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While not all that common today, pickup trucks of the past could be regularly found with two separate gas tanks. If you are familiar with old Ford trucks, that is likely something that you already knew. Before the majority of pickups switched to a single tank, two gas tanks helped with doing legitimate truck stuff. So, why exactly did trucks used to have this feature, and which trucks can you buy with two gas tanks?

Why do trucks have two gas tanks?

In the past, Ford and other manufacturers utilized a dual gas tank system out of necessity. When it comes to towing, your pickup truck is going to use more fuel. Two gas tanks mean continuous power, and that engines could function better under load. Typically these systems are found in old Ford F-250 and Ford F-350 models. 

But perhaps the biggest reason for a truck to have two separate gas tanks is that they are easier to install. Finding room for one large tank calls for some serious engineering. So, why not make things easier? Plus, with two tanks, you know that there is a reserve supply of fuel. And when trucks used to be extremely inefficient, that was nearly a necessity. 

Which new trucks have two gas tanks?

Dual gas tanks are a rarity these days, but there are some new trucks that do offer this setup. According to GM Authority, you can get a Chevy Silverado HD Chassis Cab and GMC Sierra HD Chassis Cab with two gas tanks. In fact, both of these pickups have three different fuel tank options. Although, it is not like a chassis cab truck is something that the average truck buyer is looking for. 

A heavy-duty truck that features two different fuel tanks sits at a construction site.
GMC Chassis Cab | GMC

The dual gas tanks of these pickup trucks are a carryover from the previous generation. And it means that this diesel truck is one of the last you can buy with the feature. For buyers that need a vehicle that can get some serious work done, that might be something worth considering. 

Are dual tanks useful?

The usefulness of a truck with two fuel tanks is debatable. On the one hand, you can get better weight distribution and have peace of mind with some backup fuel. At the same time, it can make things like spare tire placement a little inconvenient. On top of that, it does add complexity to the fuel system. 

An old Ford truck sits in a parking lot, it might have dual fuel tanks.
Ford Truck | PA Images via Getty Images

When it comes time to fill up, you will have to deal with filling up two different gas tanks if you want your truck to be at full capacity. So, it does make sense why Ford and other brands decided to move to a single fuel tank. 

At the end of the day, though, when brands like Ford do something weird like build trucks with two fuel tanks, it is kind of cool. And if you are lucky enough to own something like an old Ford pickup, it may be a feature that you have come to appreciate. After all, it shows just how old-school the vehicle you are driving actually is.


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