If you run a fleet of large trucks, then you know that you will encounter mechanical issues from time to time and will need repairs. Most of the time, these issues will be down to wear and tear caused by high mileage and will be fairly easy to diagnose. Occasionally, however, a particular problem may stop you in your tracks. You may have come across the same issue several times in the last few months and wonder what may be happening. In this case, perhaps you should look at the fuel — could it be dirty?
Over the years, diesel fuel may have received its fair share of bad press due to pollution. However, manufacturers did their best to clean up this issue and modern vehicles are, in any case, equipped with sophisticated filters. Today, therefore, diesel fuel is widely accepted and must meet stringent specifications before it can be released to the consumer market. Yet it may often sit in a storage tank for an undefined period in between the time it's made and the time that you add it to the vehicle.
Varnish and Sludge
During storage time, the fuel can oxidise and can absorb a certain amount of water and air. As this happens, it can varnish and sludge may form on the side of the tank. When the fuel is eventually pumped out for onward transit, some of this sludge may go with it, and it'll contain a variety of different imperfections.
If you are getting your diesel fuel from a source like this, you can expect mechanical issues. The fuel will leave deposits within the injectors and is likely to clog the various filters throughout the vehicle. The truck will be difficult to drive, may splutter when it is supposed to idle and will use a lot of fuel. These issues can also have a knock-on effect and may cause further wear and tear throughout the engine.
Mobile Repair Service
If one of your vehicles is sidelined due to this problem, you will need to get all the filters and injectors cleaned or changed before you can get back to work. The good news is that there is probably a mobile diesel repair mechanic close to you who can come out to your depot and take care of all these problems in one go. You won't need to worry about a towing service, but you will have to worry about your fuel source to avoid issues in the future. Look for local services that provide on-site diesel repair if your vehicle has mechanical problems.