Are Gas Heavy Duty Trucks Worth It?
April 5, 2022
Gas Vs. Diesel Heavy-Duty Trucks
Unless you've been living under a rock the last few months (which may be preferable, to be honest), you likely know that the used truck market is absolutely insane - more insane than Shia LeBeouf's "JUST DO IT!" meltdown thing. We've all come a long way since Holes.
Despite the booming truck market, there are a few good buys out there - some of the seemingly good deals are found with some older three-quarter and one-ton trucks with older gas engines, but at the end of the day, what makes them different from their diesel counterparts and, more importantly, are they a good buy?
That's what we'll be taking you through today - come in and check out if gas heavy-duty trucks are really worth it in 2022!
How Did Three-Quarter and One-ton Trucks Become Popular?
Three-quarter and one-ton trucks aren't a new concept by any means - in fact, the word on the street tells us that the first three-quarter-ton truck was actually introduced in 1924 by the Dodge Motor Company. Bet you didn't think you'd get a history lesson today, huh?
This first Dodge pickup, however, was definitely nothing like the three-quarter-ton trucks of today. In fact, despite the frame being made of steel, the cab and box were made entirely of wood. Ford would follow suit in 1925, launching their first three-quarter-ton pickup as well.
Over the years, these three-quarter and one-ton trucks would change significantly, growing, shaping, and molding, and adding two more rear wheels if you wanted a dually, giving customers the options of either a gas or diesel engine and leading us to where we are today.
What Are the Benefits of Gas and Diesel Engines on Heavy-Duty Trucks?
Starting in the late 90s, turbo diesel engines began to become even more popular than their gas counterparts on heavy-duty trucks, creating a massive divide when it came to the truck market.
On one side, you have the gas-powered guys, who rave about engine simplicity, cheaper maintenance, and overall lower cost of ownership. On the flip side are diesel guys, whose claim to fame is fuel efficiency, engine performance, and overall longevity and reliability on the whole truck. But at the end of the day, which side is right? And more importantly, which one is right for you?
What Do Gas and Diesel Trucks Have In Common?
Let's start with what both gas and diesel trucks have in common - bear with us, because we'll be making a few generalizations here. If you really dive deep into RPO codes under the old dash of your truck, you're bound to find some differences between gas and diesel variants - this could include things like axle sizes, final gear ratios, fuel pump setups, and so on. Hell, even spring rates in your suspension will vary slightly, depending on your specific truck, its specific trim package and options, etc.
With that said, though, it's a general rule of thumb that gas and diesel heavy-duty trucks are, for the most part, relatively the same. This means that you're getting the same frame, suspension, transmission, and general ride quality between the two. So, what makes them different?
Read More: What Are the Best Mods For a Diesel Truck?
What Are The Differences Between Gas and Diesel Trucks?
We'll start with the diesel trucks for the purposes of this discussion - to put it bluntly, diesel engines can be a bit of a handful. They're very finicky, and if you're not about the smell of diesel fuel, you better get used to it real quick. Every single time you fill up, everything will smell like diesel, and there's nothing you can do about it.
In addition to that, maintenance on a diesel is going to be a bit more expensive than that of a gas truck - this is because parts are usually built heavier on the engine because of the added torque that diesel engines produce. They just make more, and this means that you'll have more expensive parts. That said, it's not all doom and gloom, because the biggest benefit of having a diesel truck is the added power that comes with it.
Read More: Winter Maintenance Tips For Diesel Trucks
On the flip side, there are gas heavy-duty trucks, and for starters, these guys will be a whole lot cheaper than diesel trucks. If you don't believe us, go on Facebook right now and look up the value of a used Ford F-250 - there's usually a 10-15,000 dollar difference between the gas and diesel variants, which is pretty wicked.
Even though they're cheaper than diesel trucks, gas heavy-duty trucks are just that - still heavy-duty trucks, which means that you're going to have a stiffer ride, heavier suspension, and an overall more heavy-duty frame and chassis than you'd find on a half-ton option. This is great for towing if you tow a lot, but might not be up to snuff if you're looking for a smooth-riding daily driver type. On top of that, because it's a gas engine, you can expect a little lower fuel economy, as typically these gas trucks will make a little bit less power than diesel options.
How Long Do Gas and Diesel Engines Last?
It goes without saying, but typically, a gas truck is not going to last quite as long as a diesel. Gas trucks will usually get you anywhere between 200,000 and 250,000 miles before they reach the end of their life cycle. With a diesel, however, it's not uncommon to see them run upwards of 350,000 miles or a little bit more.
Should You Buy a Gas Or Diesel Heavy-Duty Truck?
At the end of the day, what makes a gas heavy-duty truck appealing to most folks is that you'll still get a three-quarter or one-ton truck, but you retain the simplicity of a gas engine. The simple, easy, and reliable ease of use of walking out your door in the winter and knowing that your truck will be able to fire up without having to wait is often more than enough of a selling point for many. Of course, the lack of diesel smell doesn't hurt either. Plus, with gas trucks being around $10,000 less than a diesel truck, you can throw a lift, wheels, and tires on one for that money and get a much more capable truck than if you'd just bought a diesel straight up. Either way, though, the choice is yours, and there are definite advantages to going with either option.
So, what do you guys think? Sound off!