When deciding on which type of truck to use in your business, it’s important to know how your equipment stacks up against the alternative. Here are five points that might help you see the differences between diesel and gasoline trucks, and help you make cost-effective choices for your business.
Power. The first obvious benefit is that diesel engines have more torque at low revolutions per minute. When hauling heavy loads for long distances, getting that load moving from a full stop requires a lot of energy. As noted by Motor Trend Magazine: “Because of the relatively high compression ratio necessary to ignite the diesel fuel (17:1 diesel versus 9:1 gas), a diesel makes all its torque and power low in the rev range.” This makes a diesel truck much more efficient in transporting your cargo.
That high compression ratio leads to benefit number two: fuel efficiency. According to the National Academy of Sciences, Energy, and Medicine: “On a volume basis, diesel has a higher energy content, called heat of combustion, and higher carbon content than gasoline; thus, on a per gallon basis diesel produces almost 15 percent more [energy].” This can help offset differences in cost at the pump when added to the power gains listed above and to the third benefit on our list, which is:
Better fuel economy. A diesel engine can be 25 to 35 percent more fuel efficient than a gasoline engine of comparable size. This is due to the higher energy density and thermal efficiency of diesel fuel, as well as to the fact that diesel engines work at lower RPMs than gasoline engines. This in turn leads to our fourth benefit.
Due both to the efficiency of the fuel and the tougher construction of the engine itself, diesel engines are more reliable than comparable gasoline engines. The engine parts that handle fuel combustion are made stronger than those of gas engines to handle higher compression requirements. This makes breakdowns less frequent. In turn, this helps keep schedules, saves money on labor costs and reimbursements due to stranded drivers and repair delays, helps assure deliveries are completed promptly, and generally removes complications both for truck owners and renters.
The Environmental Side
The final perk provided by diesel trucks is safety. Diesel fuel is combustible at a much higher temperature, and thus far less volatile, than gasoline. The engines don’t ignite the fuel by sparking it, but by compressing the fuel until it ignites. Stored fuel is less of a safety hazard, and trucks using this fuel are safer in the event of an accident, even an accident that results in some fuel spillage. This means that nearby vehicles and facilities where trucks are parked are at a lower risk of collateral damage.
In addition, diesel fuel does not need toxic additives to prevent engine knock, since diesel engines do not use a spark plug system to ignite the fuel. Many gasoline-fueled trucks of comparable capabilities can require 100 octane fuel, and much of this fuel is still using a lead additive. Modern diesel engines also require DEF (diesel exhaust fluid), which removes nitrous oxide from the exhaust stream of the truck. The truck itself doesn’t mechanically require the DEF, but modern trucks are equipped with a regulator switch which requires that the DEF system is filled before the truck can be operated, ensuring that emissions are controlled. This means diesel trucks are much less environmentally harmful than gasoline-fueled trucks on a relative basis.
We hope that this list of advantages helps in your decision-making process. If you need help with your fleet growth or vehicle acquisitions let Efficiency do the heavy lifting for you! Contact us today.