In the face of changing EPA emission standards that came into effect about a decade ago, DEF (Diesel Exhaust Fluid) began filling a major need for companies using medium and heavy-duty diesel vehicles.
The fluid mixture itself is comprised of urea and deionized water, which helps transform harmful nitrous oxide emissions into harmless water and gas. This process allows diesel-burning engines to effectively reduce their pollution output. In addition to diesel-powered vehicles, emission standards subsequently expanded to also include off-road vehicles, diesel generators and other types of diesel engines (on trains or boats, for example).
Your expected DEF usage
DEF usage varies between specific medium-duty and heavy-duty vehicles, but it is generally accepted that DEF consumption will be around 4% of fuel consumed. In other words, 1 gallon of DEF will be used for approximately every 25 gallons of diesel fuel burned. This, of course, will vary depending on the vehicle.
Buying DEF at retail stores
As demonstrated by the usage rule-of-thumb above, owners of low-use vehicles can likely get away with occasionally buying DEF by the jug at a local auto parts store, farm/fleet store, or gas station/truck stop c-store. (It’s important to note that running out of DEF in your vehicle(s) is not a minor issue to be ignored for later, in fact, today’s diesel engines are designed to simply shut down when out of DEF.)
For owners/operators of high-use vehicles or fleets, making frequent runs to the store to buy jugs of DEF can become a pain point. At certain times of the year, one can get away with storing an extra jug in the vehicle, however, it is recommended that DEF be stored in a cool, dry, and well-ventilated area that is out of direct sunlight. DEF shelf-life is reduced when temperatures reach above 86 degrees Fahrenheit. Conversely, DEF can freeze/thaw and continue to function properly.
Buying DEF in larger quantities
Based on your expected usage, you may want to consider buying DEF in larger containers. Doing so will eliminate frequent trips to the retail store and provides the convenience of not having to deal with the handling/disposal of numerous empty smaller containers.
Crystal Flash offers several bulk storage options designed to support truck fleets of all sizes. On-site bulk storage of DEF provides several benefits, including lower per-gallon costs and easy refill access directly at your own facilities.
What are the different options for purchasing DEF?
Crystal Flash offers a range of options available for the purchase and/or installation of bulk storage tanks on premises.
(Actual brands/packaging may vary from what is shown here)
By the box (2.5 gallon cube)
Full pallet pricing available
By the drum (55 gallons)
Multiple drum pricing available
In totes (275 gallons or 330 gallons)
Pumped directly into your storage tank
Have DEF delivered direct to your location
In select markets, Crystal Flash now has capability to deliver bulk DEF via our new Multi-Purpose Lubricant Truck’s on-board DEF storage and pumping system (min. 150 gallons, pumped to tanks/totes). In other situations, CF can also broker bulk deliveries via one of our trusted third-party vendors.
To learn more about other considerations and benefits of purchasing DEF from Crystal Flash, please contact our employee-owners at 800.875.4851 or use this form.