Diesel vs. Gas Trucks

Which is Better?



Uses Combustion




Repair Costs




Torque Output

Not Needed

Spark Plugs


There’s a lot to consider when you’re shopping for a new or used truck, but many drivers start by choosing between engine types! Is diesel better than gasWhile diesel trucks tend to offer more torque, more towing power, higher gas mileage, and longer-lasting performance, gas trucks are generally lighter, faster, and better at handling heavy payloads. Ultimately, your choice will depend completely on your needs. Below, you can compare diesel vs. gas trucks in greater detail and decide which is better for your business.

Diesel vs. Gas Trucks: Pros & Cons

When is a Diesel Truck the Better Pick?

  • Torque Output: Diesel trucks are renowned for their sky-high torque outputs, and that means they’re excellent choices for drivers who demand heavy-duty capabilities. The benefit of additional torque is especially clear when you compare diesel vs. gas trucks on towing performance, since diesel trucks can generally pull much heavier loads.
  • Fuel Economy: Diesel engines tend to be more expensive than gas engines, but they offer higher fuel economy ratings. This means you can travel freely around Milwaukee without always having to stick close to a pump. Commercial truck telematics can help your fleet move even more efficiently.
  • Reliability: Compared to gas engines, diesel engines use a simpler design. Because they are heavier and they tend to have fewer moving parts, chances are you’ll run into fewer problems throughout the engine’s lifespan. Diesel engines may also last much longer than gas engines when all is said and done.
Black 2019 GMC Sierra Parked Near Cliffs

When is a Gas Truck the Better Pick?

  • Horsepower & Acceleration: When it comes to horsepower and acceleration, gas engines have the upper hand. A diesel engine with lots of torque can help you get up to speed when you’re carrying a heavy load, but gas trucks are a little better at passing other vehicles on the highway.
  • Payload Limits: All other things being equal, a lighter truck can handle a bigger payload than a heavier one. After all, your axles and your tires can only handle a certain amount of weight. Since diesel engines are heavier than gas engines, a truck with a gas engine can usually handle more weight in its cargo bed.
  • Easier Fuel Fill-Ups: You can find a gas station easily, no matter where you go. It can be more of a challenge to find a gas station that also sells diesel fuel.
  • Easier Maintenance: On the whole, service technicians are more familiar with gas vs. diesel engines. This translates to lower engine repair costs, parts replacements, and tuneups. However, an aging gas engine can accumulate more problems than its heavier diesel counterpart.

Diesel vs. Gas Trucks: More Considerations

We’ve covered some of the basics above, but what about nitty gritty differences like combustion, compression, and temperature?

  • Combustion: In this regard, is diesel better than gas? Not necessarily, as both gas- and diesel-powered engines utilize combustion technology.
  • Compression: On average, diesel engines have a typical compression ratio of 15:1 and 25:1. This ratio is higher than the average ratio for gas engines, which is 10:1. Diesel engines can self-ignite without the use of spark plugs. 
  • Temperature: There’s a small difference between the maximum cold and hot temperatures in gas and diesel engines’ cycles. This small difference translates to greater fuel-efficiency from a diesel engine.

Whether you’re comparing gas vs. diesel for the RAM 2500, the Ford F-250, or the Silverado HD, you’ll be considering many of the same factors. However, you probably already know that there can be vast differences between the gas and diesel engines offered by each lineup. Comparing diesel engines from brand to brand is just as important as comparing diesel vs. gas.

2019 RAM Chassis Cab at Construction Site

Shop New & Used Trucks for Sale at Lynch Truck Center!

So, should you choose a diesel or gas truck? Again, it depends on what you need from a truck’s engine, be it high torque output, good fuel-efficiency, or convenience. If you have questions about diesel maintenance or our truck lineups, contact us at Lynch Truck Center. While you’re at it, learn a little more about your options by comparing the Ford F-450 vs. F-550. You’re also welcome to visit us near Racine to speak with our knowledgeable staff in person.

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