Deciding whether you should use gasoline power or diesel power is an important consideration when you are replacing an aging truck or ramping up for a new team.
For some professionals in the green industry there is a simple answer (A: Gas!). In fact, they may not even consider the alternative. They know what works for them and they will stick with it.
But for others it is not so cut and dry. So how do you know which is right? Do you choose gasoline or diesel power?
Let’s consider the advantages and disadvantages of diesel power and gasoline power
Advantages of diesel power
Diesel powered engines are designed to last longer than gas motors. A life expectancy of three-hundred thousand miles or more can be achieved for class three or four trucks with little trouble (with proper maintenance of course).
You can also get upwards of thirty to thirty-five percent greater fuel mileage, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
Also consider that a diesel engine has higher torque, which is better for towing and hauling heavy loads which can be very necessary for commercial landscaping companies. The drive train will tend to be several hundred pounds heavier than gasoline, which when towing heavy trailers will improve handling and control.
The resale value with comparable miles will be higher for a diesel powered truck due to the higher mileage life expectancy.
Advantages of gasoline power
Regular maintenance on a gasoline engine will cost less. While service intervals are about the same, the oil capacity is about half that of a diesel motor. A diesel service requires a larger, more costly oil filter as well as a fuel filter to be replaced.
Initial acquisition cost for a gasoline power truck is less by as much as eight to ten thousand dollars. This difference in price has increased drastically over the last few years because of exhaust treatment regulations by the Environmental Protection Agency.
A gasoline engine generally has higher horse power which, as long as you are not towing or hauling a heavy load, will get your truck up to speed quicker. This works well for city life and a lot of stop-and-go driving.
Also consider the cost-per-gallon of gasoline has consistently been lower than diesel fuel for about the last ten years.
Some other considerations
If you will be putting on a lot of highway miles each year, like over thirty thousand, diesel power may very well be your best option.
If your mileage will be low, let’s say fifteen thousand miles or less a year, gasoline may be your best option. Even if you keep this truck in the fleet for ten years it will only have one-hundred and fifty thousand miles on the engine and that is easily doable with proper maintenance.
Current Environmental Protection Agency regulations have evened the field concerning emissions and their environmental impact between gasoline and diesel engines, minimizing any consideration.
So what does HighGrove decide when it is time to add or replace a fleet vehicle? Well, the reality is we consider all of the above.
However, because our average field vehicle will only gain between twelve thousand to fifteen thousand miles a year, gasoline power is our choice for most of our fleet of trucks. Although, we do choose diesel power when the truck is used primarily for towing and hauling heavy loads.
This post was written by Greg Nelson, HighGrove Partners’ fleet manager
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