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I’d Know that Sound Anywhere


Why diesel engines are so loud and sound like…well, diesel engines

Unless you’re Amish (in which case you might not be able to read this), you experience your fair share of noise on probably a daily basis. Whether it’s loud-talking people, blasting TVs and radios, or all of the vehicles you encounter out on the roads, it’s enough to make you feel like the Grinch with his diatribe about noise.

And it’s those vehicles and other mechanical equipment that are usually the worst offenders, especially when they run on diesel. Now, your car probably hums along relatively quietly, so why does that behemoth of a truck idling next to you scare the birds out of the trees? To figure it out, let’s first look at how a diesel engine works.

Like a gas engine, but different

Both gas-powered and diesel-powered engines require combustion to work. With a gas engine, fuel – along with air – is injected into metal cylinders. The mixture is then compressed by a piston, which leads to an electric spark from a sparkplug. As a result, power is created that pushes the piston down the cylinder.

In a diesel engine, air is first sent into the cylinder to be compressed by the piston. Once this takes places, fuel is sprayed into the cylinder by an injection system. Because the air is so hot, immediately the fuel ignites, thus a sparkplug isn’t needed. This explosion allows the piston to push back, creating the power for operation.

So, why are they so darn loud?

Because, unlike a gas engine, one powered by diesel relies on extremely hot air to light the fuel; this creates that ear-splitting noise when it’s fired up. And because those pistons are constantly moving in order to keep the engine going, this results in that familiar diesel growl you may be accustomed to.

Is all that noise a big deal?

Well, for folks who live next to a highway, it almost certainly is. And aside from cars, diesel engines are typically found in large pieces of machinery, including construction equipment. If you ask a construction worker about noise (assuming he or she can hear you), they’ll almost certainly say they hate it.

In addition to causing hearing problems, according to the EPA, constant exposure to loud noises can lead to high blood pressure which could cause heart problems. Noise can also be a factor in the health of unborn children, and it can even lower testosterone. So, yeah, loud noise is a big deal.

What’s the solution?

While unfortunately there’s nothing that can be done about your neighbor who insists on revving his diesel engine at 6 a.m., there is good news for people who work in construction. Some equipment no longer has to run on diesel, or any fuel for that matter. Our mini skid steers run completely on battery power. This means they produce zero emissions, which is excellent for the environment. Plus – and here’s the part that matters to your ears (and other body parts) – they’re extremely quiet.

Want more information about the benefits of using battery-powered construction equipment? Just send us a message through our online contact form.

October 11, 2017 By Alex Berg in Blog