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Diesel or Gas

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by SnowLane, Feb 11, 2003.

  1. SnowLane

    SnowLane Senior Member
    Messages: 125

    I was wondering why so many of you use Diesel over Gas engine when plowing. I can understand the use of a Diesel while towing especially in the mountains but I have never had a problem using a gas engine while plowing. I have plenty of pushing power for stacking and hilly drive ways and I seem to spin before I can't push snow anymore. Since I do not do any towing I would not spend the extra $5,000 or more for a Diesel engine that will outlive the rest of the truck.
  2. fordman

    fordman Senior Member
    Messages: 327

    I'm guessing by your post that you have never owned a diesel. I noticed that most of the time when people buy a diesel they hardly ever go back to gasser. I know most gassers have plenty of power for plowing however I think diesels are more suited for plowing because they do it with so much more ease then a gasser. If your buying a truck just for plowing then a diesel is more of a luxury then anything, however if you also tow a trailer like I do then the diesel is worth ever penny. A diesel may cost more up front but like other members have said they pay for themselves in no time between the better fuel mileage, more power and a better re-sale value if you ever want to sell it. My decision was really a no brainer for me.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2003
  3. CPSS

    CPSS Senior Member
    Messages: 334

    Diesel sems to work a lot easier when plowing. We have 3 Ford Powerstroke diesels and one Ford gasser. The diesels have much better fuel economy, longer engine life, less maintainance, very good resale value. Check out the used vehicle prices online, the exact same truck with the diesel is almost always worth 3-4 thousand more. I agree that once you go diesel, you'll never go back to gas.
  4. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    One other benefit to a diesel is traction.They don't spin the wheels quite as easily,and if they do the don't take off and spin up like a gasser does.The larger rotating mass of a diesel equals more tractable power to the ground.They also make TONS of low end power,so you don't need to keep your foot into,or rev the snot out of it.

    Plus all the other benefits mentioned above by others.
  5. Craftybigdog

    Craftybigdog Senior Member
    Messages: 238

    Yeah there is no comparison, diesels are awesome Ill never own a gasser again even my lawnmower is a diesel. Here is a way to look at it lets say you are plowing, a gasser puts out all its torque at 4800 rpms and a diesel develops all of its torque at 1400-1600 rpms so plowing and stuff like that you cant beat it. Just something to consider!
  6. menchhofer

    menchhofer Junior Member
    from IN
    Messages: 26

    Remember also diesel is 2-3 times more expensive with regards to parts and service.

    Still, they are the best way to go if you need the extra torque. If you feel as if gas engine is suitable to your needs, why switch?
  7. baddboygeorge

    baddboygeorge Senior Member
    Messages: 237

    2-3 times more expensive!!

    that mite be true when they break ,when is that i have a diesel with 338,000 an i have never did a thing to it except change the oil an fuel filter every 5,000 .diesels pay for them selves in the long run ,you would be lucky to put 150k on a gas motor .all my trucks are diesels an i would never go back to a gasser, ever!!
  8. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    Snowlane,in your case gas may be better.Diesels have come a long way i nthe last 5-8 yrs or so.They are no longer slugs,and most of their quirks have been improved(hard starting),(black smoke,stinky operation,etc...... I bought a deisel becasue of man yreasons,first off i wanted more power than a gas enigne could deliver,this level pf power is easy to get with a strong diesel.2nd I love the noise,sound and feel of the I6 diesels,cant get that in a gasser.3rd I do not plan to keep my truck forever,but I know that when i decide to sell it,I will get most of my initial investemnt back,maybe even more than most of it.My Dodge is worth 4000-6000 more with a Cummins than if it had a V8 or V10.SO that up front money,while is $,your going to get it back.
  9. Pelican

    Pelican 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,075

    The throttle response on a diesel is a lot smoother than a gas engine, which helps with traction. You can sneak up on that "break traction" point easier. I'm able to walk the truck out of situations with the diesel that I'd be shoveling with gas.
  10. SnowLane

    SnowLane Senior Member
    Messages: 125

    Thank you all for your views. I now can understand why a Diesel would be good. But I will probably stick with gas for a while until I hit the lottery!!! Or I blow up my gas engine.
  11. NoStockBikes!!

    NoStockBikes!! Senior Member
    Messages: 215

    Another bonus of plowing with diesel: you don't wave to worry about the whole blade blocking the airflow thing, since we cover our grills below 32 degrees anyways...
  12. slplow

    slplow PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 594

    The only real thing I can see fault with diesels is. With all their torq they are much harder on auto trannys than a gas from going back and forth. I went through 5 trannys in my 85 chevy and a friend of mine had eight trannys go on his 88 f350.
  13. Chief Plow

    Chief Plow Senior Member
    Messages: 201

    I wish I could afford a diesel. There are many benefits, and only a few concerns. The price is a little steep, but well worth it in my opinion.

  14. nsmilligan

    nsmilligan PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 704

    I'm one those guys that owned a diesel a 94 GM turbo, and when back to gas, big gas a 454 GM in 98 and now a V10 Dodge, the Diesel was a little bit better on fuel, but not enough to justify the additional cost, and the big blocks push every bit as good, but my truck is a plow truck only, and time kills it, not miles. The GM was not as noisy as the Dodge ( the new Dodge is even quieter), but neither can match the smoothness of the V10. Here Diesel fuel is now about 5% more then regular unleaded, so there's even less advantage.

  15. seville009

    seville009 Senior Member
    from CNY
    Messages: 694

    Do any of you diesel owners have problems finding fuel?

    I ask because while there're gas stations all over, it can be
    difficult to find a diesel pump, especially if you're not in an
    urban area.

    Where I am, it can easily be a 20 mile drive from general suburbia to the nearest diesel pump, and that's not even a 24 hour station.

    What if you're in an area that you're not familiar with, and need to refuel?

    I guess you can always fill up five gallon cans as spares, or even get your own diesel tank (50 or 100 gal) at your house or business.

    My point is, I think, does using diesel add a "hassle" factor to owning one?

    That's really the only reason I would hesitate to buy a diesel; the worry about not being able to find a pump.
  16. fordman

    fordman Senior Member
    Messages: 327

    I never really noticed any extra "hassle" to owning a diesel. I never had a problem finding a pump either. However where I'm moving to in March doesn't have a pump, gas or diesel for atlest 20 minutes from the house.
  17. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    I find a one ton diesel to have much better performance overall, for the reasons mentioned. However, there is one area where I have a big problem with a diesel - stacking. Because of the weight of the engine and bigger plow combined, I have several times had the front tires sink into the snow when I would push into a pile. This is on piles that the ½ ton gasser would climb right up. This puts the moldboard into the snow, making it impossible to back out. Sometimes, I’ve been able to "rock" the truck and angle back and forth enough to get out. Other times…. Now I just don’t use the diesel for areas where I’ll have to pile. For roads, no comparison.
  18. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    Finding a pump isnt a problem here,and with living less than 5 mi from an interstate,there is truck stop open 24/7/365.10 yrs ago it was hard to find diesel if you dodnt want to go to the truck stop,now its at every other station. Most diesels get 450-600 miles on a tank of fuel anyway in driivng and even plwoing I can plow an enitire storm with the Cummins,and still have fuel.With my gassers,I need to refuel at least once.
  19. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    Mick,I never even thought about the stacking issues,maybe its the tires,but my Dodge/Cumins stacks much higher than my GMC gasser.The piles from the 9'2" Boss look like a loader stacked it I can make them so high.The truck runs right up the piles.I do have 285 tires that are fairly wide though.Power on the road,there is no comparison,the newer turbodiesels accerlate,and hold speed on hills effortlessly,My truck with the 4.10 grs is a pulling fool.It can pull a lot more than the chassis can safely handle.
  20. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    Never had a problem stacking either with the diesels.They will all get stuck in a pile sometimes.Again I notice the diesel will get out of it much easier than a gasser due to the smooth delivery of power.

    As far as fuel,it's real easy to add extra or aux tanks for added capacity.I have a 34 gal main tank,a 31 gal aux aft axle tank and a 90 gal in bed tank I drop in when needed.Gives me a fuel capacity if 155 Gals,and a range of just over 3000 miles.It's nice to fill em all up when fuel is cheap.