Advantages of diesel engines in heavy duty vehicles

By Kennedy Ilediagu
Publish on June 17, 2019

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If you always tried to figure out why diesel engines are used in heavy duty vehicles and petrol in smaller cars, here are Naijauto explanations for you!

A lot of drivers always wonder why diesel engines are used in heavy duty vehicles. The reason is not to segregate between automobiles, but for better performance and efficiency. Notwithstanding, the diesel engines in smaller vehicles has almost different features from that found in tankers, trailers, haulage trucks and so on. At the end of the day, what matters is that all the components of the engine come together to ensure maximum output and high performance. But to enlighten you a bit further, here is why diesel engines are used in heavy duty vehicles, provided by!

1. High torque

If you might have noticed, heavy duty vehicles run at slow speed especially in areas with lots of vehicular movement. This is in a bid to avoid accidents. But it's worthy to note that running on slow speed equals more use of more fuel - and petrol burns a lot faster than diesel. So if they use petrol engines, the cost of operation will be extremely high.

But since diesel burns slower, more torque is achieved at slow speed as a result of the diesel engine being used. On the other hand, cars with petrol engines are cheap and run fast on the road, so the lowest revs per minute (RPM) rate that leads to quick burning of the petrol doesn't occur all the time. The force needed to propel the heavy vehicles to accelerate is more than the torque needed to forge petrol engine cars forward.

>>> Depends on distinctive factors, Diesel vs Petrol engine – Which is best for you? Find answer in the link!

2. Affordability

Many people use heavy duty trucks for business, while smaller cars with petrol engines are used for more personal use. That's also why those heavy machines are more expensive than small cars with petrol engines. This is where the affordability of diesel comes into play - so see it this way. The diesel engine makes up for the cost of acquiring and maintaining the vehicle, since you won't have to always enter a filling station to buy fuel. Besides, if you drive a small car, will you enjoy seeing a heavy duty truck on queue everytime you step into a filling station?

Just to add this doesn't however mean that there are no small cars with diesel engines but makers of these engines had the heavy duty machines in mind at first. Also, diesel is actually cheaper than petrol. Even at the time when price of petrol in Nigeria rose to 180 naira per liter, diesel stayed at 90 naira. Presently, petrol is still more expensive than diesel - saves you a lot on operations.


Diesel engines can save you time and money at the fuel station

3. High efficiency

When your car starts, the ignition spark leads to fuel combustion which helps make your engine run and the vehicle to move. In heavy vehicles and even ships and trains, there's a quicker spark at ignition - as a result of the torque needed and the rise in temperature.

Having a petrol engine in such machines means a quicker burning of fuel. But as diesel burns a lot slower, the vehicles are now basically more fuel economy or efficient. In ships for instance, where they really don't move so fast, fuel efficiency is really crucial. Even though how efficient a vehicle is will depend somewhat on the size of the engine, but efficiency will still be achieved at the end of the day - as compared with a petrol car. Also, the diesel truck have more fuel tank volume to store diesel. So you're saving more and spending less.

>>> You need to know both sides of the problem: What are the pros and cons of diesel engine?

4. Better vibration handling

Initially, diesel engines come with lots of vibration when put on. There's also a high compression ratio. This kind of engine could not be installed in small cars. Imagine driving your sedan and it keeps vibrating through your journey, you'll have to visit the hospital more times than you even drive. But with heavy duty trucks, vibrations are better handled.

With the weight and compression ratio, the vibrations get minimised and are spread across the large space of the vehicle. But if you have been in any of these trucks, you'll still notice the slight vibrations. It's only recently that diesel engines have been better modified to hav less harshness, vibration and noise. That's also why you find some smaller cars coming with the engines.


Vibrations from the diesel engine can be minimised in heavy duty trucks

All these should explain to you why diesel engines are used in heavy duty vehicles. Affordability, torque, vibration handling and efficiency are important. So if you intend to go into haulage business, this will show you that the cost of operations won't be as much as you thought because of the vehicle size. Lastly, you can also consider a small diesel car if you want a little experience before going for the big deal.

>>> Read more about car maintenance here on!

Kennedy Ilediagu

Kennedy Ilediagu is an experienced wordsmith and a creative automotive writer for His forte ranges from vehicle maintenance and latest industry updates, to car review articles. He is also a brand management and content creation expert who has worked with Daily Posts (United Kingdom), ESUT Egg Day magazine, and many others for years. Digital copies written by him inform, educate and engage readers globally. When Kennedy is not writing, he is busy taking care of animals, traveling or watching football.




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