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Difference Between Gas Truck and Diesel Truck

If you’re a truck owner trying to get the most out of your machine or someone looking to buy a new or used truck, there are basically two engine options to choose from. First, there’s the diesel engine and then there’s gas truck. In fact, one of the highly debatable topics when it comes to trucks is whether diesel or gas trucks are better. While it’s a matter of preference for most, some debates come down to pure facts. With the increasing use of diesel and gas engines and the constantly rising number of heavy vehicles worldwide, the major concern is engine exhaust emissions. We’ve put together a quick overview of some key differences.

Gas Truck

A gas truck is a gasoline powered heavy vehicle that uses a spark-ignited internal combustion engine instead of a compression ignited system used in diesel trucks. Gasoline powered trucks are the most viable alternative to standard diesel engines in long haul transportation. The liquefied gas carries enough energy on a truck to drive long distances. A gas engine uses a simple venture system to introduce gas into the air flow. The air/fuel mixture is then ignited by a spark from the spark plug. The gas trucks deliver the same drivability and productivity as their diesel equivalents, and are also easier and less expensive to maintain.

Diesel Truck

Diesel trucks are similar to gasoline powered trucks because they both use internal combustion engines. However, unlike gas engines that use spark plug to ignite the fuel, diesel engines use high compression to spontaneously combust the mixture. Diesel engines generate insane torque outputs at low speed, which accounts for their heavy load carrying capacity. This is why diesel engines are used in heavy vehicles mainly for commercial purposes. Because diesel burns slower, the diesel trucks tend to have higher fuel economy ratings than gas trucks.

Difference between Gas Truck and Diesel Truck


– Undoubtedly, diesel trucks generate a tremendous amount of power owing to their insane torque outputs. In fact, diesel trucks produce far more torque than their gasoline counterparts. This means diesel trucks can pull much heavier loads than gas trucks. For the same reason, diesel engines are more durable and efficient than gas engines. However, when it comes to acceleration, gas engines certainly have the edge over diesel engines and they are better to cross vehicles on the highway.


– Diesel engines are more reliable and require less maintenance. Unlike gasoline engines, diesel engines use a much simpler design and they tend to have fewer moving parts. Diesel trucks are made of stronger engine blocks and internals, and the best part; they do not need spark plugs. The absence of spark plugs makes them easier to work on, and more reliable. Most of the modern diesel engines come with glow plugs which keep the engines warm even in the winters.

Fuel Economy

– Although diesel trucks are a bit pricier than the gas trucks, they are supposedly 25 percent more fuel efficient than similar-size gas trucks. Diesel is a slow burning fuel and their robust internals are capable enough to handle the higher compression ratio of diesel engines. Diesel packs more energy in every gallon than gas, which makes it more economical on the long run. Because compression ration plays a significant role in fuel economy as any other engine combustion factor, improved fuel economy is one of the biggest selling points of diesel trucks.

Gas Truck vs. Diesel Truck: Comparison Chart


So, in a nutshell, diesel trucks are truly America’s workhorses that rule the roads and highways because of their exceptional towing capability. Gasoline powered trucks are better at getting up to speed and generally provide higher payload capacities, thanks to its unique engine mechanics. While both gas and diesel engines are internal combustion engines, the former uses a simple venture system to inject gas into the air flow whereas the latter uses high compression to combust the mixture.  


What is better a diesel or gas truck?

While diesel trucks deliver more torque and provide more towing power and fuel economy, gas trucks are a generally lighter, faster and easier to maintain. Both the engines have their fair share of pros and cons.

How can you tell the difference between a gas truck and a diesel truck?

A gas truck uses a simple venture system to inject gas into the air flow whereas a diesel truck uses high compression to combust the mixture.

What are the disadvantages of diesel?

Although diesel engines are powerful than their gasoline counterparts, they are a little on the heavier side, which ultimately affects the truck’s payload capacity. Also, diesel trucks are more expensive.

What are the pros and cons of a diesel truck?

Diesel trucks typically have a higher compression ratio which accounts for better fuel economy. In fact, diesel engines are 25 percent more fuel efficient than gas trucks. However, diesel trucks have lesser payload capacity and are expensive to maintain.

Why buy a diesel truck over gas?

If you enjoy greater miles per gallon and do not want to waste much time searching for a pump, then a diesel engine is best for you.

Should I buy a diesel truck as a daily driver?

Diesel trucks have a longer lifespan and produce power torque at lower speed, which make them a preferable choice for handling heavy payloads. Also, they deliver better fuel economy and are more durable than gas trucks.

What lasts longer diesel or gas engine?

Diesel engines typically have a longer lifespan because diesel is better for heavier workload and long distance driving.

Do I need to warm up my diesel truck?

You should let your engine warm up before driving. This allows it to reach its optimal operating temperature, which ultimately results in better performance and better fuel economy. 

Do diesel trucks last longer than gas trucks?

Diesel engines tend to be more durable and last longer than gasoline powered engines before they require a major overhaul.

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References :

[0]Viskup, Richard. Diesel and Gasoline Engines. London, United Kingdom: InTech Open, 2020. Print

[1]Assessment of Fuel Economy Technologies for Light-Duty Vehicles. Washington, DC, United States: National Academies Press, 2011. Print

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