Cost of Operating Diesel Vehicle


To find information on the total cost of operating diesel vehicle in a fleet. As available, cost of operating information will be segmented into vehicle classes i.e. class 1 to class 8.

Early Findings

United States Vehicle Classification

  • According to the Federal Highway Administration classification of vehicles, there are 15 classes of vehicles in the United States.
  • The classification for class 1 to 8 includes:
  • Class 1 - motorcycles (<6,000 lb).
  • Class 2 - passenger cars i.e. all cars, cars with one-axle trailers , and cars with two-axle trailers (6,001 lb - 10,000 lb).
  • Class 3 - other two-axle four-tire single-unit vehicles i.e. pick-ups and vans, pick-ups and vans with one- and two-axle trailers (10,001 lb - 14,000 lb).
  • Class 4 - buses i.e. two- and three-axle buses (14,001 lb - 16,000 lb).
  • Class 5 - two-axle, six-tire, single-unit trucks i.e. two-axle trucks (16,001 lb - 19,500 lb).
  • Class 6 - three-axle single-unit trucks i.e. three-axle trucks and three-axle tractors without trailers (19,501 lb - 26,000 lb).
  • Class 7 - four or more axle single-unit trucks i.e. four-, five-, six- and seven-axle single-unit trucks (26,001 lb - 33,000 lb).
  • Class 8 - four or fewer axle single-trailer truck i.e. two-axle trucks pulling one- and two-axle trailers, two-axle tractors pulling one- and two-axle trailers , and three-axle tractors pulling one-axle trailers (>33,001 lb).

Cost of Operation of Diesel Vehicles

  • An article on Government Fleet presents information on the costs of ownership, maintenance, and operating vehicles that have light to medium truck engines.
  • This information is presented for both gas and diesel vehicles.
  • For instance, a significant amount of information is presented for the GMC 6.5 L diesel engine. This information includes acquisition premium of $2,850, fuel cost lifetime of $28,333.33, routine maintenance cost of $120, routine maintenance total cost of $3,000, auction premium of $150, and a total ownership cost of $34,333.33.

Summary of Findings

  • The information that is available in the public domain is enough to either present available costs or triangulate the total cost of operating diesel vehicle in a fleet.
  • Consequently, we recommend performing research for each of the target classes of vehicles in four research blocks i.e. two classes per research block.

Proposed next steps:

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