5 tips for protecting equipment from the danger of dirty diesel fuel


Follow these five fuel management tips to help reduce machine downtime and costly damage caused by water, debris and other contaminants found in diesel fuel.

Tip No. 1: Fill machine tanks at the end of each workday

Diesel fuel can reach high temperatures during the workday. As the machine cools, condensation can form in air gaps. Make sure every machine is topped off with diesel fuel at the end of the day to prevent condensation buildup that can lead to water droplets forming in the fuel line. In addition to refilling the fuel tank, operators should empty the water trap daily.

Tip No. 2: Test bulk fuel tanks every six months

Fuel is one of the largest operational expenses for construction business owners. So when storing diesel fuel, the last thing you want is water or other contaminants in your storage tank. Water can degrade the fuel chemical structure and eventually lead to pump, filter and injector problems.

Every six months, you or a professional diesel fuel-cleaning and inspection service should test your supply tanks for contaminants. A small amount of water can be removed, but significant amounts of water or sludge in the tank should be drained and cleaned. To help monitor your supply tank, maintain a preventive maintenance log for the tank that includes a maintenance history, filter changes and particle counts.

Tip No. 3: Keep supply tank fuel filters clean

Often machines are filled with a five or 10-gallon plastic container. How do you know that the container is completely clean or how the fuel was stored before adding it to the container? To bypass these issues, make sure any fuel entering a storage tank passes through a dispensing filter as another layer of protection to prevent contaminants from entering the supply. Additionally, fuel tank filters should be capped and the tank vent must be filtered. Tank filters typically have a 10-micron-or-fewer fuel filter to help remove moisture as fuel is dispensed through the vent.

Tip No. 4: Use only genuine Doosan fuel filters

Today’s fuel systems require cleaner fuel for peak performance. Even trace amounts of contaminants in a fuel supply can cause engine power loss and even failure. Genuine Doosan fuel filters are designed, tested and proven to trap particulates down to 2-micron, protecting sensitive system components against contaminants, moisture, fungus and bacteria.

Tip No. 5: Ask a supplier to confirm the fuel’s cloud point

The term cloud point refers to the temperature where wax begins to drop out of fuel, forming crystals that can quickly plug the fuel filter. Since the cloud point from the refinery is based on the geographic location and the time of year that fuel is intended to be used, ask your fuel supplier whether the cloud point is appropriate for your region and season.