Co-op News > 2018 > Winter Diesel Fuel

Winter Diesel Fuel

Dec 03, 2018

Well, we can put another No-Shave November in the history books. Thank goodness. My beard was getting itchy! If you hunt deer, I hope you were successful and I hope all of you had a nice Thanksgiving with your families.
As the weather gets colder, the type of diesel fuel you’re purchasing becomes more important. A couple of times each winter a customer will ask why our diesel fuel at our five Cenex stations is priced higher than the competitor down the road.
If you see a low price for diesel fuel, it is most likely #2 furnace oil. If you think you’re saving money by using the lowest priced diesel fuel, chances are you’re not. Studies have shown that you can increase horsepower and mileage by 5% if you use a premium diesel fuel. Not to mention you may be left on the side of the road in cold weather by plugged filters if you don’t use a winter additive package. 
There are a lot of “premium” diesel fuels on the market. To lower their price some companies will cut the treat rate. Cenex Premium Diesel Fuels have a balanced additive package that is injected at the fuel terminal which ensures you are getting a consistent product. Injection systems mix the additive package much better than tossing a bucket (or a thimble) of additives on top of the fuel after it’s loaded on the truck. When temperatures drop, fuel and additives can stratify if they’re not injected into the fuel at the terminal.
When the weather really gets cold, wax crystals form in diesel fuel that can plug your fuel filters. It’s called clouding and it happens long before the fuel ‘gels’. Our winter additive package will take the cloud point down to 0-5 degrees above zero. We blend our fuels with the right amount of #1 diesel to avoid filter issues. When we cut it with 30% #1 diesel it’s good to 5-10 degrees below zero and we have a Wintermaster product (70% #1) if we need it that will take the cloud point down to 30 below. If you’re wondering what blend you have in your farm tank, contact your local Premier Energy office. 
#1 diesel fuel is more expensive than #2 diesel. Between the additive package and the fact that we blend the right amount of #1, it will cost you more at the pump or the farm but save you in less downtime and the cost of replacement filters (not to mention—frostbite). There are newer skid steers that should probably be running only #1 fuel oil in them all winter because the filters have such fine filter media. Consult your local implement dealer.
Now that we’ve got that cleared up, it’s time for a safety reminder. This month is December so we’re all going to go to our furnaces when we’re done reading this article to replace the air filter. Oops. I might have forgotten to do it the last time I reminded myself—mine was nasty. During solstices and equinoxes we replace the filters, daylight savings times we replace the batteries in our fire and carbon monoxide detectors.
The holidays are coming up. If you call in for your propane or fuel oil, please get your order in early so that our employees can spend time with their families during the holidays. Thank you for your business. Merry Christmas!


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