Diesel Direct

Establishing a Cold Weather Prevent Defense

January 21, 2013
Because the recent weather has been unseasonably warm it is common to let our guard down when it comes to establishing a prevent defense to protect our diesel fuel systems from abrupt temperature changes as anticipated this week. There is plenty of winter ahead! Here are some key cold weather facts you need to know to ensure your fleet keeps moving. Moisture contamination and fuel gelling are collectively a fleet operators most feared event. First a couple of definition points: In the petroleum industry, cloud point refers to the temperature below which paraffin wax diesel or biowax in biodiesels form a cloudy appearance. The presence of solidified waxes thickens the oil and clogs fuel filters and injectors in engines. To the naked eye the fuel becomes conspicuously cloudy similar to 1% milk. At a given point the weight of the wax becomes heavy enough to then drop to the bottom of a saddle tank and plug the fuel filter which predictability causes unscheduled equipment downtime. This phenomenon is most likely to occur during equipment shutdowns where ambient temperature drop below the fuels cloud point creating a mass of wax at the bottom of the tanks. Water is diesel fuels #1 contaminant. It is also challenging to prohibit water from entering the diesel fuel system. If water is left to build up in water fuel separators or worse diesel storage tanks it will haunt the fleet operator each and every time the ambient temperature drops below 32F. Please insure you are emptying the water separators on a regular basis. As a company, we protect our customers and ourselves by sourcing fuel supply that contains a winter additive blend, kerosene blend or treat with cold flow additives. We also try to keep our customer’s tanks full, to help alleviate any condensation that might occur otherwise. We take pride in ensuring our customers are rolling every day, no matter what the weather. Contact us for more information on cold weather fuel issues, or if you want to talk about how Diesel Direct can supply your fleet’s fuel needs.