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When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Let's settle the raging battle that's been going on for years, and decide which diesel truck excels over others. From an outsider's perspective, all three are just diesel trucks, but once we dive deeper, the differences are significant!
Photo credit: sherwoodford. Powerstroke is leading the power race with an incredible 1, lb-ft and hp. The fuel system failures are way too common and the repairs can get costly. Excellent torque distribution throughout the RPM range.
Excellent work trucks that can haul heavy objects daily while staying durable. Buying a Duramax truck for daily driving is expensive.
You will need to cover various maintenance needs. The newest engines are much quieter, and that doesn't represent a powerful truck well. Ford first released the 6. A few years later, in , Ford increased the displacement to 7. Ford and Navistar International developed the first Powerstroke in It was an engine that shared a lot of similarities with the 7. The 7. The "seven-three" was reliable, powerful, and it had a luxurious feel to it.
Powerstroke was the main choice of many United States customers who needed a work truck, or a fleet of them, for almost a decade.
With the new 6. The Cummins engine family's beginnings date much further than Powerstroke and Duramax. The incredible story of Clessie Lyle Cummins who built his company in is what drew, and still draws, a lot of pickup enthusiasts.
He created engines for farm use that were sold in a catalog. However, due to a loophole, his business wasn't profitable. But that didn't stop Clessie from taking the Cummins brand to a new level. He took the Auburn and swapped the engine for his new model six-cylinder diesel. Confident and determined, he traveled from New York to Los Angeles in his new modified sedan.
Dodge Ram adopted the Cummins 5. They were the industry leader for a while, but then they fell behind until In , the engine was redesigned, and unlike the competition, Cummins was ready for the new emissions standards.
Today, the Cummins 6. Their heavy-duty pickups are considered powerful, easy to work on, workhorses. However, some are unhappy with Cummins' decision to merge with Dodge Ram. General Motors seemed to struggle with heavy-duty trucks and their engines from the beginning.
Taking matters into their own hands, GM developed a 5. Soon after, in , the production was moved out-of-house in an attempt to create a diesel engine that could hang with the competition. GM and Detroit Diesel developed the 6. The Duramax family began 20 years later once GM decided to end their partnership with Detroit Diesel and move on to a partnership with Isuzu.
General Motors finally bridged the gap in , with the first generation Duramax, the 6. Ever since then, they have aimed to build heavy-duty trucks that could keep up with Powerstroke and Cummins in terms of power while at the same time developing durable, long-lasting engines.
Photo credit: dieselresource. Heavy-duty pickup trucks are used for towing more than anything. Countless fleet vehicles haul heavy objects every day. For that reason, today's trucks are capable of towing more than 35, pounds! In the heavy-duty pickup market, torque numbers are much more important than horsepower numbers. Ford's Powerstroke dominates the competition with 1, lb-ft in Even though you might not even notice the difference between Powerstrokes 1, lb-ft and Cummins' 1, lb-ft, Powerstroke takes the edge.
Ford's 6. Torque might be more important than horsepower when it comes to pickups, but we can't disregard the accomplishment. The extra power will come in handy once it's time to accelerate past another vehicle on the highway with a trailer attached. Warranty is one of the most important things for someone who's looking to purchase several work vehicles. It's the guarantee derived from Ford's belief in their trucks. Ford Powerstroke medium-duty trucks have an astonishing ,mile warranty!
These are special-purpose commercial-use trucks, but they do have the same engine as the more powerful work trucks. The diesel pickup truck market is much different from any other market on the planet.
Truck enthusiasts are loyal to their respective brands to the end, and Ford doesn't disappoint. They've had their downfalls with the Powerstroke, but it always seems to be the stepping stone for something greater. Ford may fall behind from time to time, but they will always come up with a new patent or a new invention that will once again put them ahead of the competition. Powerstroke is the best of the best in multiple departments.
Driving the most powerful diesel trucks on the planet is quite a feeling. Owning and driving a Powerstroke will put a smile on your face every single day. Photo credit: cummins. Pickup trucks are most often used for towing, and although Powerstroke wins the numbers race, a Cummins truck can tow heavy loads reliably; this is where Cummins shines. The low-end torque of Cummins trucks lets you tow heavy objects without having to worry about the truck's durability, reliability, or fuel economy.
Cummins engines date back to , much older than Duramax V8, which hit the market in , and Powerstroke, which hit the market in Cummins has one of the most incredible stories among the entire automotive industry.
If you care about the history of what you're driving, Cummins has the most to offer. Warranty plays a crucial part in a truck buyer's decision. Especially if the customer plans to purchase multiple vehicles. Nissan offers , miles warranty for their Titan XD with a Cummins engine. For the first , miles, the truck most likely won't have any major issues, but the seller guarantees that the truck will at least reach a certain mileage. If the warranty doesn't give you the necessary 'safety', then the engine's popularity will.
Cummins has a loyal fanbase and the largest one at that. Those who swear by the Cummins brand do it for a reason. Powerstroke and Duramax have been trying to win over truck enthusiast's hearts for the past couple of years, but they're fighting for second place, with Cummins holding down the first place. Photo credit: slashgear. While Powerstroke and Cummins lead the diesel market with incredible numbers, with Duramax coming in at third place with horsepower and lb-ft, the efficiency of Duramax is unmatched.
The trucks move much more easily and smoothly, providing a better ride quality. Thanks to their transmissions, they can utilize the power that they have very well, allowing them to tow heavy loads with ease. As the name Duramax suggests, these trucks offer maximum durability.
Duramax's journey will be much smoother and longer compared to Powerstroke and Cummins. Over time, with the constant heavy pressure that these trucks are put under, they won't lose their smooth ride quality. The lower power output of these trucks isn't entirely bad. Duramax trucks are more reliable than Powerstroke and Cummins because of it.
You will also save up on maintenance in the long run. Besides, when will you utilize the entire power that the engine can provide? The only downside in terms of reliability is that once the trucks do break down, the repairs can get costly.
Duramax offers a 5-year warranty for , miles. That warranty isn't as useful, since these trucks don't break down as often. But the trucks do shine in terms of resale value. The resale value of Duramax trucks doesn't drop as significantly over the years. Knowing that you won't lose money if you purchase one or multiple Duramax trucks is a huge plus. Duramax might be behind in the power race, but they offer everything that Powerstroke and Cummins don't.
They are excellent trucks with extraordinary durability. The newest model engines are similar but different at the same time. The 6. Duramax and Powerstroke each have V8 configurations compared to Cummins' I6 configuration. Powerstrokes compression ratio is These engines are somewhat similar in terms of production, and each one can pull its weight.
Cummins, Duramax, and Powerstroke each have similar fuel systems and fuel requirements. They each utilize direct injection with high-pressure common-rail and they can each run on ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel and B20 biodiesel. Heavy-duty pickup trucks are designed to haul heavy loads and conquer terrains; they're not designed to save up on fuel. But, Duramax, Cummins, and Powerstroke do their jobs very well, so we have to look at the details such as the fuel economy.
Keep in mind that this information isn't provided by the EPA, it's provided by lifelong truck drivers. Powerstroke will have excellent fuel economy if you're using it for daily commuting, Cummins saves you so much fuel if you tow daily, and Duramax is somewhere in the middle.
Each manufacturer has reliable powerplants to offer, but Powerstroke falls behind just a little because of their 6. However, every model engine will serve you well with proper care and maintenance. Duramax engines require a tad bit less maintenance to stay reliable, while the 7.
Without a doubt, these are work trucks, but we need to consider what type of work they do best. Duramax is an all-around truck; You can tow, daily drive, and offroad with it. Powerstrokes will shine at commuting and tackling obstacles. Cummins trucks can tow almost anything without a problem, thanks to their low-end torque. Then, in early , Ford introduced the 7. Like the CTD, the first Powerstroke became an industry leader and was on the market for a long time before changing emissions standards precipitated a change.
The replacement PSD was a 6. Head gasket failure and chronically clogged EGR valves were common problems with the 6.
One of the main reasons people buy trucks with diesel engines is to tow things. Diesel trucks produce a lot more torque than trucks with gas engines. This enables them to tow heavy equipment like boats, campers, trailers and more. Check out the following examples of torque production on different trucks and engines:. Going by engines alone, the first generation 7. The second PSD engine in the 6. The 6. The current 6. For the CTD, the first 5.
The following 6. It largely depends on what model of Dodge or Ford truck the engine is in. Currently, the PSD has a slight edge. As mentioned above, most people buy diesel trucks for their superior torque output. However, horsepower is also important for towing and hauling. It enables the truck to get up to speed faster.
Towing capacity is based on more than just the engine. It also depends on the structural design of the truck. Different models and different trims within a particular model might tow more or less, depending on their equipment. Some trims come with towing packages that increase the towing capacity of a particular truck. In general, the maximum towing capacity in any truck will be found on a 2WD trim. A 4WD truck will always have less towing capacity vs. It also covers the majority of popular towing items, such as campers and boats.
However, diesel engines offer more power than gas engines and generally superior fuel economy. The most recent model of the F 3.
The most recent model of the Titan XD 5. Most diesel enthusiasts seem to agree that the Cummins Turbo Diesel is the better engine in terms of reliability, but the Ford pickups tend to last longer and be more reliable than the Ram pickups. The top problems on these two engines are as follows:. The exhaust manifold issue with shrinking and cracking is most often found on trucks with the CTD that do a lot of towing.
The Powerstroke Diesel turbocharger issue happens mainly to tuned engines as the additional horsepower and torque cause the ball bearings of the turbo to degrade. For light-duty trucks with a PSD or CTD, the best warranty you can find is , miles or five years on the powertrain. Ford, Ram and Nissan all have this warranty on their diesel pickups. Medium-duty Ford diesel pickups come with a ,mile warranty. The CTD is arguably the most popular diesel engine, and it has the most name recognition.
Buyers looking for their first diesel pickup might lean towards the CTD for this reason alone. In terms of the trucks themselves, the Ram is also a popular truck. However, Ford trucks in both diesel and gas forms have long been among the best-selling vehicles in America for many years.