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4 Spring Cleaning To-Dos For Increased Uptime This Planting Season

Apr 24, 2020

Early spring is the calm before the storm on the farm. In just a few short weeks, the fields will be dry and planting season will be full speed ahead.

With some of the most important work of the year on the horizon — and limited time to get it done— it’s critical for farmers to prepare their operations before they hit the field.

A little spring cleaning can go a long way toward supporting an operation’s efficiency. But according to Chad Christiansen, a Premium Diesel expert from Cenex®, it’s important to think bigger than just sprucing up equipment.

“A farm is a complex operation, so a holistic approach to springtime maintenance is key,” Christiansen says. “One area that can be easy to overlook is your bulk fuel tank.”


Onsite bulk tanks are the final stop fuel makes before it enters equipment, which is why Christiansen says it’s crucial to ensure tanks are clean. He explains that while the precision-engineering inside today’s farm machines makes them more efficient, it also means this equipment has tighter tolerances when it comes to contamination.

As a fuel tank faces the elements all winter long, condensation and other contaminants can accumulate inside it, Christiansen explains. If those contaminants are still inside the tank when fuel is delivered in the spring, they can be transferred into machines, which can lead to major problems.

“Dirt, debris and even water can cause irreversible damage to fuel pumps, fuel filters and other parts of an engine,” Christiansen says. “And that can mean costly downtime during one of the busiest times of the year.”


To protect equipment this planting season, Christiansen recommends preparing bulk tanks before receiving any fuel deliveries. Here are his top four tips to get a bulk tank ready for spring.

  1. Clean the tank thoroughly. The only way to know if you have problems in your bulk tank is to take a closer look at what’s inside. If you find water or sludge, contact your local supplier about a professional cleaning. 
  2. Remove standing water. Tank-fill areas should be above ground and located away from low-lying areas where rainwater could flow in. If water has collected near the bottom of a tank or around fuel tank openings, remove it to prevent contamination.
  3. Inspect tank components. Any place with damage on a bulk tank is a gateway for contaminants to enter your fuel supply. Thoroughly check all components, including gaskets, hatches, vents and fill caps, and replace parts as needed.
  4. Start a checkup routine. Make it a habit to check regularly for water at the bottom of your tank. Install an automatic tank gauging system or manually measure with alcohol-compatible water paste on a gauge stick.


Following bulk tank spring cleaning, Christiansen recommends taking proactive measures to ensure fuel stays contaminant-free all season long. To help farmers minimize tank issues before they happen, he recommends using a Premium Diesel  fuel like Cenex Ruby Fieldmaster®, which is enhanced with a tailored blend of seven multifunctional additives, such as:

  • Detergent: When you wash your clothes, your detergent combines with dirt and impurities to make them more soluble. The detergents inside Ruby Fieldmaster work much the same way, keeping your fuel free of harmful contaminants.
  • Demulsifier: This additive separates water from your fuel, pushing it safely to the bottom of the tank to be removed. A clean separation like this is important for keeping water out of your equipment.
  • Storage stabilizer: For farmers who store fuel for long periods of time, storage stabilizers are especially important. These additives work by forming a coating to reduce fuel breakdown, extending the life of the fuel like Cenex Ruby Fieldmaster is a smart investment to maximize uptime not only in the spring, but throughout the entire year.”

Equipment owners who are interested in learning more about Ruby Fieldmaster can contact our Energy team by clicking here.

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