How Much Fuel Does a Semi Truck?

Semi trucks are the lifeblood of the American economy. From long-haul trips that span states to daily commutes in and around towns and cities, these large vehicles are an integral part of our commerce system.

But how much fuel does a semi truck consume?

The short answer is that it depends. Semi trucks can range in size from just over 33 feet to more than 50 feet in length.

The longer a truck is, the more fuel it will take to move it. Additionally, the type of cargo being hauled and the terrain being driven on can also have a significant impact on fuel consumption.

In general, semi trucks get between 5 and 7 miles per gallon (MPG) depending on the size, weight of cargo, and terrain being traveled. This is significantly less than other passenger vehicles which generally get between 20 and 30 MPG. That said, semi trucks typically carry much heavier loads which account for their lower MPG rating.

Semi trucks also come with a variety of engines and transmissions that can help to improve their fuel economy. For example, certain engines are designed to reduce emissions while others are geared towards improving overall efficiency. Transmissions can also be optimized for different driving conditions such as hills or flat terrain.

Finally, many semi trucks come equipped with aerodynamic features such as side skirts or trailer skirts that help reduce drag and improve MPG ratings. These features help reduce wind resistance which allows the engine to work more efficiently.


The amount of fuel consumed by a semi truck varies greatly depending on its size, weight of cargo, terrain being traveled, engine type and transmission types as well as any aerodynamic features it may have been equipped with. On average though most semi trucks get between 5-7 MPG but this can be improved through careful maintenance and optimization of the vehicle’s components.

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Karen Watkins