diesel? or gas truck

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by atb1137, Jun 17, 2011.

  1. MDLawn

    MDLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,284

    Wow great point. I've gone through his picture thread and he goes through massive amounts of snow and absolutely frigid temperatures. Not to mention his pictures of the Alaskan wilderness are absolutely amazing!

    I belong to a Ford truck forum and a thread was going on about V10 vs. Diesel. This thread had about 13,000 replies, yes 13,000 and 376,000 views. Not to long ago the moderators finally closed the thread and no one can post anymore in it because it started getting vulgar and offensive. I think the lesson from this is the gas guys and the diesel guys will fight until the end of time. It's just like the die hards for Ford, Dodge, and Chevy. Try convincing one to use the other brand.

    If I had money to throw around a new/new used diesel would be in my driveway out of pure want. I mean a new Ford diesel puts out 400HP and 800TQ, good grief!! I found on deal on my current gas rig that was just to good. I wasnt ready to part with 7 grand just to have "it" for a similar diesel, I just dont tow enough. Even some of the larger companies on here go both ways. Some swear by diesel and others switch back to gas.

    All I'm saying is this diesel vs. gas argument will never end and if you're happy with what you have and make the money you want why keep defending yourself?
  2. mybowtie

    mybowtie LawnSite Senior Member
    from NY
    Messages: 683

    His pics are amazing, and I hope we never get that much snow, but last yr was close...lol

    You are correct, some guys will never like a gasser and will bash them to the end, and vise virsa. I like em both. If i needed both I would have both. :rolleyes: Huh.. maybe i should buy a 5th wheel camper so I'd NEED both...lol:rolleyes:
  3. thunderthud

    thunderthud LawnSite Member
    Messages: 127

    In 2004 we ran nothing but diesel 2500HD's, 4500 and 5500 trucks with stake bodies and what are now Mack Pinnacle day cab 26 ft van bodies. The 2500's got about 12mpg, when the new DPF systems came into being for the 2006-2007 trucks, the MPG dropped into the 10mpg range. All our service trucks are either half ton, or CDL 33,000lb trucks.

    We stopped buying any medium duty trucks because it simply wasn't worth the hassle to have the diesel truck for the smaller trucks. The cost was high for load carried, and the fuel economy was close enough to a Class 7 or 8 truck to be a wash.

    The class 7-8 Macks were getting somewhere in the 5-8mpg range pre '07 emissions, 5 mpg post emissions. These marked the last order for Macks we made because the cost of the truck combined with the dismal fuel economy was killing the bottom line.

    In 2009 we went to all Hino 338's with 22ft van bodies and 1500 gas Silverados across the board. The medium duty trucks were all replaced with one 338 with a Ampliroll hooklift.

    The 2009-10 Hinos pre-SCR got 7.5mpg, which was a big boost to the economy against the Mack. The 2011 Hinos with SCR now rate 10mpg. Which is fantastic economy for a 33,000lb rated truck. The Hinos were half the cost of the Mack and though a bit under-powered on huge hills work quite well around town and on the highways. The cost of the SCR fluid is an annoyance, but in a toter it is not cost prohibitive, but does add about .12 a gallon to the price of diesel to cover the SCR fluid.

    The pickups we run are not daily work trucks, they are more employee shuttles. Having a CDL rated truck for everything allows us to use the big toolbox theory for our trucks and have everything that could be needed right on the truck. The cost of a 1500 was substantially less than a 2500, we weren't paying $7500.00 for the diesel, and we saved in maintenance going to synthetic oil and 10k oil changes. The trucks get a combined 15mpg on the road for the most part, and the guys seem to like them.

    We settled onto a formula that worked for us. We did buy a couple of Hybrid Silverados but found the upfront cost would have bought an awful lot of fuel and the MPG was not that great except for one truck that went to Boston daily on 93 south. It was a wash in cost for regular gas Silverado and that Hybrid.

    The next trucks in line for us are CNG Freightliner Class 8 trucks, and a return to medium duty for our plumber and electrician with Roush propane F-550's with utility bodies. I'm worried about the rising cost of fuel enough to start thinking of how to use CNG and LPG more and more in the equipment. $5.00 a gallon diesel is not far off, and other than long runs, I'd like to see how well $2.00 a gallon CNG works out for us in the bigger trucks.

    I'm waiting on two Smith Newton electric trucks in December that were stunningly expensive up front, but if I can start saving on fuel daily, hopefully some of the costs not covered by tax credit and state credits will pay off.

    In a week I can spend $12,000-$15,000 on fuel. Every MPG I can get saves us money. A fleet of $100,000 Newtons will pay for itself rather quickly with $4.00 a day electric bills per truck. I'm trying to hit on a formula for us that saves and still allows us to work the way we feel we need to work. If I can save a couple bucks here and there it will add up quickly. For me a 10% change in fuel economy is $55,000 a year on the low end. I could hire one more laborer for that kind of savings and still come out at the end of the year even.

    The electric trucks are a warm weather friend, they can't plow or really run in, the snow, but I can eat the cost of fuel for the dump trucks with plows as the cost of being in New England.

    For me, the cost of gas or diesel is a constant battle. The needs of the company don't change, so I have to look at what will allow us to work with the lowest cost.

    NORTHMAN LawnSite Senior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 313

    MDLawn,hopeful we can keep it more civil.Reading Alaska Boss's posts convinced me you don't nee a diesel to push snow.
  5. MDLawn

    MDLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,284

    I don't plow snow but the scenery pics he posts are truly amazing. Great place to visit if possible.
  6. MDLawn

    MDLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,284

    Thunder, you are in a world that 90% of lawnsiter's will never see, including myself. $10-15k in weekly fuel, most on here may see that in a year, if not less than that. With that type of unstable expense, due to constant price fluctuations, each bit you saves makes a large impact. Your fuel savings is probably more than some solo ops income! It'll be interesting to see how those alternative fuels work for you.
    With the rapidly expanding economies of China and some developing nations the price of fuel is bound to rise because demand is ever increasing not matter what you drive. Even with all the changes in fuel efficient cars here in the US the global demand is too much.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  7. thunderthud

    thunderthud LawnSite Member
    Messages: 127

    The reason I waded in was the OP bought a new trailer and had a question. I've spent so much time with the questions on a fairly large scale, that the experience tells me to do the research that will benefit my bottom line.

    If I were leaving this job and going to do this on my own, I would buy a gas truck.

    The diesel difference in smaller trucks is long gone. SCR has improved the diesel performance, but the fluid cost is way too, pardon the pun, fluid. I can't justify the $4.03 a gallon cost for diesel in New England anyway, on top of the retail cost for SCR fluid, when the V10 Ford is $8,000 cheaper has no recurring cost plus gas was $3.60 last night.

    I can stomach 8mpg in the pre-SCR Hino all day every day because it is a 33,000lb truck. The SCR Hino 338 with the dump body gets 10MPG and the Hino 338 with the van body gets 10mpg. For a shocker, between my three Mack Granite tri-axles, one driver gets 9mpg all day long while the other two get 5mpg. The difference? One guy spends all day driving the green leaf on the dashboard. Those are all matching 2009 Granite dumps with stainless bodies.

    I've been pleased with the Silverados in gas, they get excellent mileage and have been a solid truck requiring only routine maintenance. In a world were the price of gas has little to do with the cost of oil, and the cost rising daily because of whatever goes on half a world away, I would think long and hard about buying something that had an $8,000 up front cost.

    I've learned quite a bit over the years from this forum. I hope my info is useful to the discussion. What we do a fairly large scale can be downsized into any company. Every dollar you can save or not spend can go right into your pocket. I don't have the luxury of working on a tight route, I have properties in five states and supply them all from one location.

    Good luck with your choice of a truck. Fleet experience tells me you want to save money and buy a gas truck; it will do everything you need it to do. Then again, I will pick up a penny off the ground, and I know others who I've worked with who simply throw them on the ground.
  8. MDLawn

    MDLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,284

    Pretty much sums up everthing about business with that right there, no matter what you choose to drive.

    If I ever buy another truck for business purposes (solo) it will be the uncoolest, cheapest, reg cab, DRW (for payload), 2wd (don't plow) in good condition (and keep it looking nice), with whatever motor (no beaters, possibly a dump). That truck will by far make me the most money than a loaded crew cab diesel/V8/V10 ever will.
  9. cartz-rc30

    cartz-rc30 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    ive been happy with the dodge rams and owned v8 v10 and now a diesel, and since these are my driver not just business truck, i can say i wasnt too happy with the lack of umph the v8 had but the v10 was great and i went diesel for the mpg over the v10. v10 was getting 13 mpg hwy and the diesel gets almost 20 mpg, and i drive all over with my machine or goin to get cars to fix and resell so the added mpg the diesel offered were a big push for me. also i got the truck for a steal of a price and made alot off the v10 truck it replaced as well. would i like a diesel for a dump or business specific truck? sure but if i came across a nice v10 id grab it in a heartbeat !!
  10. Dfordiesel

    Dfordiesel LawnSite Member
    Messages: 19

    It seems as though maintaining is an expensive problem on diesels... But as a long time mechanic on gas/diesel/gas turbine/ and steam power for the military...i can say this... We used both gassers and diesels .. Diesel is far superior.. They build power as droop is happening.. Economy is diff in fav of diesel.. Gas engines have sensors out the ying yang...electronics everywhere...and have since the early 80's...so when it comes to maintaining... An older diesel will outshine anything...gas cant touch diesel reliability economy or power... However...both sides are making strides to out-do each other more than ever!
    Posted via Mobile Device

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