Things To Know Before Buying A Fuel Tank For Your Peterbilt

Posted on March 25th 2014

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You bought a Peterbilt because quality and strength matter to you. You take pride in your truck and you want it to keep its original factory style and appeal. Only durable components that meet or exceed the original manufacturer’s specifications will do. Some people believe all fuel tanks are the same. Not true. Like anything else – when you don’t know what to look for you’ll make your decision on price alone. You may waste money on lesser quality products that will cost time and frustration. This guide will help you learn what to look for to ensure you get replacement tanks you can be proud of without a hefty price tag, regardless of who the manufacturer is.


1. Insist On A Fit Guarantee


We’ve done our research and spoken with hundreds of owner/ operators and fleet maintenance techs. They tell us that one of the most important things about buying a replacement fuel tank is the fit. If it’s a nightmare just to get the unit installed it can cost a lot of time and money and further extend your down time. There’s a bit more to it than just hanging a can on the frame. The ports need to line up, the cap has to be in the right place and the straps need to fit. To make sure that your supplier is committed to sending you a fuel tank that will fit without question, insist on a fit guarantee. If it doesn’t fit they should refund your money and pay for return shipping. Don’t accept anything less.  


2. Material Thickness Matters


Material cost is a big part of the overall cost of the fuel tank so it’s one of the first places manufacturers could go to cut corners without you even knowing. We are proud to say that the wrap on our tanks is 25% thicker than the OEM tanks Peterbilt uses.


3. Specify The Coating


Road salt and salt from the sea air in coastal areas is one of the biggest enemies of metal fuel tanks. Fortunately, most Peterbilt tanks are made of aluminum. If you’re replacing steel tanks, ask the manufacturer what kind of coating they use to protect their tanks. Insist on rust resistant enamel paint or powder coat to inhibit rust caused by salt.


4. Ask About Weld Types


Another factor affecting the life of your new tank is something most people simply take for granted and completely overlook.  That is the type of weld used on the flanges. Much of the vibration and stress transfers to the welds along the flanges. The trouble is; it takes a lot of wear and tear before it shows up as a problem – probably long after the warranty expires. From a distance all welds look pretty much the same but TIG welds are much stronger than MIG welds on aluminum. 



 5. Insist on Domed Heads


One of the striking characteristics of Peterbilt fuel tanks is the domed heads on the ends of the tanks. Any manufacturer can produce flat heads for fuel tanks but we went to great lengths to provide you heads that match the domed look, quality material and workmanship of your original Peterbilt fuel tank. 


6. Specify A Pressure Tested Tank


Ask the manufacturer if they do leak testing on their tanks. They are likely to tell you that they do. Now ask if they use SPC (statistical process checking) or 100% leak testing at 5 psi. Don’t take the risk and accept SPC. Statistical process checking means they take a few random samples and pressure test them. It’s a bit like Russian roulette. Do you want to take the risk of receiving the tank with a pinhole because yours wasn’t pressure tested? We believe manufacturers should do more than talk about quality and testing every tank is the only way to ensure quality.


7. Replace Dual Tanks Together


Here’s a tip that could save you some frustration down the road. If you have dual tanks you should consider replacing them both at the same time. Chances are good that the other one is near the end of its life too. Otherwise its going to be like déjà vu all over again. As a bonus you’ll save on freight charges. The cost of shipping two tanks is often the same or only slightly more than shipping one.


8. How Does It Look?


We believe no matter what kind of tank you buy it should look great when you get it – no paint drips, no scratches, dents or scrapes. The guys that build it and package it should be proud of their work and you should expect nothing less than 100% satisfaction that even extends to the look of the tank.


9. You Deserve Choices


If you have room for a tank 10 inches longer, why not get a larger tank to cut down on refueling stops? Do you want your port placement or fuel cap in a specific place? Just ask – it should cost no more. Your supplier should offer options like locking fuel caps, fuel heaters, visual gauges and sending units. These are all choices we offer our Peterbilt customers.


10. Get Shipping Confirmation


Finally, you should get your tank when the supplier said you will receive it. Although your supplier can’t control what happens when it leaves his dock, you should ask them to send you a confirmation of shipping and a tracking number. This will give you an independent report of the day it was picked up and where it is along the way so you can track the delivery progress.


We hope you found this guide helpful. You can clearly see that we have a strong commitment to providing fuel tanks for your Peterbilt that bear a striking resemblance to the originals. If you have any questions or comments about our products please visit our website at



Propower Manufacturing Inc.

Phone (877) 741-2365

Dealer Inquiries (519) 737-1197

5160 O'Neil Dr., Oldcastle, Ontario N0R 1L0

© 2011 Propower Mfg. Inc. 14300 Henn Rd., Dearborn, Michigan, USA 48126 (877) 741-2365