Love's, Pilot and TravelCenters Travel Stops to Install DEF Containers

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Love's, Pilot and TravelCenters Travel Stops to Install DEF Containers

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Love's Travel Stops and Country Stores will begin installing bulk containers for diesel exhaust fluid (DEF)—an additive needed for most 2010 diesel truck engines—at 50 of its truck stops beginning in the fourth quarter of this year.

All 2010 trucks, except International Trucks built by Navistar Inc., will use selective catalytic reduction (SCR) to meet the 2010 nitrogen oxide emission standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency, Transport Topics Online reported.

Diesel exhaust fluid will be the catalyst used by the selective catalytic reduction diesel engine makers in 2010 to convert NOx in the exhaust to harmless nitrogen and water vapor. The Environmental Protection Agency mandated that selective catalytic reduction engine makers build in a series of warnings and decelerations that eventually would stop trucks from traveling with empty diesel exhaust fluid tanks, making DEF's availability crucial.

"Love's plan is to install 50 locations beginning later this year with aboveground bulk DEF containers," Jon Archard, Love's director of fleet sales, told Transport Topics. "The specific locations and time frames when we install them will be in tune with customer demand. We'll be ready to respond … to ensure that we will have portable containers at affordable prices."

Love's has 165 truck stops in about 30 states, and more than 200 travel centers overall.

"To ensure that our customers using 2010 SCR engines will have DEF availability across Love's network, we will offer portable containers at all 165 locations at competitive prices. We intend to be a price leader," Archard said. "In the beginning, when demand for DEF will not be large, we'll use less expensive aboveground containers. However, in the long term, we would prefer to have DEF in underground tanks on fuel islands at all of our truck stops. We've already extended many of our fuel islands for them."

The majority of Love's diesel customers are "big rigs," Archard said, "but we get everything from auto diesel customers right up the ladder, from light and medium duty."

Meanwhile, Pilot Travel Centers, which has 325 truck stops in 40 states, also plans to install aboveground DEF bulk containers in 100 of its locations beginning in the fourth quarter of this year, with further bulk installations added as demand picks up. Pilot will offer small DEF containers at all its truck stops, according to the report.

In addition, TravelCenters of America, which operates 235 truck stops in 41 states under the TravelCenters of America and Petro brands, said at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Ky., in March that it would offer its customers four DEF options:

-- Prepackaged containers available nationwide in all of its stores by mid-June this year.
-- Emergency fill service from more than 400 RoadSquad vehicles nationwide, also by mid-June.
-- Bulk DEF available in its network of 1,000 shop service bays, with the first installation expected in Ann Arbor, Mich., by May 1, with rollout commensurate with demand.
-- On-island DEF available as pump manufacturers make equipment available, expected to begin in the third quarter this year, with rollout commensurate with demand.