One point regarding the wrong fuel industry that we frequently come back to, and will continue to do so due to its importance, is about choosing a reputable and capable company to attend your wrong fuel emergency. Our engineers are fuel drain specialists. That doesn’t mean that they only know how to remove the wrong fuel from a vehicle fuel tank, it means that they know and have experience of a wide range of vehicle engines from older models up to the very latest vehicles hitting UK roads. Our engineers know about removing contaminated fuel from sophisticated vehicle fuel systems whether they are in the latest high tech BMW diesel engine or a double decker bus.
Which brings us on to the main point of this blog post. We received a call recently from an exasperated manager of a local bus service. Someone refilling the tanks at the depot meant for refuelling buses, had managed to accidentally put petrol into the diesel tanks. One of the buses had then been refuelled with petrol instead of diesel which caused a major problem as they already had 2 buses out of action due to breakdowns. When the depot manager called us, he had already spoken to 2 other companies about the problem. The first told him that they did not have the capacity on board their mobile fuel drain units to cope with the job and the second company turned up having drastically underestimated the fuel tank capacity of a bus and with decidedly suspect equipment. The job was explained to our engineer and he knew exactly what to do. The problem here was quite a basic one, buses have huge fuel tanks – much larger than a car. This particular bus had a 150 litre fuel tank and a normal family saloon car has a 60 litre fuel tank. The depot also had about 400 litres of petrol mixed with 100 litres of diesel remaining in the refuelling tank for the buses.
650 litres of fuel is a lot to drain and move and requires a properly equipped mobile fuel drain service to do it. Our mobile units are fitted with fuel scavenging equipment with a capacity of 250 litres. The contaminated fuel is stored in a specially built steel storage unit on board the vehicle. When our engineer attended the job, he was able to completely drain the bus fuel tank and then flush the fuel distribution system with fresh diesel to remove all traces of petrol from the bus engine and fuel system components. Modern buses are fitted with an ECU which also needed to be reset once the job was completed. This enabled the bus driver to return to his route within 90 minutes of having called our man out to attend the job. Our engineer was then left with the task of transporting the rest of the contaminated fuel to our disposal centre, which took a further 2 trips.
This kind of wrong fuel emergency happens from time to time and usually find that other companies have been asked to solve the problem but have been unable to do so to the standard required. Sometimes due to a lack of capacity but more often due to a lack of understanding of how large vehicle fuel systems work and what is required to do the job properly. If you work for a transportation company dealing with large vehicles such as buses or HGVs, do your boss a favour and point him in our direction if there’s an emergency situation we can help with.