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Detroit Diesel vs. Caterpiller vs Cummins

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  • Detroit Diesel vs. Caterpiller vs Cummins

    What do you like? I have always liked the growl of a
    Detroit Diesel but it seems like Cat and Cummins are
    becoming big players too.


  • #2
    Want to hear a Cat purr?Listen to a D8 or D-9 working sometime.For over the road the Cat or Cummins is usually engine of choice.In Fire apparatus the gap is closing.All of the Engines if matched in liter size will do a good job.All of our fleet is Cummins based,we've had good luck with no problems but others in the area with other motor combos can boast the same thing.From a repair standpoint if you're running say Detroits,stay with them it minimizes parts stocking.The modern diesel engine is set up to do a million miles linehaul without cracking it open,so do the math for a firetruck.We're harder on the engine but we'll never put a million on it.So the choice will logically be what works for you.T.C.


    • #3
      Mostly its a matter of "personal" choice. I grew up in a trucking family, and all our trucks were Cummins, but I got to ride with some powered by Detroit, and many others by Cat.

      Our FD trucks - the Tanker and the Engine - are both powered by 250 Cummins, which is the same as my Dad's trucks incidentally. So I have a special love for Cummins. Nice quiet engine, and fairly easy maintenance. Cats purrr like nothing else on the road, and offer a huge range of power, but neither one is very tolerant to "Ham-Fisted" driving.

      Detroit is a strong motor and takes one hell of a beating and will keep on ticking. However, they are usually noisy as hell too.

      Like 101 says, the engines are built to withstand a million road miles before rebuilding, and if you take care and do regular maintenance, they will do that and more. However, as noted, we almost won't ever reach those 'exalted' run of miles, but the hours that our engines run at high RPM is very hard on them.

      A local example: we retired our Old Engine in July 2001. It was a 1982 International with just over 20,000 miles on it. The motor was about shot and the tranny was even worse for wear. But the truck had been "nowhere". Fortunately our Station is at the TOP of the hill, so responding to anywhere was all down hill. Getting home again was often a chore but that was ok too. It didnt help any that it was a gasoline engine with a 5/4 tranny.

      Given the choice I will always vote Cummins then Cat, but again mostly thats just "personal" choice.
      If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

      "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

      "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

      Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

      impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

      IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.


      • #4

        Quiet Cummins, ever been around a triple nickel.


        • #5
          Pierce and CATs

          We changed from cummins or Detroits to Catapillers with our last Engine delivery and what a differance, we will be using the Cat motors for all our new purrchases.
          Front line since 1983 and still going strong


          • #6
            With regard to apparatus that I've driven over the years, I'd gp with
            1. Cummins
            2. Detroit
            3. Caterpiller

            Having said that, they are all quality powerplants.


            • #7
              Our department has many of each. Our lastest trucks are all CAT's. 3126 and C-12's. Sitting in the bay below me is a Sutphen with the 6V92 and it has 207,791 miles on the original motor. It's tired and weak now. It was run for 7 years at our busiest house and tallied up about 150,000 miles in those 7 years. Then it was run for the last five as a spare.

              Our CAT's are holding up well. We have some 50 series Detroits that are weak on take off (thanks EPA). Our 300 Cummins have been very troublesome with many headgasket jobs.

              Our maintenance program is meticulous. THAT is where the difference is.


              • #8
                Scoob,Outta that whole lot you only got one that's even close to a real motor.The 6-92 and it's a poor excuse.In Cats the "good" motors are the C15 class,in Detroits the 400hp and up 60's(the 50's a mouse motor)Cummins nothing smaller than a M-11 370 with the M14 preferred. 3126 is a parcel truck/fuel truck motor,the 50 Detroit is really too small for our use,the mini Cummins(under 11 liter)same story.Will they work?Yes but the fire service is hard on motors and this is one arena where bigger really is BETTER.I know you're not going to but it's a pretty cheap proposition to drop in a new set of "slugs" and run the rack on that 6-92.They were an oil leaking pain,but a simpler,more reliable powerplant for the fire service would be hard to find. T.C.


                • #9
                  We have two cummins: 1 in our first engine, and one in our rescue.

                  So out of what I have read in other places and what I have known, I would have to say:

                  1) Cummins
                  2) Caterpiller
                  3) Detroit

                  Our other trucks have Mack (Second out engine) engines and Wakashaw (I think that is how you spell it.)(Third out). Our other vehicles have a GMC engine (Mini-Pumper) and Ford (Both Ambulances).
                  51 Pride - R.I.P. Sandy
                  Alarm 200644004, I won't ever forget.

                  Remember you only have 1*.



                  • #10
                    if you're looking to buy a new truck, the one thing you need to consider in the engine make to use is. do you have a quality service center or delaership in you're area

                    tim h


                    • #11

                      Service center? Warranty? Parts availibility? Man, that's not important. What you want is somthing that hauls the freight real quick and sounds good.

                      Detroit 8V92TA with a Jake Brake and Straight Stacks, coupled to an Allison HT70 Transmission.

                      Right Bou?
                      Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
                      In memory of
                      Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
                      Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

                      IACOJ Budget Analyst

                      I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.



                      • #12
                        I've trucked as a long hauler and owned my own truck. I've also been a fleet manager in the military. I've also been in the fire service now for many years (full time and volly) and I swear by Detroit Series 60 as a single spec engine or a fleet spec engine. I just can't say enough about the power plant. If your getting one, get the ProDriver on board computer system with it. It to is worth the extra bucks.



                        • #13
                          Re: Huh?...............................

                          Originally posted by hwoods
                          Service center? Warranty? Parts availibility? Man, that's not important. What you want is somthing that hauls the freight real quick and sounds good.

                          Detroit 8V92TA with a Jake Brake and Straight Stacks, coupled to an Allison HT70 Transmission.

                          Right Bou?
                          Yes SIR! That brings up a good question. Who else makes
                          transmissions other than Allison?


                          • #14
                            Trannies..? Lets see if I get this straight: Eaton/Fuller, Allison (which is owned by Detroit Diesel which is owned by Freightliner which owns American LaFrance, which also owns Sterling Truck now and Mercedes trucks and Diesels, which is all owned by Dialmer Chrysler..? Whew), Rockwell (?)(still in the tranny bizz?), and finally, I'm not sure but I think that Mack may still make their own. As far as Ford and GM are concerned, I'm not sure how big their trannies go up as far as class 8 trucks are concerned. I know that they both still make medium duty trannies. Then there are the foreign trannies like Mitsubishi, Hino, Komatsu, Hitachi, Fiat (?), Croft, DAF(?), MAN, ....so there are a few. In North America, the proven rule in truck spec's is Manual use Eaton Fuller Roadranger, and for Automatic, use an Allison if possible. Jakes are OK but are being frowned upon more often then not in built up urban areas (funny how we get away with lights, siren, and air horn...but turn on that Jake and look out at the next city hall meeting!!). Transmission retarders are the wave of the future. Chow.



                            • #15
                              Transmission retarders IMO are a thing of the past. They are very effective, but too much tranny heat. I like Jakes, as long as it's a big enough engine and tranny downshifts. I like Telmas, but don't like the 200 amp draw.


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