Spring cleaning tips for your fuel storage system
Joe Kirkpatrick is GROWMARK’s refined and renewable fuels sales manager.
Posted on: 1/28/2011 9:30:00 AM
Soon it will be time to think about spring fieldwork. Before you hook up to the tillage tools, take some time to think about your fuel storage system and how it can impact your operation’s efficiency. I have prepared a checklist of things to consider:
Storage tanks -- Are tanks set properly, slightly tilted so that the pump is on the elevated end to allow moisture and sediment to settle in the low end, away from the pump suction tube?
Is a properly operating, vented fill cap installed on the tank? A properly working vent cap helps reduce moisture and contamination.
Should the inside of the tank be cleaned? If the tank has been in service for more than five years, the bottom of the tank should be sampled to determine if cleaning is needed.
Pump -- Does your pump work as well as it used to? If it is pumping slower than its rated performance, most pumps can be overhauled. If that is not an option, high-speed pumps are available to reduce time spent pumping fuel. Meters can be calibrated for better accuracy, too.
Hoses -- Are hoses long enough to safely fill large machinery? Has the hose been run over and flattened? Flat spots can reduce flow rates and weaken the hose, causing it to burst. Is the hose soft or cracked from age? It should be replaced if there are any concerns.
Automatic shut-off nozzle -- Have you been using the same rock for years to hold the nozzle open? Can you afford to risk running the tank over because you got busy with something else? Automatic shut-off nozzles help prevent spills. However, the best practice is to stay close and monitor the level of fuel in the tank.
Filter -- Is there a filter on your tank? Is it the right kind? If it never plugs, is the filter really catching anything? Storage tank filters should clean the fuel to at least the same micron level as the filters on your equipment. Again, check with your supplier to make sure you have the RIGHT filter, not just one that doesn’t plug up. Filters should be changed twice annually.
Fuel -- Use only high-quality fuel, such as Dieselex Gold, for maximum power, efficiency, and protection.
Your local FS energy specialist is an excellent resource for additional information and recommendations.
Joe Kirkpatrick is GROWMARK’s refined and renewable fuels sales manager. His e-mail address is email@example.com.