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Pacific Pride commercial fuel station
What Are the Rules for Getting a Pacific Pride or CFN Card in Oregon? 646 223 Star Oilco

What Are the Rules for Getting a Pacific Pride or CFN Card in Oregon?

What are the rules for getting a Pacific Pride and CFN Cardlock Card in Oregon?

Star Oilco is a proud independent Franchisee of Pacific Pride

Pacific Pride fueling is a wholesale cost plus way to buy fuel.  With the crazy market conditions getting 24 hour access to fuel has a renewed appeal to both individuals as well as businesses.  Today the price difference between retail gas stations and wholesale prices at CFN and Pacific Pride sites in part of the state of Oregon provides a huge price value for small businesses.  Add to that the convenience of getting out of gas lines and being able to fuel 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year is a big value add for commercial cardlock over retail gas stations.

Pacific Pride and CFN cardlock both use a cost plus from the commercial wholesale rack prices to determine what you pay for fuel.

Avoid the volatility of retail credit card mark up with a cost plus agreement and a Star Oilco cardlock card.

Call Star Oilco and ask for a representative quote to see what CFN and Pacific Pride Cardlock costs compared to other fleet cards used at retail gas stations charging a credit card mark up.  Also look at what a small business can benefit from with the security features of cardlock over giving your drivers unsecured credit cards.

Many small businesses wonder what it takes to use a stand-alone cardlock location. As wages rise, the cost of full serve retail gas stations rise too. In contrast, stand-alone commercial fueling stations have little wait and 24 hour access, which save business owners time and money. Star Oilco makes it easy to set up with Pacific Pride in Oregon.

Self-serve diesel fueling is legal in Oregon.

Self-serve gasoline is restricted in Oregon.

Here are the rules for self-serve gasoline in Oregon.

Diesel is legal for self serve throughout the state of Oregon. Gasoline is restricted in the more populated counties of Oregon except in certain cases. Commercial fleet fueling is one of the exemptions allowed, enabling a business to get its drivers out of gas lines and cut the labor wasting wait at retail gas stations.

Self-serve diesel is already legal in Oregon and often cheaper at a commercial cardlock throughout Oregon. Anyone in Oregon who only uses diesel can get a Pacific Pride or CFN card for personal use. Gas, on the other hand, has some rules that are regularly enforced. Self-serve gasoline is allowed in several rural counties in Oregon outside of the I-5 corridor. Self-serve gasoline in the more populated parts of Oregon requires a business use as described below.

If you operate a company vehicle, commercial cardlock is the best way to upgrade your fleet security from fuel theft and seize control of corporate and small business fleet fueling. We can serve your business all around the United States. In Oregon though, gasoline is not legally dispensed without a few required safety precautions.

Oregon law does not allow self-serve gasoline along the I-5 corridor. Diesel is legally allowed for self serve, but gasoline as a flammable is not. Therefore, the Oregon Fire Marshall has rules restricting the use of commercial cardlock gasoline for individual uses. For commercial uses, Pacific Pride, CFN, Comdata, Voyager and other Commercial Cardlock networks are allowed for businesses in Oregon. If you are fleet operator or an individual outside of Oregon, these requirements do not apply in your home state. If you substantially operate in Oregon, the state Fire Marshall will expect these rules to apply to you.

What are the rules for using commercial cardlock in Oregon?

  • Business purpose required for gasoline cardlock use in Oregon (not any other state).
  • If you are only using diesel, commercial cardlock is available to everyone (individuals and businesses).
  • If you are planning on fueling gasoline vehicles, you must be a business (or use it for commercial use).
  • To access gasoline at cardlock in Oregon, you must be able to prove that you use over 900 gallons of fuel a year.
  • To access gasoline at cardlock in Oregon, someone in your business must take a Oregon Fire Marshall Safety Test.
    • Message Star Oilco below for a copy of the Oregon Fire Marshall Safety Test

If you have questions about Pacific Pride, CFN, or other cardlock systems, please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have. Star Oilco has a long tradition of making cardlock easy for businesses large and small. In particular, we specialize in helping you secure fuel usage to eliminate fuel theft and reduce any chance or opportunity for thieves.

To get access to Pacific Pride and CFN locations in Oregon, the first step is to open an account with Star Oilco.

Message Star Oilco below to get started with opening an account to save time and money while fueling.

For more information about how to use commercial cardlock to secure your business from theft, please also check out Star Oilco’s white paper on knocking out fuel theft by implementing a No Tolerance Fuel Theft Policy in your business at www.NoMoreFuelTheft.com.

Pacific Pride Cardlock Fuel Security

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Jobsite Diesel Fueling
Diesel Loaner Tanks for Construction 700 525 Star Oilco

Diesel Loaner Tanks for Construction

WE LOAN DIESEL TANKS FOR CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS

DYED OFF ROAD DIESEL FUELING SERVICE BY STAR OILCO

Wethose Fueling for Construction

If you need diesel, kerosene, gasoline, biodiesel, or renewable diesel in bulk or as a wet-hose fueling service, we are ready for your project.  We also deliver Diesel Exhaust Fluid on jobsites. We won’t let your generators go down.  Daily routes for diesel fueling in Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington. 

Star Oilco serves the whole Portland metro area included the ex-burbs.  Our routes deliver to Salem, Oregon as well as Longview and Kelso, Washington.

Call and ask for our Dispatch to set up service today at 503-283-1256.

Off Road Dyed Diesel Delivery

All-dyed construction and generator fuel delivered by Star Oilco is premium diesel treated with Hydrotex PowerKleen. Star Oilco’s premium diesel is stabilized for long-term storage for the total up-time needs of construction fueling. There is an additional treatment of fuel microbiocide to kill and prevent growth of bacteria/algae in your diesel. Star Oilco can add Valvtect BioGuard to your fuel to stabilize your fuel for long term storage upon request as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Construction season is here.

Star Oilco still has loaner tanks immediately available for your job site, project or temporary fleet needs.  Make life easier and keep your team working hard. Get ahead of the rush and reserve your UL142 double wall loaner tank now.

Just let us know if you need a 12V pump (powered by your equipment’s battery) or a 110V plug in pump with your equipment set up.

Star Oilco has both 550 gallon and 275 gallon tanks with 110% containment meeting UL 142 for your next construction project.  Star Oilco can provide larger tanks if arranged with notice beforehand.  Larger tanks available for longer term project if needed.  We also provide remote tank monitoring on these tanks. These tanks meet fire code in Oregon and Washington for construction refueling and provide temporary storage of fuel on an ever-changing construction job site. Oregon and Washington fire code allow temporary double wall tanks for construction projects where an active permit has been pulled and needs diesel to complete.

Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel is 15 PPM
Please also remember that ultra low sulfur diesel (ULSD) is the standard of off-road dyed fuel now as well. New off-road equipment will need ultra low sulfur diesel given the modern emission systems required.  This is a recent change.

If you are renting newer equipment, it will have a need for ULSD and Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF). You will need to ensure that any fuel on a jobsite running newer equipment with diesel after treatment is ultra low sulfur diesel fuel. If you are operating your own tanks as you receive newer equipment, you will want to flush the fuel to make sure you get all the higher sulfur fuels out of it. All equipment from Star Oilco is drained as well as flushed prior to deliver as part of our set up.

If you are a contractor, project manager, or need a temporary tank for on-site fuel, we can help. In cases where you need an auxiliary tank, transfer fuel tank, an emergency back-up fuel supply, or even a long-term rented loaner tank for specialized equipment, Star Oilco can solve problems for you. For long-term projects, we can also work to get cardlock and other novel tracking solutions to secure your on-site fuel needs. Give us a call, we are here to help.

Kick the Can Card

Call our Dispatch at 503-283-1256 or tell us what you need in the following Contact Form.

We have loaner tanks immediately available. Open an account and get started today.

 

Biodiesel as a Heavy Duty Low CO2 Solution 700 394 Star Oilco

Biodiesel as a Heavy Duty Low CO2 Solution

Save money with Low CO2 Biodiesel in your heavy duty fleet.

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In Oregon the state ensures there is a cost associated with the CO2 intensity of a fuel.  This is why Biodiesel is consistently lower cost than petroleum Diesel fuels on the West Coast.  Get ahead of this curve and ensure your fleet benefits.


Why B99 Biodiesel was used in the past?

Prior to 2007 emission systems on modern diesels B99 Biodiesel was commonly used by fleets.  The fact that Biodiesel is a domestic, renewable and low CO2 fuel with a benign tail pipe emission made it popular.  B99 was the preferred fuel of dozens of fleets in the Pacific NW.  After the EPA requirements starting in 2007 which added particulate traps, SCR, their dosing systems, and the general complexity of these clean diesel systems on modern diesels, B99 became problematic.  Specifically the Tier 3 and Tier 4 diesel emission systems had a habit of choking on high blends of Biodiesel approaching B99.  This issue has been solved by Optimus Technologies Vector System.

Why B99 Biodiesel is the solution for Heavy Duty Diesel fleets seeking a Low CO2 solution today?

The Optimus Technologies Vector System provides the solution by enabling two tanks of fuel.  One tank dedicated to the diesel or R99 Renewable Diesel and the other tank dedicated to B100 or B99 pure Biodiesel. These systems optimize the systems of your modern Diesel fleet while also optimizing the performance and realities of the emission systems.

Star Oilco at the National Biodiesel Conference in Las Vegas

Mark Fitz, the President of Star Oilco, was invited to speak in front of a bunch of soy bean farmers on the subject of decarbonizing Heavy Duty diesel fleets.  Below is a walk through of his view on where diesel fleets can go to cut their CO2 emission in half or more today. NOTE: Mark Fitz’s portion begins at 18 minutes.

 

Please reach out to Star Oilco if you have further questions about using B99 or other blends of Biodiesel to reduce your fleet’s operating cost while cutting CO2 emissions in half.

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Every Question we have been asked about Renewable Diesel
Every Question We Have Been Asked About Renewable Diesel 700 700 Star Oilco

Every Question We Have Been Asked About Renewable Diesel

Renewable Diesel Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Every Question we have been asked about Renewable Diesel

What is renewable diesel?

Renewable diesel is a synthetic diesel fuel, known for it’s lower CO2 characteristics, typically seeing purity and real world performance response superior to petroleum diesel fuel.  Renewable diesel is a next generation hydrocarbon diesel biofuel made by either the Fischer-Tropsch or Hydrogenation processes.

Hydrogenated renewable diesel is made by taking fats, oils, and greases by use of a hydro-treater.  The biomass based oil or fat is cracked and reformed in the presence of hydrogen and  catalyst forming a hydrocarbon diesel molecule.

Fischer-Tropsch renewable diesel is used by converting any btu dense feedstock (wood waste, woody biomass, municipal garbage, coal, and an endless list of low value waste products into syngas, then converting this into a wax that is reformed into hydrocarbon diesel.

Why do people use renewable diesel over petroleum diesel?

Fleet managers operating R99 Renewable Diesel report a lower mechanical cost of operation using the fuel.  Beyond the immediate benefit of R99 cutting CO2 emissions by half or more, fleets experience performance benefits from the fuel.  Anecdotally the big savings are seen the the performance of Tier 4 Emission systems on modern diesel seeing far less wear of the Diesel Particulate Filter system as well as far fewer regenerations of the system.  Additionally Renewable Diesel is a very clean and dry diesel fuel improving the storage stability, field operation, and general predictability of the fuel’s performance.

What is renewable diesel made of?

Renewable diesel can be made from a host of things, usually a low value waste product. The most common feedstock used currently is waste vegetable oil, wastes from animal rendering, and other biologically derived oils. Processes using bio-oils are following a Hydrogenation process to turn low value waste oils into high value diesel and jet fuel.

Renewable Energy Group and Diamond Green Diesel (Diamond Green is in a joint venture with Valero) are the largest producer of renewable diesel with their REG Ultra Clean Diesel product in the United States. Neste is the largest producer of renewable diesel internationally, with its “Neste My” product.  being the two largest producers of low CO2 bio-oil derived renewable diesel fuels.  There are quite a few newer Renewable Diesel projects coming on line around the United States as well as in the Pacific Northwest.

Other refiners of renewable diesel (on a much smaller scale of production) are using a Fischer-Tropsch process with wood waste, sorted higher grade municipal garbage, and other high btu value carbon based waste products.  Many expect this to technology to be the future of all diesel and jet fuel refining turning refuse into fungible low carbon fuel.

What is renewable hydrocarbon diesel?

Renewable hydrocarbon diesel is a synthetic diesel fuel made from non-petroleum feedstocks like vegetable oil, animal fats, municipal waste, agricultural biomass, and woody biomass. It is characterized by having a low CO2 and renewable resource for its feedstock and is made without crude petroleum, coal, or natural gas as a direct feedstock input in the refining process.

How do they make renewable diesel?

Renewable diesel is made by several processes. If you are buying renewable diesel, it is probably from a Hydrogenation process used by Renewable Energy Group and Neste for their products. Other smaller volume producers are using a Fischer-Tropsch process or Fast Pyrolysis. Both processes involve taking energy dense molecules, cracking those molecules under heat and pressure, then reforming them in the presence of a catalyst and added hydrogen, which forms a renewable diesel molecule.

Is renewable diesel a lower carbon fuel compared to petroleum diesel?

Yes, to this point all renewable diesel made from renewable feedstocks have appeared to be a lower CO2 fuel compared to petroleum diesels. The California Air Research Board in particular has done research on this in depth.

The low CO2 lifecycle emissions of Renewable Diesel also is tracked closely and supervised by California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard and Oregon’s Clean Fuels Program. The highest value markets for low CO2 fuels in the United States are California and Oregon, which both have mechanisms that track and price the CO2 intensity of diesel fuels as well as the sustainable lower CO2 substitutes and blend-stocks that can go in those diesels. They track, rate, and determine the carbon intensity of the fuels providing a neutral and scientifically defensible number for CO2 reduction.

Is renewable diesel available in Oregon?

Renewable diesel is readily available for delivery from Star Oilco throughout the Pacific Northwest via 10,000 gallon volumes of bulk delivery.   Star Oilco is also offering bulk delivery of any size and mobile onsite fueling service within 100 miles of the Portland, Oregon market.

Star Oilco has R99 Renewable Diesel available with a Star Oilco CFN Cardlock card in Portland, Oregon.

What is the difference between biodiesel and renewable diesel?

Biodiesel and renewable diesel are very different fuels made with very different processes. In a nutshell, biodiesel is made with a simple chemical reaction that turns vegetable and animal fats into fuel. Renewable diesel is made from far more complicated process where vegetable and animal fats (as well as other feedstocks) are cracked on a molecular level and built back into synthetic diesel fuel.

What is the difference between renewable diesel and Sustainable Aviation Fuel?

The difference between the fuels is the specific gravity and general specification for what the fuel is used for. Jet fuel, or Sustainable Aviation Fuel, and on-road diesel fuel are different fuels and therefore have different specifications. Renewable diesel is typically referring to a #2 diesel specification for on road diesel use.

Sustainable Aviation Fuel or “SAF” is typically referring to “Jet A” or “JP8” jet fuel specification for fuel. This is a #1 diesel range fuel with use and handling requirements that are far more stringent than for on-road or off-road diesel fuels. Renewable jet fuel can be used as a kerosene or #1 diesel fuel but renewable diesel cannot be used as a jet fuel.

Where do I buy renewable diesel in Oregon or Washington?

Renewable Diesel is currently available for bulk delivery and mobile onsite fueling. It will soon be offered at commercial cardlock in the Portland area. It is being sold as R99 and as Ultra Clean Diesel, which is a mixture of biodiesel, renewable diesel, and petroleum diesel.

What is R99?

R99 stands for 99% renewable diesel and 1% petroleum diesel.  Federal rules over alternative diesel fuels made fuels requires that manufacturers of non-petroleum derived diesel fuels must blend a minimum 1% petroleum with the fuel to generate a Renewable Industry Number or “RIN” under the US Federal Renewable Fuel Standard. Additionally there are other incentives that require a “blender of record” to receive these tax credits.

Is renewable diesel being made in Oregon?

As of Spring 2022, renewable diesel is not being manufactured in Oregon. There are two major projects underway: Red Rock Biofuels in Lakeview, Oregon and Next Renewable Fuels in Port Westward, Oregon.

Red Rock Biofuels is focused on making renewable jet fuel, which is expected to be completed and in operation sometime in 2019. Next Renewable Fuels does not have a disclosed completion date.

Is renewable diesel being made in Washington state?

BP and Phillips 66 have Renewable Diesel projects under permitting or construction in Washington state.  BP’s Blain, Washington refinery and Phillips 66 Ferndale, Washington refinery are where these developments are taking place. These projects are added to existing petroleum refineries as a strategy of lowering the CO2 content of the refined diesel fuels from their plants.

What is renewable diesel made from?

Renewable diesel can be made from many energy dense carbon based material.  By volume of produced product sold in the United States, vegetable oils and animal fat-based wastes are the most common feedstock. Woody biomass, agricultural wastes, and sorted municipal wastes are also sources for renewable diesel production.

Is renewable diesel made from palm oil?

Palm oil can be used as a feedstock for renewable diesel. There are producers who use palm oil as a feedstock. In the United States, feedstocks and carbon intensity are tracked closely under both Oregon and California’s fuel programs.  You can determine if a supplier is using palm oil as a feedstock through these regulated pathways.

How much does renewable diesel cost?

This is a tough question to answer given there are several markets intersecting.  From the feedstocks to the market demand for the finished product as well as both California and Oregon’s Clean Fuel Standards which place a price on the CO2 intensity of the fuel which reduces the cost of the fuel if consumed in Oregon and California.

It has consistently been trending between the same cost and over $1 a gallon higher than petroleum diesel depending on the state, you buy renewable diesel in. In California, renewable diesel is very close to petroleum diesel depending on the value of CO2 credits for lower-carbon fuels. In Oregon, it has consistently been between $.05 to $.80 a gallon higher than diesel also depending on the value of CO2 abatement associated with the fuel and what these carbon credits are trading for.

When petroleum diesel costs are high Renewable Diesel tends to be more competitive with petroleum diesel.  When petroleum diesel is below $3 a gallon the cost of Renewable Diesel by comparison is usually higher unless CO2 credits are in higher than normal demand for Clean Fuels Program demands.

Can you mix petroleum diesel and renewable diesel?

Yes. Renewable diesel and petroleum diesel can be blended in any mixture without worry. They are drop-in substitutes for each other in your fleet’s use.  Renewable Diesel is a drop-in fuel. It is a hydrocarbon diesel that will work mixed with diesel or biodiesel blends of petroleum diesel.

More questions coming… or if you would like to learn more contact us.

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How to save money with a commercial fuel card 150 150 Star Oilco

How to save money with a commercial fuel card

Save money with a commercial fuel card by avoiding the credit card retail price and preventing fuel theft in your business.

How do you avoid the higher credit card prices at gas stations?

Buy Your Fuel at a Commercial Cardlock

Make sure that employee fuel theft is not robbing from your bottom line.

 

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  • Buy Diesel from Pacific Pride and CFN Commercial Cardlocks over retail gas stations.
  • Use a secure Fleet Card that ensures that employee theft is locked down.
    • Make sure your company’s Fleet Card is secured for:
      • A Fleet Card attached to the individual vehicle with a secure identifiable PIN for each employee.
      • Only the times of day you operate.
      • Only the days of the week you operate.
      • Only the fuel products your vehicle uses.
      • A limited number of transactions a day to ensure if a card gets misused the amount is extremely reduced.
      • A real time “E-Receipt” that notifies you of fuel purchases in real time to better manage employees for your fuel costs.

Wholesale pricing at a Pacific Pride commercial cardlock.

 Take control of your fuel spend by buying wholesale instead of retail gasoline.

Over the last year fuel costs have jumped to record highs.   Retail gas and diesel prices in particular are high compared to wholesale market purchasing opportunities for fleets.  Retail posted prices for credit card purchases further increase the cost on your business.

Commercial gas station cards that direct your fleet to buy fuel at convenience stores cost far more than the posted price for fuel.  Many of these gas stations also price diesel fuel with the same mark up as premium gasoline. By getting your employees out of the retail fuel line save in several ways.

How do you save with Commercial Cardlock over a retail gas station?

PRODUCTIVITY – Get out of retail gas lines and self serve your fleet 24-7-365.

PURCHASE CONTROLS – Lock down your fleet cards by vehicle, fuel type, time of day, and Zip Codes to ensure a either a well meaning employee doesn’t buy the wrong product or  a stolen wayward card does not rob from your bottom line.

WHOLESALE AVERAGE BASED PRICING – Buy your diesel and gasoline from a verifiable wholesale index.  Pacific Pride Commercial Cardlock sites are all based from an auditable OPIS Average market index plus our agreed margin. Know what and why you are paying for fuel.  (NOTE: Star Oilco will gladly help you audit your current fuel purchase program)

FLEXIBLE – Star Oilco can combine our fleet card program with Mobile Onsite Fueling and our billing simplifies your fuel program management by consolidating all purchases by your license plates on one invoice. Our Mobile Onsite Fueling and Commercial Cardlock invoices are combined showing you all purchases on one invoice also available for export in a CSV file.

You will first of all pick up productivity, a lack of managerial control, as well as a system that conceals employee theft is tied to the cost of buying fuel.  Move your fleet fuel purchases to Pacific Pride’s network card and save per gallon as well by restricting the fuel purchases you would not want.

Now is the time to look at your total cost of fuel.

Let us help you audit your fuel program.

We will help you clarify your bill by showing what you pay, what’s in that cost of fuel, and how you can save going forward. We do this by concentrating on one fact: there are only three fees in the total cost of a gallon of gas or diesel.

How we approach buying commercial fuel with a gas card.  There are only three parts of your fuel cost.  Let us help you understand what you pay for fuel:

  1. The commodity cost of fuel (the wholesale and verifiable fuel cost itself),

  2. The fuel taxes charged by the feds, state, and local governments on top of that, and;

  3. The margin your fuel vendor puts on top of those two very transparent costs.

Fuel bill audit best practices

Tax time is a good time to revisit your policies and systems.

Let us audit your bill and catch inconsistencies and over charges.

We have a transparent way to analyze your fuel expense that breaks it down in an easily understood format. Our approach will demystify what you’re paying in fuel so you can grab control of your gasoline and diesel bills. Our mission is to ‘Keep it Simple’ and make fuel make sense. There are several types of expenses that get added to your cost of fuel.

Pacific Pride Fuel Security

At Star Oilco, we ‘Keep it Simple’ when analyzing fuel bills.

Today, two trends can be witnessed in the Pacific Northwest: fuel prices are all over the place, and wages are rising against that trend. This makes managing for a low cost of gasoline or diesel extremely hard given the labor that might be involved in chasing that price.

Add to that the fact that retail gas stations are keeping more margins than ever in retail fuel history. With minimum wages approaching $15 in parts of the Pacific NW, the cost of retail gas stations is rising faster than inflation.

Stand-alone commercial cardlock locations such as Pacific Pride and CFN help you save on your own labor, as well as avoid the higher retail cost. One additional feature is you can audit a commercial cardlock fuel seller against the commercial wholesale rack price. Retail sellers promising discounts are discounting from a posted price that is based solely on what they decide a good price can be. Today, that’s a historically high margin above wholesale cost price.

Dig into your bill for an understanding of what you are paying and what you are paying for. Let us demystify the fees, charges, and hard-to-understand line items of our competitors. It seems that many of our competitors, much like cell phone companies, want to give you a bill that is as complex as possible so it’s difficult for you to understand your cost of fuel.

We can clarify your bill by showing what you pay, what’s in that cost of fuel, and how you can save going forward. Commodity cost of the fuel, fuel taxes and the margin of the vendor make up every fuel bill.

Wholesale Fuel Cost + Taxes + Margin = Total Fuel Cost

These three costs can be audited and confirmed. When we quote a prospective customer, we take their existing fuel bill and break it down into a spreadsheet that is easy to understand thanks to these definable costs. Take your existing fuel bill. Choose a few locations that are most commonly used by your fleet. Usually just the two most-used sites are enough to gauge if savings can be gained by changing vendors. Focus on the cost there, as this simplifies your focus as a representative sample of your fuel expenses.

In a spreadsheet, make easy-to-read tabs for each fuel and location. Then gather the dates fuel was bought at each location. Place the date and the price per gallon paid in their own columns. Now you know your cost. In the next column, enter the wholesale price of fuel to compare. This is going to be pretty close to what your fuel vendor was paying for it on that day give or take a few pennies.

The commodity cost of fuel is established in the market. Though different size players have discounts, these discounts are usually pennies per gallon and aren’t substantial overall. You can request a 30 day free trial of the Oil Price Information Service or “OPIS” for your local wholesale market for fuel. Government bids often use this service as a transparent bid price for fuel. NOTE: If you are buying with a Pacific Pride or CFN fleet card that uses stand-alone 24-7 commercial cardlock sites, the price will be based on OPIS as well. If you want help with this, Star Oilco can provide you with a copy of OPIS.

After that, the next column is the fuel taxes on that fuel. In another column next to the wholesale cost of fuel, you place the local taxes associated with that fueling site. Your state will usually have a “Fuel Tax Group” or some variation of that name where the state’s website will list all state and municipal taxes.

After seeing the wholesale cost and fuel taxes charged, all that remain is the margin. Many fuel sellers will try to complicate this by passing costs through, but at the end of the day, this is still their markup regardless of what they call it. This enables you to really have a discussion on what price you are charged to use their fleet card.

Our next step is to determine the typical margin you are being charged. Take the real price you paid on a day. Your next column on the spreadsheet will be the following formula:
NOTE: Margin Charged is the result that should be in your new column.

(Cell with the ACTUAL PRICE PAID) – (Cell with the WHOLESALE COST) – (Cell with FUEL TAXES) = MARGIN CHARGED

If you line up all the days for MARGIN CHARGED and average those (select a cell at the bottom of the column and type “=AVG” and select the data in the MARGIN CHARGED column), you will find the average margin. Usually this is about the same on every one of the sheets for the type of fuel you are buying. Diesel and gasoline margins are typically different. Retail gas stations, in particular, will treat diesel like a premium product so don’t be surprised if those margins are over $.40 a gallon in some places.

If you want help with this, call us!

We will empower you with the knowledge of what your vendor is charging you and determine if it is a fair price for the service. Beyond that, there should be no other costs. If your vendor has other costs (fees, invoice charges, etc.), we’ll show you what those really cost per gallon so you understand your true cost fuel.

Star Oilco makes this clear and easy to understand. Let us know if we can help.

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For more on what is required to self serve gasoline as a small business in Oregon.

For more on Fueling Solutions developed for small businesses dedicated to managing a fleet and drivers for local Delivery. 

Call for service.

 

 

 

7 Ways to Stop Fuel Theft Before it Happens 150 150 Star Oilco

7 Ways to Stop Fuel Theft Before it Happens

STOP FUEL THEFT

IN YOUR BUSINESS TO REALLY SAVE ON YOUR COST OF DIESEL AND GASOLINE

Save money by managing  your diesel and gasoline fleet cards. Know who, how, and where fuel is bought.

In the new world of diesel and gasoline over $5 you need a strategy to control where and how fuel is bought by your business.

Controlling your fuel expense can be time consuming and vital for any business. We recommend approaching it from a Human Resource management perspective.

Seize control of the use of fuel cards with real time feedback:

  • Who is buying
  • What type of fuel
  • Where it’s bought
  • When are they buying

Set a clear standard and make sure you put controls on your fleet cards to ensure you keep honest employees from doing something that requires discipline.  Below are some of the best practices for controlling your fleet’s fuel purchases.

7 Ways to Stop Fuel Theft Before it Happens

Why Pacific Pride and CFN Fleet Cards?

Often we are asked how to save money on fueling a small business fleet.  Usually the biggest cost isn’t the pennies you save per gallon, but the gallons you can save by stopping theft.  To save money on gasoline, make sure you aren’t paying for thieves to use your small business fuel cards.

Every fuel business seeks to avoid fuel slippage – the loss of fuel due to theft, waste or buying the wrong and/or more expensive fuel product. How can you secure the slippage, once and for all?  These steps not only help with managing employees, but they can help you spot unusual purchases from stolen or skimmed cards. Skimming is when thieves hide a device that copies cards information and pin information. Thieves then clone the card and can attempt to use them in other locations.  Using fuel cards vs Credit cards can save owners thousands of dollars.  Employees have less access to non-authorized purchases and thieves can’t use fuel cards to purchase other items.

Star Oilco can help you establish a program to eliminate fuel slippage that includes an easy-to-use management process and enforcement of a “No Tolerance Fuel Theft Policy.”

Star Oilco has a simple and effective approach designed to empower you to easily manage your fuel cards.

Cardlock and secure fleet cards have been around since the 1970s and oddly enough, our competitors fail to field them properly. Star Oilco is here to help and would like to give you some simple and efficient practices to eliminate fuel slippage. We have an easy to implement strategy to lock down your cardlock and fleet cards in order to knock out the opportunity for fuel theft in your business.

Fuel cards assigned to the vehicle not the person

By attaching the fuel cards to the vehicle and not the human being, you immediately break the driver’s belief that the company is providing fuel to them and not the company vehicle.

That’s why we recommend you attach the fleet card to the vehicle key chain and NOT in a driver’s wallet. For additional security, employ a Corporate Fleet Card that is secured by a PIN.  Star Oilco recommends either Pacific Pride or CFN, both of which are in the Fuelman Network. Star Oilco will provide you with a keychain designed to hold up to two fleet cards.

Each Person has a secret PIN

Use a “Floating PIN” system where every member of the team has a secret PIN that is only to be used by them.

We recommend attaching fuel cards to the vehicle key chain and having each driver use their own secret PIN to purchase fuel. With this secret PIN, Star Oilco’s Fuel Cards track their name with every fuel purchase. Their name will appear next to the transaction on the bill and on an E-Receipt confirming who bought what, when, and where. This personalizes all fuel usage. Many companies already have a secret PIN policy around time cards and clocking in and out of work. This Best Practice stacks well with that.

Enforce a "No Tolerance Fuel Theft"

Implement and enforce a “No Tolerance Fuel Theft Policy” that every employee must sign.

Policies vary but should generally include language that requires the use of a fleet card for fuel purchases, states that PIN use is tracked by employee, confirms that employees are held accountable for any wrongdoing associated with their PIN and acknowledges that fuel theft will lead to immediate termination.  Star Oilco’s approach documents and provides evidence as well as real time knowledge for you to respond and ensure a fuel theft culture doesn’t grow in your business.

If you have fuel thieves in your business, make sure you document it at a Human Resource level.  In many states a first time a fuel thief is caught they may still qualify for unemployment when dismissed.  A No Tolerance Fuel Theft Policy when you on-board a new employee protects your from thieves getting away with it at the expense of your business.

Set-up E-Receipts for purchases

Use E-Receipts to reinforce your fuel policy.

An E-Receipt is a real-time email showing who bought what fuel, when and where, as it happens. Make sure this E-Receipt is going to several levels in your office, where employees are paying attention to what your drivers are doing.  If your fleet knows that their fuel purchases are completely transparent, they will think twice before doing something convenient for themselves over what the company needs. When a driver buys the wrong product, or was getting fuel out of route, you can follow up immediately to reinforce your fuel policies without waiting for a bill to show up at the end of the month. This is a great tool to spot additional transactions that may not be coming from your employees.  “Get an email every time your fleet stops for fuel” is another article that talks about this if you would like more information.

Limit hours and locations for Usage
Star Oilco can limit your fuel cards to work only during your business hours and/or within your territory.

Whether your territory is an entire state or limited to specific zip codes, you can define where your fleet can get fuel and where they cannot. And to avoid late night or early morning fuel theft, consider disabling your fuel cards during specified periods of the day or week, so that your cards don’t work when you don’t want them being used. This can easily be done as you need it by either contacting Star Oilco and asking us to do it for you, or by logging into your online Pacific Pride / CFN portal to set these restrictions yourself.  Cards with limits are less attractive to thieves the more you can limit the usage the less appealing your card is for skimming thieves.

Limit the amount of fuel per purchase

Set up your cards to only allow for a certain quantity or specific grade of fuel.

Consider limiting the volume of fuel purchased to match the size of a vehicle’s tank. Also, limit the number of transactions per day as well. That way, if for some reason that card gets stolen and someone has a working PIN, their theft is thoroughly limited.

Review your bill - Annual audit at least

Ask your vendor to review of all the cards and PINs you’ve used throughout the year.

Star Oilco seeks to do this annually. As per the state of Oregon (where Star Oilco is located), we receive a Fire Marshall audit every year and as they audit our cardlock records, we do the same and review every card and PIN for that year. You should do this too and Star Oilco can help. We recommend turning off all cards that are not being regularly used, which also allows you to adjust other details as needed. If you would like more information about this ‘What’s in a “Keep it Simple Fuel Audit”’ tells a little more about how we can review your current bill and simplify what you’re spending, where you’re spending it and give you tips on how to save some money.

Why use Commercial Cardlock over a retail gas station fleet card?

Commercial Cardlock locations in the CFN and Pacific Pride network are designed for business.  Fast and easy in and out to save your business on labor as well as far more competitive prices especially on diesel.  In Oregon where self serve gasoline is limited there are rules to using fleet cards at stand along cardlock locations.  Here are the rules involved with getting a Pacific Pride or CFN commercial cardlock card which enables you 24-7-365 access to stand alone commercial fuel stations.

If you would like to learn more fill out the following form.

Contact Form

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Pacific Pride commercial fuel station
What does a business need to use Pacific Pride or CFN in Oregon? 646 223 Star Oilco

What does a business need to use Pacific Pride or CFN in Oregon?

How to Get a Pacific Pride fuel card in Oregon

If you have ever wondered what was required to use a stand alone commercial cardlock location in Oregon – we have answers.  Any user of diesel can self serve diesel at a Pacific Pride or CFN cardlock.  If you need gasoline for a commercial purpose in Oregon and buy over 900 gallons a year you can pump your own gas at a Pacific Pride commercial cardlock.

Proud provider of Pacific Pride and CFN Fleet Cardlock CardsStar Oilco is an Independent Franchisee of Pacific Pride

Pacific Pride and CFN stand-alone cardlock sites allow commercial users to self serve gasoline 24-7 with security you can not get at any retail station.

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Get your employees out of gas lines and ensure control over what they buy.

Pacific Pride and CFN are the most secure and convenient ways to buy commercial fuel.

Corporate gas cards are extremely attractive to thieves.  If you are a large purchaser of fuel, having a clear system in place to secure your employee’s fuel buying will be the single most critical component to control your cost of fuel. If you have a small fleet of even one vehicle every purchase can mean the difference of a profit or loss for that day.  Controlling where, when, what fuel, and how much they can buy at some point will be the biggest cost saving strategy you can have. Otherwise fuel theft will creep.

Use Pacific Pride commercial cardlock so your business has twenty-four hour access to fuel.

Star Oilco fleet card program has a clear and simple system to enable your business to seize control of fleet fuel purchases.

If you have a fleet operated by employees and face regular turn over in your business, you are exposing your business to fuel theft. You have to ensure these vehicles can get fuel, while not endangering your bottom line to thieves either inside or outside of your business.

Pacific Pride and CFN fuel cards are designed for small business fleets in mind. They are gas or diesel fleet card options focused on eliminating theft in your operation. They are designed to protect small businesses from fuel theft and give management control over when, where, and what is bought. However, Oregon has limits on self-serve in urban areas. Therefore, there are rules associated with using unattended fleet cards, or “cardlock” fueling, as it is commonly called.

Using Commercial Cardlock in Oregon is a solution to both fuel theft and lost driver productivity.

Whether you are a large dispersed fleet or a small business with a fleet of one.  We can secure your fueling needs from theft. Send any questions you have our way.

Use of a fleet card dedicated for service at a commercial cardlock is the best way to secure your fleet from fuel theft. This will guarantee you seize control of your fleet fueling. For this reason, in Oregon where self-serve is not the standard way of fueling, far more stand-alone 24-7 cardlock locations are available under the Pacific Pride and CFN brands. In Oregon, gasoline is not legally dispensed without a few safety precautions required by Oregon state, so there are other factors a business needs to consider in using it.

Oregon law does not allow self-serve gasoline along the I-5 corridor.  Diesel is legally allowed for self-serve, but gasoline as a Class 1 flammable liquid is not. “Class 1 Flammable Liquid” means any liquid with a flash point below 25 degrees Fahrenheit.  Note: Diesel fuel is not a Class 1 flammable liquid.  Therefore the Oregon fire marshal has rules restricting the use of commercial cardlock gasoline for individual uses. For commercial uses, Pacific Pride, CFN, Comdata, Voyager and other commercial cardlock networks are allowed for businesses in Oregon.  If you are a fleet operator or an individual outside of Oregon, these requirements do not apply in your home state, but if you substantially operate in Oregon, the state fire marshal will have an expectation of these rules applying to you.

Pacific Pride Fueling Network Provider

What are the rules for using commercial cardlock in Oregon?

  • Business usage is required for gasoline cardlock fleet card use in Oregon (not any other state).
  • If you are using solely diesel, commercial cardlock is available to everyone (individuals and businesses).
  • If you are planning on fueling gasoline vehicles, you must have a business license (or prove it’s for commercial use).
    • NOTE: Self-serve laws have changed and allow for rural Oregonians outside of the Willamette Valley to use cardlock for self-serve in parts of Oregon. Call Star Oilco for more information on this.
  • To access gasoline at cardlock in Oregon, you must be able to prove that you use over 900 gallons of fuel a year.
  • To access gasoline at cardlock in Oregon, someone in your business must also take a Oregon Fire Marshal Safety Test.
    • NOTE: Message Star Oilco below for a copy of the Oregon Fire Marshal Safety Test.

If you have questions about Pacific Pride or other cardlock systems please don’t hesitate to contact Star Oilco with any questions you may have. Star Oilco has a long tradition of making cardlock easy for businesses large and small. In particular, we specialize in helping you secure fuel usage to eliminate fuel theft and reduce any chance or opportunity for thieves.

Star Oilco Logo with Phone numberPacific Pride Franchise Logo

CardLock Landing Form

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For More on Using Fleet Cards and Cardlock Cards as a Management Tool:

For more on using a cardlock card as a Pre-Set Fuel Card similar to a prepaid credit card please read this article. 

Star Oilco recommends that fleets use a “Zero Tolerance Fuel Theft Policy” as an Human Resource tool to document that fuel theft is a firing offense on the first event. For more information and an example of a “Zero Tolerance Fuel Theft Policy” please see this article.

If you are interested in using a secure Commercial Cardlock card with Wet-Hose Refueling together as a fuel buying and labor efficiency strategy, here is an article on improving your fleet fueling efficiency. 

For a downloadable white paper on how to eliminate fuel theft in your business please see www.NoMoreFuelTheft.com for this shareable PDF.

What is Heating Oil? 150 150 Star Oilco

What is Heating Oil?

In the Pacific Northwest heating oil is diesel.

Star Po;cp Crest

New heating oil customers often ask us, “What is heating oil?” Heating oil is diesel fuel and there are several grades and types. For Star Oilco our standard heating oil product is a ultra low sulfur diesel with a 5% biodiesel blend in order to meet Oregon mandates for off-road diesel fuel. That way our heating oil trucks can also serve construction fueling, emergency back up generators, and other common off-road diesel uses.

Star Oilco has a simple Heating Oil FAQ available.

For full on fuel nerds though, check out this more in depth deeper technical dive below.  If we leave anything out please don’t hesitate to ask for those seeking a nerd-level understanding of heating oil, kerosene and bioheat.

There are three typically grades of heating oil you can order.

Number 1 Diesel

Number 1 diesel is also called Kerosene or Stove Oil. This fuel has a lighter specification than typical heating oil which enables it to burn better in a “pot burner” or wick heater. Kerosene has its own specification as the fuel used by wick heaters. Kerosene is typically Number 1 diesel but not all Number 1 diesel’s are kerosene due to the need to be taken up by a wick heater. Any biodiesel content in a kerosene product WILL NOT work in a wick kerosene heater. So be very aware of confirming that your kerosene has never come into any contact with a biodiesel blend of fuel.

Red Number 2 Diesel

Red dyed diesel also called Heating Oil, Dyed Diesel, Off-Road Diesel is the default heating oil fuel. The fuel is dyed red to denote no on-road fuel taxes are attached to it. When you call and ask for heating oil, this is the fuel you are requesting. Clear or Green Number 2 Diesel is the fuel sold at retail gas stations and truck stops. That fuel will also work in your furnace, you just are paying for on-road taxes attached to that fuel.

Bioheat or Biodiesel Heating Oil

“Bioheat” is a blend of biodiesel and petroleum diesel to make a lower emission and lower CO2 heating fuel.  Typically Bioheat is Number 2 Heating Oil with a 20% blend of biodiesel or higher in it. It is a drop-in fuel for your heating oil furnace. There is no change other than routine maintenance is required. It is a cleaner burning fuel with a significant drop in CO2 emissions associated with your heating oil fuel consumption.  If you would like more information on biodiesel as a heating oil you can follow this link.

B20 Biodiesel Heating oil provider

Where do heating oil companies get their fuel?

In the Portland, Oregon market, diesel is fungible. Everyone buys or is expected to mix their fuel from each other in some way. Primarily this is due to the Portland/Vancouver market receiving most of its fuel down the Kinder Morgan-operated Olympic Pipeline, which means all the refiners transporting fuel are mixing their product in transit. Additionally, there are shared terminal locations, which also have co-mingled owned diesel products. Every refiner is typically expecting to mix their diesel and gasoline products. The difference is in the care a vendor takes to filter the fuel, using additives and continuously check their fuel quality. If you are buying at the absolute lowest price possible, know that there is an incentive to skip any added value of quality assurance.

Star Oilco buys our diesel products from a variety of vendors. The source refiner typically being either BP, Shell, Marathon(formerly Tesoro), Phillip 66, or a number of other refiners.

Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington are not unique in in having fungible diesel and heating oil fuel specifications. Through its Pacific Operations unit, Kinder Morgan operates approximately 3,000 miles of refined products pipeline that serves Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington and Texas. With roots dating back to 1956, it is the largest products pipeline in the Western U.S., transporting more than one million barrels per day of gasoline, jet fuel and diesel fuel to our customers. The company-owned terminals also provide additional services, such as liquid petroleum product storage and loading facilities for delivery trucks.

The heating oil and biofuel blends Star Oilco sells its customers

Heating oil is essentially off-road diesel. You can legally use a higher sulfur content for boilers and heating systems than you can off-road equipment and back-up generators. Regardless, we sell the lowest sulfur fuel available and optimize our fuel to be as versatile to our customers as possible. Construction equipment, back up generators and a host of others systems use off-road diesel, as do heating oil systems. Star Oilco sells the same diesel fuel specification for all of our off-road uses. We also blend this fuel with biodiesel for our customers that want higher blends of low CO2 biodiesel fuels and heating oil. Star Oilco carries nothing but ultra low sulfur diesel fuels. In fact, our minimum blend of biodiesel is a B5 biodiesel blend (5% biodiesel and 95% petroleum diesel) and we also offer B20 (20% biodiesel blend) and B99 (99% pure biodiesel) for our customers.

About Diesel Fuels Specifications 

In the United States, diesel fuel is controlled according the American Society for Testing and Materials Standard D975-97. This standard describes a limited number of properties that diesel fuels must meet. It should be noted that the requirements are all performance-based, meaning they do not mandate the composition of the fuel, only the specific performance related requirements demanded of a fuel for a diesel engine. The requirements of D975 are described below.

ASTM Specifications for Diesel Fuel Oils (D975)*

*More info on ASTM specifications

Diesel fuel is characterized in the United States by the ASTM standard D975, which identifies five grades of diesel fuel. We are only going to talk about the two most popular commercially diesel fuel used — No 1 and No. 2 diesel. The ASTM D975 standard is made up of a series of different tests that check the characteristic ranges of a fuel to confirm it is adequate to operate in your equipment. In simple terms, they are checking for specific gravity, the vapor point (when it turns into a gas), the flash point (when it catches fire), the dirt content, water content (how much microscopic entrained water) and a host of other requirements diesel must meet in order to be legal to be sold for use in your engine.

Grade No. 1-D and Ultra-Low Sulfur 1-D:

This is a light distillate fuel for applications requiring a higher volatility fuel to accommodate rapidly fluctuating loads and speeds, as in light trucks and buses. The specification for this grade of diesel fuel overlaps with kerosene and jet fuel, and all three are commonly produced from the same base stock. One major use for No. 1-D diesel fuel is to blend with No. 2-D during winter to provide improved cold flow properties. Ultra-low sulfur fuel is required for on-highway use with sulfur level < 0.05%. 

Grade No. 2-D and Ultra-Low Sulfur 2-D:

This is a middle- or mid-grade distillate fuel for applications that do not require a high volatility fuel. Typical applications include high-speed engines that operate for sustained periods at high load. Ultra-low sulfur fuel is required for on-highway use with sulfur level < 0.05%.

Biodiesel Fuels for Heating Oil

Biodiesel is a renewable fuel produced from oil seed crops, used cooking oil, and/or animal fat waste. It is chemically similar to petroleum diesel, and is produced by combining the oil stock with catalysts and then heating it. Biodiesel is not the same as vegetable oil or SVO (straight vegetable oil). Biodiesel can be used in any diesel engine. Biodiesel and biodiesel blends significantly reduce tailpipe emissions, especially carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and particulates (black smoke). ASTM D975 standard, as of 2008, allowed up to 5 percent biodiesel to be blended into the fuel. This is the called B5 — the ‘B’ stands for biodiesel and 5 stands for up to 5 percent biodiesel.

B6 to B20 – ASTM D7467-17:

Diesel blends up to 20% and more than 6% are referred to as B20. Biodiesel is a cleaner burning fuel than petroleum diesel. Using biodiesel can help reduce the amount of harmful emissions released into the air, including sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and other compounds found in diesel exhaust. Read the ASTM D7467-17 standards.

B99 & B100 –  ASTM D6751-15ce1:

These are fuels made of up to 100% biodiesel. Due to environmental regulations, most retailers will carry a maximum of B99. The standards for B99 and B100 are identical. Unlike gasoline, diesel can gel at cold temperatures, which can cause stress on fuel pumps and fuel injection systems, or can clog filters or even become too thick to pump to the engine. B99 has a higher temperature gel rate – meaning that it begins to cloud and thicken at higher temperatures – than conventional diesel. “The cloud point of soybean biodiesel is about 34°F (1°C), whereas the cloud point for No. 1 diesel is about – 40°F (-40°C) and for No. 2 diesel between -18°F (-28°C) and +20°F (-7°C).” (Biodiesel Cloud Point and Cold Weather Issues) The solutions for cold weather involve additives and lower blends to ensure continuous operations. Read the ASTM D6751-15ce1 standards.

FURTHER READING ON DIESEL FUEL:

For a question and answer format about heating oil please see: Every question Star Oilco has been asked about Heating Oil

Here is an article about: an In-depth look at Biodiesel as a heating fuel 

Read about Star Oilco’s approach to Fuel Quality Assurance: Star Oilco – Precision Fuel Management

Read about dealing with biological growth in your diesel tank: Bioguard Plus 6 biocide treatment for diesel

Get Chevron’s Technical Manual to Diesel Fuel (essentially an easy to read text book on diesel): Chevron’s Fuel Technical Review

Get a white paper from Donaldson Filtration on tier 4 engines and fuel cleanliness: Donaldson on Tier 4 Engine Fuel Contamination

Read more about Donaldson Desiccant Breathers for bulk diesel tanks: Why use a Donaldson Desiccant Breather for a bulk diesel storage tank.

What Do I Need to Know About Long Term Diesel Storage? 150 150 Star Oilco

What Do I Need to Know About Long Term Diesel Storage?

Here’s good advice if you are relying on diesel as a back up fuel in the Pacific NW.

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Now is the time to refill and treat your back up fuel tanks.

Diesel as a back up fuel

Quite a bit of our business at Star Oilco is fueling back-up generators, emergency water pumps, refrigerated trailers and other long term off-road diesel storage requirements. In the Pacific Northwest, biodiesel blending is required by state laws and you need to take an extra duty of care when storing diesel as a back-up fuel.

This means that most off-road diesels and heating oils are ultra low sulfur diesel containing a small quantity of biodiesel.  That means long term storage requires a proactive approach.  You can’t just hope and wait to see what the fuel begins to look after years of storage.

Technical advice from Government Fleet Magazine to help you with storing diesel fuel.

Here is an article from Government Fleet Magazine on the subject which runs through the specifics of long term storage and what causes fuel to degrade when stored.  Government Fleet Magazine – How to Maintain Stored Diesel Fuel.

Star Oilco has also worked up a PDF check list on how to verify if your fuel is in need of freshening or is still in emergency ready shape.  If you are a customer of ours, we will deliver a laminated card version to keep next to your back up generator. If you are not a customer (or outside of our service area) drop us a message below and we will gladly email you the PDF.

For our customers, we recommend that you check the tank bottom fuel quality on an annual basis to make sure the product looks good. If the tank has sat for years and is dark in color (good diesel is bright and transparent – you will notice if it is in bad shape), we recommend pumping the tank out at least partially and replacing with fresh fuel. Often you can also hugely improve the quality of the fuel by polishing the fuel. Polishing is when you circulate fuel from the bottom of the tank through a pump, filter repeatedly in order to remove any sediment or growth from the fuel, and then place this fuel back in the same tank.

Look at your fuel for a bright and clear color.

For stored fuel, you also want to make sure it is stabilized and contains a biocide. Stabilizers prevent the oxidation of the fuel and prevent the effect of metals like lead, copper and zinc, which can react and degrade fuel. For heating oil systems with a return line, for instance, the fuel is flowing through a copper line to the furnace and then back to the tank in a return line.

Use additives designed to prolong the life of your emergency diesel fuel.

Biocides prevent the growth of biological activity in the tank. In scenarios whcontaminated_dieselere micro-organisms like algae, bacteria, yeasts, and other bugs are growing in your fuel, biocides can kill this growth. It is still important to remove the residual grit and other contaminants that are the hallmark of bugs growing in your tank. Usually you remove them by filtration or total turn over of the fuel. If your tank absolutely has to be clean, you can contract a tank professional to enter the tank and physically clean the tank bottom or reline the tank with either fiberglass or an epoxy resin.

Water in diesel destroys fuel quality rapidly. Check your tank for water every fall and spring.

In events where water finds its way into your storage tank, that can also be corrected by pumping the tank bottom. Additionally, you want to put in an absorbent material designed to absorb water and not fuel. If your long term storage tank has water and you are not planning to burn 100% of the fuel in the near future, DO NOT add anything that removes water by distributing into the fuel. Adding a “fuel drier” that actually pushes the water into solution with the diesel will worsen the long term quality of your fuel, not improve it. That water is where bugs find their home to grow in fuel.

Star Oilco will test your fuel at no charge if you have an open account.

Feel free to call us with any questions you may have about long term storage of diesel. Star Oil can also deliver treated diesel ready for long term storage complete with Hydrotex PowerKleen Premium Diesel additive to improve the long term storage quality of your fuel. For biocide, we use Valvtect BioGuard fuel microbiocide to kill any possible biological activity and prevent any chance of it starting.

Diesel Testing and Storage in Portland

If you have a long term diesel storage tank and you are in the Portland, Oregon area, we are here to test your fuel.  Make sure your diesel is there for you when disaster strikes.

Tank Testing Form

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For more reading on diesel fuel quality assurance:

Fight Humbug in your Diesel Tank (using Valvtect Bioguard Plus 6 to stabalize your stored diesel)

Diesel Fuel Technical Review (an easy to read and free text book on diesel fuel)

Emergency Back Up Generator Fuel Quality (designed to provide a checklist to help Facility Managers keep those back up generators ready for emergency action)

Using Desicant Breathers to keep diesel fuel dry and clean (an introductory primer on desicant breathers and how they can be used to keep long term diesel storage drier and cleaner)

Using Diesel Filters to clean up your diesel fuel quality (an introductory primer on using aggressive filtration in line with diesel fuel dispensing for fuel quality assurance)

Emergency Back-Up Generator Fuel Quality Assurance 150 150 Star Oilco

Emergency Back-Up Generator Fuel Quality Assurance

Emergency Back Up Generator Diesel Fuel Quality

The fuel in your generator is the single most overlooked item in maintaining a back up generator.  Be prepared and know your back up generator diesel fuel quality is ready with these best practices.

When the power goes out, don’t let a decade old tank of diesel be your weak link.

 

Diesel Generator Fueling Service

As a provider of back up generator fueling services we know how critical fuel is in an emergency.

Back up generators are everywhere when you start looking for them.  Rarely needed but when a storm or disaster strikes their failure to fire will be extremely conspicuous. In the Pacific Northwest where resilience planning around a major subduction zone earthquake is a monthly subject of talk.  Back up diesel will be the only immediately power source after a quake.  Diesel generators are taking center stage for emergency preparedness, placing those who maintain them in some high level policy discussions.

Avoid a double emergency when the back up power isn’t there for your need by focusing on the diesel fuel quality.

The worst case scenario for fuel quality is water getting into your diesel fuel reservoir as well as biological growth occurring in that water logged diesel. If water is present in diesel, and that diesel is in a warm dark place, bacteria will start growing in your tank. So first preventive step is watch for water.  The most likely problem with fuel you will see is the fuel aging and degrading in place over years of not being used.  That can be addressed with your routine maintenance on the tank.

CIM-TEK water absorber

NOTE: To get a small amount of water or to ensure a dryer tank of fuel, CIM TEK makes a Tank Dryer which absorbs a small amount of water in a tank. Handy similar to adding a desiccant into a closet with a slight condensation issue. 

Back up power generator diesel fuel quality.

The big rule for storing back up generator fuel is to make sure the diesel you use is clean and dry.

First ensure you are testing the generator by running it once a month.  Move fuel through the system and ensure the generator is starting right up. Run the generator for a while to use up fuel and be prepared to order a regular top off when you get below 3/4th of a tank. When checking the fluids on the generator prior to start up see if the fuel filter has a visual transparent bottom where you can see what the fuel looks like there. If it looks like dirty fuel or there is evidence of water take notice.  After cycling the generator take a peek and make sure the fuel it’s pulling into the generator is bright (not dark and degraded).  If you are seeing any water (even a small drop) that is an indication of real concerns.

If you are using up half a tank a year and adding to it, the fuel quality will usually stay within specification.  If you have worries the easiest way is to just start over. With older generators sometimes it’s a good idea to just evacuate the tank (empty all the older diesel fuel) and replace it with fresh diesel treated and stabilized for long term storage.

Most back up generators are seeing routine annual maintenance where the mechanical needs of the equipment are walked through. If this is occurring ask for a bottom sample from the back up generators fuel tank. Also ask to see what the fuel in the bottom of the fuel filter (assuming they are changing that) would give an indication if problems might exist deep in the fuel tank.

Back Up Diesel Generator Fuel Service

Sampling and Onsite Testing of Fuel from Generator Diesel Tank:

  1. Pull sample from tank bottom
    1. Use a professional “Bacon-Bomb Sampler” (google it to see one) or a small fuel transfer pump available at any auto parts store.
  2. Visually inspect it by swirling it in a beaker or mason jar.
    • Look for water and dirt fall out as you swirl.  If you see a few drops of water form you’ve got a water problem. If you are seeing coffee ground type material in the fuel, that’s biological growth. If an algal or gunk type slime appears, that’s also biological growth.
    • If clear like cranberry juice and bright – your fuel is in good shape.  If a darker cherry color yet still clear, your fuel is aging and you should consider swapping or burning fuel off in the next year.
  3. If fuel is dark in color (showing that it is aging in the tank) you can send that sample to a lab to test it. You want to ensure you are confirming the following:
    • Oxidation Stability (or Accelerated Stability)
    • Water Content in PPM (under 50 PPM is what you want, under 100 PPM is not uncommon, and over 100 PPM there is probably water in the fuel and you want to pursue remedial action.)
    • Make sure the fuel testing lab you are using (your current fuel vendor should have a recommendation or do it for free for you) is checking for:
      • oxidative stability (if it’s aging out of specification),
      • biological growth (if bugs are growing in it),
      • water content (indicating a puddle someplace in the tank causing higher water content in the fuel) and,
      • dirt content of the fuel (if there is dirt, there is probably biological growth or some other problem).
  4. Set aside sample in a warm dark place for a month and check it for biological growth occurring which will confirm if you have fuel growing inside the tank.
    • How to test diesel for biological growth In-House:
      • Take your sample that appears to be in great condition and set it aside in a warm dark place for a month (day light kills most biological growth in fuel, though day light ages your diesel in other ways).
      • When you come back to look at the sample, if a film or layer of darker color is appearing in the fuel, this is biological growth occurring.
      • If you see nothing and want to experiment further, add a slight amount of water to this sample, shake it up, and put it back in a warm dark place.
      • When you check back if there is a a new layer of darker color on the surface of where the water contacts the fuel, that’s what grows in your tank.
      • If nothing grows, your fuel is safely stabilized for storage this year. Even if water is finding its way into your fuel tank, the fuel is safe and will be ready to start.
        • NOTE: Do not leave water in your tank, even if the fuel looks good. Eventually it will be a major problem and something will grow. If you are putting biocide in your tank regularly and their is an environment for growth, something resistant to that biocide will take root and you WILL NOT be able to get it out of the tank without serious effort.

NOTE: If you are curious to see a fuel lab analysis of the diesel this is an example.  This is a lab analysis from Hydrotex, Star Oilco’s premium diesel additive provider.  They are very supportive in testing everything we send them for quality assurance. 

 

Do you have questions about generator diesel fuel storage?

If you have questions about fuel storage, Star Oilco has answers.  Star Oilco does not do tank cleaning, we still will help you figure out what you need to do in order to have the result you need.

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For more on Diesel Fuel Quality Assurance please see these other Star Oilco articles:

Desiccant breathers, dry diesel, and keeping your diesel fuel clean.

Every question Star Oilco has been asked about dyed diesel.

Keep and make your diesel fuel cleaner. 

Bioguard Plus 6, Kill and prevent biological growth in your diesel fuel storage tank.