Frequently, people tell us that they’d love the smoother running that comes with enhanced off-road fuel, but that they can’t afford the extra few pennies per litre. And, from their perspective, this makes sense: after all, many businesses run on narrow margins, farms especially. They view the better fuel as a luxury, something that makes their day-to-day job easier, but doesn’t have an impact (or in fact has a negative impact!) on their profit margins.
This couldn’t be farther from the truth. The fact is, additised fuel pays dividends that aren’t just convenience-based. Once you look at the statistics, it’s impossible to say that the savvy buyer shouldn’t be additising their off-road diesel in 2016.
First off, there’s the save on maintenance and components. Operators are used to tractors, construction vehicles, and other off-road equipment being able to run on the cheapest fuel available and come out the other end relatively unscathed. The fact is, that’s just not the case with this new generation of ethyl alcohol and fish oil-contaminated red diesel: if allowed to run unchecked, it’ll do real damage over time to various parts of the engine, particularly the fuel injectors. Experienced off-road operators don’t need to be told that injectors can cost thousands of pounds apiece to replace – and some statistics we’re seeing say that if you run a tractor or a piece of construction equipment on the sub-standard off-road fuel that’s all over the marketplace right now, you can expect to be replacing them yearly.
In the last few years, Caterpillar have launched a company specifically devoted to testing fuel quality as a part of equipment warranty claims. If they find that the fuel used in the damaged vehicle was sub-standard – and it almost always is – they reject the warranty. So far this year they’ve carried out in the area of 22,000 fuel warranty checks.
In 95% of cases, Caterpillar were absolved of responsibility to replace damaged parts, simply due to the fact that the vehicle had been running on fuel that fell below their minimum standard. That’s upwards of 20,000 agri and construction operators who have had to pay out of pocket for thousands of pounds worth of part replacement due to a problem they couldn’t have anticipated.
That’s a significant potential savings for spending an extra penny or two on fuel. And it’s not just “peace of mind” – it’s a real, actionable way to prevent the financial blow of early part replacement. But let’s also talk about the next point: fuel efficiency.
Additised fuel runs more efficiently to start with. That’s a proven fact, and already well-accepted in the industry, but many people don’t think it’s enough. After all, if you use less fuel per hour of work, but spend slightly more on fuel per day, don’t those two things balance out?
The truth is, there’s a little more to it than that. It’s true that additised fuel offers a base-level efficiency increase, and that all things being equal, you’ll use less of it per Hp/h than the alternative. But the larger efficiency gain comes from all the other jobs a high quality additive can perform in the engine.
The right kind of additive will clean up combustion, minimising soot and emissions, and lowering the incidence of DPF clogging. It’ll lubricate pistons and injectors as it runs, making for a smoother conversion of fuel to energy. It controls water, meaning less “choking” and stop-starting as you’re trying to get a day’s work done. Syntec4’s products are also treated to prevent corrosion. Fuel that runs in a clean engine, all statistics show, is fuel that offers a higher rate of conversion from money spent to active work.
We offer one product, Vulcan Gas Oil Max, that gives up to a 6% efficiency boost from its combustion catalyst alone. That stacks on top of the core 10+% boost it delivers by raising the cetane number. Are you spending less than 116% of your normal fuel spend to have your off-road diesel treated with a product like Vulcan? Chances are, the cost is more like 101% or 102% – and that means you’re already making a savings.
There are even more benefits to treated fuel, too. But we’ll discuss those in a future article. For now, consider this a primer on why you might consider additisation – and why it might be the smartest financial move you could possibly make for your fuel solution.