depending top top the radius that operation, may have one tank for shorter hauls or two tanks for much longer ones.

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For fleets that space weight conscious, they often choose to run simply one tank enabling for more payload because each tank that fuel weighs approximately 1,000 pounds. Single-tank operations space also much more suited come short-haul fleets wherein the truck is starting from the same location each day permitting for refueling to take place at the fleet terminal utilizing lower-cost diesel.

Longer distance fleets tend to run 2 tanks v the higher capacity 150-gallon tanks supplying the highest possible mileage selection and best options to purchase fuel at the lowest possible retail price. 

Fuel tank volume versus useable capacity

Even despite a tank’s capacity is provided as 150 gallons, for example, not all of that fuel is useable. Drivers are always advised to just fill their tanks to around 95% volume or just to the optimal of the neck under the filler cap and also not use every one of the fuel under at the bottom that the tank. Many professional drivers never run their engines previous a quarter full on the fuel gauge.

below are a few reasons why:

Ambient temperature – diesel expands and contracts together the approximately temperature increases and decreases:Imagine pour it until it is full a truck through diesel native a cool underground tank in ~ ambient temperature, to speak 70 degrees, and also being pumped right into a truck wherein it is climate circulated with the engine and returned to the fuel tanks at the engine’s operating temperature, probably approximately 190 degrees.This temperature difference might mean a volume increase of one or 2 inches in the fuel level in the tank.Over-filling: too much fuel in a tank v no air room can reason diesel to pour out from the overflow valves producing an environmental and accident risk for various other road users. Most tanks have their volume etched near the neck, together with a warning no to fill an ext than 95% of the capacity.Contaminants: most tanks have a suction line to draw diesel right into the engine, however the suction heat does not expand all the means down come the bottom of the tank. This is so the tanks deserve to never completely be emptied due to a repertoire of contaminants in ~ the bottom of the tank. These include:Metal and Rubber: stay from inner parts the the trucks fuel device including small components inside diesel injectors, can an outcome in tiny metal pieces returning to the fuel tanks along with any unused fuel. Rubber gaskets provided to attach metal engine components additionally degrade over time with pieces finding their method to the bottom of the fuel tank.Dirt: airborne particles and dirt in tank filling lines and also storage tanks uncover their method into a van fuel tank end time.Micro-organisms: bacteria and fungi live in water, i m sorry is frequently in fuel warehouse tanks, feed off of the hydrocarbons found in diesel fuel.

What walk it expense to to fill up a large rig?

At today’s retail diesel prices, i beg your pardon are around $3.00 per gallon according to SONAR (DTS.USA), a truck through one 120-gallon tank would cost roughly $360 to fill up or $900 for the longer-haul trucks v two 150-gallon tanks. 

How far can a large rig go on a tank of fuel?

A truck through one 120-gallon fuel tank could travel approximately 600-miles suspect a fuel intake rate that 6 mpg. Much longer distance trucks with two 150-gallon tanks might travel as much as 1,500-miles at 6 mpg and also as far as 2,000-miles because that trucks that use the latest aerodynamic technology to alleviate wind resistance (which routinely attain 8 mpg).

What around fuel tanks on various other continents?


Trucks in Europe are subject come stricter overall length regulation and as such are greatly cabovers (the cab is end the engine fairly than behind it choose the long-hooded van in the U.S.) shorter wheelbase european trucks have tendency to have a smaller sized tank top top one next (120-gallons) to allow for the emission treatment fluid tank and a bigger one ~ above the various other side (200-gallons) – total tank volume is around 320-gallons. Also though European van carry much more weight per tractor-trailer mix (88,000 pounds vs 80,000 lbs), they likewise have the ideal fuel effectiveness in the world and also routinely attain 6.8 mpg compared to the U.S. Average of 6.2 mpg.

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Because of the long ranges between populace centers and also the reality that 80% the the populace lives in just 3% the the landmass, Australian trucks have actually to carry a the majority of fuel. Australia’s large rigs frequently have six fuel tanks ~ above the truck through a full capacity of about 600-gallons. In remote regions, road train truckers likewise install “belly tanks” under their trailers for added capacity.


Most trucks run in a short-haul radius and as together only bring 80-gallons of fuel at any type of one time. The road freight ar in Asia is also characterized by a van fleet that is no fuel-efficient through fuel intake rates around 25%, 20% and also 10% higher than Europe, Japan, and also the United says respectively.