Many LCV fleets are underprepared for the use of AdBlue in new models that meet Euro 6 emissions legislation, says Arval.
Euro 6 for LCVs takes effect from the beginning of this month (September), although compliant vehicles have been making their way onto fleets for some time.
Eddie Parker, commercial vehicle consultant at Arval UK, said: “The initial feedback we have been receiving from many fleets using these vehicles is that they are underprepared, especially when it comes to keeping drivers informed about AdBlue.
“Certainly, it is not uncommon for drivers to find out that they have an AdBlue equipped Euro 6 vehicle when the low tank warning message flashes on the dashboard for the first time. You can imagine their confusion.”
He added that AdBlue, in itself, was not difficult to deal with but that fleets needed to put some basic policies in place to cover its use.
“There are questions to answer,” he said. “Will you always make AdBlue a dealer responsibility? Will you note the time or distance between servicing intervals? Will you allow drivers to refill? If the latter, will you allow them to use only manufacturer-supplied AdBlue or will other brands be made available?
“There are also some points to address around the use of AdBlue. For example, some manufacturers suggest that it is only handled when wearing gloves and goggles because it can cause skin irritation.
“For fleets who would like guidance, we are able to provide help and consultation to our customers in all of these areas, as well as providing standardised advice on the use of AdBlue for LCV fleets and drivers.”
Parker added that some reports from fleets about the mileage that could be covered on each tank of AdBlue had provided food for thought.
He explained: “Some fleets are telling us that the mileage they are achieving is very much in line with manufacturer recommendations while others are covering quite a lot fewer and there are also quite wide variances between different manufacturers. There are even suggestions that the quality of different brands of AdBlue will achieve varying results.
“It is obviously early days but this is something that we are monitoring quite closely. While AdBlue should not be a significant element in vehicle running costs, having to top-up the tank much more regularly than envisaged will soon mount up and is an interruption to the operational life of the vehicle.”