Large trucks and buses form the backbone of our great nation's transportation industry, and go through hundreds of millions of gallons of diesel and biodiesel blends per year. Large trucks and buses tend to have the same diesel-related issues that small vehicles do, but the nature of the role these working vehicle play in the lives of businesses means these problems can be much more costly than for consumers.
Fuel costs are perhaps the largest portion of a fleet's fuel budget, and fuel efficiency is the biggest factor in this (although it is certainly true that proper maintenance of vehicles, including tire pressure, plays a part). Fuel efficiency may be helped by the presence of an additional combustion catalyst in the fuel, but it is also more reliably enhanced by the removal of the inevitable deposits of the combustion chamber, valves and injectors that build up and cause diesel engine problems over time.
Diesel is a less-refined fuel than gasoline and contains fewer deposit-control additives when it comes from the refinery. Virtually all large trucks and buses have significant carbon buildup in all areas of the engine. Removal of these over time always gives a positive bump on fuel milage.
Storing diesel or biodiesel fuel for fleets of large diesel vehicles lends itself to the development of problems with fuel stability and the preservation of diesel fuel quality over time. Diesel storage tanks usually have sludge and accumulated heavy deposits that have built up in them over them. Introducing biodiesel into such a tank (as many fleets are doing) only adds to the problem - the biodiesel's detergency picks up part of this sludge and clogs the filters with it, leading to increased maintenance costs.
What's more, the buildup of water in stored fuel (common to virtually all storage situations) gives the possibility of accelerated fuel breakdown (because of the oxidative hydrolysis chemical reactions that occur over time in the presence of water) and the more serious issue of possible microbial growth, leading to clogged filter, poor and inefficient vehicle performance and storage tank corrosion. Growth of bacteria and fungus in fuel storage systems is a real problem for fleets of large vehicles, especially in humid climates like Bell's home state of Florida.
Bell Performance offers a variety of commercial-grade solutions for the large truck and bus market that offers benefits all fleets and business need to establish excellent ROIs - maximize vehicle performance and efficiency, minimize fuel-related problems and keep them on the road longer while improving the fleet's bottom line.
For northern states, diesel fuel gelling is a problem to grapple with in the cold winter months. All diesel vehicles are prone to this problem, but it's more serious for large trucks because they have loads to carry and lose more potential income when they can't start or are shut down on the road because the diesel fuel has gelled in the cold and plugged the fuel filter.
The reliance on ultra-low sulfur diesel only makes this problem worse, with the complex organic moleculoes created during the sulfur-removal process contributes to diesel fuel gelling at temperatures higher than before. And the prevalence of biodiesel makes the problem even worse, with biodiesel's high gelling temperature a real cause for concern. Cold flow treatments like Cold Flow Improver and Bio Cold Flow Improver offer solutions to northern fleets expericing these serious problems.
Diesel and biodiesel fuels are not without their problems. Fortunately, there are cost-effective solutions that solve these problems.