Diesel Fuel Testing And Analysis

May 29, 2020
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Due to the increasing cost of diesel and the varying conditions under which it is stored and dispensed, keeping the diesel fuel in your storage tanks free of contamination and in excellent condition is becoming even more important.

The day-to-day demands placed on the commercial transport industry should not be underestimated. 4.53 billion journeys are made by buses in England every year, while operator costs for local bus services outside London have increased from £2.19 billion in 2004/05 to £3.05 billion in 2015/16 [1] Its no wonder that modern engines are very sensitive to the quality of diesel fuel used and efficiency rapidly declines if poor or contaminated fuel is used. It’s a similar story for the UK’s road freight industry. Between the beginning of July 2015 and the end of June 2016, the amount of goods moved by GB-registered heavy goods vehicles reached 156 billion tonnes, an increase of 6% on the previous 12-month period. Furthermore, these goods travelled a total distance of 18.6 billion kilometres [2].

Hauling heavy freight can put significant pressure on engine components, while the need to meet strict deadlines for increasingly more complex supply chains means the impact of any potential maintenance issues can be considerable. Like all liquids, diesel exhaust fluid is susceptible to contamination when it is moved from one vessel to another. Our bespoke testing service provides you with assurance that any diesel exhaust fluid that is transferred is still within specification and free from dilution and contamination.

Two Finning clients reported the following

Working Example 1 – major UK on-highway operator using our services was able to act quickly and remove an asset – a Volvo B7 ALX400 – from service that had been identified as requiring attention. Our readings indicated a sudden coolant leak and, upon closer inspection, it was discovered that the asset’s compressor head gasket had been damaged, with the result being coolant leaking into the engine oil. Fluid analysis from Finning meant the operator could react quickly to an issue that could have resulted in significant costs further down the line if it had not been dealt with.

Working Example 2 – Courtesy of engine oil sampling from Finning, a leading operator of Dennis Trident buses was able to action repairs before failure, reducing replacements by 50%. By limiting common problems – such as coolant matrix leaks, fuel dilution and injector issues – this generated a cost-saving of more than £250,000.

A detailed diesel fuel analysis identifies impurities that could lead to injector blockages, impair operational efficiency and increase wear and tear on other vital components. State-of-the-art testing apparatus used by our partner laboratory trained team of diagnosticians can identify any organic contaminants such as fungi, yeast and bacteria, the presence of which can lead to costly repairs and increase the risk of unscheduled downtime.

[1] UK Government, Department for Transport, Annual bus statistics: England 2015/16, https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/ system/uploads/attachment_data/file/579855/annual-bus-statistics-year-ending-march-2016.pdf.

[2] UK Government, Department for Transport, Road freight statistics: United Kingdom July 2015 – June 2016, https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/582896/road-freight-stats-july-2015-to-june-2016.pdf

David Ellingworth

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