When is low on fuel really low on fuel??

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by BluesDude98, Nov 8, 2014.

  1. BluesDude98

    BluesDude98 Light Load Member

    Jul 24, 2014
    Chicago, IL
    I had a situation the other day where I had about 4" of fuel left in both my tanks (each tank holds 150 gals) and things where going good. I knew I was low and going to fuel up as soon as I made the delivery. Not thinking the delivery location was on a steep incline so upon pulling in to the delivery area up the incline to set-up the back in of my trailer into the dock, of course the inevitable happens, all the fuel runs to the back of the tanks and she will go no more. Ouch! Embarrassing! Don't fuel systems have something in the tanks to work with shifting fuel? I guess in my case I'm not going to ever get less than a 1/4 Tank of fuel.
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  3. Moon_beam

    Moon_beam Medium Load Member

    Aug 29, 2012
    Not all of the fuel is accessible by the fuel system. The bottom of the tank acts as a large particle fuel filter meaning that there are several inches of fuel that will never be used by the fuel system. Large pieces of contaminate are in the bottom couple of inches of fuel so the system never attempts to use 100% of the fuel in the tanks.
  4. CargoWahgo

    CargoWahgo Road Train Member

    Jan 10, 2012
    Louisville, Kentucky
    Always fuel up when its available rookie.

    Especially in winter.

    Didn't they teach you in driving school anything under a quarter tank is basically bad fuel?

    Lesson learned.
    paul_4lp Thanks this.
  5. Chinatown

    Chinatown Road Train Member

    Aug 28, 2011
    Henderson, NV & Orient
    My personal policy is to refuel when the gauge shows between 1/4 to 1/2.
    paul_4lp Thanks this.
  6. STexan

    STexan Road Train Member

    Oct 3, 2011
    Longview, TX
    To answer your question ...[h=2]When is low on fuel really low on fuel??[/h]"About 4 inches" is too low, but I think you now know the answer so I'm perplexed why the question?
    paul_4lp Thanks this.
  7. gpsman

    gpsman Road Train Member

    Dec 10, 2013
    That's obviously nonsensical.

    I hope not, that's also obviously nonsensical.

    Maybe your expertise in some other industry is needed elsewhere...
  8. 25(2)+2

    25(2)+2 Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member

    Sep 18, 2006
    the road less travelled
    I have twin 120s and try to plan my fuel stops, so I have run it low,but I take terrain into consideration.

    Most of the time, a side slope could get you, and if you have shut offs for each tank, you can get by it. Fore and aft isn't so easy.

    I had a fuel leak on a n-14 and limped it into a stop after the engine shut down in a headwind, made it around the corner off 20 and onto 150 at Independence, IA, and the wind caught it and blew the rig to the fuel island, where I braked and parked and fueled up. It took 217 gallons(same size tanks on that one). Should have bought a lotto ticket.

    I've gotten more than that into this one, which has a warning light come on at where it would take 190 to fill.

    To the OP, you need to figure a little better and throw in some fuel somewhere quick and go and make that delivery.
  9. casc1

    casc1 Light Load Member

    Nov 22, 2011
    In winter start thinking about it at 1/2 tank, summer you can let it go lower but fuel by 1/4.
  10. Grumppy

    Grumppy Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member

    Dec 11, 2010
    West Monroe, La
    Fortunately, I have never run out of fuel. With a 2007 & 2015 Frieghtliner, both having (2) 120 gal tanks, the most I have ever put in was about 160 gallons. That was less than 1/4 but more that 1/8. The low fuel light wasn't on yet. I usually try not to run with much less than 1/4 tank or fuel.

    I know what your asking & I didnt specifically answer your question but, hopefully the general info I gave will help.
  11. Pool6710

    Pool6710 Medium Load Member

    Aug 10, 2014
    I fuel before 1/4 tank always!
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