Weight & Semi Truck Fuel Capacity
The components of your semi truck can help or hinder you in your quest to reduce weight and conserve fuel. Whether you drive a used International or Freightliner, or own a fleet, it’s never too late to consider weight and semi truck fuel capacity. Reevaluating your semi truck’s heftier components and opting for lighter alternatives, such as those made from aluminum, can help you reach your destination on less fuel.
What Factors Affect Semi Truck Weight?
Before you make changes to your truck, consider the following factors and the role they play in weight and semi truck fuel capacity:
- BBC & Sleeper Length: The length of a truck’s sleeper cab largely affects its overall weight. For example, an International PROSTAR+ with a 56-inch cab weighs about 360 pounds less than a 73-inch sleeper cab with similar equipment. If you don’t need the additional space and mainly travel on your own, consider downsizing your cab and reducing the weight of your truck.
- Fifth Wheels: Many long-haul applications require the use of a cast steel fifth wheel, but this can add an extra 250+ pounds of weight. Fortunately, you have other options. Consider something lighter, such as a forged aluminum fifth wheel, which can weigh about 90 pounds less than its cast steel counterpart.
- Tires: Tire type also affects the weight of your truck. When you choose wide base super single tires over a set of low-profile standard radials, you can remove about 70 pounds of extra weight. Plus, without the need for extra wheels, you’re looking at a vehicle that’s anywhere from 200 to 400 pounds lighter.
- Axles, Wheels & Hubs: Speaking of wheels, cast aluminum alloy wheels are a great choice, as they can save around 40 pounds each. Meanwhile, a 4×2 axle can lighten your truck by 960 pounds compared to a heavier 6×4 configuration. Opting for aluminum axle hubs instead of steel can shave off 50 to 75 pounds.
- Fuel Tank Capacity: Contrary to what you might think, a larger fuel tank doesn’t necessarily make a vehicle more fuel-efficient. In fact, larger fuel tanks can mean extra weight, i.e. reduced fuel economy. Your truck’s fuel tank should be large enough to carry the fuel required for your operations. Try to determine whether you can downsize without adding more refueling stops to your travels.
- Clutch & Brakes: Compared to standard brake drums, centrifuse brake drums can reduce the overall weight of your truck by about 100 pounds. To save an additional 50 pounds, you can also replace your truck’s heavy iron clutch housing with an aluminum clutch housing.
Aerodynamics & Fuel Economy
In addition to weight, aerodynamics play a major role in the fuel-efficiency of a truck — be it vocational, medium-, heavy-, or severe-duty. After you’ve reduced the weight of your truck, evaluate its aerodynamic drag. Components like drive fenders, fairings, wheel covers, and fifth wheel placement can improve or reduce your truck’s aerodynamics, causing it to use less or more of its fuel to power down the highways. International trucks, in particular, are designed to be aerodynamic and include traits like smooth radius edges and sloped hoods to help you go further on less fuel.
Maximize Your Truck’s Potential with International Used Truck Centers
Are you shopping for a reliable truck that won’t bog you down with hefty fuel costs? International Used Truck Centers can answer any lingering questions you may have about weight and semi truck fuel capacity, and take you through our used and International Certified Pre-Owned inventories. Want more truck maintenance tips? Learn more about brake maintenance and oil change intervals, and keep your rig running at its best.