Channel 19

Todd Dills

Spring greening

| March 19, 2009

I’ll be away from the computer today, folks, gone to NYC to (hopefully) claim an award with Truckers News editor Randy Grider in the Neal Awards best special issue category — our “green issue” is one of three finalists. Wish us luck, eh?

Since we’re talking about green trucking… As part of the package of stories we planned and published for that issue — toward building the quintessential “green truck” — I got the opportunity to report a little on biodiesel. In my inbox this morning I found spring fuel-tank cleaning tips for truck systems running biodiesel, courtesy the Iowa Soybean Association, which I thought I’d share:

emRoutine maintenance of your fuel system is the key to avoiding fuel-related problems. The monitoring and elimination of water in your fuel system is the best preventive measure to take. Without it, over time, operational problems such as corrosion and sediment build up can occur in diesel fuel systems.

emThe presence of free water can promote fuel system corrosion and microbial growth. Microbes live in the interface that forms between the fuel and the free water. The melting of snow and rains that occur during spring bring increased issues with water getting into tanks. It is recommended that storage tanks have a dispenser filter installed to keep any contamination from being passed along to vehicles.

Housekeeping Tips
**Check fuel containment area for water regularly. Remove water when needed.
**Watch areas of snow melt and water run-off. Look for ice dams and other ways melting water can be diverted. Try to keep water run-off from entering fuel storage tanks through vents, piping and containment areas.
**In the spring, check tanks for water concentration and microbial contamination. Check again in the fall before colder weather sets in.
**Monitor hoses, fill/vapor caps, check gaskets for leaks.
**Fuel tanks should be kept as full as possible to reduce the amount of air and water entering the tank.
**Always install a dispenser filter on a storage tank. If there are any issues with contaminants, the dispenser filter will plug but keep it from progressing to the vehicle tanks.
**Desiccant driers are recommended in tank vent openings.
**Visually check tanks monthly for free water by obtaining a tank bottom sample.

Some of that’s probably obvious to the experienced hauler, but for more, visit>em.

em strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.

Stay Connected

Sign up to get Overdrive's daily newsletter.

Todd Dills

Todd Dills is Senior Editor of Overdrive magazine and writes from Nashville, Tenn. He frequently covers business, regulatory and lifestyle topics for the magazine and at His work on the “CSA’s Data Trail” series in Overdrive about the federal CSA program was awarded the highest honor in trade journalism – the “Grand Neal” – by American Business Media at the 2014 Jesse H. Neal Awards. Dills’ Channel 19 blog covers a grab bag of on-highway hearsay, owner-operator news and driver views from the roadways the nation over. His work in trucking journalism builds on a background of news feature, fiction and other creative writing and editing. Find him here at the Channel 19 blog and via his Twitter feed, or send tips to or via phone at 205-907-2481.


View Results