Now this one was an unusual task, but it proves that no job is too big (or too small) for our team of wrong fuel emergency experts.
We received a call a few days ago from a construction site in the north Birmingham area. This was a very large scale housing development involving some seriously large construction machinery, the type of machinery that gets delivered to a site on those massive, super wide trucks with a police escort. We received a call from the construction site manager asking for our advice on a situation they were having with the delivered vehicles. Although they appeared to be full of fuel, none of the vehicle engines would start and the site manager thought that there might be something up with the diesel fuel in the vehicles.
Our man, Simon, was straight on the road to assist. He made it to the site in good time and found the site manager that we spoke to earlier on. He showed Simon to one of the vehicles, a JCB digger. Simon had a look at the fuel tank on the vehicle and drained off some of it to have a closer look. To his amazement he realised that the diesel fuel actually had a lot of water mixed into it, far too much for it to be a condensation problem or minor ingress due to a ruptured fuel tank. Upon checking the other vehicles which also wouldn’t start, Simon discovered the same thing. Diesel fuel diluted with water in the fuel tanks.
The site manager called the company responsible for hiring out the construction vehicles and explained the situation. Further investigation revealed that a mix up had in all likelihood been made by a new employee who had been tasked with topping up the fuel in the vehicles before they were delivered to the site. This was now a major wrong fuel emergency as the pressure was on for the site manager to get his day’s work done according to their tight schedule. Simon contacted another of our experts who was working in the area to ask if he could assist with getting the contaminated fuel out of these vehicles.
As you might imagine, construction vehicles have far larger fuel tanks than a diesel car and our guys fuel evacuation tanks were filled very quickly. Thankfully, we have a depot close by where the fuel drain units could be emptied and returned to the site. One major concern was with the vehicle engines themselves and whether they were damaged beyond repair after attempts were made to start the vehicles. Starting an engine with the wrong fuel in it, petrol in diesel for instance, is one thing but trying to start an engine with water in the fuel system presents a bigger problem. Water boils and vaporizes at a much low temperature than those seen during fuel combustion. Should water get to the injector tip and is then introduced to extremely high temperatures, then that water will expand very quickly and may cause damage to the injector. This was a big problem for the hire company as these vehicle represented a huge investment and replacement engines or major repairs would not be cheap.
Our team had all the vehicle drained during the morning and then had a seriously large amount of diesel delivered to the site. All the vehicle affected had their fuel systems flushed through with some fresh diesel to clear any residual water out of the tank and system. They were then all filled with diesel. The critical moment arrived when the vehicle drivers had to start there engines. A huge sigh of relief was heard from the site manager as all the engines started. One vehicle had a few grumbling issues which were resolved quickly and the vehicles could be put back to work.
To say the site manager and hire company rep were grateful would be a gross understatement! Friends for life we think!
No matter what vehicle you’re driving, call our team of wrong fuel experts for advice. We can help.