At Super Lawn Trucks, we get the chance to talk to lawn and landscape contractors on a daily basis who have questions about Isuzu Diesel Powered Trucks and Isuzu Gas Powered Trucks.
One of the most popular questions we hear goes like this: “I’d like to see the cost difference between the gas-powered and the diesel-powered trucks. Which costs more, diesel or gas trucks?”
The answer to the question may be obvious to business owners who have a lot of experience buying diesel and gas-powered trucks. But, if you are new to commercial work trucks or you are just getting started with your contracting business, the answers may not be too obvious. That’s why we have prepared this report. Our goal is to help you become a well-informed buyer.
There are two significant differences in Isuzu diesel powered trucks versus Isuzu gas powered trucks.
- Initial Purchase Price
- Fuel Cost
Here’s what you need to know about initial purchase price.
Today’s Isuzu diesel-powered trucks cost between $4000 and $6000 MORE than an equally equipped or an equal gross vehicle weight rated Isuzu gas powered truck.
Diesel trucks cost more today because of the stringent emissions standards established by the federal government.
The Diesel Emissions Reduction Act of 2010 helped establish goals to reduce pollution from diesel engines. Diesel powered trucks built after 2010 have advanced exhaust systems to reduce pollution. Most of these advanced diesel exhaust systems use a product called diesel emissions fluid (or DEF for short) that helps treat the exhaust and remove pollutants before they exit the tail pipe.
If you operate a diesel-powered truck built after 2010, you’ll have to fill your DEF tank after you burn a few tanks of diesel fuel. More on the operating costs of a diesel-powered engines in a minute.
If you need to have the powerful torque of a diesel engine to pull or haul heavy loads, you’ll can feel good knowing that your exhaust system releases a fraction of the pollution of yesterday’s diesel engines.
You’ll also want to consider the fact that these advanced exhaust systems prefer to be operated out on the open road. Today’s diesel exhaust systems hate living in the world of stop and go operations. The advanced exhaust system that reduces pollution requires maintenance that diesel engines of the past never heard of.
Diesel exhaust regeneration or (REGEN for short) is a process that burns off trapped pollutants at high temperatures. Failure to allow your truck to go through automated REGEN events can damage the exhaust system. Repairs to these exhaust systems can cost thousands of dollars.
However, the durability of diesel engines are legendary. In fact, the Isuzu diesel powered engine has a B-10 rating of 310,000 miles. Compare this to a B-10 rating of a gas-powered engine of 210,000 miles, you can draw the conclusion the diesel engine has 1/3 more life on the road. (The B-10 rating is an engineering standard that says 90% of the engines built will operate without internal failure until the stated life expectancy.)
Some may call this, “you get what you pay for”. Diesel engines are expected to have a longer life than gas engines. However, your engine maintenance habits could make a big impact on overall engine life for a gas or diesel engine. There are applications when a diesel engine is the best choice and there are applications where a gas-powered engine is the best choice.
Here’s what you need to know about fuel cost.
Wherever you travel today, you can find fuel stations that sell diesel fuel and gasoline. Although gasoline is the undisputed leader in the automotive industry, diesel powered trucks are the undisputed leader in heavy duty work trucks.
One quick glance at the price for diesel fuel and gasoline and you’ll see that diesel fuel is priced higher than gasoline in most areas. Although the difference in costs per gallon vary from state to state, many will see that diesel fuel costs from .25¢ to .50¢ more per gallon than gasoline.
On the surface, you may assume that it cost more to buy fuel diesel trucks than gas trucks. But you should know that while diesel fuel is higher priced, diesel powered trucks tend to get better fuel economy than an equally weighted (or loaded) and equally equipped gas-powered truck.
Take a look at the chart below. This explains the estimated fuel costs for diesel-powered and gas-powered trucks with a variety of estimated annual miles driven.
This chart provides clear data regarding the costs for fuel for diesel-powered Isuzu trucks and gas- powered Isuzu trucks. Please note that manufactures of work trucks are not required to publish fuel economy rating for their vehicles. There can be significant difference in fuel economy based on vehicle loads, terrain, and driver habits like idling the truck.
However, based on our data driving, owning, and testing a variety of Isuzu trucks overs the past 3 decades, we can share this information with confidence.
You’ll spend approximately $5000 more on a diesel-powered Isuzu truck than an equally equipped and weight rated gas-powered Isuzu truck up front. But each year, you’ll spend LESS money on diesel fuel than gasoline when miles driven is equal. The better fuel economy of the diesel truck lowers overall operating cost when your annual miles driven are equal.
Basically, the more miles you drive each year, the more sense it makes to purchase diesel powered trucks. Over the years, we have shared this data chart and asked contractors how many miles they drive their rig each year.
When we discover that a contractor is going to be driving in excess of 20,000 miles per year, we advise our clients to strongly consider the diesel-powered trucks. They will recover the cost of the initial purchase price via fuel savings over a period of 4 to 5 years. We believe that if an investment pays for itself in 4 to 5 years, it’s worth serious consideration.
However, working with hundreds of lawn and landscape contracting companies over the years, we know that the majority of contractors drive well under 20,000 miles per year. After all, the nature of a profitable lawn and landscape contracting operation requires tight geographical routing and very little over-the-road trips.
Please note: we have NOT included the cost of DEF fluid in the chart above. But we have used a difference of .50¢/gallon of diesel fuel and gasoline. A quick survey of the market may reveal a smaller gap than our chart. But we feel omitting the costs of DEF fluid justifies this gap.
When a lawn or landscape company closely records their mileage on work trucks, many discover they drive under 10,000 miles per year. In this case it could take 10 to 20 years to recover the increase in initial purchase price of a diesel-powered truck via fuel savings.
Therefore, when contractors driving habits are 10,000 miles per year or less, gasoline powered trucks are the recommended trucks.
We hope you find this information helpful as you consider Isuzu diesel powered or Isuzu gas-powered trucks. We invite you to call our company at 866-923-0027 to get quotes on Isuzu trucks with the Super Lawn Truck system or the Super Contractor Truck system. You can request quotes online at www.superlawntruck.com .
This article was written by Tony Bass on July 30,2020. It has been published for lawn and landscape contractors who have questions about the costs of Isuzu diesel- and gas-powered trucks.