This excerpt was originally posted on the John Deere, Straightforward Blog August 31, 2011. You can view the original post here.
ULSD For IT4 Machines
A handful of recent diesel fuel samples across the United States underscores the importance of using only Ultra-Low-Sulfur Diesel (ULSD) on Interim Tier 4 machines.
Although the U.S. EPA has required large refiners and importers to produce only non-road diesel fuel with 15 ppm or less sulfur content since June of 2010, this requirement does not apply to small refiners. They are currently required to supply only Low-Sulfur Diesel (LSD). The maximum sulfur content for LSD is 500 ppm. The smaller refiners are not subject to the ULSD requirement until June 2014. Non-road diesel with sulfur content over 500 ppm from all suppliers is prohibited by the EPA.
Although the percentage of diesel sold as LSD in the U.S. is very small, it is still in the marketplace. Use of LSD in IT4 machines can very quickly cause a failure requiring replacement of major components.
Fuel refiners and sellers are required by law to indicate the sulfur level of the diesel they are selling. If they are selling fuel with higher than 15 ppm sulfur content but less than or equal to 500 ppm, the fuel must be labeled and sold as LSD. Make a point to know the sulfur level being sold by your diesel supplier to avoid significant expense and downtime on your IT4 construction machines.