The driver of an 18-wheeler truck has the responsibility of transporting large and heavy cargo. That is why trucks need a powerful engine that can pull these massive loads for extremely long distances, and diesel engines fit this description. Although the massive power that these trucks have is good for consumers who need to purchase the things that these trucks bring to the stores, this power can also cause devastating consequences if you are hit by an 18-wheeler truck. If you are injured in a collision with an 18-wheeler, a truck accident lawyer will need to represent your interests so that you can receive the treatment that you require. You may need medical care for several years. Your car will need to be repaired, but you cannot expect the truck’s owner to volunteer to offer you the money that you are entitled to receive. That is why a qualified truck accident attorney is essential in this situation. Why Do Large Trucks Use Diesel Engines? The first question you may ask your 18 wheeler accidents attorney is, “Why do these large trucks use diesel engines if they are so dangerous?” Just one of the reasons is the fact that an 18-wheeler has to travel so far. Generally, a gas-powered engine can last for approximately 125,000 miles. This would be impractical for an 18-wheeler because these vehicles can reach 100,000 miles in just one year. Fuel Economy Also important to the owners of 18-wheelers is the price of fuel. It is not as difficult to refine diesel fuel as it is to refine gasoline, so the price of diesel fuel can be lower than gasoline. Furthermore, trucks with diesel engines offer 25 to 30 percent better fuel economy than vehicles with gasoline-powered engines. This definitely benefits truck drivers who are traveling long distances every year. Fuel Efficiency Diesel fuel is also much more efficient than gasoline. One gallon of gasoline contains 125,000 BTUs of energy, but one gallon of diesel fuel has 147,000 BTUs of energy. This means that it takes more gasoline in a gas-powered engine to equal the power that can be derived from diesel fuel in a diesel engine. Furthermore, fuel mixes with the incoming air in the gasoline-powered engine’s intake manifold, and this is an inefficient use of energy. The diesel engine, on the other hand, injects fuel directly into the cylinder, and this causes more fuel to be burned in a diesel engine than can be burned in a gasoline-powered engine. Trucks are often left idling for long periods of time. When an 18-wheeler with a diesel engine is in an idle state, only one-third of the amount of fuel is burned as would be with a gas-powered engine. Less Maintenance Is Required The fact that 18-wheelers have so far to go to arrive at their destinations would mean that these vehicles would need to be serviced on a fairly frequent basis. This would only be the case if the engine is gas-powered and is another reason that people favor diesel engines for their 18-wheelers. Diesel engines do not have spark plugs, so they do not require the ignition tune-ups that gas-powered engines do. Therefore, they can last for more than 300,000 miles before they need to be overhauled. The Need for Greater Torque It goes without saying that 18-wheelers are large vehicles, so starting them and pulling loads of at least 20 tons for many miles requires a powerful engine. The diesel engine can produce more torque than a gas-powered engine, and torque is needed to physically pull extremely heavy loads especially if the truck is going uphill.