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Diesel engine applications in our everyday life

Photo Credit: Kalawin /iStock Photo

Diesel engines have long been synonymous with semi-trucks, construction equipment, and heavy-duty work vehicles. But then, the truth is diesel engines power so many other things that we normally overlook. However, there’s no denying that today’s diesel is, by far, the world’s most efficient internal combustion engine around. Plus, with clean and renewable diesel, the possibilities seem endless. That said, the continued innovation and the various advances in diesel technology have ultimately paved the way for countless types of diesel engine applications. In fact, here are a few everyday applications you may have known about, and some you didn’t.

Diesel cars and trucks

Of course, diesel engines have made their way into everyday cars and trucks. With the ability to improve vehicle performance and save money on fuel, it was only a matter of time before your standard Audi or sports car had a diesel engine. Likewise, there’s no pickup truck around these days that doesn’t come with a diesel engine standard or offers this particular engine as a custom option. Moreover, the accessibility to premium diesel engine parts like the kind you find at has never been more prevalent.

Farming and agricultural equipment

Diesel engines and diesel-powered equipment have also become vital to the farming/agricultural sector. As of 2020, diesel engines actually power over two-thirds of all farming equipment. Plus, when you factor in standard semi-truck transportation and water irrigation equipment, it becomes very apparent just how important diesel technology is to farming. This is especially true in the U.S. Furthermore, as farms become even more mechanized, there’s a strong likelihood that the agricultural sector will rely on diesel technology and engines even more so than they do now.

Diesel generators

Generators are typically a lifeline for businesses, farms, schools, and hospitals. In the past, generators, especially non-commercial ones, ran on gasoline. Sure, today, you can still buy a gasoline-powered generator, but honestly, why would you? Diesel generators not only require less maintenance, but they are also more dependable, cost-effective, and last longer. These particular generators are ideal for standby power solutions, as they’re smaller, extremely portable, safer, more environmentally friendly, and fuel-efficient. What’s more, diesel generators are great for mobile and rental applications, too. Thus, it’s hard to see the downside here.

Hospital and university applications

As briefly mentioned, hospitals and large institutions all rely on diesel engines and technology. Typically, hospitals and universities use diesel generators for a variety of purposes. Hospitals have life-saving equipment, refrigeration systems, and more—all of which need to work no matter what. Therefore, it only makes sense that practically every hospital in the country has a diesel-powered generator. Similarly, universities have hospitals, labs, multiple cafeterias, student unions, and dorms that all need reliable standby power.

Data centers

Along those same lines, data centers worldwide rely on diesel-powered generators to seamlessly power up in the event of a blackout or loss of connectivity. In today’s technology-driven society, the reality is if the servers or systems go down, everything will come to a standstill. Businesses of all kinds, therefore, need a surefire guarantee that the power will stay on. Ultimately, this is why every telecommunications, Internet-based, communications, and financial company uses diesel generators.

Semi-trucks and buses

Yet another everyday diesel engine application we see everywhere is mass transportation. Clearly, diesel technology makes it easier for families to put food on the table, for consumers to receive their products, employees to get to work, and students to get to school. In terms of buses, in the last decade alone, it has been reported that more than 77 percent of U.S. transit buses have diesel engines. Additionally, 55 percent of school buses across the country are diesel-powered, and diesel engines power over 90 percent of the nation’s commercial semi and freight trucks.

Trains and marine equipment

Two more diesel applications that we tend to overlook are trains and marine equipment or boats. Yachts, larger vessels, and even cruise ships utilize diesel engines. Even today’s high-speed trains have a diesel-electrical hybrid version speeding through major cities across the globe. In fact, these diesel locomotives, as they are often called, are actually an incredible feat that demonstrates modern-day ingenuity and power. Since both freight trains and boats can easily use 1.5 gallons of fuel per mile without being fully loaded, it’s safe to say they benefit from diesel technology.

Mining and forestry

The necessary equipment that makes the cultivation of minerals and timber possible also needs to be dependable and long-lasting. As a result, there are diesel engines in almost every type of harvesting vehicle, brush cutting machine, tractor, shovel, and drill. The truth is both diesel technology and fuel are just as vital to these particular industries as it is to the agricultural sector. The mining industry alone uses over 7 billion dollars’ worth of equipment—all of which is diesel-powered. Likewise, the forestry/logging sector is very much dependent on diesel machinery and fuel.


Diesel technology and construction are basically a no-brainer. This is evident by the fact that over 98 percent of all energy used in the construction sector comes from diesel fuel, and more than 900,000 diesel vehicles are used nationwide at U.S. construction sites. Thanks to diesel engine power capabilities, safety features, and overall efficiency, these engines are essentially tailor-made for this industry. Thus, it’s more than clear that the workhorse in the wonderful world of construction is diesel.


Ultimately, these are just a few everyday diesel engine and technology applications. Nevertheless, by now, you may have noticed that there are two common threads here—reliability and guaranteed performance. It’s because diesel is so dependable, cost-effective, long-lasting, and efficient that almost every industrial sector utilizes it. Moreover, diesel engines help make the impossible a reality pretty much every single day. With heavy-duty power, clean diesel fuel, and even better emissions control, today’s diesel technology is truly a force to be reckoned with and shows no signs of slowing down.

augusta free press
augusta free press