If you haul loads for your own trucking company, you know that you rely on diesel fuel every day to get from A to B; you also know that weighing your truck comes with the territory.
But do you know how much your diesel fuel weighs, and how that might affect your haul planning? Here’s a quick diesel weight Q and A to give you the basics.
Q. How much does a gallon of diesel fuel weigh?
A. Each gallon of diesel fuel sold in the U.S. weighs just under seven pounds.
Q. How much does a full tank of diesel fuel weigh?
A. Semi-truck fuel tanks typically hold between 125 and 300 gallons of fuel – meaning that a full tank of diesel fuel weighs anywhere from 875 to 2,100 pounds.
Q. Does diesel fuel weight change with the weather?
A. Yes, but only a little bit (check out this calculator if you want to see how much). A gallon of diesel at 16°F, for example, weighs 7.1 pounds; that same gallon at 106°F weighs 6.8 pounds. To put it another way, in the worst case scenario (largest tank, biggest temperature shift), the weight difference due to temperature change will never exceed 50 pounds or so.
Q. What should I consider when I weigh my truck?
A. Always factor in the amount of fuel you are carrying before you get on the scales. It’s a good idea to get in the habit of overestimating your truck’s weight so you’ll fall within legal limits and avoid an overage ticket.
Q. What are legal weight limits for hauling?
A. According to federal regulations, single axles are limited to 20,000 pounds, axles spaced between 40 inches and 96 inches apart (tandem axles) are limited to 34,000 pounds. The gross vehicle weight is limited to 80,000 pounds.