Fuel What's up with the (lack of) winterized diesel fuel this winter season? (2017/2018)

Mike

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Here we are with a winter that is shaping up to be one of the colder in quite some time, and all I am hearing from the truck stop is crickets in terms of winterizing their diesel fuel.

I have been looking at various TA/Petro locations, and the no longer seem to be putting the little card on the fuel hose stating that the fuel is winterized. I looked further into the app, and in the areas where winterized fuel is usually available all winter long, they completely removed any mention of winterized fuel at the locations. The more southern areas, where they treat it specifically during cold days, it still shows up.

Checked for any information released by Pilot/Flying J, and there is nothing since 2016 showing where they are making winterized fuel available. At least, nothing that I have found.

Love's appears to be the only one of the big chains where I am seeing any current information about winterizing the fuel. They even have a link to an updated map on their page discussing this: Winter Fuel Program
Of course, Love's is the only place I don't regularly fuel, maybe that will have to change during the winter months.

I bring this up because there is a much higher number of trucks gelling/icing already this winter, and January just got here.

If anybody has links to updated information from any of the truck stops, post it here. Fuel gelling/icing issues after filling up in areas where winter fuel should be available? post here.

Also, this would be a good place to post any procedures you have performed to get a gelled truck moving again, other than the long term process of getting the truck towed to an indoor facility.
 

mndriver

curmudgeon extraordinare
Supporter
Only happened to me twice now.

Both times I went to work over Christmas.
First time was with mid Iowa fuel from a more east asian run type truckstop.

Second time was cenex in Cokato Minnesota and it was -12°F. I bought 180 gallons of fuel. So no, I wasn't happy.
IMG_20171228_082813587.jpg
 

Mike

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Second time was cenex in Cokato Minnesota and it was -12°F. I bought 180 gallons of fuel. So no, I wasn't happy.
I read on the Cenex website about their winterizing procedures and how they were better than everyone else. Chuckled a little reading that after talking to you about the fuel you just purchased.

If you have the TA app, check out the locations in Minnesota. No mention of winterized fuel at all.
 

Electric Chicken

Well-Known Member
Supporter
Ours must be winterized. My fuel economy tanked and we haven't gelled yet. I've seen -2°F on the dash.

Now that you mention Love's, that's where I've been going lately. To the new one near the Hagerstown MD airport. Mostly because it hasn't been destroyed by you filthy animals yet.
 

Mike

Well-Known Member
Staff member
My situation right now, I am headed to Peru, IL. 10 degree high tomorrow, -8 tomorrow night. Unless I find an easy reload tomorrow after delivering, I will be stuck up there overnight.

I filled up at the Pilot in Atoka, OK several days ago. Pretty sure that fuel wasn't blended, but I put in a bottle of Power Service. Headed down to Freeport, TX, and back up to the house. Managed to burn up just over a half a tank. Filled up again in Alma, AR at a smaller place that doesn't show to use any bio diesel, but also not banking on the fuel being treated. Bottle of Power Service in each tank there after filling up and parking it there for the last few days.

If I get winter fuel up in Illinois, it will only be a half tank. Needless to say, the truck will likely be idling overnight, which I hate to do.
 

Electric Chicken

Well-Known Member
Supporter
Does your truck sit shut off overnight?
It usually does over the weekend. I'd say for a good 36 hours straight. Unless someone borrows it, which seems to be rare because I seldom see DVIRs with someone else's name to review. I don't remember see anyone's on Sunday night.

We also have regional trucks that for sure would sit overnight/day. I haven't heard about any gelling and they specifically forbid us from buying and using additives.
 

mndriver

curmudgeon extraordinare
Supporter
I got fuel at Love's in Belleville KS heading to New Mexico tomorrow night.

Will see about loves fuel tomorrow.

Cenex fuel was a killer 3.9 mpg.
 

AK7

Well-Known Member
#1 fuel is your best friend in sub zero temps.
I blend it 50/50. I also put power service in when I'm going to be parked for a few days like now.. -15 to -20 the last few nites and the fuel isn't even cloudy.
All the kwik trips in wisconsin have winterized fuel.

I thought we had a thread last winter about where to get winter fuel.
 

Sinister

Trailer Park Wisdom. Free.
Staff member
Supporter
Might explain all the trucks and diesel pickups I saw putting along or parked on the shoulder the week before I went home for my 2 days off.

This cold is serious stuff, and at -35 just a few minutes outside will damage you in ways you’re probably not familiar with.

If you don’t have the sense to spend 10.00 to get through a cold snap. Or maybe 20.00...I’m guessing you didn’t buy decent winter clothes before you headed north either.

Oh sure TA And Loves might send someone out - if they’re not on the 5 guys that broke down before you - and a Call to 911 might save you - but it’s all just SO easily avoided it’s pathetic.

Speaking generally of course. Not to any one person...
 

Duck

Quack
Supporter
Just assume it's summer fuel, and treat it according to the instructions on the Power Service jug. The white jug, not the red/orange or the gray.

If it's below zero, leave it running, mainly because of the batteries.

You can charge the batteries all day but below a certain temperature it won't matter. Gotta physically warm up the batteries. The charge is still there, they just can't kick out the juice.

My fuel, from the north Pilot in Walcott, was treated with PS and didn't gel up and it was -19° this AM . It was the batteries that were unable to crank it fast enough to start it until I thawed them out with the exhaust from my Briggs and Stratton generator.
 

Duck

Quack
Supporter
#1 fuel is your best friend in sub zero temps.
I blend it 50/50. I also put power service in when I'm going to be parked for a few days like now.. -15 to -20 the last few nites and the fuel isn't even cloudy.
All the kwik trips in wisconsin have winterized fuel.

I thought we had a thread last winter about where to get winter fuel.
I've only seen #1 in ND, MN and WI.
Might explain all the trucks and diesel pickups I saw putting along or parked on the shoulder the week before I went home for my 2 days off.

This cold is serious stuff, and at -35 just a few minutes outside will damage you in ways you’re probably not familiar with.

If you don’t have the sense to spend 10.00 to get through a cold snap. Or maybe 20.00...I’m guessing you didn’t buy decent winter clothes before you headed north either.

Oh sure TA And Loves might send someone out - if they’re not on the 5 guys that broke down before you - and a Call to 911 might save you - but it’s all just SO easily avoided it’s pathetic.

Speaking generally of course. Not to any one person...
My legs and ass went totally numb today.
Had ta take a warm shower and then I put my carhardts on before going back out.

I have them in the truck now.

They're tight in the legs and belly because I got fat since I bought them ten years ago. :(
 

Mike

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Just assume it's summer fuel, and treat it according to the instructions on the Power Service jug. The white jug, not the red/orange or the gray.
This is basically what I try to do, but then look up at the filter @mndriver posted. That is fuel that is supposed to be good to -30 and I believe power service as well.

Other people who have gotten shut down also using additive, but still having problems.

I’m wondering, even if the fuel is treated, if maybe they aren’t cutting the bio content down properly this winter.
 

Hammer166

Instigateur №166™
This cold is serious stuff, and at -35 just a few minutes outside will damage you in ways you’re probably not familiar with.

Speaking generally of course. Not to any one person...
Crap! Is that what's wrong with me? :coocoo:

1514954736890.png

That's after unloading for an hour and a bit. Seems it was in the neighborhood of -20 that night. Actually wasn't bad at all, very little wind.

WTH?!? "Not that bad..." :eek-64:


Back on topic: @Mike may well be on to something about the bio, although with the oil price down, you wouldn't think there'd be a lot of incentive to add it. Unless the rules on bio got changed in the dark of night, and it's required everywhere now.
 

Duck

Quack
Supporter
Walking a out 100 yards from the truck to the shipping office to get my bills I walked past about ten reefers that were dropped in dock doors. All were supposed to be running at 60 degrees.
About half of them were down with their red fault code lights flashing, and box temps ranging from zero to 30.

Probably all gelled up.
 

mndriver

curmudgeon extraordinare
Supporter
The fuel I bought was not wintermaster. It being a cenex, and unlike the station 18 miles up the road, it didn't have wintermaster. Talking to the kid behind the counter when I bought the fuel, he was dumber than a box of rocks. "I've only been told it's winterized"

I still treated each tank with an 80 oz bottle of power service fuel treatment.

Talking with the manager though and the shop manager, I was told the fuel was treated to -30°F though.

If that's the case.

Why did I have to treat each tank still with an 80 oz bottle of 911 to get in to ungel?.

Cenex® Winterized Premium Diesel Fuels | Top Cold-Weather Performance

Fewer and fewer places are carrying #1 diesel. It's hard to find and all. Cenex back home gets closest to it with their wintermaster brand, but otherwise, you are left with what you are getting.

Over treating your fuel will destroy fuel injectors. But hey, it's either that or you don't run.

I saw two stations between Salina ks and home that said they had #1. One was in York ne and the other was in Jackson MN.

2013 in November and December, people were struggling with fuel that year too. I chalked it up to just having dirt fuel system.

This year, I can't say that. Talked to a couple places yesterday. One had 8 gelled up trucks come in since Thursday over the weekend. No rhyme or reason for where they got fuel. All supposedly had been filled with winter blend fuel.
 
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Duck

Quack
Supporter
Why do I see trucks gelling up while going down the road? Do a lot of trucks simply have no means of warming the fuel?

We used to have the filter return system. The fuel pump pulled way more than was needed, ran it through jackets in the block to preheat it, and then whatever it didn't burn was returned to the tanks. I remember seeing steam coming from the tanks when I was getting fuel.

This one doesn't have that but supposedly it's warmed with coolant. :dunno:
 

r3gulator3

IMA KEEP IT REDNECK
There is this huge misconception that ULSD doesn't gel like diesel back in the day. There have been so many things published it's sickening saying you don't need to anymore.

I use power service and treat per bottle directions anytime it's going to be less than 15 degrees. If it's below 10 degrees my truck stays running. I have not blended any #1 into my fuel and have ran in -20 without issue.

Most of the trucks you see these days wouldn't matter if they had treated fuel. Most of then are frozen rather than gelled. Apparently draining a fuel/water separator isn't something they teach or remind drivers of these days.

If gelled or frozen, best product I know to thaw it out is diesel911. Remove your filters and replace filling your primary filter half full of 911. Then pour enough to treat fuel in both tanks. Then get to priming the system and getting it started. Hopefully your batteries aren't dead as this is going to take some cranking. If you have an apu that for whatever reason will run,(typically with a frozen truck rather than a gelled truck this will happen) get a small space heater and set it under the truck and turn it on high between the tanks and use blankets or tarps to trap heat under the truck to help warm stuff up.
 

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