Forty-one diesel engine builders have thirty-nine differing fuel specifications. Recognized commercial diesel fuel classifications permit excessive dual branding; to illustrate: 70 percent of Grade 1-D diesel fuels may be classified as Grade 2-D and 100 percent of the No. 1 burner fuel oils may be designated as No. 2 fuels. Fuel surveys published in 1957 utilized a “Service Class” listing system which is meaningless both to the consumer and as regards average data; due to extreme duplication of tabulated fuels.
INTERNATIONAL HARVESTER typifies the world-wide operations of diesel engine manufacturers. For users of its diesel engines, International is striving to have the most economical fuels made readily available, and correctly graded, throughout the United States and the free world. All other diesel engine builders should have the same aim. This does not mean that fuel quality has to be in the “gold-plate” category nor should the term “economy-type” be applied solely on a “price-tag” basis; for, performance-wise, such fuels could be most costly.
Specifications or classifications must be realistic and usable.
This paper briefly presents the development background of diesel fuel classifications; the apparent causes for the “compounded confusion” now existent as regards these fuels; the characteristics of fuels currently available; a review of diesel fuel specifications as published by the major consumers and engine builders; data concerning related fuel types; and proposals for the promulgation of a commercially realistic diesel fuel classification agreeable to the oil industry, the consumer, and the engine builder.
This presentation is not a scholarly dissertation on economic theories, engine design concepts, fuel chemistry, performance parameters or the like. This is a simple plea and crusade for the use of plain, common sense in an approach to the job at hand.