Getting low-sulfur experience

In 2006, the trucking industry starts using ultra low sulfur diesel (ULSD) fuel, which has sulfur content of 15 ppm compared to the 500-ppm level in today's diesel. The question carriers most want answered is how the fuel changeover could affect their bottom line. Silver Eagle Distributors' vp-fleet management Ed Pritchard told Fleet Owner that ULSD does cost more than 500-ppm fuel, but added there

In 2006, the trucking industry starts using ultra low sulfur diesel (ULSD) fuel, which has sulfur content of 15 ppm compared to the 500-ppm level in today's diesel. The question carriers most want answered is how the fuel changeover could affect their bottom line.

Silver Eagle Distributors' vp-fleet management Ed Pritchard told Fleet Owner that ULSD does cost more than 500-ppm fuel, but added there are some operational benefits to using it.

Pritchard said ULSD acts no differently than regular diesel fuel. He reported there's been no change in lubricity and the fleet's oil drain intervals have been virtually unaffected.

Pritchard also discovered that the lower sulfur content of ULSD has reduced wear metal deposits in engine oil, that has allowed him to consider extending oil drain intervals.

Houston-based Silver Eagle initially converted one of its 155 Class 7 International tractors to operate on ULSD using International's green diesel technology.

By January of this year, 30 more ULSD-powered trucks joined Silver Eagle's fleet and more are on the way, Pritchard said.

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