The production of biofuels in the United States is on the rise and a growing number of truckstop and travel plaza operators are using biofuels as a way to increase cost savings and improve margins, said Brian Wierson, biodiesel sales manager, REG Marketing and Logistics, LLC.
While investing in biofuels often makes sense for travel plazas, Wierson said operators often have questions when considering biofuels. That’s why he will be sitting down with operators for one-on-one learning sessions in the Human Library during The NATSO Show 2014.
There are several things operators need to know before investing in biofuels, Wierson said. For example, he said, “Before handling biodiesel, anyone storing or distributing should professionally clean their tanks from foreign substances, water or any other contaminants.”
What’s more, retailers are subject to labeling requirements for certain biofuels blends. “Blends of <B5 do not have to labeled, so know what you are getting from your diesel supplier. Blends between B6 and B20 are required to be labeled,” Wierson said.
Truckstop and travel plaza operators may also want to familiarize themselves with potential issues their customers may have when switching to biofuels. “If users have not previously used biodiesel, they may encounter filter plugging as biodiesel is a natural solvent and will clean the engine from particulates and other build up,” Wierson said.
Each year, NATSO taps into leading industry experts for an interactive learning library for those looking to take their business to the next level. Operators can sit down with experts to create customized learning experiences they can tailor to their own objectives. To make the most of a meeting with Wierson, he suggests operators come prepared.
Before the Human Library, operators should know what their monthly or annual #2 diesel consumption is, which will allow Wierson to calculate savings on the spot, he said. Wierson also suggests operators have a sense of whether or not their customers would be receptive to using biodiesel and what blends would be acceptable.
Operators will also want to have a list of locations with fuel sites, distribution centers or available storage sites with knowledge of what each site has in regards to storage and blending capabilities, Wierson said.