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It has to do with evaporating condensation in the crankcase. If you're always doing short trips, and the vehicle never reaches a prolonged warm temperature, you run the risk of collecting condensation.

This is true for any vehicle, not just diesels. Diesels, however, run slightly colder when driving around town without load, compared to gasoline vehicles. Gasoline vehicles will typically reach a higher operating temperature, usually over 200*F. Diesels will sometimes be lower, in the 180-200*F range. This makes evaporating condensation in a diesel a little more work, AKA, drive time.
 
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