Winter diesel insights

December 15, 2020
CHS diesel fuels technical expert, Chad Christiansen, says the right seasonal fuel blend can keep your equipment going strong all winter.

How can you keep your farm equipment running at its peak during cold weather? Choosing the right diesel fuel blend can mean the difference between downtime in the shop and getting the job done. According to Chad Christiansen, diesel fuels technical expert at CHS, poor engine performance during cold temperatures is due to fuel filter plugging.

“Fuel filter plugging occurs when wax crystals form in #2 diesel or when a small amount of water has frozen and prevents fuel from flowing properly,” says Christiansen. “A seasonal fuel blend with cold flow improver should prevent wax formation. Regular tank maintenance can also help eliminate water issues.” 

It’s important to know the winter characteristics of your diesel fuel because getting caught off guard with an early cold snap can mean unnecessary downtime. Christiansen suggests early October to mid-November as a general rule of thumb for when to start blending fuel.

“The right seasonal fuel blend depends on geography,” explains Christiansen. “Your local co-op energy manager will have a good understanding of the necessary cold flow characteristics for your area and is likely to recommend a fuel blended at the terminal to avoid the guesswork of DIY fuel blending. With our Cenex® premium diesel fuels, the most frigid conditions might call for a specially blended winter fuel such as Cenex® Wintermaster® while late fall, early spring temperatures are a better match for Cenex® Ruby Fieldmaster® Seasonally Enhanced.”