Every truck should know the weight of diesel fuel. How much does a gallon of diesel fuel weight? When a normal driver passes a truck on the freeway, they don’t really think twice. They might think they want to speed up to pass it, or that they’re getting their view blocked. They don’t think about all the logistics that go into the truck driver’s route, and they definitely don’t think about the weight of diesel fuel.
Any truck driver who has ever set out to plan for their long-distance trip has had to do their due diligence with trip planning. New drivers especially can tend to overlook the weight of diesel fuel. Those weight checks you see on the side of the freeway aren’t for nothing. This is where weighing diesel fuel comes in.
Procedures at a Weight Station
Weight stations were put into effect in order to keep cargo trucks consistent in the weight they’re carrying. Without regulation, transporting might not be safe across all the highways and freeways. There are laws in place that regulate weight that trucks can carry, mostly due to the strain and potential damage heavy loads can have on infrastructure.
The Department of Transportation allows a tractor-trailer to carry 80,000 pounds maximum. Axle weight and gross weight are both calculated to get this number. The axle weight is calculated as the weight of each axle, and the gross weight is these two combined.
Each weigh station might use a different set of scales. A single axle scale operates when the truck drives over the scale, axle by axle. While each axle of the truck is on the scale, it’s weight is measured. Then each axle is combined to calculate the total weight.
A one-stop scale is also often used. Each axle is weighed simultaneously, and the gross weight is taken this way.
The weight-in-movement scale is possibly the most efficient weighing method. Using the WIM scale, the truck just needs to be driven over a sensor. Without even having to stop, the gross weight is calculated.
In addition to weighing the trucks at the station, other checks might be done. Maintenance can be done, and logbooks can be checked. They also might look for fluid leaking, brake function, if your equipment is mounted safely, and if your tires and your wheels are being maintained properly.
If your truck is found to be over the limit of weight, you’ll receive certain penalties and fines, differing from state to state. Usually, you’re hit with a ticket than can range from about 50 to 100 dollars.
The Weight of Diesel Fuel
Now that you’re a little more clear on weight station procedures, you can delve into the weight of diesel fuel.
Diesel fuel weighs between 7.25 and 7.5 pounds per gallon. It’s a distillate fuel, which means that it’s been boiled to remove the parts that are usable. You see the slight difference in weight because of changes in humidity or the temperature outside, but it’s fairly negligible and truckers don’t tend to worry about such a small discrepancy.
It should also be noted that diesel does not actually evaporate. It does, however, vaporize. Some truckers may argue that this should be considered when weighing trucks, but vaporization does not have enough of an impact to make a difference in weight.
It’s recommended that diesel fuel is calculated to 7 to help with mental math. If you want to do the exact weight, it might take longer, but you’ll know precisely the weight of your fuel. Some people round to 8 instead, to ensure that there’s no way that they’ll ever be caught exceeding the limit.
Diesel Fuel’s Impact
It might be a frustrating thought to a driver that in addition to the cargo they’re carrying, they have to think about the weight of diesel fuel. The diesel and all the other parts of your truck count for the weight of your truck, and that needs to be taken into account. When you’re carrying a load that puts you close within the range of your weight limits, it’s important to pay more attention to the weight of your fuel.
Regulation at a Weigh Station
While we’ve been talking about trucks weighing in at 80,000 pounds, commercial vehicles that weigh anywhere over 10,000 pounds will need to stop and get weighed.
Stay ahead of the game by knowing the regulations of your own state, and the states that you might be passing through. Some states might not even require that you stop, but others have more stringent regulations. Rental vehicles also have a different set of rules.
Knowing the location of your stops is also important to think about before you set out on the road. It can help you plan and know exactly when to fuel up your vehicle.
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