Whether you use your diesel truck for family or commercial purposes, you need to know how far your fuel can take you. So, how many gallons of fuel does a diesel truck hold? We've compiled the data for your reading pleasure.
The average fuel capacities of diesel trucks are as follows:
- Mid-size trucks: 21.05 US gallons
- Full-size trucks: 25.25 US gallons
We have a lot more information about the fuel tank capacity of different size classes of diesel trucks, so read on!
Before you continue reading, let us say we hope you find the links here useful. If you purchase something through a link on this page, we may get a commission, so thank you!
Diesel Truck Fuel Tank Capacity
Knowing your truck's fuel tank capacity provides you with the information you need to plan your driving route, refueling schedule, fuel costs, etc.
This knowledge can help you avoid inconvenient situations like running out of fuel or topping up at an expensive refilling station.
Mid-size Diesel Trucks
Modern mid-size trucks are among the most popular choices for new truck owners and diesel enthusiasts alike.
These mid-size trucks are not too bulky, have enough grunt for light-duty hauling, and have enough cabin features for passenger comfort.
Some of today's most popular mid-size diesel trucks and their fuel tank capacities are listed below.
Ford currently only has a 2.3-liter gasoline powerplant for its Ranger variants in the US. However, the 2022 "global" Ranger comes with 2.2-liter and 3.0-liter V6 turbodiesel variants.
Some automotive journalists and diesel enthusiasts speculate that a diesel Ranger may soon reach the North American market.
The Ranger's fuel tank capacity rating is 80 liters or 21.1 gallons.
The 2022 Colorado's 2.8 liter Duramax turbodiesel engine produces 181 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. Its fuel tank capacity is 21 gallons.
Below is an image of the 2022 Chevrolet Colorado
Like its Chevrolet brother above, the GMC Canyon also has the same Duramax engine and a 21-gallon fuel tank capacity.
While many Toyota markets have the revered Hilux turbodiesel, Toyota USA currently offers only a petrol-powered Tacoma.
However, a Toyota patent application in late 2019 led auto journalists to believe that a diesel Tacoma would finally ply American roads.
The Tacoma has a 21.1-gallon fuel tank capacity.
Full-size Diesel Trucks
Although their payload ratings are well over half a ton, modern full-size truck models are commonly known as the original "half-ton truck" nameplates.
These trucks are typically larger and more powerful than their mid-size brothers.
Below are some of the top-selling full-size diesel trucks and their corresponding fuel tank capacities.
The 3.0-liter Ecodiesel V6 option of the Ram 1500 produces 260 hp and 480 lb-ft of torque. This class-leader in torque output comes with a 26-gallon standard fuel tank capacity.
The Ford F-150 is America's most popular vehicle, and it comes with a 3.0-liter Powerstroke turbodiesel engine option. It has a 23-gallon standard fuel tank capacity. However, a 26-gallon and a 36-gallon tank are optional for the F-150 Raptor and other variants.
Check out the 2021 Ford F-150 below.
Chevrolet Silverado 1500
Chevrolet's full-size truck comes with a 3.0-liter Duramax turbodiesel engine option that puts out 277 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. It comes with a standard 26-gallon fuel tank, but a 34-gallon tank is optional.
GMC Sierra 1500
The Silverado's GMC brother also packs the same 3.0-liter turbodiesel powerplant. It also has the same 26-gallon standard and 34-gallon optional fuel tank variants.
How Much Diesel Do Trucks Use?
Now that we've discussed the fuel capacities of mid-size and full-size trucks, we can now tackle their fuel efficiency ratings.
Fuel Consumption of Mid-size Trucks
Below are the combined miles per gallon (MPG) ratings of popular mid-size 4WD diesel trucks based on the US Department of Energy and some automotive review sites.
- Ford Ranger 2.2-liter turbodiesel - 37 miles per gallon
- Ford Ranger 3.0-liter turbodiesel - 23.1 miles per gallon
- Chevrolet Colorado 2.8-liter Duramax - 22 miles per gallon
- GMC Canyon 2.8-liter Duramax - 22 miles per gallon
Based on the figures above, mid-size diesel trucks travel an average of 26 miles per gallon.
Fuel Consumption of Full-size Trucks
Below are the combined miles per gallon (MPG) ratings of popular full-size 4WD diesel trucks based on the US Department of Energy.
- Ford F-150 3.0-liter diesel - 23 miles per gallon
- Chevrolet Silverado 1500 - 23 miles per gallon
- GMC Sierra 1500 - 23 miles per gallon
- Ram 1500 - 24 miles per gallon
Based on the figures above, full-size diesel trucks travel an average of 23.25 miles per gallon. This figure is understandably lower than the mid-size truck average because of the larger dimensions of full-size trucks.
How Much Fuel Do 3/4-Ton And 1-Ton Trucks Hold?
Although we have used a size-based classification, pick-up trucks have several, often confusing classifications.
The US Department of Transportation alone has two separate classification models based on (1) the vehicle's type and number of axles and (2) the vehicle's gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR).
Another truck classification is the one we used earlier in this article. This size-based classification method includes mini, compact, mid-size, and full-size trucks.
However, truck manufacturers and enthusiasts have stuck with the traditional albeit outdated classification method based on the truck's payload capacity. We will be using the same classification here to keep the tradition going.
The classes and their examples are as follows:
- Half-ton trucks: Ford F-150, GMC Sierra 1500, Chevrolet Silverado 1500, Ram 1500, Toyota Tundra, Nissan Titan (also our full-size pick-up trucks)
- Three-quarter-ton trucks: Ford F-250, GMC Sierra 2500, Chevrolet Silverado 2500, Ram 2500
- One-ton Trucks: Ford F-350, GMC Sierra 3500, Chevrolet Silverado 3500, Ram 3500
The fuel tank capacities of the three-quarter-ton trucks are as follows:
- Ford F-250 - 48 gallons
- Chevrolet Silverado 2500 - 36 gallons
- GMC Sierra 2500 - 36 gallons
- Ram 2500 - 31 gallons
Because the three-quarter-ton truck class is significantly larger than full-size trucks, the former also has a larger average fuel tank capacity of 37.75 gallons.
The One-ton trucks, in turn, have the following fuel capacity ratings:
- Ford f-350 - 48 gallons
- Chevrolet Silverado 3500 - 36 gallons
- GMC Sierra 3500 - 36 gallons
- Ram 3500 - 31 gallons
Although one-ton trucks are typically larger, they have the same average fuel tank capacity as three-quarter-ton trucks: 37.75 gallons.
How Many Gallons Does A Semi Truck Hold?
A semi-truck is a heavy-duty commercial vehicle used to carry freight and other heavy loads such as heavy equipment, construction materials, etc.
Also known as an "articulated lorry," the semi-truck is composed of a self-propelled tractor head and one or more connected semi-trailers.
Below are some examples of semi-trucks and their corresponding fuel capacities.
Freightliner Cascadia - 240 to 300 gallons (120 to 150 gallons per tank; 2 tanks total)
Peterbilt 579 - 240 to 300 gallons (120 to 150 gallons per tank; 2 tanks total)
Kenworth T680 - 240 to 270 gallons (120 to 135 gallons per tank; 2 tanks total)
International Lonestar - 140 to 280 gallons (70 to 140) gallons per tank; 2 tanks total)
Based on the figures above, the average fuel capacity of some of the largest semi-trucks is approximately 250 gallons.
How Much Does It Cost To Fill Up A Diesel Truck?
Due to an ongoing geopolitical conflict that started in early 2022, fuel prices have skyrocketed globally.
As of 11 April 2022, diesel costs $5.03 per gallon in the US. Based on this price, here are the costs of filling up the different diesel trucks that we have discussed.
- Mid-size trucks - $105
- Full-size trucks - $127
- Three-quarter-ton trucks - $190
- One-ton trucks - $190
- Semi-trucks - $1,264
Why Do They Use Diesel in Large Vehicles Rather Than Petrol?
Nowadays, some car owners choose pick-up trucks not just for cargo hauling but also for passenger transport and weekend recreational trips.
Modern trucks have indeed become versatile workhorses, but one thing remains the same: trucks are designed to be big and powerful.
There are three main reasons why trucks and other large vehicles use diesel rather than petrol/gasoline engines.
Whether hauling cargo or climbing up a steep off-road trail, a truck needs a lot of power to move from a standstill position. This type of power is called torque, and diesel engines have more low-RPM torque than gasoline/petrol engines.
One crucial difference between gas and diesel engines lies in thermal efficiency, which roughly means the work produced by the fuel burned in the engine.
A diesel engine is about 20% more thermally efficient than a petrol engine, translating to a 20% increase in fuel economy.
Commercial truck companies and drivers will have better profit margins with fuel-efficient truck engines.
Diesel engines are designed to withstand the high compression ratios that diesel fuel needs for combustion. This means that based on construction alone, diesel engines are generally more durable than petrol engines.
Another factor that adds to diesel engines' lifespan advantage is the low-RPM operation. Because diesel engines put out their maximum torque and horsepower at lower engine speeds, their moving parts experience less wear and tear.
Because the different classes of diesel trucks have different purposes, they also have different fuel capacities. Mid-size pickup trucks hold an average of 21 gallons, while semi-trucks can carry an average of 250 gallons.
We hope that you enjoyed reading and that we were able to help you understand more about diesel trucks and their fuel capacities.
For more exciting topics about fuel capacity and other automotive fluids, check out these great articles below.
How Big Is My Fuel Tank? [3 Ways To Determine Its Size]
How Big Is A Duramax Fuel Tank?