If you are not a “seasoned” truck buyer, you may be confused about the difference between the advantages of each type of motor. Hopefully, this will help you make the right decision for your application.

Diesel VS Gas Motors:

Gas powered trucks have been around forever, or so it seems. Gas motors have advantages including less expensive maintenance and repairs in most cases. Additionally, it is generally easier to find a “gas” mechanic than a Diesel” mechanic. Gas motors will do a respectable job for light duty hauling and towing. Gas motors as a rule, are much easier to start in extreme cold weather.

Diesel motors produce a lot of torque at relatively low engine RPMs. This is what enables these motors to provide better pulling power for trailers or up hill conditions. Whereas gas motors require a higher RPM operating range to generate maximum horsepower, it is not unusual for a diesel motor to produce maximum power and torque at only 2500 RPM and even way below that for large “Big Rig” type motors.

Unfortunately, in todays world of EPA regulations, diesel motors produced after 2008 are required to use diesel particulate filters to trap minute by products operation. These filters add many sensors, and other components that increase potential break downs and repairs. Any road driven diesel truck built beginning 2011 is also required to use DEF (diesel exhaust fluid) to aid the filters in performing their job. These new components require that the motor is put under enough of a load and/or speed to generate the heat necessary for proper filter operation. If the truck is not being used as intended, these filters and sensors plug up and cause costly repairs, as well as expensive towing costs.



Many diesel motor owners have begun to Delete (remove) the Federally required EPA filters and components from their trucks to avoid the potential issues associated with the filters. Be very careful with this practice. It is against Federal Law to tamper with these systems, even though it is on your own truck. HD TRUCKS & EQUIP LLC strongly recommends avoidance of any truck that has been tampered with. As the owner of the truck YOU will be held responsible for all fines, penalties and even criminal charges if caught operating a truck that has been tampered with. As the practice of tampering continues and widens it is a matter of time before some authority begins a check and balance system to catch violators. In many areas where Smog Checks are required, a tampered vehicle will not pass the test and not be allowed to be licensed and operated. In most cases, proper use of a diesel motor itself, will limit the chances of issues with the filter systems.

Which Is Best For You? If you are using a truck with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of 26,000 lbs or more, HD Trucks & Equip LLC recommends only a diesel powered unit. Whereas a gas motor may be able to provide reasonable performance on the lighter side of loads and weights, it will also be constantly be working at virtually maximum forces. This will inevitably result in premature wear, over heating and potential damages and repairs.

The use of a diesel engine with the required filter systems, for a daily commuter vehicle is questionable. Todays drivers seem to enjoy driving a 4 wheel drive, crew cab diesel pick up truck. Unless it is routinely used for some type of towing or other heavy usage, constant stop and go driving will most likely end up with issues. The filters are required to maintain a temperature in the 1400 degree area for a period of time to clean out the filters. Without a heavy use, or long time higher speed driving, this ability to heat up does not occur. Todays diesel motors are simply not meant for light duty use.

On the other hand, if your application includes operation in extreme heat, or prolonged idling, the diesel will far outperform the gas option. A bucket truck, tow truck, or other commercial truck that requires idling for hours on a hot summer day, would be much better off with the diesel. Diesel motors by nature, do not produce the same degree of heat as a gas motor. Therefore, they are much less likely to overheat under idle conditions causing damages and repairs. Diesels are also much less likely to have overheating problems pulling loads up steep grades.


It is not possible to include all variables and examples of specific uses. Please feel free to contact HD TRUCKS & EQUIP LLC at phone number (731) 435-1605 with any questions or comments.

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