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Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) shortage means some diesel users will be paying more

Published: Jun. 11, 2022 at 8:51 AM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Diesel users such as semi-truck drivers and RV owners will soon be paying more for diesel exhaust fluid (DEF).

According to RV Business: “Modern diesel requires the injection of DEF into the exhaust stream in order to meet current exhaust emissions standards.”

However, the main component of DEF is a chemical compound called urea, a byproduct of industrial ammonia production. Russia exports the most urea. It is engaged in war with Ukraine.

One of the Strafford truck repair shop owners named Platinum Performance, Ashley Poole, said the DEF shortage only impacts diesel users with newer vehicles.

“Any Tier 4 engine or truck they can’t function without it (DEF),” Poole said. “Older engines can since they’re not Tier 4.”

Poole said truck repair shops like Platinum Performance hadn’t seen the shortage quite as much as others.

“We haven’t experienced it much here in the Midwest, but things do trickle,” Poole said. “The coastal cities have probably experienced it more than we have, but it starts there, then hones in here.”

Poole said the cost for a 2 1/2 gallon jug of DEF is $11.40 currently. The price of the same gallon of DEF was around $9 one year ago.

She also said the DEF shortage is another cost to worry about and the high diesel fuel prices.

James Marshall, an owner-operator truck driver, said, “My fuel bill went from $52,000 a year to $108,000 in a year,” Marshall said. “This year, it’s even going to be higher than that.”

Marshall said he and other semi-truck drivers are furious with the high diesel prices, and the shortage of DEF doesn’t help.

“Everybody is having to cut costs. We’re cutting costs to keep everything going,” Marshall said. “You have to cut costs at the house to offset it, but how much more can families do without?”

Marshall said some drivers he knows end up working extra for the same pay they made two years ago. He said everything from meals to the cost of showers to paying for parking has seriously hurt the truck driving community.

“Why drive a truck when people can make the same amount of money at the house?” Marshall said. “I’ve done it long enough, so it’s enjoyment. It’s a whole different lifestyle for people out here.”

Marshall said the DEF shortage doesn’t impact him since he has an older semi, but it will affect many truck drivers with newer models.

According to the Freight Viking website, “In 2010, to further reduce NOx and (PM) Particulate Matter in diesel engines, the EPA enforced all heavy-duty diesel engines to be fitted with a DEF.”

This means Tier 4 models after 2010 must use DEF to function correctly.

If you have more questions about DEF or want to see if your vehicle requires DEF, click here.

To report a correction or typo, please email digitalnews@ky3.com

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