Cleaner Diesel for Agriculture
- 02 September 2016
In Australia, when people talk about cleaner diesel fuel, they’re not just talking about the reduced sulphur content. Cleaner diesel often refers to fuel that is free of contaminants. In this seven-part series, we’re looking at how diesel fuel cleanliness affects the industries that keeps Australia moving, such as agriculture, aviation, port and marine and others. First up, is the agriculture industry.
A growing $200 billion industry
Agriculture is Australia’s second largest industry, contributing 12% to the nation’s GDP when including value-added processing services. Together with forestry and fishing, the Agricultural sector employed over 325,000 people in 2015 and in regional and rural communities, it's the number one employer. But regardless of whether farmers are producing beef, dairy products, grains, wool or cotton – a common factor underpinning their productivity and profitability is fuel.
Fuel quality in the Agriculture sector
Along with the mining industry, agriculture uses some of the biggest equipment in the business. Whether you’re mustering cattle using helicopters and motorbikes or baling hay with a state-of-the-art baler, you’re using diesel fuel – and lots of it. Fuel quality can be a big issue on farming properties – not only because of the costs associated with supply and storage, but because of contaminants and the problems they cause with today’s modern high-pressure, common-rail fuel injection diesel engines.
Fuel contaminants are nothing new. Typical contaminants such as water, algae, bacteria, fungus, debris and dust particles as well as other microbial agents enter the fuel supply chain every time fuel is transferred – from the refinery to fuel tanker ships to holding tanks, road tankers and fuel stations – that’s before it’s got anywhere near your equipment or vehicle’s engine. The effects of these contaminants can include:
- Clogged intake valves
- Premature wear and tear on engine components
- Reduced air flow
- Reduced engine power and performance
The end result is increased downtime for unscheduled maintenance, along with the additional costs associated with repairing fuel injection hoses and nozzles. The best way to remove these contaminants is by filtering diesel using a high quality after-market filter before fuel enters the tank, or using Final Filtered Diesel® fuel.
Other fuel-related issues for Agriculture
- Security – due to the huge quantities of diesel fuel needed for large-scale farming operations, fuel theft is a persistent problem, particularly for crop farmers and it can cost thousands of dollars as well as lost time. Supply security is also an issue because back-up diesel fuel supplies could be days away.
- Safety – fuel handling needs to meet strict safety regulations to ensure the safety of workers, equipment and the environment.
- Storage – going back to the contamination issue, secure diesel fuel storage is critical. Leaking tanks and poorly maintained storage systems not only cause environmental damage, they’re costing money in lost fuel.
When it comes to diesel fuel cleanliness, Bulk Fuel Australia is leading the pack. Our high quality single-pass filter units supply filtered diesel to our customer’s fuel tanks directly via our hose reels fitted to our fleet of specialist fuel tanker vehicles. If you need the cleanest diesel for your agricultural equipment, contact us today.