How Much Horsepower Does A Semi Truck Have?

How Much Horsepower Does A Semi Truck Have?

Last updated on March 20th, 2023 at 12:49 pm

Semi-trucks or 18-wheelers can be seen all over the world carrying goods and various forms of freight to warehouses and stores.

A semi-truck refers to the combination of a truck or tractor and a semi-trailer being pulled by the truck. There can be one or more trailers being pulled by the truck at the same time. The truck can either be a day cab or a sleeper cab depending on if it has extra space for the driver to sleep.

Semi-trucks are equipped with powerful engines capable of pulling very heavy loads.

This article will show you how much horsepower a semi-truck has along with some examples.

semi truck with engine hood open

Semi-truck horsepower

The horsepower produced by a semi-truck will vary based on the truck make and model, engine type, size, and other factors. But on average, a semi-truck has between 375 and 600 horsepower. Not all trucks are made the same and therefore can vary in horsepower.

An engine that can produce up to 600 horsepower is necessary as a semi-truck trailer can be loaded with up to 80,000 pounds.

What does horsepower mean?

When people talk about a vehicle’s engine, a common question will be how much horsepower does it have?

Horsepower is a unit of measurement of power or the rate at which work is done. This usually refers to the output of an engine on a vehicle.

The higher the horsepower number is means the engine is more powerful compared to an engine with a lower horsepower number.

The horsepower of a semi-truck can be up to 6 times more than a passenger vehicle.

semi truck engine components

List of trucks and horsepower

The following is a list of common semi-trucks with their horsepower rating.

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2022 Kenworth W900

The new 2022 Kenworth W900 semi-truck is available with a 12.9L PACCAR MX-13 engine which produces up to 510 HP and 1850 lb-ft of torque.

2022 Kenworth T680

The 2022 Kenworth T680 semi-truck uses a 10.8 L PACCAR MX-11 engine which produces up to 445 HP and 1700 lb-ft of torque.

2022 Volvo VNL 760

The new Volvo VNL 760 semi-truck uses a 13L Volvo D13TC engine which produces up to 500 HP and 1850 lb-ft of torque.

2022 Freightliner Cascadia

The 2022 Freightliner Cascadia semi-truck uses a 14.8 L DD15 Gen 5 engine and produces up to 505 HP and 1850 lb-ft of torque.

2022 International LT 625

The 2022 International LT 625 semi-truck uses a 14.9 L Cummins X15 engine and produces 450 HP and 1650 lb-ft of torque.

2022 Mack Anthem

The 2022 Mack Anthem semi-truck uses a 13 L MP8 engine that produces 505 HP and 1860 lb-ft of torque.

2022 Kenworth W90012.9L PACCAR MX-135101850
2022 Kenworth T68010.8 L PACCAR MX-114451700
2022 Volvo VNL 76013L Volvo D13TC 5001850
2022 Freightliner Cascadia14.8 L DD15 Gen 55051850
2022 International LT 62514.9 L Cummins X154501650
2022 Mack Anthem13 L MP85051860

red semi truck driving in winter conditions

What type of engines do 18-wheelers have?

Semi-trucks or 18-wheelers have diesel engines. The advantage of diesel engines compared to gasoline engines is diesel engines will produce more horsepower (hauling power) and torque allowing the trucks to pull heavy weight.

The average diesel engine used in most semi-trucks has 6 cylinders, weighs around 3000 pounds, produces up to 600 Horsepower, and has 1850 lb-ft of torque.

The engines used in a semi-truck not only need to be powerful but they are made to be very reliable and have the ability to put on a lot of miles.

The average semi-truck will drive around 100,000 miles every year and will drive around 750,000 – 1,000,000 miles in its lifetime.

The amount of freight moved by semi-trucks every year is staggering. According to, 10.23 billion tons of freight was moved by semi-trucks in the USA in 2020.

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