5 Answers About Diesel Exhaust Fluid

With the addition of Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) to Cummins diesel engines for fire and emergency vehicles, we’ve answered some common questions about Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF). Here are answers to five frequently asked questions about DEF:

diesel-exhaust-fluid-def

Q: Where can I find DEF?

A: Because almost all diesel-powered passenger cars and trucks built since 2010 are equipped with Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) and require Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF), it is readily available at most fueling stations. Truck stops often have a DEF pump right on the fuel island. You can also get DEF at major OEM locations, including Cummins dealers and distributors. If you have a large enough fleet and the storage capacity to justify bulk purchasing, your fuel jobber will probably be willing and able to supply DEF to you.

Cummins Filtration and Valvoline have teamed up to manufacture and distribute a high-quality Diesel Exhaust Fluid called Air Shield™ that meets exacting standards for quality assurance. To find the nearest Air Shield distributor or dealer, check out the retail locator at cumminsfiltration.com.

For a comprehensive list of DEF retailers, visit DiscoverDEF.com. There you can see local facilities that carry DEF, and even enter a trip and map out all sources for DEF along your route.

Q: What’s the shelf life of DEF?

A: That depends on the temperature of your storage facility. If you’re going to keep DEF in a climate-controlled environment at or below 77°F (25°C), it should keep its full potency for up to two years. If the temperature varies between 10°F and 90°F (-12°C – 32°C) or the DEF is exposed to sunlight, the shelf life will be reduced – but it should always last at least one year from the date code imprinted on the label. When tested at a constant temperature of 95°F (35°C) for more than six months, DEF meeting the IS0 specifications retained its correct formulation, so shelf life should not be an issue.

Q: What happens if DEF freezes?

A: Vehicle operation is not affected. During vehicle operation, SCR systems provide heat to the DEF tank and lines. The system thaws DEF rapidly and keeps it flowing to the aftertreatment system regardless of the outside temperature.

Diesel Exhaust Fluid is formulated with 32.5 percent urea and 67.5 percent deionized water. In storage or when the engine is not in use, DEF will freeze at 12°F (-11°C). At this concentration level, the urea and the water freeze and thaw at the same rate – ensuring that you always have the correct amount of each. Engines with SCR are specifically programmed for optimal performance at this ratio, which is why it is important to make sure you get a quality brand of DEF that meets ISO specifications.

Cummins Aftertreatment Systems are designed with heated lines and DEF tanks. In extremely cold conditions, they will rapidly thaw the DEF solution. There will be no delay in engine startup.

There is one operational difference to note: Like any water-based fluid, DEF expands when it is frozen (by approximately 7 percent). In cold weather, when the operator shuts the vehicle down, waiting 60 seconds before turning off the battery will allow the fluid to drain back out of the hoses and into the DEF tank.

No anti-gelling additive or freeze point improver should ever be added to the DEF, as they will impede its ability to perform correctly and may damage SCR system components.

Q: How much DEF will my equipment use?

A: If you use a fire truck in an urban setting, running 7,000 miles annually at 5 mpg, you can expect your DEF usage to be about 2.5 percent of diesel fuel consumption. In this scenario, you would use 1,400 gallons of diesel fuel and 35 gallons of DEF per year. The average DEF tank holds five gallons of fluid, so you would need about seven DEF tank fills per year (one every 7.5 weeks).

Since most DEF fill-ups will take place at the same time as you are getting diesel fuel, it’s helpful to look at usage from that perspective. Assuming that you have a 65-gallon fuel tank and DEF usage is 2.5 percent, you’ll use 1.6 gallons of DEF for every tank of diesel fuel. With an average DEF storage of five gallons, you’ll need to replenish DEF only every fourth time you refill with diesel fuel. Of course, our recommendation is to simply top off your DEF tank each time you refuel. If you are running a vehicle that gets very low actual activity, or the vehicle is stored in a barn with high temperatures, where shelf life might be a concern, adjust your DEF refills accordingly and consider having a spare bottle of DEF available in the event of a prolonged emergency call.

Q: What happens if my equipment runs out of DEF?

A: All EPA 2010 engines with SCR are designed with a gauge that shows the DEF fluid level, similar to a fuel gauge. In addition, they are equipped with a system of flashing lights to alert the operator well in advance when the DEF tank is getting low on fluid. If the reservoir is not replenished with DEF and runs low, vehicle speed will be limited to 55 mph, but as soon as DEF is added, the engine will resume normal speed levels. In the unlikely event that the DEF tank runs dry, the vehicle speed will be limited to 55 mph, and the engine will continue to support pump operations until it is keyed off. Once it is keyed off, vehicle speed will be limited to 25 mph, and pumping may be limited. Once the DEF tank is refilled, normal engine operations will be restored. A prudent measure would be to have a top-off gallon jug of DEF available on each piece of equipment with an EPA 2010 engine with an aftertreatment system.

Engines manufactured before July 8, 2011, may behave differently than described above. Talk to your local Cummins representative for more details, and ask for Cummins Bulletin 4971316, “Driver Tips For Fire And Emergency Vehicles” [PDF 315 KB].

Learn More About Cummins Diesel Exhaust Fluid

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

Cummins Helps Launch Technician Apprentice Program

STUDENTS AT VINCENNES UNIVERSITY (VU) – A PUBLIC UNIVERSITY WITH CAMPUSES IN VINCENNES, JASPER, INDIANAPOLIS AND GIBSON COUNTY, INDIANA – ARE ABOUT TO GAIN THE ULTIMATE REAL-WORLD EXPERIENCE WHILE PURSUING THEIR DEGREES.

Jenny Bush, Executive Managing Director – North America Distribution, Cummins Inc., recently joined university leaders and Indiana state officials to launch VU’s new Technician Apprentice Program (TAP), a critical initiative to ensure that VU students receive the technical skills necessary to be successful in the workplace.

Over the course of the four-year program, Cummins apprentices will work alongside and learn from certified Cummins technicians. Upon completing the course, students will have earned an Associate’s degree in Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology and will be Cummins-certified in engines, with the option to pursue careers in power generation, marine, high horsepower or service operations.

As part of the ribbon-cutting ceremony held Aug. 21, 2017 launching the program, both Cummins and VU officials welcomed the first class of TAP students. The inaugural group of students come from five states, including Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Michigan and Ohio. The second group of 16 apprentice students will start in July 2018, followed by a third group in October 2018. The program will reach capacity in two-and-half years with 90 students per-year enrolled at VU.

Jenny Bush, Executive Managing Director – North America Distribution, Cummins Inc., addresses students, faculty, media and local officials at Vincennes University as part of the Cummins/VU Technical Apprentice Program.
Jenny Bush, Executive Managing Director – North America Distribution, Cummins Inc., addresses students, faculty, media and local officials at Vincennes University as part of the Cummins/VU Technical Apprentice Program.

“At Cummins, we care deeply about our people and their development,” Bush said. “The Technician Apprentice Program is a prime example of how Cummins partners with local institutions and organizations that share a similar passion for developing local talent that not only benefits our company, but the communities in which we live and work.”

VU’s Diesel and Heavy Equipment facility is already equipped with an extensive collection of Cummins diesel engines and equipment that will be used to train the apprentices. VU President, Chuck Johnson, offered his enthusiasm for the program.

“We are excited about this partnership,” Johnson said. “It is exactly what Indiana needs, and the United States needs, to address workforce challenges. It marries a great academic and technical program with a great corporation with great vision. This is really a win-win-win – Indiana wins, the people of Indiana win and this company and VU wins.”

The launch of TAP at VU ensures that Cummins continues to have access to a pool of talented individuals who are not only devoted to their craft, but are also committed to working with Cummins customers to ensure their success.

The inaugural group of students come from five states, including Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Michigan and Ohio.
The inaugural group of students come from five states, including Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Michigan and Ohio.

The apprentices are full-time Cummins employees, with the company paying all program expenses and providing a complete set of diesel technician tools. The program requires 1,200 VU instructional hours including lab, in-class, and online courses. In addition to the diesel and heavy equipment training, the apprentices will take math, English, communication, foundations of social life, personal financial management, technical writing, first aid, chemistry, and workplace psychology courses.

Cummins North America Sales and Service network, which includes both the U.S. and Canada, is entirely company-owned. “This means that customers have the strength of over 10,000 distribution employees, half of which are technicians. These individuals are at the heart of our company, providing parts, service, and advice on products, from Cummins’ earliest single-cylinder engines to the recently launched QSK 95 engine, a 16V 95 liter engine that holds more power per cylinder than a Dodge Ram pickup,” said bush.

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“Vincennes University is excited to enter this partnership with Cummins. It will provide great opportunities for students to enter promising careers for one of the leading companies in the world,” said Tim Hale, chair of VU’s Diesel Technology program.

The program is registered with the U.S. Department of Labor. Program applicants are required to have a high school diploma and meet the minimum college entry grade-point average. Honorably discharged military veterans with equivalent college entry qualifications also are encouraged to apply for the program.

For more information about the Technician Apprenticeship Program at VU, or other diesel programs at VU, contact Tim Hale, chair of VU’s Diesel Technology Program at [email protected]; or Larry Stremming and [email protected]. Information is also available at http://careers.cummins.com/ or contact a local Cummins distributor.

Jon Mills

Jon Mills

Jon Mills is the Director of External Communications at Cummins Inc. Jon brings more than 16 years of communications focusing primarily on public and media relations. Jon has served as the primary external communications contact and spokesperson for a variety of companies including Wellpoint, IU Health, Planned Parenthood. His career has also included stints on Capitol Hill, state level lobbying, talk radio and political campaigns. During his tenure, Jon has also played a leadership role in communicating and messaging around several crises, including one that attracted national attention when lives were lost at a large downtown Indianapolis hospital. Jon is a native Hoosier and resides with his family in Indianapolis.

Cummins Partners with Microsoft and McKinstry to Shape the Future of Datacenters

IN A BUILDING THAT APPEARS MORE INDUSTRIAL THAN HIGH TECH, CUMMINS IS PARTNERING WITH TECH GIANT MICROSOFT AND BUILDING SERVICES LEADER McKINSTRY ON A PROJECT THAT MIGHT SOMEDAY ALLOW DATACENTERS TO UNPLUG FROM THE GRID.

Testing is expected to begin soon on natural gas powered fuel cells at the Microsoft-Cummins Advanced Energy Lab in Seattle, Washington (U.S.A.). The 20-rack environment in the lab seeks to simulate datacenter conditions to allow the evaluation of new technologies, which have the potential to improve efficiency, reduce emissions and decrease the costs associated with datacenter operations.

If the fuel cell concept is successful, it has the potential to greatly simplify datacenter power architecture, potentially doubling efficiency while reducing costs and improving reliability.

Cummins is involved as both an investor in the project and a technology development partner, including systems integration. One part of Cummins’ global business is the design and manufacture of power generators for prime and backup power, including complete critical backup power systems for datacenters.

“This project is another example of how we are committed to developing a wide variety of power technologies to bring our customers the choice and solutions that enable their success today and in the future,” said Cummins’ Vice President and Chief Technical Officer Jennifer Rumsey.

“We’re excited to be working with fantastic companies like Microsoft and McKinstry on such a potentially important project,” she added. “All of the partners are committed to achieving our company goals through technological innovation and environmental stewardship.”

Datacenters use a lot of energy, consuming about 2 percent of all U.S. electricity, according to the United States Department of Energy. Microsoft says the natural gas powered fuel cells could not only be better for the environment, but improve the reliability of the grid in addition to lowering costs.

Microsoft announced last fall its ambition to substantially simplify datacenters and has been speaking more generally for the past decade about someday making datacenters disappear.

“Most fuel cell implementations seen today are parallel to the grid or an alternate source of grid power,” the company said in a recent blog post about the lab. “But we opted to start from a blank sheet of paper and engineered from the server out, cutting out the unnecessary electrical equipment and even the electrical grid.”

There are still some details to wrap up before the lab is complete and testing can begin, but Cummins is excited about the project’s potential and the chance to continue working with Microsoft and McKinstry. Executives of the three companies will be hosting elected officials and community leaders at the lab’s grand opening on Oct. 25.

Jon Mills

Jon Mills

Jon Mills is the Director of External Communications at Cummins Inc. Jon brings more than 16 years of communications focusing primarily on public and media relations. Jon has served as the primary external communications contact and spokesperson for a variety of companies including Wellpoint, IU Health, Planned Parenthood. His career has also included stints on Capitol Hill, state level lobbying, talk radio and political campaigns. During his tenure, Jon has also played a leadership role in communicating and messaging around several crises, including one that attracted national attention when lives were lost at a large downtown Indianapolis hospital. Jon is a native Hoosier and resides with his family in Indianapolis.

GET TO KNOW BRAMMO, THE COMPANY RECENTLY ACQUIRED BY CUMMINS

CUMMINS RECENTLY ANNOUNCED THEIR ACQUISITION OF BRAMMO, INC., WHICH DESIGNS AND DEVELOPS BATTERY PACKS FOR MOBILE AND STATIONARY APPLICATIONS. ADDING BRAMMO’S BATTERY PACK EXPERTISE AND RESOURCES IS AN IMPORTANT MILESTONE IN CUMMINS’ EFFORTS TO BECOME A GLOBAL ELECTRIFIED POWER LEADER.

Here are five interesting facts about Brammo and their products.

HUMBLE BEGINNINGS

Brammo was founded in a garage as a motorsports and performance vehicle company in 2002. The company’s original goal was to build a high performance car, which would comfortably accommodate a 6-foot-8-inch tall person weighing 300 pounds. The company has gone on to power a range of other products, including electric motorcycles, forklifts and even a helicopter.

PUSHING THE LIMITS OF SPEED AND INNOVATION

Similar to Cummins, Brammo has a rich motorsport history and has helped push the limits of electric vehicle technology on the race track.

Brammo participated and podiumed in the first ever all electric motorcycle race at the Isle of Man TT in 2009. Brammo was also the first racing team to win an electric vehicle race at Daytona International Speedway and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where the bike reached speeds in excess of 170mph – a new electric motorcycle world record for a race circuit.

The Brammo Empulse at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in 2011.
The Brammo Empulse at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in 2011.

NO STRANGER TO LATE-NIGHT TV

American late-night TV personality Jay Leno has featured multiple Brammo vehicles on his show, Jay Leno’s Garage, including his own Brammo Empulse. Watch the episode below. 

OFF-ROAD OPTIONS APLENTY

The Brammo powered Polaris Ranger EV Li-Ion is the industry’s first off-road vehicle powered by Lithium-Ion technology. Brammo is also an industry leader in the utility vehicle, delivery vehicle, snow and turf, aviation and motorcycle markets.

The Polaris Ranger EV Li-Ion.
The Polaris Ranger EV Li-Ion.

TAKING BRAMMO  POWER TO THE SKIES

Brammo powered one of the first full-size helicopter flights that solely used battery power. A series of 11 Brammo batteries were used to power the flight, which lasted around five minutes and only drained 20% of the battery energy. Check out the flight below.

 

Jon Mills

Jon Mills

Jon Mills is the Director of External Communications at Cummins Inc. Jon brings more than 16 years of communications focusing primarily on public and media relations. Jon has served as the primary external communications contact and spokesperson for a variety of companies including Wellpoint, IU Health, Planned Parenthood. His career has also included stints on Capitol Hill, state level lobbying, talk radio and political campaigns. During his tenure, Jon has also played a leadership role in communicating and messaging around several crises, including one that attracted national attention when lives were lost at a large downtown Indianapolis hospital. Jon is a native Hoosier and resides with his family in Indianapolis.

5 Ways New Cummins App is Cutting Assessment Time to Minutes

A new app is helping Cummins get customers back to work faster.

THE NEW GUIDANZ™ MOBILE APP IS TAKING WHAT ONCE COULD BE A 2-HOUR PROCESS OR LONGER TO ASSESS WHAT’S GOING ON WITH AN ENGINE AND REDUCING IT TO MERE MINUTES.

It’s another example of how technology is changing not just diesel engines, but the way they are serviced. Here’s how the new app is getting customers back to work faster:

  1. CUMMINS SERVICE PROVIDERS ARE TAPPING INTO TECHNOLOGY TO QUICKLY FIND ANSWERS. 

At one time, when a check engine light flashed on and a customer brought equipment into a Cummins service provider for assessment and repair, it could sit for hours waiting for a service bay to open up. That’s because the engine would need to be physically connected to a service tool before technicians could understand why the engine light was on.

Immediate Assessment is a feature of Guidanz available to Cummins certified service providers. It allows them to pull fault codes – estimating repair time and indicating the most likely cause of failure – wirelessly through their smart phones or tablets. Immediate Assessment can be used anywhere with internet access, whether that is in the service provider’s facility or onsite with the customer.

Even if every service bay is full, service providers can walk up to the equipment with their mobile device in hand and pull the most likely root causes of failure and approximately how long a repair might take based on data from years of similar repairs, all within minutes of connecting with the engine.

  1. THE ANSWER IS IN THE CUSTOMER’S HAND …LITERALLY!

Customers can get in on this, too. Using their mobile device, they can download the Guidanz mobile app free of charge. The customer can read the engine’s fault codes to then share with a nearby service provider who can provide more informed assistance about what may need to be done. This is especially beneficial for customers who work with equipment that needs an onsite repair.

  1. TECHNICIANS SPEND MORE TIME DOING WHAT THEY DO BEST: WORKING ON ENGINES.

Some Cummins customers use equipment that can’t be driven into a shop for repairs. In those cases, Cummins sends a service technician out to the customer to assess the engine problem and determine what parts are required. The technician will then go back to the shop, gather the necessary parts, and head back out to the customer to perform the repair.

Because customers can now pull and share with their service providers the fault codes using the Guidanz mobile app, technicians are more likely to have the right parts and service tools with them when they are dispatched to the customer. And not just that: Immediate Assessment identifies whether the issue is related to the engine or chassis, so repairs can be assigned to the best technician for that particular job.

  1. REPAIRS GET SCHEDULED SOONER.

Having answers to critical repair questions so quickly means repairs can be scheduled within minutes. Plus, the Immediate Assessment feature tells the service provider about how long the repair will take, so customers can plan the rest of their day or job, accordingly. Service providers are able to use their technicians more efficiently, putting their best people on the most difficult jobs. Faster scheduling means repairs start sooner with the right technician and what happens then? You guessed it….

  1. CUSTOMERS HAVE THEIR EQUIPMENT WORKING AGAIN, QUICKER THAN EVER.

The Guidanz mobile app takes what could be a 2-hour process to determine what’s going on and reduces it to mere minutes. Simple repairs can likely be addressed right away. If a repair is more complex, expert technicians can be tasked with the job, getting the equipment running again as soon as possible. Quicker than ever before, customers are back to using Cummins-powered products to get their jobs done.

To learn more about Cummins Guidanz go to cumminsengines.com/guidanz or call Cummins Care at 1-800-CUMMINS (1-800-286-6467).

Leslie Nix

Leslie Nix is a Senior Communications Specialist for Cummins Inc. Leslie joined the Company in 2011 as a college hire after graduating with her Bachelors of Arts in Journalism from Indiana University.

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