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What Semi-Truck Has The Most Torque? (And Why It Matters)

We have pulled out all the stops for you to find out what Semi Truck has the Most Torque along with other great questions.

With a thorough investigation of the Top Ten models available on the market today you will be shocked at the awesome power of these beasts.

Here is the Semi-Truck with the Most Torque:

The Volvo Iron Knight semi truck has the most torque of 6000 Nm (4425 lb-ft), however, it is not road legal and was only built for performance purposes. The Volvo FH16 750 semi truck is the most powerful commercial truck with a torque of 3550 Nm (2618 lb-ft) and is used for heavy-duty hauling.

What is Torque in a Semi-Truck?

In layman terms the larger the vehicle the more Torque is needed to pull its heavy body and possibly its load.

The torque in a Semi-Truck provides a simple measurement of maximum twist force when the engine is working harder.

Torque is the force of rotation produced by the engine’s crankshaft and more torque equals better performance, it is the capacity to do work and it is the tendency to turn or twist or to stop an object spinning.

In a Semi-Trucks engine, there is no difference in how this torque works in comparison to a car it only differs in size and power, but not its inner workings.

A Semi-Truck for example will have an engine around 6 times larger than a car and have around 10 times more torque due to its size and the work it needs to carry out.

How Does the Torque in a Semi-Truck Affect its Performance?

Torque in a Semi-Truck is what gets the vehicle moving from a stopped position and pulls it up steep hills.

When the Truck struggles it’s the torque that takes the load and says “come on, you can do it”.

It’s also what is used when the Truck is hauling a heavy load. The higher the torque the faster the engine rotates which will, in turn, get you up that steep hill easier. It’s also more fuel-efficient.

Torque plays a major role in making the truck driver’s life a whole lot easier making the truck continue up those tough climbs with those heavy loads with a minimum of effort.

Lower torque gives the truck more engine power in lower gears meaning the truck will strain less at lower speeds and when hauling a heavy load giving you a much more relaxed drive.

Higher torque pulls the truck along quicker which helps when you consider the load you’re hauling will be fighting against you.

How Much Torque does a Semi-Truck Have?

On average between one to two thousand Nm however there are trucks that exceed this limit but it really is unnecessary.

Most Semi-Trucks cruise at around 1500 rpm with around 8 mpg, depending on the driver and road conditions.

This is quite sufficient and will increase the lifespan of your engine by less wear which in turn seriously reduces your vehicle breaking down.

Years ago manual trucks were tricky and required more of an effort to drive with 18 gears.

The torque was pretty much left to the driver to decide which gear was best to start in or drop-down or go up to match the speed the vehicle was traveling.

But times have changed and now with an automatic 12-speed transmission, these trucks can change gear effortlessly all on their own.

They do this by using data coming from the load sensors in the rear of the truck which determines how much weight is on your 5th wheel.

Based on that data the transmission will select the appropriate gear for the load, the road and helps the engine to perform to its optimum potential.

Now the torque works for you or (on its own) instead of you having to match what it needs, it now matches what you need.

How much Torque is Good for a Semi-Truck?

Too much torque can cause technical issues and result in loose nuts and cause bolts to break or crack.

It is recommended that the 1 – 2 thousand Nm is neither lowered nor exceeded in any way as this will most likely affect the vehicle’s fuel consumption.

And will also affect its performance as torque is a crucial engine power generator and represents the load the engine can handle under pressure to produce rotation at the axis.

The recommended torque for trucks comes from years of tried and tested methods and has been proven to be more beneficial in terms of fuel and increasing the truck’s resistance to its load.

Which Semi-Trucks have the Most Torque?

Volvo’s Iron Knight has a torque of about 6000Nm. It has four turbochargers and a modified D13 unit with water-cooled intercoolers that utilize turbo compounding technology to deliver plenty of power with less fuel.

This 13 litre Volvo does 0 – 100 km/h in 4.6 seconds is actually not road legal and was only built for the purpose of performance.

Unfortunately, it does not have the most torque in terms of what a truck driver can legally purchase and drive and ultimately use as a working truck.

So let’s look at the working, and not the racing trucks...

Below in no particular order is a list of Ten Trucks and their Torques.

  • Mercedes Actros – 3000 Nm.
  • Scania R 730 – 3500 Nm.
  • Kenworth W990 – 1850 Nm.
  • freightliner Cascadia Evolution – 1650 Nm.
  • Volvo VNL 860 – 1850 Nm.
  • Peterbilt 389 – 2050 Nm.
  • International Lonestar – 1800 Nm.
  • Freightliner 122SD – 2050 Nm.
  • Volvo FH16 750 – 3550 Nm.
  • Scania R 580 – 2950 Nm.

The list above proves that most truck manufacturers will try and stick within the recommended torque range to increase fuel and performance efficiency, therefore, increasing sales.

Which Semi-Truck engines, Diesel or Gasoline have a Higher Torque?

Diesel engines have longer strokes which produce more torque than the less commonly used gasoline engines.

Torque is simply a force applied at a distance the longer the strokes the more the torque.

The higher torque on the diesel engine is due to their combustion chambers as the compressed fuel heats up and pushes the truck forward at a greater speed than gasoline engines.

The pistons gain more leverage from the longer strokes and producing more pressure through the cylinders creating higher torque and the force transfers to the wheel.

How can you Increase the Torque of your Semi-Truck?

The cleanest and easiest way is to get an engine tune-up which can increase the torque by another 2 maybe 300 ft-Ibs and the list goes on with bigger injectors a high flow cool air intake system.

A larger throttle body will increase airflow. They work by sucking in the oxygen from the ambient air as you drive along.

The bigger the throttle the more air, the more the air intake, the slightly more torque.

By doing the above and increasing airflow, it will need somewhere to go just as fast as it came in this will start with an upgrade to the manifolds.

This will lead to an upgrade of the catalytic converter.

But really doing all this will increase your fuel consumption not to mention add more weight to the truck and possibly mess with the aerodynamics.

If that’s what you’re after then go ahead but this will lead to an eventual breakdown with more stresses and strain on the engine.

Also, suspension upgrades are expensive, going into the tens of thousands.

Be sure to think about the emission laws.

Is it better for a Semi-Truck to have More Torque or Horsepower?

If we’re talking about towing a trailer then torque will be more important as it makes easy work of the load from a stopped position.

For any grades in the road, then horsepower takes over to keep the truck going at a higher speed.

Both are equally important and pulling 80,000 lbs is no joke so the truck manufacturing industry went all in when they built these beautiful babies.

When it comes to the muscle behind them torque and horsepower can not live apart you can not have one without the other.

So on answering this question the answer would be a question to you, what is more, important to you?

Should you buy a Semi-Truck with more Torque or more Horsepower?

Considering the line of work you’ll be in it is better to buy a semi truck with more torque as you’ll need to work that engine a lot and not at great speeds, so horsepower is going to be less Important.

That’s not to say it isn’t important because it is, but when you think about what you have bought the truck for torque will be the reigning champ.

What is the Most Powerful Semi-Truck?

Ranking in at number one is the Volvo FH16 750 with 700 horsepower and surprisingly is still fuel-efficient and meets all the emission regulations.

This magnificent machine can tow loads of up to 325 tons that’s 8 times more than any other semi truck.

The D16 engine comes at 550, 650 or 750 hp with an impressive torque of up to 3550 Nm. It has a 12-speed splitter and range gearbox with an automated gear-changing system otherwise known as I-Shift.

I-Shift can be fitted with a compact retarder, power take-off, emergency power steering pump, and oil cooler.