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Diesel or Gas for a new plow truck?

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by bignatewilson, May 22, 2008.

  1. bignatewilson

    bignatewilson Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    I've never owned a Diesel, but when I go to buy a truck I was thinking of going that way.
    In looking at new trucks at the dealer, why is it that most of the 2500HD gassers have the plow prep package installed on the truck and I can't find a Diesel that has one?
    Are Gas trucks better for plowing over a Diesel? or is it just more common to buy the cheaper Gas truck so that's why they put the plow prep package on them at the dealer?
    is there any reason why I wouldn't want a Diesel to plow with?
    I would be plowing very small parking lots, like 15-30 cars per lot in the city.
    what are the pros and cons of Gas and Diesel?
    All input/opinions are appreciated.
  2. fastlx

    fastlx Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    Gas. I would rather not smell the fumes while backing up. Don't know if that's the case, but I would expect that. plus they sure cost more all across the board..just my opinion..
  3. ABES

    ABES PlowSite.com Addict
    from MN
    Messages: 1,322

    Diesels are awesome IF you can afford them. Lets face it there more expensive to maintain more expensive to fuel more expensive to buy etc. I really love plowing with a diesel its night and day compared to a gas rig, but they are a bigger expense than a gas truck.
  4. merrimacmill

    merrimacmill PlowSite.com Addict
    from MA
    Messages: 1,822

    That pretty much sums it up. They're good, but they're expensive all around. Now I know someone will chime in and say but they get better fuel milage and all that, but to me, they're still just more expensive.

    I have both, and I will admit I like using the diesel A LOT better. But I like the gas A LOT better when I'm writing checks for it. (gas, inital purchase price, repairs, etc)

    Just ask yourself, "does the end justify the means?" If you think you REALLY need the power to tow, and plow that a diesel will give you, then go for it. But either way, unless your towing some monster trailer, you'll be fine with gas.

    Of course another thing that should be taken into consideration, which is something I'm not to up to date on, is BIO-Diesel. If you want the hassle, it may be a significant savings...
    Last edited: May 22, 2008
  5. Quality SR

    Quality SR PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,828

    I say diesel. The power and torque in these engines are unbelievable.
    The maintenance on diesels is less then gas.
    You get better MPG's with them too. When plowing or towing you will get less miles but still better then gas.

    The diesel is heavier then a gas motor
    Everything seems to me more expensive. This goes with maintenance and Mods. (I.e diesel truck 10 quarts of oil gas 5. etc.)
    Add 8-$10,000 on a new truck for a diesel.
    I also agree with Merrimac it is all according to what you need. Like Merrimac said about BIO. It is a little bit of a hassle, costly unit you have to buy to make it. Hard to find places that sell BIO in bulk. And soon enough that will be going up in price too. You can get away with using any type of truck gas or diesel to plow and tow with. But if I had to do it all over again I would still go Diesel.
    Last edited: May 24, 2008
  6. Indy

    Indy Senior Member
    Messages: 704

    Great input guy!! I am thinking along these same lines also. How bout the life ex of a diesel VS gas??? Doesn't diesel have superpowers in that categories
  7. plowman4life

    plowman4life Senior Member
    Messages: 557

    diesel is going to be bigger in almost every aspect.
    - msrp price
    - fueling cost
    - repair cost
    - maintence cost
    - upgrades cost
    - more power
    - better fuel mileage
    - lasts longer
    the only thing a diesel has going for it that isnt higher than a gasser is the tempature that it runs at.

    its all up to you what you want to do. i would say get a gasser. it will plow no problem. it will tow. it may struggle a little with heavy machines and stuff and it may be worse on gas but in the end it will be worth it.

    i mean i have a diesel and a gas. a duramax and a 454. and i drive that gasser more than the diesel. the only time i drive the diesel is when im towing and even then i use the gasser for most of the towing. the only thing ill tow with the diesel is the mini excavator. and the gasser can handle that too. never really has a problem.
  8. Quality SR

    Quality SR PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,828

    There are alot of diesels with high mileage. I know a guy that has a 1999 F350 PS with 220,000 miles on it. But anything will last if it is taken care of. I left one thing out also, the diesel trucks have a better resale value.
  9. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    Would this be a dedicated plow only truck? Or would you have other uses for it year round?
  10. bignatewilson

    bignatewilson Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    for me, it would be used year round. probably 25-30k miles a year. I'm thinking for me a Gasser would be best from the looks of it. I don't do any towing to speak of, and the plowing I'll be doing is small parking lots, so the torque factor isn't going to make that big of a difference.
  11. J&R Landscaping

    J&R Landscaping PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,202

    The diesel truck should outlive any gas truck. Diesel engines aren't usually broken in till 75-100k miles. You can sell them with 150-200k and still have some resale value in the truck if it has been maintained.
  12. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    If your plan includes accumulating 25-30K miles a year on this truck, you'd actually be a good candidate for a diesel if you intend on keeping the truck for a lengthy period time, since you'll recover more of the initial cost of the diesel option during that kind of mileage than most guys would who buy a diesel simply for short trip hauling/towing.

    Plus the truck would be worth more after it's paid off if it's a diesel with the kind of miles your projecting it will have on it in 4 or 5 years.
  13. T-MAN

    T-MAN PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,363

    Not with the price of fuel versus's gas prices now. The effieciency of a new diesel over a gas truck on the open road is allmost a mute point now as well. The new Ford 6.4's are using as much fuel (or more then) as a gas truck now.
    Its a NO BRAINER if your not towing anything. Diesel is a 7K option right out of the gate. Unless you plan to run that truck into the ground, you WILL NOT recover your upfront costs in a diesel pickup truck period.
    The GM and Ford Diesel products will not run into the 300,000 range on a regular basis. If they tow heavy 200,000 is a sight most wont see either. A long block is 8k plus for a diesel pickup as well.
    Diesel pickups are awesome to play with, tow and plow with. If your a Bean counter no diesel pickup will Save you any money over a 5 year depreciation with todays fuel prices.
    I wont be surprised to see Diesel pickups a thing of the past, soon.....
  14. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    Not sure where the 6.4 Ford came into the comparison as its a comparison between the D-max and a 6.0 gas...

    The Dmax will get better mileage during the period of ownership than the 6.0 on the open road even with the additional cost of diesel fuel. Enough to cover the original purchase price difference between the two? Not likey....Since with the current price difference between fuel and gas, and the difference in mileage you'd still need over 500,000 miles to recover the full purchase difference between the two. Although he didn't ask specifically about trying to recover the purchase difference anyway.

    And thats not what I said in my first post, I said recover MORE of the initial cost....as in reference to many people who purchase them thinking they're going to save money with a diesel, but only drive them to the grocery store twice a week or plow snow with them 10 times a year.

    Which was the entire reason I asked about the intended usage before adding a comment.
  15. Philbilly2

    Philbilly2 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,126

    I happen to love the smell when I am backing up, really gets my motor running :dizzy:
  16. T-MAN

    T-MAN PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,363

    Sorry there BB, I did not notice any reference to a Duramax or 6.0. 2500hd is a Dodge product as well. The hemi now has the 4 cylinder cut out for open road cruising.
    As to the reference of the 6.4, I was referring to deteriorating fuel mileage by all the diesel trucks now with 08 emissions. Ford wins that category with there latest entry, but all the trucks are seeing significantly lower mileage with the 08 emissions.
    The smell wont bother you either, as the tail pipes on the new diesels are completely soot free. There is zero black smoke now on acceleration.
  17. T-MAN

    T-MAN PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,363

    Not likely with diesel consistently 20% higher. Just did a lil reading on the diesel page. The 08 Duramax trucks are seeing around 13-14 city mileage. 17 tops on the highway. trailering there under 10. Many are seeing far worse mileage.
    Theres always an exception to the rule, but go with "average" when guys are talking MPG's. I hear of 20 mpg diesel trucks all the time, most dont hand calculate. When road tripping they need fuel before my 18 mpg highway truck does :confused:
    Not trying to start a brand war here, just giving a lil insight to the "Myths" of the High mileage diesel trucks. The early 2000 trucks were sweet, anything after 04 the mileage slowly got worse. Again theres always exceptions, just dont plan financially on your new truck being an exception. :)
  18. Mike S

    Mike S PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,588

    Not to change the subject but with the mpg not so good on the dmax diesel the new 6.0 gas doesnt sound so bad. GM offers the fuel saving mode also which sounds good too. 3500 hd dump 4x4 gas or diesel? Which one would you get?
  19. rfed32

    rfed32 Senior Member
    Messages: 473


    i plowed with both and talked to ppl that have plowed with both...the diesel is stronger...deff more power in the snow...next bigger truck i buy deff diesel when its 3/4 to 1 ton

    but they dont put the prep pack on the diesel trucks b.c they think the weight of the diesel motor is enough weight on the front end u dont need to hang a plow from it....but i would spend the extra money and get the diesel and hang a nice old western plow from the front of that chevy....what i would do
  20. Indy

    Indy Senior Member
    Messages: 704

    Not trying to hijack this but I am looking at it as a daily drive/plow/utility puller.