Mother nature is wrapping up 2016 with a frigid cold front across the Midwest, signaling a rough winter ahead of us to start the New Year. Don’t begin 2017 with costly equipment repairs.
Avoid Fuel Gelling
Fuel additives are specifically formulated to keep heavy duty diesel engines performing at their peak. Once winter approaches, fuel should be treated with an anti-gel additive package, designed to keep your equipment operating in cold temperatures. If left untreated, fuel has a tendency to gel in winter weather causing unnecessary downtime and possible costly repairs. Don’t neglect your equipment this winter–make certain your fuel is treated.
Diesel fuel gelling can be costly for both the vehicle and the company.
At 32 degrees, the wax in liquid form will crystallize and leave the fuel tank clouded. At 10-15 degrees, it will finally start to gel and clog the tank and fuel filters. If you plan now, it will save you later.
Give us a call now.
Next Generation of Oil: PC-11
On December 1, 2016, two new categories of heavy-duty engine oil standards will be licensed: API CK-4 and FA-4. These new categories are part of Proposed Category 11 or PC-11. PC-11 is broken down into two subcategories: PC-11A and PC-11B
PC-11A will consist of the viscosity grades we have today. CJ-4 to CK-4 backward compatible.
PC-11B engine oils that are lighter viscosity grades provide better fuel economy FA-4 oils will be of a lighter viscosity, they may not be backward compatible depending on OEMs.
Both engine oils will deliver superior performance over current oils. The CK-4 will protect new and older engine models. And, the FA-4 was designed to provide optimized fuel economy for 2017+ engines.
What does this mean for the off-road industry?
New diesel engine oil technology will provide opportunities for extended oil drain performance for off-road vehicles versus API CJ-4 Oils
Improved oil oxidation performance can help reduce piston deposit formation and increase engine rebuild life due to lower wear.
Potential selection of PC-11A SAE 10W-30 can provide improved start-up performance and better wear protection while maintaining hardware protection
Wide range of products will allow for improved product selection for both new and older equipment used by off-road equipment companies.
For more information please contact Gary Puckett at email@example.com or (317)432-3984.
Ice Road Trucker Lisa Kelly Relies on Delo
Up on the ice roads, you and your truck work together like a team. Watch Lisa Kelly from History® Network’s Ice Road Truckers® as she explains the Alaskan way to get the job done.
Lisa Kelly, star of the Histroy Channel’s Ice Road Truckers series, has joined Chevron’s “Reality of Delo” campaign, a modern take on testimonials intended to influence heavy duty diesel equipment users about the benefits of Delo heavy duty motor oil (HDMO).
Kelly, a career truck driver, says she is a long time Delo user.
“I have relied on Delo since I began my career in trucking,” she says. “I drive some of the deadliest roads in the world. I can’t take chances on oils. I need to know I’ve got the most durable, reliable and toughest lubricants in my truck. An oil that I can count on to protect my truck even in the harshest conditions. Up on the ice roads, Delo is just what we use.”
This short film will take you through the proper ways to test the quality of your Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) Supply. As a customer, you have 3 easy methods to test your DEF: a visual test, a handheld test, and an in-house lab or certified DEF testing lab.
View the video to learn more:
Diesel Fuel and Cold Weather
What is the lowest temperature at which a vehicle will start and run? This temperature is often referred to as the cold weather operability limit. The cold weather operability limit of a particular vehicle varies and is dependent upon the properties of the fuel and the design of the vehicle fuel system.
Diesel Fuel is a complex mixture of a wide variety of hydrocarbons. Depending on how the fuel is blended at the refinery, diesel fuel can contain up to 20% paraffin molecules, also known as “wax”. These wax molecules tend to stick together (agglomerate) as the temperature drops. The colder the fuel, the more the agglomerate until they form a crystal. These “crystals” can become so large that they will separate out of the fuel as a solid. At this point they are too large to pass through the fuel filter, so they stick to the surface of the filter. If the fuel temperature continues to fall, eventually enough wax crystals will form to completely block the filter surface, resulting in lack of fuel flow thereby stalling the engine.
Fuel Operability Predictors
There are three primary methods, which as currently used to predict the operability temperatures of fuel. Each method has its limitations in predicting cold weather operability, and no test currently can accurately predict operability for all vehicles.
The three predictor methods are:
CFPP (Cold Filter Plug Point)
CLOUD POINT The Cloud Point of a fuel is usually 5 to 15° Fahrenheit above the operability temperature of the fuel, making Cloud Point a conservative measure of vehicle operability. Cloud Point is an important winter fuel property because it is a commonly measured specification. Knowing the fuel’s Cloud Point, combined with previous experience can be a very good place to start. Blending #1 diesel fuel will generally lower the Cloud Point by about 3°F for every 10% of #1 blended. Cloud Point is generally unaffected by common additives.Cloud Point is the temperature at which a wax crystal grows large enough to become visible. Cloud Point is measured using ASTM D-2500 test method. Generally, each diesel fuel supplier sets his or her own cloud point maximums, which may vary seasonally. For No. 1 diesel fuel, the winter Cloud Point will typically be -30°F or lower. For No. 2 diesel fuel, the winter Cloud Point will typically be +15°F or lower.
POUR POINT Pour Point is the temperature at which diesel fuel becomes so thick that it will no longer pour from a container. At this temperature the fuel is essentially unpumpable.Typical winter Pour Points for No. 1 diesel fuel are -30°F or lower. Typical winter Pour Points for No. 2 diesel fuel are 0°F of lower.
Pour Point is typically well below the temperature at which the fuel will plug a fuel filter. Therefore Pour Point is a useful measure for fuel handling properties but not a good indicator of vehicle operability.
CFPP CFPP (Cold Filter Plug Point) is the temperature at which a fuel will plug a 45-micron screen under prescribed test conditions. CFPP is measured using European Test Method IP 309, and is currently the most commonly used cold weather operability indicator.Although widely used, CFPP has its limitations. While most vehicles will operate at outdoor temperatures down to the CFPP of the fuel, some will not. This is primarily due to verifying designs in the fuel systems.
NON-FUEL RELATED FACTORS FOR WINTER OPERABILITY
Fuel temperatures are generally higher than air temperature. Thus, the temperature at which a filter plugs generally does not occur until the outdoor air temperature drops below the critical fuel temperature. Fuel temperatures are affected by many factors including fuel storage conditions, engine types, fuel system designs, fuel heaters, and operating conditions.
During the winter, fuel stored underground will tend to stay warmer than fuel stored above ground. In addition, the temperature of delivered fuel will have an impact on operability. As an example, fuel delivered at 50°F to a 125 gallon truck fuel tank in typical 8-mph wind conditions, at 0°F temperature will take about 12 hours to drop down to 10°F. However, fuel delivered at 30°F in similar conditions will take only 8 hours to get to the same point.
Although virtually all diesel engines recirculate fuel through the fuel injection system back to the fuel tank, the location of the vehicle’s fuel filter can impact cold weather operability. Some fuel systems place the fuel filter closer to the warm engine or shield the filter from the wind, while others are located on frame rails for ease of changing and draining. Locations close to the engine or shielded from the wind will tend to warm the fuel more than filters exposed to the wind and elements.Additionally, the high wind speeds will also increase the heat loss from equipment fuel tanks and lines. Windshields and insulation will help reduce heat loss. Many of the newer trucks have aerodynamic covers over the fuel tanks. These not only lower the power equipment of the vehicle, but also affect the convective heat loss from the tanks.
Various types of heaters may be used to warm the diesel fuel and engines. Heaters can be places in a fuel tank, along fuel lines, at the fuel filters, and on the engine block to name a few locations. All of these devices tend to create a larger difference between actual fuel temperature and outdoor air temperature.
How a vehicle is operated also contributes to differences in fuel temperature. A vehicle operated 24 hours a day will have warmer fuel than an identical vehicle that s shut down for several hours each day. Additionally, differences in vehicle parking location can influence fuel tank temperatures. As noted earlier, a tank fueled with 50°F fuel and subject to 8-mph winds takes about 12 hours to get its fuel temperature down to 10°F. A truck that is parked in an area that is shielded from the wind will require almost 17 hours for its fuel temperature to reach 10°F
Near empty fuel tanks will cool off much more quickly than full tanks. Therefore, refueling prior to parking a vehicle will help slow fuel cooling.
IMPROVING WINTER FUEL PERFORMACE
There are many methods which help decrease fuel filter plugging. The most common are:
Blending #1 diesel fuel with #2 diesel fuel
Blending additives into the diesel fuel
Keeping the fuel warm
Keeping the fuel dry
Using a combination of the above methods
BLENDING #1 DIESEL FUEL
#1 diesel fuel contains a smaller concentration of paraffin molecules than #2. Reducing the percentage of paraffin molecules available for crystallization will lower the cold weather operability predictors for the fuel. For every 10% of #1 blended into #2 fuelse, the cold weather operability predictors (Cloud Point, Pour Point, and CFPP) will be reduced 3 to 4°F. However, #1 has lower BTU content than #2, thus decreasing energy available.
WAX MODIFYING ADDITIVES
Wax modifying additives (also referred to as flow improver additives) were developed to give fuels better low temperature filterability. When fuel cools, paraffin molecules tend to stick together to form wax crystals. Wax modifying additives are very long polymers, which tend to adsorb to the surface of paraffin molecules, hindering the growth of the wax crystals, resulting in smaller, more compact wax crystals. These smaller crystals do not separate out of the fuel and do not block fuel filters as easily.
While each method listed above will contribute to lowering fuel filtering plugging, no method will work in all circumstances.
Cold Weather Operation Tips
It’s that time of year again! The cold weather is here to stay for the next several months. Is your fleet ready?
The following tips will prepare your vehicles for winter and help prevent cold temperature operability problems.
Pump water bottoms from storage tanks.
Kill microbial growth with Dual Phase Biocide
Keep tanks as dry as possible to reduce condensation. Fill vehicle fuel tanks before shutdown overnight. Keep your storage tanks filled as much as possible to reduce the amount of moisture buildup. Change or drain your fuel pump regularly.
Refueling prior to parking a vehicle will help slow fuel cooling. Near empty fuel tanks will cool off much more quickly than full tanks and condensation will form inside the tank.
Before winter, replace fuel filters, both primary and secondary, as a part of a good preventive maintenance program. Dirt and sludge build-up reduces the fuel flow to the injectors.
Drain the fuel/water separators and fuel filters with drains DAILY. This is an important key as water collected at the bottom will freeze and plug your fuel system. Fuel/water separators that are equipped with electric elements should be cleaned before winter.
Larger mesh filters should be considered in very cold climates.
It is highly recommended that in severe weather, the fuel/water separators be replaced with spin on fuel filters that will allow the additive to mix with the water and burn with the fuel. Water separators will collect the water at the bottom of the filter, which typically freezes and plugs the fuel system.
Drain water separators often.
For questions about how to maintain your fleet during the winter for optimal performance, contact us! Our 40+ years of experience is here to help.