Diesel or Gas, Which is Best for Your Business?
In today’s world of construction, costs can drive a new building project into the air or into the ground. Pricing for different materials or services are always fluctuating, especially when it comes to fuel. So when thinking about one’s business budget, construction companies not only need to think about the type of vehicle needed for the worksite, but the type of fuel it will use.
For heavy-duty jobs, heavy-duty trucks are obviously the vehicle needed for the job. So what about the fuel options? Will diesel fuel or gasoline be the better resource to use? Furthermore, what about fuel economy – how many miles will this truck get in the city? On the highway?
Due to their low-end torque, diesel-powered vehicles are a popular choice when taking fuel economy into account. What this means is the vehicle can build up more pulling power at low speed; one of the key expenditures of fuel consumption is how fast a vehicle is going. So if a diesel-powered vehicle can travel far distances without overworking the engine, like when driving on the highway, then it is indeed more cost efficient.
But what if the truck isn’t spending a lot of time on the highway? What if the business is local, and most of the transportation gets done in the city? Then a vehicle with a diesel-powered engine wouldn’t necessarily be the best choice because diesel engines are notorious for low fuel economy in the city.
Cost Differences: Diesel and Gasoline
Also, the cost of diesel fuel used to be much more affordable until recent years. Diesel used to be lower than gasoline by more than 30 cents per gallon, but today diesel is more expensive. As of July 20, 2016 the average cost of gasoline is $2.23 per gallon and diesel is $2.40.
However the cost of diesel and gas fuel vehicles can also vary by a few thousand dollars. For example, the 2016 Ram 1500 Laramie Quad Cab 4X4 comes standard with a 3.6L V6 24-valve engine, starting at an MSRP of $39,655. If a buyer wants to switch out the gasoline engine for a 3.0L V6 EcoDiesel engine, then the price increases by $4,000.
So unless there is a drastic difference between the cost of gas and diesel fuel or if there’s large difference between city and highway fuel economy, that extra $4,000 for a diesel engine may pay for itself in a year, or maybe never. It just depends on how you are using the truck and the cost of diesel or gas.
Trucks powered by diesel engines generally have a greater towing capacity versus trucks that run on gasoline. This is another factor to consider alongside transportation – will the truck be used for heavy towing, and if so, how much? When towing heavy objects, diesel engines are designed to provide low-end torque. However, towing capacities of gas-powered engines have steadily increased in the last few years.
These are the three factors a business owner needs to take into consideration when choosing a truck and the type of engine they want in that truck. Will the truck spend time on the highway or the city? Will it be used for towing or carrying a heavy payload? Can an increase in its initial price be justified? Tell us what you think about using diesel versus gasoline. We’ll be looking for comments on our Twitter and Facebook.