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3 Steps to Deal with Upcoming DEF Demand

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Whether your business is a string of c-stores or a remote diesel source for farm equipment, DEF availability will retain diesel customers. 

Dealing with Upcoming DEF DemandEPA standards have created cleaner diesel vehicles and diesel exhaust fluid further breaks down the harmful emissions, making diesel cleaner than ever. With automobile researchers reporting a 30-35% increase in 2014 diesel sales over the previous year, here is how independent fuel retailers can become a trusted resource for new and experienced diesel drivers by providing DEF as demand increases.

Step 1: Get to Know Diesel Exhaust Fluid

DEF, a blend of deionized water and synthetic urea, breaks down the nitrogen oxide in diesel exhaust and converts it to nitrogen and oxygen. Prior to this breakthrough particulates created by the exhaust would gather in a filter trap and injectors would spray diesel fuel into the trap to burn off the sediment. Between the buildup and waste of fuel in response, diesel owners were known to perform after-market modifications in order to increase power, voiding warranties and increasing harmful emissions. Since EPA standards initiated the addition of DEF and catalytic converters to diesel vehicles, power is no longer sacrificed for the sake of environmental responsibility.

Step 2: Know Your Customer

Modern diesel sedans, such as the Volkswagen Jetta TDI diesel, require DEF refills about as often as a gasoline-powered vehicle requires oil changes. However commercial trucks and farm equipment have larger DEF tanks and can burn through a gallon every 200 miles. Understanding the customer you serve will inform how you supply DEF. Are you supplying more everyday vehicles or freight/farming vehicles? That will inform whether you require smaller jugs or multiple pumps.

The current sporadic availability of DEF prompted the founding of websites like DiscoverDEF.com, which provides search information allowing drivers to find the closest source for diesel exhaust fluid, and search according to availability through a pump dispensing at the fuel island, a separate pump, or a 1- to 5-lb jug. While bulk DEF truck stops in America and Canada increased 55% last year, there are still entire states and provinces without DEF resources. The potential to become an area DEF supplier as demand increases can benefit you and local drivers.

Step 3: Know Your Sources

Once you understand DEF and the needs of your customer, it’s time to contact a trusted DEF source. Companies like Spatco are creating DEF systems for a wide range of applications, from portable tanks to fully customizable retail systems. Their scalable solutions are fully EPA compliant and have been developed to optimize your investment. Working with your fuel systems supplier to choose the proper DEF system will also ensure that your business becomes a trusted resource as demand for DEF and diesel grows.

Contact your local Shields Harper branch to learn more about DEF delivery options.

Image: "Volkswagen TDI clean diesel cars" by dailymatador is licensed under CC BY 2.0 Generic