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what fuel?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Scenic Lawnscape, Oct 10, 2008.

  1. Scenic Lawnscape

    Scenic Lawnscape Senior Member
    Messages: 481

    If you were going to get into plowing, what would go with Diesel or Gas?

    I have always wanted a diesel and it would allow me to tow things if need be, but gas trucks are cheaper?
    So i am looking to see what you guys use or prefer
  2. lilweeds

    lilweeds PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,178

    I prefer diesel, more torque, more snow pushing power!
  3. cretebaby

    cretebaby PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,162

    do the math on the overall usage of the truck not just the plowing

    you really cant justify a deisel with snow alone
  4. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    actually , its kinda based on your useage...

    If you onlt plow with it.... no other driving , and you intend to keep it till it dies.... then the deisel is the way to go... my cummis uses less than half the fuel plowing as my gas truck. with the price of fuel going up... i could justify it pretty quickly

    if your also driving it , as a daily driver , then i think your better off with just a gas motor...
  5. Flipper

    Flipper PlowSite.com Addict
    from CT
    Messages: 1,180

    Torque and power have little to do with plowing. The tire size is the same on a gas and diesel F350 (for example) and traction is what plowing is about. I have said it before, even my 4cyl Toyota will spin tires before it comes close to stalling the engine on a push.

    If you are just plowing and occassionally towing, and aren't planning on keeping the truck a long time then go with a gas motor. Diesels need to be worked and kept to justify the costs. Don't plan on recouping the cost of a diesel on a trade, they have little difference in value now.

    FYI I have two Ford Diesels along with the Toyota.
  6. cretebaby

    cretebaby PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,162

    i would say just about the opposite Elite

    i use a little more than half the fuel in my deisels and the deisel costs more so there isnt a huge savings in fuel there definately is some but it is not huge

    if it a daily driver and putting some miles on then deisel may pay i couldnt recomend a gas HD/SD for a daily driver with the mileage they get
  7. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    i think it just depends on your useage...you almos tneed to sit odwn with a calculator to figure it out....

    i found that if your just driving , not towing , then the diesels only get slightly better economy, considering the higher priced fuel it all works out kinda equal in cost

    if your towing , or plowing , 100% of its life , working the truck , thenit will get almost doubel the ecomnomy , and at that point it becomes worth it...thats why i said if your going to run it till it dies, and inly plow with it...then basicly 100% of its life is working , and would be worth it...

    if you drive it like a car 95% and only work it 5% ...your better off gas , cheaper to own
  8. Stud Bro

    Stud Bro Senior Member
    Messages: 144

    i agree i pull a trailer almost every day so i would never drive a gas truck however we bought a gas salter truck last year and that truck burn 2 tanks of fuel to every tank i burn in my truck and my plow has the wings on it. If your going to work the truck go diesel if your going to be starting and stopping the truck (running arens) go gas diesels arnt designed to be started driven 3 blocks and shut off once you get them going you got to work them especially in the winter.

    Messages: 79

    now I have seen it all on plowsite.

    You didnt just say that did you !
  10. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    Diesel is higher to purchase and higher to maintain. Weigh the benefits cost wise and make your own decision. JMO
    I prefer gas myself based on how I use my truck.
  11. Flipper

    Flipper PlowSite.com Addict
    from CT
    Messages: 1,180

    Yeah I did. My diesels break free long before I ever get into their true power range when plowing. Even with good snow tires and chains I have found this. Have you ever stalled a truck out on a plowing push? I highly doubt it. You will spin the tires long before. Snowplowing is about traction pure and simple. That's why some of the best plowtrucks out their are Jeeps and smalltrucks.

    How much experience do you have plowing? I have close to 20 years and my family has been in snow removal since 1952 so I think I know a little bit about it. Members here know I don't post things from thin air, its all based on experience and knowledge from that.

    If it was possible to get a V6 or Inline 6 in a one ton 4x4 that's what I would by if I was just going to use it for plowing.

    Actually the diesel hirts you in other ways as well. Technically it will almost always put you overweight on the front end running anything more then an 8ft plow.

    Now the diesel is nice when you are loaded up with salt.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2008

    Messages: 79

    hmmm, Well I have superdutys 2007-250 2008-350 that do not go over axle weight when properly fitted. When I am pushing yards of snow in v mode, and its wet, I know my diesel engine wont go through rings and arms and cams and rods. I guess we just plow a different amount of snow. I also stack with the v. simply because I can.

    not to plug dodge, but it is a inline 6 if I am not mistaken in a 3/4 and 1 ton.

    I also carry 2 yards of salt, 8.6 v plow, bags (no not the labor guys) and a shoveler...gas would get me 5-7 miles to the gallon, diesel is 12-18 no matter what plowing.

    It lasts longer and is more efficient. I also use it year round to pull landscape trailers, skids, move pallets of product, salt, pushers ect ect....

    the gassers are good for what they are meant to do....but I guess thats the whole thing. what are you going to do with the truck.

    also, if your spinning, your wasting fuel, life of tires, transmission ect ect.... with the weight of the salt dogg, i rarely need to even be in 4x4, let alone not be able to put the snow where it needs to go before I have tires spinning. I guess its all in the situation your in....
  13. cretebaby

    cretebaby PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,162

    when comparing fuel consumption for the winter i go by gal/hr miles/gal really doesnt tell you much

    Messages: 79

    True True "I get 12 mpg in the parking lot at TarJay during overnights" would sound funny
  15. cretebaby

    cretebaby PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,162

  16. BSDeality

    BSDeality Senior Member
    Messages: 736

    a 8.6v + 2yds of salt/sander is way over GVW for either of those trucks. There is also no way in hell you're getting 12-18 mpg plowing. Those trucks EMPTY struggle to get 16mpg on the highway cruising @ 65mph. I have both an 05 PSD F350 and a 94 Toyota. A small Gas engine truck will do just fine.

    Back to the original question, if you're going to buy a gas or diesel for a plow truck which would it be? GAS definitely. There is no way to recoup the cost of a diesel unless it is being worked every single day. My F350 is one of the biggest non-performing tools in my corral of stuff. Struggles to make 12mpg doing any sort of work. Hard work like plowing or towing 10K + its down around 8-9mpg, a gas truck would still get 10mpg but the gas is $.50/gal cheaper. No way to make those numbers work for a plow truck.

    My Toyota grosses more $ per hour than my ford would simply because its maneuverable and cheap to run. I get looks from guys all the time in Full size trucks when they've started a driveway before I get to mine next door and I'm done and on to the next one while they're still doing a 3 point turn to make the next pass.

    Messages: 79

    350 holds 3700 pounds, how am I over, plow is 980 and the salt is 1200-1300 a yard, salt dogg holds 1.5 yards, add some bags and my fat arse and im there at the correct weight. theres 3 types of f350's, need to find the one with the best ratings before color and cd players !!!!!

    does everyone live in the hills and get bad fuel from suppliers...

    and yes if you get diesel, you must know what your doing business wise. its a 7-8k option and will take a while to get even. but in the long run its a better option, if your only doing driveways and some yards in the summer, its not the choice. if your doing commercial all year and towing forced family fun trailer vacation are we there yet, campers, then its a good idea...
  18. cretebaby

    cretebaby PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,162

    Are you thinkin new or used
  19. MickiRig1

    MickiRig1 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,617

    Look at the costs to own a diesel:
    It may get 13.5 to 16 MPG, 20 on the highway unloaded, on a good day, down hill.
    Your average Power Stroke takes 14 - 16 Qts of oil with a change. A gasser takes 6.
    The oil filter is twice the size of you average gasser filter, Twice the cost?
    An earlier Power Stroke takes 2 of the same air filters my 5.8 takes.
    Then you have fuel filters, glow plugs and relays.
    If you do the work it's not too bad. Take it to someone and they will be like "A diesel, Hee-Hee-Hee, that will be a bit more money"
    I love a diesel engine, Drive one daily. But they do have a few costs involved.
  20. cretebaby

    cretebaby PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,162

    how often do you put glow plugs in?