Union seeks resolution to fuel issues

Farmers are being urged to ramp up security.
Farmers are reporting problems with fuel for tractors and other farm vehicles.

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NFU Scotland members have been reporting issues with poor performance, blocked filters, low working hours before filter changes are required and injector failure, with tractors and farm vehicles.

Representatives from NFU Scotland are set to meet with Petrolineos, operators of Grangemouth refinery, in an attempt to find solutions to the current problems.

Since being alerted to the issue, NFU Scotland has compiled a dossier of evidence from members and machinery rings to try to identify if there are any patterns present. Union staff have been working directly with NFU counterparts to discuss the technical background and to identify a solution.

In partnership with Ringlink, NFU Scotland paid for independent test of three separate fuel samples to identify the cause of the reported problems. These tests have shown there is no issue in terms of the FAME (biodiesel) content of the fuel tested and these are within the prescribed limits as set out in the legislation.

Jamie Smart, who operates the NFU Scotland vehicle helpline, said: ‘It is important that members know we are aware of the issues being faced with fuel and we are on the front foot when it comes to finding a solution.

‘While the union works with outside stakeholders and organisations, members should continue to contact us with any problems they are facing in relation to this possible fuel issue.

‘If members are facing issues, in the first instance they should contact their fuel supplier regarding individual advice. Some suppliers are suggesting specific additives to help address any issues with bacterial growth in storage tanks. However, members should ensure these are compatible with the specific machines utilising the fuel before taking this course of action.

‘Members should also ensure their fuel storage husbandry is up to date. Storage tanks should be thoroughly cleaned out and where possible this should occur before each new tank fill. This will prevent potential issues caused by water, dirt, mould or bacterial growths.’