If you’re like many farmers, you probably give your equipment a tune-up to get it in shape for planting season every spring. Keeping up your equipment is certainly important, but your operation works as a system, so to truly get it in top form, it’s important to start with preventive maintenance at the source: your bulk fuel tank.
Spring is the perfect time to reorganize and think about new ways to protect your operation, including your fuel tank. With cool nights and warm days, you may notice a layer of frost outside the tank in the morning that melts away by afternoon. When you’re seeing these conditions on the outside of the tank, it’s likely that the same thing is occurring inside your tank—which means your tank has condensation that’s harmful to your fuel. The good news is, there are two simple steps to combat the elements and have your tank ready for summer.
Step 1: Clean the tank.
The only way to know if you have problems inside your tank is to take a closer look at what’s inside. There are two main contaminants you’ll want to look for:
• Water: If left inside a tank, water can grow microbes—living organisms that literally eat your fuel. You’ll be able to recognize any in your tank by its slimy appearance. If growth of these microbial contaminants make their way into your equipment, it can plug your fuel injectors and damage other parts of your engine. That’s why it’s imperative to remove any water from your fuel tank.
• Dirt/Debris: Just like water, dirt and debris can also be harmful if it gets into your machinery. This often collects on the filters at the end of the pump as well as on the screens for the lift tube. To combat dirt and debris in your tank, simply switch out your filters and screens.
For information on removing water and cleaning your tanks, contact your local supplier.
Step 2: Use premium fuel.
Spring cleaning is only half the story, though. To ensure your tank (and your equipment) stays contaminant-free for the long-haul, it’s essential to use a premium diesel fuel such as CENEX® RUBY FIELDMASTER®. The high-performance engines in today’s diesel equipment have extremely tight tolerances when it comes to impurities, so having the best fuel makes a difference.
Thanks to its industry-leading additive package, Ruby Fieldmaster can help keep an entire fuel system—from tank to engine—running almost like new. Here are just some of the additives hard at work for your fuel tank:
• Detergents: When you wash your clothes, your detergent combines with dirt and impurities to make them more soluble. The detergents inside Ruby Fieldmaster work much the same way, keeping your fuel free of harmful contaminants.
• Demulsifier: Remember how bad water is for fuel? A demulsifier separates water from your fuel, pushing it safely to the bottom of the tank to be removed. A clean separation like this is important for keeping water out of your equipment.
• Storage stabilizer: For farmers who store large quantities of fuel for long periods of time, storage stabilizers are especially important. These additives work by forming a coating to prevent oxidation (a fuel’s process of breaking down), extending the life of the fuel.
• Injection stabilizer: When your fuel enters the injector, it’s under intense pressure and heat—up to 35,000 pounds per square inch at 500 degrees Fahrenheit—enough to literally cook it. An injection stabilizer protects your fuel, giving it the strength to hold up under these harsh conditions.
Your equipment is only as good as the fuel inside it. By taking a few simple steps like cleaning out your bulk tank and switching to a premium diesel, you’ll prevent equipment downtime in the field. To learn more about Cenex premium diesel fuel, contact your LOCAL CENEX DEALER.
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