Following an industry roundtable and subsequent taskforce called by the Federal Government to discuss the potential Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF), or AdBlue, shortage, the Truck Industry Council (TIC) has noted that the emission control systems on trucks cannot be deactivated.
“We commend the Government for drawing the various industry sectors together to discuss the issue,” said Mark Hammond, TIC Chief Technical Engineer. “All modern trucks are required to meet Australian Design Rule (ADR) requirements; this is the law in Australia. These vehicle emission regulations are in place to protect the health of all Australians.
“Untreated exhaust emissions can cause breathing problems, including asthma, headaches, eye irritation, loss of appetite, corroded teeth, chronically reduced lung function and cancer. It is illegal to turn off the emission system of a truck; tampering with such a system should be condemned by all within the industry.”
The National Heavy Regulator has provided strong leadership in this space and has recently prosecuted operators who have tampered with these systems.
“The TIC stands as one with the Regulator to ensure that this illegal activity is exposed and that offenders are prosecuted.”
The TIC has produced a Diesel Exhaust Fluid (AdBlue) Question and Answer Communique to assist the industry and operators in demystifying some of the questions and issues surrounding DEF/AdBlue.
At the recent roundtable (8th December, 2021), all stakeholders were reassured that DEF/AdBlue supplies were held in sufficient stock across the country to match demand, provided unnecessary panic buying does not take place.
Tony McMullan, the TIC CEO, stresses that the biggest threat to the industry is from this potential hoarding of supplies.
“A clear message to come from the roundtable was a call for calm within the industry,” said Mr McMullan. “Attempts to secure long term supply and production, beyond the current stocks available, were well in hand by DEF/AdBlue suppliers, also, it is noted that increased support has been offered by the Federal Government in sourcing from new markets across the world.
“The real risk is, and has always been, the potential for operators to start hoarding DEF/AdBlue, which ultimately could result in an unnecessary shortfall in supply”.
One issue surrounding the hoarding of DEF/AdBlue is its relatively short shelf life, especially in summer.
“Hoarding DEF/AdBlue will be counterproductive for operators,” said Mr Hammond. “DEF/AdBlue should not be stockpiled. It has a shelf life of approximately one year if stored under the right conditions, however, in hot summer months, its shelf life is more than halved.
“Stockpiling DEF/AdBlue beyond standard business use requirements could lead to the DEF/AdBlue spoiling and becoming unusable, ensuing financial losses for operators.”
The current commentary around DEF/AdBlue highlights a significant issue that the TIC has raised with Government for over a decade.
“There is a clear need for DEF/AdBlue to be regulated for quality and supply,” Mr Hammond continued. “The situation we are currently exposed to highlights how vital this regulatory action is.
“TIC is again calling upon the Federal Government to ensure this critical substance is controlled by Australian law. It’s a shame we have to be at this point for Government to realise the importance of DEF/AdBlue on Australia’s supply chain and the need for its regulation.”