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other options for diesel?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by mike33087, Apr 13, 2005.

  1. mike33087

    mike33087 Senior Member
    Messages: 555

    I am looking into getting a newer diesel truck but I am concerned about paying over $2.20 a gallon. Some questions i need answers for are: Do diesel give more miles to the gallon? does it perform better? is it worth the noise? and is there anything else you can fuel your diesel with other than diesel, such as other oils and ****?

    hopefully you can all answer these!
  2. ratlover

    ratlover PlowSite.com Addict
    from IL
    Messages: 1,325

    Diesel does get better economy. It really shows a difference when working it like towing or plowing. If you will tow lots or plow lots or drive lots it will start to ofset things. Diesel cost more to buy but you get better resale. The newer diesels arnt very noisy. Dont put anything in your fuel besideds a good additive. One that adds lubricity and emulsifys water and one that dosnt have any alcohol in it. You can run bio diesel though and or make your own. Serch bio diesel on the net. Diesel does perform better in a multitude of applications. But weather it acually is better in your application is something else. Most people buy diesels becasue they want them. They are easy to get great power outa though and still drive very mild mannered and get good milage.
  3. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    That about sums up the pertinant info. There is more to it but being a new comer to oil burners I'll leave it at that. There are alturnatives to biodiesel but there is alot more into it than simply fill the tank and drive- it's really easy to blow your engine if you're not knowledgible and careful. The newer the truck the more computer control over the engine the less tolerant of alternative fuels the vehicle will be.

    If you want better milage get higher rear end gears and drive easy on the pedal. Diesel engines are more effecient (input fuel versus power produced), longer life span of the engine, less maintenance, less emissions, etc.
  4. MickiRig1

    MickiRig1 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,617

    I drive ambulances for a living for the last 25 years I can tell you this about Diesels:
    The MPG is almost double 8 vers 16 (460 vers Powestroke)
    Torque has almost doubled
    It will idle for hours without a problem putting out a full amp load
    Low end grunt is awesome!
    It goes a huge amount of miles before it's worn out ( 250K-400K)

    The downside:
    Costs more to buy new or used
    It takes more QT's of oil on a change then a gas engine,shorter change intervals on some
    Filter's are more expensive
    Some performance problems must be "scanned " by a dealer service dept.
    It adds more weight to a front end
    Electronic sensors can drive you nuts with intermittent problems
  5. lawnandplow42

    lawnandplow42 Senior Member
    Messages: 110

    is the less emissions thing true? I thought the exhaust was worse?

    I like the power diesels produce, the fact that they last long, and the resale is high.

    As far as the noise, i love the sound of em'!!

    git r' done! :drinkup:
  6. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    common misconception because you see the smoke out of a trucks's exhaust and not a gasser. The smoke is unburned fuel. A gasser produces more emissions gasses than diesel.

    Diesels will idle for long times but it it NOT GOOD for them. Idleuing ANY engine contributes to more and faster wear then anything else. (it's the fastest way to wear out your oil pump...) and a Catalytic equiped diesel should NEVER be idled for any legnth of time because the low exhaust temp does not allow the cat to reach proper temp so it does not function properly- the result is a plugged cat. Expensive and terrible on milage/power.

    Oil changes are ALWAYS longer in between than a gasser. Filters are Larger in volume that's why they cost more. Diesel with good oil is good for 6K miles per change minimum- I go synthetic and run average of 8K summer 6 K winter.

    and, um, electronic sensors.... ever work on a gasser latly?? more sensors there than in a diesel. ALL of em can drive you nuts so it's not a fair statement as a con. Just like ANY engine if you have basic knowledge of how it works you can work on it- there is absolutly no extra need for dealer service in a diesel than a gas truck.

    There are more misconceptions about diesels and uninformed individuals than you would believe- want the straight answer- ask a diesel mechanic or truck driver (semi truck not ambulance)- when all else fails PM me and I'll answer what I can.
  7. The Boss

    The Boss 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,099

    I will never own any kind of truck BUT a diesel. :nod:
  8. Mowerpan

    Mowerpan Senior Member
    Messages: 305

    I work at collision repair facility and drive many of each of these trucks, and I have to say the diesels are awesome, The sound is awesome and the low end power is very noticeable. I have to say out of the newest models, the duramax is the quietest, but I actually like the noise from the diesels, and the loudest from what my experience has been the powerstrokes, cummins is next up. If i were to buy a 3/4 ton truck I would definetley go with a diesel for the easy power out of them and then consistent mpg, and the longevity if you plan on keeping it.
  9. Fastcar

    Fastcar Member
    from MA
    Messages: 87

    Currently I have a 05 2500 Dodge 4X4 auto w/Cummins. With 4:10 gears At @65MPH I'll get 17-18MPG on the highway, it drops to 15-16MPG in the city. Those figures will increase a few mpg's as it becomes broken in and as the winter fuel goes away. Those figures are m/t. As for performance, here's the figures 325HP, 610ft.lbs. As for the oil change that some will say is more costly If you change it every 3K they are correct, BUT if you send out a oil sample you will be able to double or triple the change interval.
    Regards noise, the newer Cummins is a lot quieter, or turn up the radio.

    You can get into a real pissing contest as to which is better, Cummins or the Stroke. My thought is the Cummins is a 6cyl. with about 40% less moveing parts. Oh, if you look under the hood of a lot otr trucks or for that matter the bigger Ford's of a few years ago you'll find a Cummins. The choice is up to you.

  10. boba

    boba Senior Member
    Messages: 110

    If you are buying a ford and ordering the truck definitly get the dual alternator option. In 2003 I bought a f-350 with the standard alternator and with all the low rpms while plowing the batteries went dead in 3 -4 hours. Changed to an after-market alternator and no problems this past year. On my 2004 f-350 I ordered it with the dual alternator option and never had any issues.

    As for the idling issue, I have AIC's on my trucks.

    Been using diesels for 15 years and would never go back to gas.

    Happy shopping!
  11. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    True. Ford used to own a 48% share of Cummins which Cummins bought back. Ford also is well aware that many of their big truck buyers don't like IH engines which typically have hess power than an equivilent Cat or Cummins so they offer (still available) Cummins engines on F550 and up as options.

    Ask a Diesel mechanic who works on IH (Navstar) and Cummins for a living or an over the road truck driver who has driven both which is better. 80% of the time Cummins will be the answer in my experiance. In time I expect Dodge to start useing Cat Diesel's or Mercedes being they are sister companies and Cummins is not (Cummins will probabily still be an option but not the standard diesel in that case).
  12. Nascar Fan

    Nascar Fan Senior Member
    Messages: 167

    I have a question/concern with this part..

  13. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    True Nascar Fan, when working a Diesel with a turbo, like highway use (watch your pyrometer- if you don't have one install one it's a necessity in a working diesel) make sure the exhaust temp is back down to "normal" before shutting down (normal in a 12V CTD is 600ish). Most of the time coming down the offramp, waiting for traffic to pull onto a normal road and driving a mile additional is more than enough time for the turbo to cool, else idle it for a minute or two. The Idle problem is for extended periods of time, several minutes plus or from cold starts/normal unloaded driving because the cylinder temp doesn't maintain high enough to completely flash off the carbon causing coking in the injectors and cylinder and the Catalytic doesn't heat up to vaporize the emissions/fuel vapors causing coking and plugging there. rule of thumb is unless you just worked it hard don't idle for more than 5 minutes or you're going to start risking something. Likely the Cat first, which is by far the cheaper as opposed to a top-end overhaul.

    They make diesel "cool down timers" you can install that will keep the truck running at idle or high idle for a set number of minutes then shut it down automatically if you do do alot of working to shutdown stuff.

    Also- Diesel's are effeciant enough that the fuel to start is negligible on a warm (not even hot, just warm) engine- which would be 4 hours or so since last start in the summer months for my CTD (temp guage still registers something) winter is about 1-2 hours depending. Gas engines apply the same way IF they are tuned properly. a poorly tuned engine will simply dump more fuel in the engine before starting anyway thus wasting gas- properly tuned they should start faster than diesels and waste less fuel (2 cranks is properly tuned for current gen gas engines)
    Last edited: May 3, 2005
  14. ratlover

    ratlover PlowSite.com Addict
    from IL
    Messages: 1,325

    600* is shut down temp?! I wait till 300* on mine, only takes a minute tops if I have been working her hard.

    Cummins is a good motor. I personally like the Duramax and then you dont also get stuck with a dodge(flame suit on ;) ) Plus the chevy comes with an Allison.
  15. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    :eek: :yow!: Must have been a Boy Scout- you're prepaired!
    Actually, yeah 300 it normal "cool" temp. Factory manual says 250. 600 is unloaded driving temp (highway) My bad- typing before verifying...
    I don't actually have my Pyro installed -I know hypocrite. I let her idle for about 2 minutes, or atleast 2 thermostat opening cycles before shutting down from the highway IF I park right off the highway. Most of the time I have a 4 mile drive from the ramp to the house anyway.
  16. Nascar Fan

    Nascar Fan Senior Member
    Messages: 167

    :waving: :salute:
  17. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    Absolutly. Not looking to argue either, but if I can educate, or become educated I am all for it. Been driving a Diesel for 5+ years daily and got very interested in all things diesel as soon as I bought the truck.
  18. lawn king

    lawn king PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,085


    My wife and i just bought a new toaster/oven, it's diesel. The television and dvd, both diesels. For vacation this year it's gonna be the exxon refinery (in aruba). Diesel is the only way to go, we have kubota,international and isuzu diesels, they are all great!
  19. T-MAN

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

    Actually I used to work with a guy and his momma was a diesel fitter !