Diesel trucks are the backbone of America’s transportation infrastructure. Not only do they take care of the bulk of the country’s overland transport needs, they also do important work in construction, agriculture, and other essential industries. While the trucks themselves vary a lot in size, capacity, and purpose, one thing is true across the board. They are all expensive investments, and the right maintenance and upgrade path is the key to getting the best possible return on their cost. That means understanding the value of performance parts, including the benefits that come with heavy duty transmissions.
Upgrading the transmission on a diesel truck offers many of the same advantages as an upgrade to a passenger vehicle, but since the diesel engine applies its power differently, the gains you notice appear a little different in a truck than they do in your commuter car. Upgraded truck transmissions tend to give you more torque in lower gears, making it easier to tackle the toughest inclines and to maintain traction on the iciest roads. If you regularly push your equipment to the limit, you need to consider upgrading to parts that are built to deliver.
The more efficient and finely tuned your transmission, the better your overall fuel efficiency will be. That’s true of most engine builds, because the gearing in the transmission plays a key role in the application of the forces generated in the engine. Will a performance transmission pay for itself in fuel savings? That’s highly unlikely. When you consider fuel savings alongside the other benefits of performance parts, though, you might just save money over the OEM option in the long view.
Most performance parts wind up having a longer operating lifespan than OEM choices when they are used under similar conditions. It’s not hard to understand why, either. If a part is engineered to deliver a higher level of performance while withstanding the additional stresses generated, it’s also more resistant to wear and tear at normal use levels. If you push the limit of a new transmission repeatedly, you won’t notice a longer life. If you drive it just like your last one, though, it’s just going to have an easier time handling that work than the part whose specs it exceeds.
While it’s often true that performance parts save you money in the long term, it’s not an easy set of savings to quantify. Especially when you consider soft gains, like increased operator efficiency and lower stress while driving. Like your maintenance plan, it’s just good common sense and risk management.