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Do you have what it takes? - HP vs. Torque

Discussion in 'Truck & Equipment Repair' started by 2COR517, Mar 7, 2010.


What's more important for climbing hills fast?

  1. Horsepower

    17 vote(s)
  2. Torque

    56 vote(s)
  1. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    I want to haul a big load up a hill quickly. Am I more concerned with Horsepower or Torque?

  2. Stik208

    Stik208 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,319

    I voted torque, tell me what I win at once.
  3. cubicinches

    cubicinches PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,415

    :popcorn: ........
  4. JohnnyU

    JohnnyU 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,040

    Horsepower is just torque per unit time, so they're both technically present here....

  5. Triple L

    Triple L PlowSite Fanatic
    from Canada
    Messages: 6,078

    I've always heard, Torque gets it going, Horsepower keeps it going......................
  6. CGM Inc.

    CGM Inc. PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,598

    Up to approx. 5300 rpm you go on torque past that point HP will cross the torque curve. Any dyno chart looks like that. with our heavy trucks you want torque not HP.


  7. cretebaby

    cretebaby PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,162

    I think someone is fishing. :p
  8. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    Not so much...

    How did you vote :rolleyes:
  9. cretebaby

    cretebaby PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,162

    What was the question again? LOL

    Are you starting from a dead stop?

    I voted Torque.
  10. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    Let's say you come into the grade at 50mph and want to maintain that speed.
  11. cretebaby

    cretebaby PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,162

    Definitely torque then.
  12. PTSolutions

    PTSolutions PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,537

    i vote boost!
  13. mayhem

    mayhem PlowSite.com Addict
    from Peru MA
    Messages: 1,016

    Torque. Horsepower sells trucks, torque moves em.
  14. leon

    leon Senior Member
    Messages: 872


    Torque is my vote

    I was always reminded you travel up the hill
    the same speed you travel down it;
    long before exhaust retarders and jake brakes
    using the gears to slow you down.
    Too many people failed to heed that simple advvice and
    they died or killed people coming off our mountains here.

    no arguments about what constitutes a mountain or a hill,
    okay its lunch time and recess.

    Its a nice algebra problem easy to work with.


    Its time for recess, can I go out side and dance the
    hokey pokey with snoopy and woodstock and watch
    woodstock drive the Zamboni across the bird bath now?

    Last edited: Mar 8, 2010
  15. cubicinches

    cubicinches PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,415

    Soooo.... Uh, like, what's your vote?
  16. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    torque, definetly, as you start going up that hill, your load well act like a anchor, and you well need the torque to keep luging up,
  17. jb1390

    jb1390 Senior Member
    Messages: 710

    Horsepower is actually the correct answer. Torque AT THE WHEELS will define how fast you can accelerate up that hill. The trick is that torque measured at the flywheel has NOTHING to do with torque at the wheels, as it can be adjusted by gearing as much as you want. Power is defined as the speed at which work can be accomplished. Climbing the hill is work (work=force times distance) Torque is just a measure of force, only in a rotational axis instead of linearly. So kudos to the other 4 people that voted with me for horsepower......to those that incorrectly voted for torque, continue reading.

    The reason that torque is valuable for a truck is that no one likes revving the engine very high for towing or plowing. If your torque comes low in the powerband (diesel), this allows maximum acceleration at that low rpm. This is wonderful for towing at a consistent speed (which is not the same as "as fast as possible"). However, if you can apply 500 foot pounds of torque at 2000 rpms, and I can apply 250 foot pounds of torque at 8000 rpms, I can climb the hill at twice the speed of you. (neglecting air resistance, etc). I can gear my motor down by .5, doubling the force. Now I have 500 foot pounds too, going at 4000 rpms. Since you are only at 2000 rpms, I am going twice as fast as you with the same force. Then again, who would like to run their tow vehicle at those rpms? Nevermind fuel consumption. But horsepower is still what moves loads up hills quickly. Because horsepower tells you what SPEED at which you can apply your torque.
  18. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    ok then, i have a question, if what you say is true (and i am not calling you a liar) why is it that a 8.1 chev gas, has similar hp as the diesel in a 03, (if i remember correctly 8.1 has 345hp, and the diesel has 360hp) but the diesel well out pull the 8.1 all over the place, a friends parrents had a 8.1l in a chev crew cab, pulling a 14000lb 5th wheel, they switched to a diesel, now they barely ever switch down more then a gear while going up steep inclines in the mountains, before, they were always jumping around gears. (keep in mind i believe that these trucks had the same transmission and rear ends)
  19. JohnnyRoyale

    JohnnyRoyale 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,935

    He did say Torque.

    Thanks for the new sig Leon. :laughing:
  20. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    I guess that's OK........