When was the last time you checked your fuel tank for sludge build up?

Mel blog 1

Written by Mel Noel, Fuel Sales Manager, WP Group

For many successful businesses running a fleet of commercial vehicles, making sure your tank is clean may not be top of your agenda. With such a regular turnaround on fuel, it may not seem obvious that, over time, the tank can become contaminated or degraded.

However, sludge can develop at the bottom of fuel tanks, even with regular use. Without proper testing or cleaning, this can be hard to spot. Sludge often comes microbial contaminants which can run the risk of rendering your fuel useless, impacting efficiency, cost and reliability of your business.

Are you aware of the signs that your fuel tank may need sample testing, and maybe even a clean?

  • Is your fuel dark and cloudy?
  • Are your vehicles or plant losing acceleration and RPM?
  • Are you noticing involuntary or volatile changes in speed or spluttering?
  • Have you noticed blue, black or white smoke from your vehicle or plant?
  • Are the filters in your vehicles slimy and clogged?
  • Are there any holes, rust damage around your fuel tank?
  • Are the filters in your fuel tank clogged up?

If you’re able to answer yes to some of the above, you might need to eliminate fuel contamination as a cause to these problems.

Fuel samples should be taken from the tank bottom every 3-6 months to ensure the quality of your fuel is maintained. It can also provide vital tracking and locate the cause of the contamination, should there be any. Fuel testing can test for the following:

  • Water content
  • Product matching
  • Microbial growth
  • FAME (Biofuel)
  • Cetane (Ignition quality of diesel)
  • Flash point
  • Particulates
  • Cold filter plugging point

However, should you be in the position where your fuel contains heavy contamination, new technologies are now on the market to ensure the process of tank cleaning and fuel recovery is quicker, more effective and safer than ever before.

Did you know we can now recover fuel at the rate of 45,000 litres per hour, with 99% of fuel often recovered? The industry is continually pushing the boundaries of innovative fuel management and effective fuel supply.

It is exciting to be a part of this ever-growing industry, with technologies and innovations always around the corner. It means we are able to help businesses reduce their downtime and improve their efficiency rating no matter what the problem.

Next time you’re filling your commercial vehicles from your on-site fuel tank, take the time to look out for the signs that your tank is in need of a clean.

To discover how WP Group can help your commercial vehicles optimise performance while improving efficiency, download the Commercial Vehicle Solutions brochure and find out what an integrated solution can do for your business.

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