The fuel tank is a crucial component of any semi truck. Choosing the right one based on the truck’s class and other considerations is important to the safety, efficiency, and overall profitability of the vehicle. Learn about the different classes of trucks and the factors to consider to select the right fuel tank.
Understanding Class 6-8 Trucks
Here’s an overview of what you need to know about Class 6-8 trucks.
Class 6 (19,501 lbs. – 26,000 lbs.)
Class 6 vehicles have a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 19,501 to 26,000 pounds. GVWR is the maximum loaded or operating weight of a vehicle, including the vehicle itself, cargo, passengers, fuel, and vehicle accessories. Overloading the vehicle can cause damage to the wheel bearings, steering system, and suspensions, increasing the likelihood of a breakdown. Class 6 vehicles fall in the category of medium-duty trucks and include:
- Rack trucks
- Stake body trucks
- School buses
- Single-axle vans
- Beverage trucks
Class 7 (26,001 lbs. – 33,000 lbs.)
Class 7 vehicles have a GVWR ranging between 26,001 and 33,000 pounds. They are heavy-duty trucks, often having three or more axles. Examples of class 7 trucks include:
- Home fuel trucks
- Medium conventional trucks
- High-profile cab over engine (COE) trucks
- Tow trucks
- Furniture trucks
- City transit buses
Class 8 (33,001 lbs. or more)
This class is for vehicles with GVWRs over 33,001 pounds. The vehicles in this class are usually severe duty and include:
- Cement trucks
- Dump trucks
- Fire engines
- Tour buses
- Fuel trucks
- Reefer vans
Comparison of Class 6-8 Trucks With Smaller Trucks
Class 6-8 trucks generally weigh between 19,501 and 33,000 pounds and can transport heavy loads such as large machinery or construction equipment. They are heavy-duty trucks often used for regional hauling or long-hauling. Smaller trucks are vehicles weighing less than 19,500 pounds. These lighter-duty trucks carry smaller loads, such as portable equipment or packages for short trips and local deliveries.
Unlike class 6-8 trucks, which have three or more axles, smaller trucks usually have only two axles. In most cases, you don’t need a commercial driver’s license (CDL) to operate them. The need for a CDL starts with class 6 vehicles.
Factors to Consider in Selecting Fuel Tanks for Class 6-8 Trucks
Below are five key considerations when choosing fuel tanks for semi trucks.
Capacity and Size of the Fuel Tank
Class 6-8 trucks consume more fuel than smaller trucks. Therefore, having a small tank would mean more stops to fill up. When choosing a fuel tank for a class 6-8 truck, ensure it is large enough to cover more mileage with a single fill-up. It saves time, especially when driving long distances. It also saves on maintenance costs by reducing wear and tear on the engine.
Material and Construction of the Fuel Tank
Material costs are a huge portion of the total cost, and some manufacturers may cut corners without you realizing it. At Proform, the wrap on our fuel tanks is 25% thicker than the OEM tanks used by Peterbilt. When it comes to the material, aluminum and steel are the main types you will find on the market. Aluminum tanks are lightweight and easy to handle. They are also corrosion-resistant and can withstand extreme temperatures and harsh weather.
Steel tanks are more durable and have more impact and abrasion resistance than their aluminum counterparts. However, they are heavier, more difficult to handle, and more susceptible to rust and corrosion, especially in harsh weather. Steel tanks are also less efficient and can lead to increased fuel consumption and costs. Compared to aluminum tanks, however, steel tanks are less expensive to order and fabricate. Learn more about the advantages of aluminum vs. steel fuel tanks.
Location and Mounting of the Fuel Tank
When purchasing a replacement fuel tank, you must consider whether it will fit in your truck. A tank that is difficult to install will cost you time and money. Installing fuel tanks for semi trucks is not just about hanging the component on the frame—the straps must fit, the cap must be in the correct position, and the ports must line up. That is why you should insist on a fit guarantee to ensure the supplier delivers to you a fuel tank that will fit your truck perfectly. In case the tank fails to fit, the supplier should refund your money and cover return shipping.
Fuel Efficiency and Range of the Truck
The range and fuel efficiency of your truck should inform the fuel tank’s size. Consider how far the truck can travel with a given amount of fuel. Choose the fuel tank that can provide the range and fuel efficiency you require.
Legal and Safety Regulations for Fuel Tanks
A fuel tank must adhere to several legal and safety regulations. For instance, it should have a safety venting system to prevent internal pressure from rupturing the tank’s body in case of a fire. Tanks must also must have a non-spill air vent.
Benefits of Proper Selection of Fuel Tanks for Class 6-8 Trucks
Here’s why you should select the right fuel tank for your semi truck:
- Better fuel efficiency and lower fuel costs
- Improved safety and regulatory compliance
- Increased range and truck productivity
- Increased profitability for trucking companies
Let Proform Group Help You Choose the Right Fuel Tank
When buying a fuel tank for a semi truck, there are many considerations to weigh, such as capacity, material construction, fit, fuel efficiency, and compliance with legal and safety regulations.
At Proform Group Inc., we are reputed for supplying the military, industrial, school bus, and commercial industries with quality fuel tank storage systems. With our expertise in engineering and welding complex assemblies, you can be assured of getting the proper fuel tank for your specific industry. Learn more about our products and capabilities, or contact us today about our quality manufactured fuel tanks for semi trucks.