Suppose you drive a truck that has a DEF fuel tank — aka “DEF tank” or “DEF storage tank” — that holds Diesel Exhaust Fluid on the passenger’s side (right side) of your truck.
And suppose that the truck stops where you get fuel have the DEF fuel pump on the driver’s side (left side) of your truck and the hose is not long enough to reach the tank.
Then you have at least a couple of options:
- either pull pretty close to the right side of your fuel lane to use the pump on your right (assuming another driver is not in that lane);
- or pull through the fuel lane “backwards” to pump from there (a maneuver that could prove challenging or downright dangerous, depending on the truck stop and the time of day/night when you get fuel).
You do not want to pump the DEF into another vessel and manually transfer it to your truck.
Truck manufacturers should have engineered their trucks with DEF fuel tanks on the driver’s side of the trucks, but that does nothing to help drivers who have trucks already manufactured with them on the passenger side.
Furthermore, truck stops should have hoses long enough to reach the other side of trucks, but that does nothing to help in the meantime.
Of course, you will always want to handle driving around every fuel island — and pumping every kind of fluid — safely and carefully.
Don’t Let Your DEF Fuel Tank Run Dry
Under no circumstances should you ever allow your DEF fuel tank to run dry if your truck is designed to use Diesel Exhaust Fluid.
We heard of one trucker whose trucking company’s maintenance director told him “not worry about it” when the driver’s DEF system had a leak (as though it wasn’t important to fix the leak instead of having to fill the tank more often).
To have allowed the truck to run dry could have caused bigger — and much more expensive problems — with the truck.
That maintenance director should have been fired.
What concerns us is that if the driver had followed the maintenance director’s “advice”, the truck could have torn up and then it would have been a battle of words — “he said, he said” — regarding who said what when.
As a driver, you need to protect yourself from bad advice like this.
The trucker should have reported this maintenance director to someone higher up in the company so that the director could be reprimanded and the work would be done to fix the truck.
What’s Your Solution?
So, this raises the question: If you have a truck that has a DEF fuel tank on the right when the DEF fuel pump is on the left, how do you routinely handle getting DEF?
Note: This article — which was originally written and published on June 8, 2015, by Vicki Simons — was updated slightly in 2018.