BP Diesel – formulated for the winter months ahead

25th February 2020

image of a moving car (blurry) in a winter landscape

Did you know that to help keep vehicles moving throughout the cold season, diesel fuels are specially formulated for the winter from the middle of November right through to the middle of March?

Naturally, you want your vehicle to be reliable at all times and never more so than during cold winter weather. But that’s when it can let you down.

Picture the scene – you jump into your vehicle first thing and find it won’t start. Or you travel just a short distance before it begins to splutter and maybe even comes to a standstill.

This is due to a phenomenon known as diesel waxing and that’s why fuel suppliers are required to change their diesel fuels from summer to winter quality between November and March each year – to help keep vehicles on the road as the temperature drops.

Diesel waxing

To understand the problem, consider the composition of diesel fuel. It’s not a single substance but a complex mixture of hundreds of components that ‘freeze’ over a range of temperatures.

That mixture includes components called paraffins and as the temperature falls some of these species come out of solution as wax crystals. As the temperature drops further a network of crystals can form and grow unchecked, eventually preventing the fuel from flowing.

The problems you can encounter in harsh winter conditions are due to these wax crystals clogging the lines and filters in your vehicle’s fuel system. That’s why refineries add a special flow-improving ingredient to diesel fuel in the coldest months to boost its low temperature performance.

With treatment, the size and shape of the crystals are modified so they are less likely to block the fuel system, and so helping your vehicle to start and run reliably in cold winter weather.


Winter driving tips

Besides ensuring you have winter quality fuel in your tank, winter driving is also about being prepared in other ways – and staying safe.

For your vehicle

  • Help protect your vehicle against diesel waxing by taking some simple precautions such as garaging it or parking in a sheltered spot overnight.
  • Regular vehicle servicing and maintenance are particularly important during winter months, making sure that fuel filters are changed at the manufacturer’s recommended intervals.
  • Regularly check lights, wipers and tyre condition and pressures. Depending upon your location, consider fitting winter tyres.

For your drivers

Do your driver carry an emergency kit at all times?

The average call out time for breakdowns in the UK at this time of year is 90 minutes! Often the time taken for recovery is greater – particularly in severe weather.

Ask yourself – would you be happy for your drivers to be waiting for 90 minutes at the side of the road with the current contents of their vehicle at the moment?

Below is a list of things that may help you should drivers be in this situation.

  • Warm clothing – hats, gloves, blanket
  • First Aid kit
  • Water
  • Torch
  • Something to eat! Biscuits bars, chocolate
  • Snow shovel or something similar
  • High viz clothing
  • Mobile phone charger
  • Warning triangle
  • Sunglasses

If you want to start saving your diesel & petrol bills, then look no further than our own BP fuelcard, for more information, click here: https://www.fuelcardservices.com/brand-bp/

FORS issues safer driving information for winter months

19th December 2019

FORS banner info graphic

FORS is reminding drivers of the need for extra planning ahead of journeys in the seasonal wet and cold weather.

The ‘FORS Winter Driving Guide’ and ‘FORS Tyre Management Guide’ are available for members to download from the FORS website and serve as useful reminders of the extra care that commercial vehicle drivers should take when driving in colder temperatures.

The guides highlight key safety checks which should be completed, including how to perform tyre checks and how to effectively manage fuel use, as well as offering tips on how to safely drive in snow, rain, ice and in poor visibility.

Along with performing vehicle safety and tyre checks, all FORS members – both drivers and fleet managers – are prompted to plan routes in full and check the weather forecast in advance of each journey, along with completing thorough vehicle and tyre checks.

The ‘FORS Winter Driving Guide’ contains detailed information for commercial vehicle drivers and can be printed directly from the FORS website and kept in the vehicle for easy reference tips to help drivers mitigate against potential bad weather. Guidance on best practice during the winter months can also be found in the ‘FORS Tyre Management Guide’.

FORS Winter Driving Guide

  • Advice and tips to help drivers mitigate against adverse and changeable weather
  • Tips on how to drive safely in snow, ice, heavy rain, strong winds and fog
  • Advice on forward planning
  • Suggestions on equipment and clothing to carry in case of emergency

FORS Tyre Management Guide

  • Tips on writing a tyre management policy
  • Practical advice on tyre monitoring and maintenance
  • Tips on how well-maintained tyres can help save fuel
  • Tips on how well-maintained tyres can help reduce emissions
  • Advice on tyre checks for all weathers
  • Advice on improving tyre wear
  • Tyre selection and tread depths

FORS – Training

4th December 2019

FORS banner info graphic

Commercial vehicle drivers who are trained to drive efficiently reduce their vehicle emissions. FORS offers dedicated driver training, including the FORS LoCity Driving course, where HGV and van drivers can understand issues such as how to avoid engine idling, one of the biggest contributors to urban pollution and avoid congestion. This also provides a financial benefit to the operator by helping them to save fuel.

FORS managers are also offered training to help them reduce fuel wastage. The FORS Practitioner workshop series includes a module on Reducing fuel use and minimising environmental impact, while the LoCity for managers eLearning online module looks at the use of alternative fuels.

All FORS members can access online resources to help lower emissions and embed environmental best practise across their businesses.  FORS Anti-idling Toolkit explores how drivers can reduce fuel use and its Congestion Toolkit gives tips on how managers can plan to avoid the amount of time drivers spend in traffic.

FORS – Fuel and Tyre management

4th December 2019

FORS banner info graphic

Tyre management is as key to efficiency as it is to safety. Under-inflated tyres can increase emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrogen oxide (NOx), in fact for every 10 per cent of decreased tyre pressure, fuel consumption increases by two per cent. FORS members incorporate tyre maintenance into daily checks, with managers implementing proactive management plans to ensure all tyres are monitored, for maximum efficiency.

Improving a vehicle’s average miles-per-gallon by 5% through a combination of driver training, route planning or fleet modernisation, can return savings of £2,200 per year. Over 300 FORS Gold members have achieved even higher improvement in miles-per-gallon with an average of 14 per cent year on year and with it even greater savings.

FORS Fleet Management System and FORS Fleet Tools Portal, help members drive down the costs of running a fleet, highlighting areas of fuel wastage or areas where fuel consumption is high.

FORS – Fleet Care is flexible and simple

4th December 2019

Ensuring a fleet is in peak condition is vital for an environmentally sound operation. Local authorities have a duty of care to ensure operators working on their behalf do so in an environmentally efficient and safe manner. The FORS Fleet Management System (FORS-FMS), can be used to track fuel purchases, tyre tread and depth information and mileage figures. This data is then used to ensure fleets have an accurate service, maintenance and repair schedule in place to fix faults early, keep costs down and make sure vehicles are running as efficiently as possible.

Local authorities can work with FORS in a variety of ways. FORS can be written into planning consent arrangements and construction logistic plans, specifying that suppliers operating delivery and servicing or passenger carrying vehicles must meet the FORS Standard. Local authorities who run or manage their own fleets can become FORS members themselves, ensuring all drivers and commercial vehicles in their fleet operate safely and efficiently – from minibuses and coaches to refuse trucks and vans.