Pilot begins operating fuel island DEF pumps

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Pilot Travel Centers today, Sept. 15, began operating two diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) fuel island pumps in preparation for serving vehicles equipped with selective catalytic reduction (SCR) to meet near-zero emissions requirements set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to begin in January 2010.

Located on the West Coast in Brooks, Ore. and on the East Coast in Charlotte, N.C., the two initial fuel island DEF pumps are fully operational and ready to serve vehicles traveling coast to coast, according to Pilot; at a 2 percent consumption rate of diesel, a full tank of DEF will cover 6,000 miles, nearly twice across America. Initial pricing for DEF at the Pilot fuel islands is $2.69 per gallon, which is comparable to the price of diesel today.

The company plans to install the new bulk DEF pumps at 100 Pilot locations through the fourth quarter of 2009 and the second quarter of 2010. In addition to DEF pumps located along the country’s main corridors, Pilot says it will carry prepackaged supplies of DEF at its more than 350 owned or licensed retail interstate locations in 41 states.

“The installation and operation of these first two DEF pumps mark a major milestone for Pilot and the commercial vehicle industry,” says Mark Hazelwood, executive vice president for Knoxville, Tenn.-based Pilot Travel Centers. “Buying and dispensing DEF in bulk quantities allows for greater handling efficiencies and more effective DEF pricing for our customers.”

Pilot says its commitment to dispense DEF at the fuel island will make DEF refilling convenient for drivers, eliminating the need for additional maneuvering of their trucks or searching for prepackaged DEF quantities; drivers can fill up with DEF while they are filling up with diesel fuel and will pay for DEF using the same Comdata and charge processes they use today.