The simplest answer is that diesel fuel produces more power. It requires a significant amount of energy to move a heavy haul load and traditional gas engines just aren’t up to the task. It all comes down to a matter of torque, not horsepower.
Compression and Torque
An ordinary passenger vehicle relies on a spark plug to ignite a fuel and air mixture in the engine’s cylinders. Diesel engines are different. They take in air and compress it until it reaches a high temperature. When the air is hot enough, its injected into the cylinder and the fuel ignites.
The energy from diesel fuel is measured by twisting force, known as torque, that’s exerted on the engine. Torque provides more power than simple horsepower. It’s torque that’s required for diesel engines to be able to move the tractor, trailer and load. It also enables trucks to attain a normal driving speed and maintain it while hauling cargo.
Heavy haulers may be required to traverse a wide range of road conditions, including mountainous terrain. The torque and energy provided by diesel fuel enable drivers to climb any hills and mountains they may encounter on their route, even while fully loaded. Low-end torque is a critical factor in the heavy haul industry.
Diesel fuel is more expensive than traditional gas even at the best of times. It also produces more energy for the money. It’s more cost effective, despite the higher pricing, to produce the energy needed for hauling heavy loads.
Diesel engines are more fuel efficient than their gas-powered counterparts. The engines are designed for power, which they produce in abundance. They may take longer to get up to speed than the average passenger vehicle, but they’re well able to pull the heavy loads that are required of them. Diesel engines have a higher thermal efficiency rating than cars and they also produce fewer emissions than a traditional gas-powered vehicles.
The specifications to which diesel engines are designed and built are different than a gas engine. They’re more durable, reliable, and therefore require less maintenance and upkeep.
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