How cold to leave running ?

Discussion in 'Experienced Truckers' Advice' started by Cat sdp, Dec 28, 2017.

  1. Tb0n3

    Tb0n3 Road Train Member

    Oct 5, 2012
    Lovely. Guess you gotta be Really generous with anything that has bio in it. Had a quarter tank of Virginia Love's fuel, quarter -4F mix with a double dose of powerserve, and half 50/50 and I gelled at -6F. No 911 in town of course.
  2. Cattleman84

    Cattleman84 Road Train Member

    Nov 1, 2017
    Another guy at my company got snowed in for 3 days in Rawlins, WY a few years ago with temps well below zero and he ran his reefer continuous the whole time (even though it wasn't loaded) so he could run his bunk heater without having to idle his truck as much and not have to worry about batteries. 10 hours with jumper cables hooked from reefer to truck, then unhook cables and high idle truck for 3 hours to warm oil up again... Rinse and repeat for 3 days. Said after a few other guys saw what he was doing all the jumper cables at the truck stop sold out quick!
    j_martell, laaylor, Lepton1 and 2 others Thank this.
  3. RedForeman

    RedForeman Momentum Conservationist

    Jan 30, 2011
    Johns Creek, GA.
    Thanks for posting that. I wasn't aware that was available, and I'm sure I looked at the Power Service website a while back and never noticed it.

    That said, I just bought a case of 6 - 80oz bottles $15/ea at my local national chain truck parts dealer. Not going to name them because their regular price was up there in truck stop territory. I've been a regular customer and had to haggle to get that price, and I don't want to get them in trouble with their HQ. My point being, you can haggle at a parts house. Especially if you buy more than one pint at a time. Next time I'll look up the part number of the concentrate and get them to order me some.

    We usually don't run into areas that get the real arctic conditions. I read a lab analysis regarding diesel additives that I cannot find tonight for the life of me, or I'd post a link. Maybe you or someone else has a link. Key points that stuck with me were:

    1. Gelling/ice can begin at any temp below +20ºF, depending on a number of things, namely bio content and additives added at the fuel depot.
    2. Most brand name products do a great treatment for gelling or ice, but not both. I have used Power Service arctic formula, since it seemed to have the best balance of both, and suitable for the coldest temps we operate in (rarely sub-zero).
    3. The differences across brands were remarkable, both in level of protection, as well as concentration (quantity of product required to treat the same amount of fuel to a certain level).
    4. In extreme low temps, it seemed it would make sense to use the best of both, that is, separate products for gel and ice prevention. No need for me to explore that further, since that's not an issue for me. I'll defer to you hands that do spend a lot of time in sub-zero temps and enjoy reading about (versus actually using) the products and creative methods to avoid fuel problems in those conditions.

    I have two trucks and two reefer units. Any time I'm going to be below +20ºF for more than a few hours, I treat with the PS white bottle product. Both trucks have Tripacs on them, that will run and keep water temp up around 110º while shut off for the night. Both have C15 Acerts. They start easy, but are cold natured. I usually allow enough time before liftoff to get water temp to at least 140º or they just don't run well.

    Never had problems with the Espar heaters either. I service them every year, including changing the mesh screen in the glow pin hole, and scraping out the air hole near the top of that screen. I let that slip on my KW once and the second winter it started having hard start problems and making lots of white smoke when it did try to start. 30 minutes work and less than $20 parts and good as new. I have seen one or two people that installed aux tanks for their bunk heaters and run only straight #1 thru them, and claim to never need to change the screens or have any carbon problems with them. They seemed to be credible, but not something I'd go to the effort to do myself.

    What I am doing is probably overkill. In fact, those 6 bottles of PS will probably be almost all I need for the winter for both trucks. Last year I bought a dozen at Walmart end of fall, and had 4 left over to start with this year. But I've never had a cold temp fuel problem in 7 years.

    However, there have been one or two really cold mornings I've left the truck stop on time and seen busy service trucks and lots of hoods up in the rear view on the way out. So maybe my overkill approach isn't that wasteful after all.
    Hammer166 and bowhunter67 Thank this.
  4. nax

    nax Road Train Member

    Dec 14, 2016
    I just dump this for every 200gal ($11.99@ walmart) on my way to Albany, NY....truck had no issues...

    lucas anti-gel.jpeg
  5. Lepton1

    Lepton1 Road Train Member

    Nov 23, 2012
    Yukon, OK
  6. Cat sdp

    Cat sdp . .

    Apr 8, 2012
    Orion's Belt
    Has anyone ever tried to jump start a tractor with a pick up...?

    If you let it charge for a while wouldn’t it work...?

    Just wondering
  7. W9onTime

    W9onTime Heavy Load Member

    Oct 6, 2017
    I've done it many times , when I used to drive junk fleet trucks we were jumping something started every morning lol
  8. Ezrider_48501

    Ezrider_48501 Road Train Member

    Apr 2, 2011
    bismarck, nd
    iv done it many times, how fast it is depends on a few things what kind of pickup your jumping it with and how heavy the cables are

    i carry 0/0 gauge jumper cables in my semi, with my diesel pickup with two batterys if the semi is not totally dead you can just hook them up and instantly start it. 5-10 mins if the truck batterys are really dead. off my service truck that only has a single battery 5-10 mins on low batterys 10-20 on really dead battery's the 0/0 gauge jumper cables are basically like taking whatever battery's are in the pickup and putting them in the trucks battery bank. .
  9. racemaxx24

    racemaxx24 Medium Load Member

    Jul 4, 2014
    I helped a fellow driver jump his truck off with his Mazda 6 a few weeks ago. I told him I could turn my truck around to reach his batteries and it wouldn’t take a minute.. but it had already gave it just enough juice to pop off. Can’t say I wasn’t surprised lol
  10. Fold_Moiler

    Fold_Moiler Road Train Member

    Mar 17, 2017
    Got up to 15 today after a week of negatives. Fired the Volvo up and left it running. We aren’t dealing with that problem tomorrow when it’s below zero again.
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