Every year the transportation industry faces new challenges during the winter months, and this year is no different. Truck breakdowns are certainly more prevalent during the cold winter months, and proper care and maintenance is critical to keep your fleet rolling. Here are a couple of tips that can help you stay on the road with as few problems as possible:
• Fuel treatments and additives: For many years winter fuel was a blend of #2 diesel and #1 diesel or kerosene. Today, fuel additives come in all different flavors. There are many factors to consider when deciding what fuel additive to use but be sure the fuel in your bulk tanks is being treated. If using a mobile fleet fueling service, ensure that they are treating during the cold weather months. Most do, but don’t just assume. Ask if you are unsure. Make sure your fuel is treated to be protected down to the coldest geographic areas that your trucks run. Our Products Grid will help you make the best decision on which fuel treatment is right for your fleet! Click here: Winter Diesel Treatment Products Grid
• With the new bio fuels/biodiesel blends, always ask your supplier if they are using a bio fuels blend and if they are treating that fuel. Biodiesel is more difficult to treat for trouble-free winter use than low sulfur diesel or ultra-low sulfur diesel. An accepted method of fuel testing is for cloud point or CP. The newer method is to test for cold filter plugging point or CFPP. The CFPP is the lowest temperature at which fuel will still flow through a specific filter. Ask your supplier if they are performing either of these tests on the fuel you are purchasing and what the cold weather performance of their fuel is.
These tips can make the difference between a go or no go situation, making that delivery commitment, or completing a run versus breaking down. Breakdowns during inclement weather are extremely dangerous. There’s more to fuel than fuel. The quality of the fuel that powers your vehicles and rigorous fuel maintenance can keep your trucks moving in any weather!