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What Makes Caterpillar Diesel Generators Unique?

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When power stops flowing to your business, it can stop your business workflow.

Here’s what you should know about diesel generators and why Caterpillar diesel generators could be the right solution for your business.

Creating a Diesel Generator Checklist

Before you invest in just any diesel generator, there are some important feature checklist questions to answer. Here are some example questions to consider:

  • Whether you need a single-phase or three-phase unit
  • What sort of power ratings you need
  • How much run time you need
  • How long you’ll need to use the generator over the long-term

If you have a large enterprise with high operational demands, you’ll likely need a three-phase generator. These are rugged machines built for the large-scale power demands of a commercial enterprise.

Smaller businesses can consider single-phase generators for moderate power needs.

Both types of generators produce power in waves, but the three-phase generator does this at a higher level. Once you determine which option is right for your business, you can address other factors like run time and long-term use.

The Benefits of Caterpillar Diesel Generators

Caterpillar has industry awarded generators for both small and large businesses. Their diesel engines have some of the best models, specifically for large businesses considering power and longevity.

Other benefits of Caterpillar diesel generators include efficiency and low floor occupancy. Many of their models suit small businesses that might consider other factors like noise level and location placement.

Power and Balance

Caterpillar is known for its powerful engines. Their diesel engines operate with high power densities. To pair with the raw engine power, Caterpillar diesel generators use some of the most advanced engine control technology.

The Cat C32 ACERT is one example of an industry standout model from Caterpillar. This generator had 44% more power density than other machines on the market in 2018.

Other models such as the Cat C18 contain three extra power nodes more than the standard generator, with power ratings from 600 kW to 680 kW.

To support its robust performance, the Cat C18 also includes Caterpillar’s new A5 ECM (engine control module). This balances all areas of the machinery, including the ignition, emissions control, and the fuel mixture.


Caterpillar has produced some of the most technologically advanced and safe equipment. In 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded Caterpillar the Clean Air Excellence Award.

The EPA specifically recognized Caterpillar for its Cat 3512E Tier 4 DGB engine. It holds a diesel displacement rate of up to 85%, which is an industry record.


Not all-powerful diesel engines have to occupy a lot of space. The C18 also shows how powerhouses can have more convenient setups.

While the C18 is an impressive powerhouse, it also occupies 55% less floor space than other engines in its class. Caterpillar’s C18 is proof that more hardware doesn’t always bring more power.

The Cat 3516E is a more recent model with a high power density but lower floor occupancy. Released in 2020, this model is a powerhouse that occupies 15% less floor space.

Why Diesel?

There are other fuel types such as natural gas, propane, and gasoline. Although Caterpillar offers a variety of generators with other fuel types, there’s a reason why diesel is the most popular.

Manageability and Convenience

If anything, diesel generators are the most convenient choice for businesses based on cost and manageability.

Diesel is also easy to store since it can last for up to two years, even throughout winter. During those colder months, all diesel requires are preservative additives for winter storage.

Other fuels like gasoline are a less common choice for commercial generators since they’re not as easily storable. Acquiring it can also come with a higher price tag than diesel and other fuels.

However, gasoline generators can have a simple maintenance requirement like diesel.

Noise level can also be an unexpected factor in your decision. Compared to other engines of a similar size, diesel engines have some of the quietest running models.

This is especially true for newer diesel models compared to older ones. Besides manageability, diesel remains a favorite fuel type for various other reasons.

Low Maintenance Costs and Operational Costs

Diesel generators don’t have spark wires or spark-plugs because the fuel auto-ignites.

This ultimately eliminates maintenance costs for those features. Diesel engine maintenance accounts for about one-third of the overall operation costs.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory found that the total cost of ownership was much lower for diesel engines than gas engines.

For each diesel engine unit, the total cost of ownership was $1,205/kW. The total cost of natural gas was comparatively higher at $1,405/kW.

High Energy Density

Diesel engines tend to have a higher energy density than other fuel types like gas. Their increased thermal efficiency means that the diesel fuel cost per Kilowatt ratio is lower than the cost of gas per Kilowatt.

Ultimately, you can use more diesel than gas and for much less.

Compared to diesel, natural gas and propane aren’t the most cost-effective option, but they can work for some businesses.

Propane has some environmental perks since it’s considered a “clean-burning fuel,” but it’s less efficient than diesel so it consumes more fuel.

Natural gas is also less efficient, but it can be a convenient option if your business is directly linked to a natural gas line. If so, it’s easily accessible and you won’t have to consider storage options.

Caterpillar Diesel Generators: A Trusted Name

Losing power can also mean losing money. With a generator, you can mitigate that loss and keep your business running. Getting a trusted brand in the business ensures that your business can rely on the technology in the long run.

That’s why we sell an entire selection of trusted Caterpillar Diesel generators to keep your business going.

To learn more about our inventory or to get information, contact us today!

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