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gas or diesel pros and cons

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by snowsniper1, Dec 3, 2006.

  1. snowsniper1

    snowsniper1 Senior Member
    Messages: 239

    what are the pros and cons
  2. rtm038

    rtm038 Senior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 231

    I've only plowed with diesels, so my response will be pretty one-sided, but here goes.

    Pros of diesel:
    1. Usually come equipped with dual batteries from the factory
    2. Tend to be more "robust" in terms of durability- not to say there aren't any well-built gas engines out there
    3. Slightly more fuel efficient over gas, but it's been my experience that once you put any engine to "work", especially pushing around hundreds of pounds of wet snow, fuel mileage decreases over just driving around.
    4. Some diesels get larger alternators than their gas counterparts
    5. Front axle weight ratings tend to be greater with the diesel option
    6. Many diesels come standard with larger transmission coolers.'
    7. Diesels generate lots of torque which is always nice

    Cons of diesel:
    1. Heavy engine weight (900-1100 pounds with fluids) can sometimes work against you because of the extreme weight difference between the front and rear- especially when you have an 800-1000 pound plow hanging off the front.
    2. Sometimes getting a diesel started in very cold temps can be an issue, but that seems to be a thing of the past with newest generation of diesels

    I'm sure there's a bunch of Pros & Cons I'm missing, but these are the ones I can think of off the top of my head.

  3. SkykingHD

    SkykingHD Senior Member
    Messages: 368

    diesel vs gas

    I have had both sense 1994. I still have diesel and gas rigs. If you have a rig that you need the power a larger diesel engine gives you buy it. If you don't need that big of a truck buy a gas engine.

    When a diesel has a mechanical problem you must find a diesel mechanic. They cost more than a gas engine mechanic. I do not have the tools or equipment to work on a lot of diesel engine problems. The $5,000 cost for the diesel engine you will never make up in fuel savings. The oil changes on diesel take 3 gallons vs 6 qts in gas engines. Diesel filters cost more than gas. The one diesel has a filter on the coolant, that is added cost. Repair parts cost more for the diesel. Not as many fueling stations sell diesel. Diesel is higher in price than gasoline. One drop of diesel will make you stink for 3 hours if you get it on your cloths. That is truck driver cologne! (little humor here)

    Ya sure do feel manly when you have all that diesel noise going on!

    If ya have $5,000 to spend and need the power buy diesel. If ya don't buy gas.
  4. lawn king

    lawn king PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,070

    Diesel all the way, longer engine life, better mileage,less maintenence,way more low end power. We own isuzu,kubota and international diesels, they are all good engines!:salute:
  5. Bruce'sEx

    Bruce'sEx Senior Member
    Messages: 873

    Just to add a couple con points to each

    - Longer to warm up, and oil is really thick cold, so you really need to warm them up
    - Alot louder, if your parking in a resi area, and have to warm the truck up at 3 am, some house near you may not be happy.
    - More power of course (Not a con)
    - Heavier engine, by specs limits plow weight on front, but most times thats not important.
    - Parts / repairs can be and most times are more expensive, and harder to find someone that knows them well. For example we change fuel filter yearly in gas and Diesel, and the Diesel cost about 3 times as much.
    - fuel cost I can only speak of here, but gas goes up and down, Diesel stays about the same, so you always know.
    - And I think you have to get alot of use in the truck to make it worth the extra cost.
    - cold starts can be hard

    - Less power
    - High fuel usage on average I would say
    - Will not last as long on average.
  6. SnowGuy73

    SnowGuy73 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 24,868

    Another con of a diesel is they are generally $6000-$7000 more.
  7. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,382

    If your looking to plow with it as well your limited to the types of plows you can use as a friend of mine just found out. He has a 05 Dodge with a Cummins Turbo and he wanted a 8ft Western in the worst way but the dealer would not even touch it or sell him one. Then he went to our local Fisher dealer where they would sell him one but not install it. He finally ended up going with a Blizzard 8ft From Jerre's our local Blizzard dealer. His truck is a crew cab, long bed and I think that had a lot to do with it as well. We kicked around the diesel but IMO, it wasn't worth the extra 5k. Our 5.4L has plenty of power for what we tow and push, plus with a Super Chip we are getting there will be plenty more power.
  8. Bruce'sEx

    Bruce'sEx Senior Member
    Messages: 873

    Do you haul with the 5.4L?
  9. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,382

    Yes, but nothing huge. We haul a 8.5x16ft enclosed trailer and about another 2500-3000lb worth of equipment, plus a dump insert coming this spring.
  10. LLM Ann Arbor

    LLM Ann Arbor Senior Member
    Messages: 876

    Unless I was towing extreme weight Id never even consider it.

    The only guys I know that have diesels are guys that tow 30 or 40 foot enclosed car haulers, and some of those trucks are top kicks or heavy trucks too.

    But for a pickup or a dually? No thanks.

    To mee it generally screams mid life crisis, or some over compensation for having a small hoo ha or never getting to drive a Big Rig.
  11. SkykingHD

    SkykingHD Senior Member
    Messages: 368

    midlife chrisis

    LLM quote

    "To mee it generally screams mid life crisis, or some over compensation for having a small hoo ha or never getting to drive a Big Rig."

    Is that what I am going through? hehehehe Don't let this midlife crisis stop... I am having to much fun.
  12. LLM Ann Arbor

    LLM Ann Arbor Senior Member
    Messages: 876

    Just dont put pipes on it. I have some dude lives around the block with a Dodge 3500 diesel with some pipes and it sounds horrible and its annoying every time he drives past.

    I notice you didn't choose the small Hoo ha option.


  13. ECS

    ECS Senior Member
    Messages: 485

    When I bought my diesel, the fuel was roughly 40 cents a gallon cheaper, I wanted a diesel anyway, and I had a horse & trailer to pull. The price for my new 2500 diesel was $8k cheaper than any gas engine truck around here. Sure I had to drive 500 miles to get it, but was worth the trip. I paid $k less for my 2500 diesel than a friends mother paid for a 1500 gas. The power they have is exceptional. I have taken my horse & trailer over the pass and have been able to pass the gas engine trucks going over, this is a steep mountain pass of 6 miles up one way and 8 miles up from the other direction. Bottom of the pass is roughly 6200 feet, top of the pass at 8400 feet. It could pass anyone at anytime with my horse trailer, 2 horses, all the tack and gear, my cabover camper on completly full, total combined weight between 7500 & 8000 pounds. After having a diesel in my truck, I doubt I would ever by another gas truck.
  14. dilligafdog

    dilligafdog Member
    Messages: 53

    basicly if you need the power such as towing extreme loads i'd buy a diesel, other wise they are over all more expenseve.:salute:
  15. Antnee77

    Antnee77 PlowSite.com Addict
    from RI
    Messages: 1,056

    That's ridiculous. There are so many different reasons for buying a diesel over a gas. Did you read the rest of the thread?
  16. Snaaar

    Snaaar Member
    Messages: 76

    Diesel Pros:
    - There aren't many sounds sweeter than the whistle of that turbo.
    - Raw pushing and pulling power

    - Smoky and weak when very cold (97 cummins anyway) - 01 duramax not so bad. You can't jump in and take off on a chase with any success.
    - Definitely, as mentioned, the smell of the fuel on your clothes and person (fuel which is usually all over the pump and ground if you go to a service station).
  17. TEX

    TEX Senior Member
    Messages: 606


    i have had 3 gas and 2 diesel trucks. the current and last being diesel and i will not go back to gas, NOT bc diesel is the allmighty and if you dont buy one your stupid. that is not what im saying at all. but its kinda like any hobby etc.... you find something you like and are intrestred in and stay with it. i just love owning a diesel truck and im happy with it.


  18. LLM Ann Arbor

    LLM Ann Arbor Senior Member
    Messages: 876

    Yeah. Low end torque. I have a Dodge 360 motor that would pull the white House down in 4 low.

    eh...Diesel guys are diesel guys for whatever reason and thats fine. Like I said. Im not and wont be unless Im pulling 5000lbs or more around all day or on weekends going to the Drag Strip.
  19. LLM Ann Arbor

    LLM Ann Arbor Senior Member
    Messages: 876

    Exactly. You like diesels cuz you like diesels, and Im behind that 100%, and you said it without saying Gas motors are junk.

    right on.
  20. Elwer

    Elwer Senior Member
    Messages: 135

    Im new at this so lets see how i can do at it.lol
    I would always buy a diesel no matter what. The power behind it towing a loaded down 25 foot gooseneck trailer with a bobcat and 2 pallets of concrete is increadible and plus you can hardly ever stall one.
    just my 2 cents