Much of the northern part of the country has experienced snowy conditions in the last week and many are faced with cold temperatures behind the snow. This probably isn’t your first winter with your diesel truck, so you are likely aware of the challenges that you face this time of the year. The key is to be prepared so you don’t have fuel gelling, winch-outs, or no-start events due to the cold, snowy winter weather.
You’ve heard the quote by Benjamin Franklin, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” The key to eliminating downtime is to properly prepare your truck for the low temperatures.
AFC Transport expects that we have zero fuel gelling, winch-outs, or no-start events due to
If you aren’t familiar with fuel gelling, it occurs when the temperature of the fuel drops so low that wax, which is naturally occurring in diesel fuel, beings to crystallize. These cold temperatures cause wax to drop out of the diesel fuel and begin coagulating, which can clog the tank and filters, shutting down engine operations.
There are three phases of diesel gelling:
Cloud point: This happens when diesel fuel starts to solidify, which creates a cloudy appearance.
Pour point: This happens when diesel fuel loses its flowing and filtering characteristics as the fuel turns into wax crystals.
Gel point: This happens when diesel fuel actually freezes and wax crystals are formed, keeping the fuel from pumping or being filtered.
Here are 3 tips to keep your truck running smoothly:
- Anti-Gelling. When the temperature has the potential to dip below 20 degrees, anti-gel must be added to the fuel. This can be obtained at any truck stop. AFC Transport units need (1) 16-ounce bottle per tank added prior to filling up. Products like Penray and Power Service are common at truck stops.
- Parking During/After Snowfall. When parking, trucks must be placed in such a position to prevent it from being snowed in, plowed in, or otherwise unable to get moving in time to prevent service failures. If you’re in danger of getting stuck, contact your dispatcher. But it is best to leave yourself a way out at all times!
- Longer Term Parking. When parking your unit for more than 12 hours please execute the following action items if the lows reach the ranges listed below:
- 21 degrees and warmer: Do nothing!
- Between 11 – 20 degrees: Truck must be plugged in and started every 24 hours, where applicable. Run the tractor for 15-30 minutes then shut down.
- 10 degrees and colder: Truck must be plugged in and started every 12 hours. Run the tractor for 15-30 minutes then shut down.
Remember, at 32 degrees or below diesel fuel will start to cloud and at 15 degrees it will gel, rendering the unit disabled causing frustration, delays and money. Let’s avoid this. Protect the assets, keep yourself working and our customers happy.
If you have any questions or concerns, contact Breakdown at 773-633-8694.