AdBlue is the name for a biodegradable, colourless and odourless additive solution. It is used to clean up the emissions of diesel vehicles alongside Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology. Put simply, it is an essential part of reducing harmful emissions building up in the air, which is safer for everyone.
As an HGV driver or Transport Manager, you will be aware of the importance of AdBlue and when it is needed, especially during your HGV and PSV daily walkaround checks. This guide will cover whether AdBlue is a legal requirement, how to monitor its consumption and how it should be part of your daily walkaround check.
Is AdBlue a legal requirement?
Drivers of diesel vehicles with SCR technology are legally required to use AdBlue; an HGV is an example of a vehicle that requires AdBlue to operate effectively. The driver is also responsible for performing a thorough check of the vehicle before setting out on a journey. A part of this daily check is making sure you have enough AdBlue for your journey.
If your heavy goods vehicle has SCR technology, all you have to do is keep your AdBlue tank topped up. It will automatically reduce emissions to the legal limit, as well as treat exhaust gases and remove harmful pollutants such as Nitrogen Dioxide.
To check whether your HGV uses AdBlue, it is best to check your vehicle manual. If you cannot access this, ask your supervisor for guidance.
What AdBlue checks should I perform during my daily walkaround check?
According to government guidelines, part of your daily walkaround check should be checking your AdBlue system. Luckily, AdBlue has its own dedicated container with its own gauge and meter. It is important to ensure there is no debris in the tank that would contaminate the AdBlue. You can locate it by looking for a blue or black screw cap that is usually next to the black diesel tank cap.
If you do not have enough AdBlue, dashboard warning lights will come on in the cab. This should not be ignored, and you should fill your AdBlue tank as soon as possible. Check the warning light for any defect for your peace of mind.
It is important to remember that adding a trailer or a heavy load may mean your vehicle consumes more fuel. This will also consume more AdBlue. Having a supply of AdBlue on board during service is handy if you are unsure where you can refill on the road.
Why is AdBlue important in HGVs?
Air pollution is a growing problem, and HGVs contribute to this in large amounts. Heavy vehicles emit nitrogen oxides which build up in the air, producing smog and even acid rain. To tackle this, Euro 6 exhaust emission regulations were released and AdBlue helps any diesel engine to comply.
AdBlue is a simple way of becoming more environmentally friendly as a vehicle operator. This could aid your business in receiving green initiative certification. As consumers become more aware of environmental issues, this will add to your likelihood of gaining new business.
Possibly the most important reason to use AdBlue in terms of practicality is that running out will limit engine performance. Should you ignore the warning light, your HGV or PSV will not restart once it has been turned off. This shuts your entire vehicle down, costing you time and money in vehicle recovery, resetting and refilling.
It is important to check your AdBlue and dashboard warning light during your daily walkaround checks. To create your own digital checklist using our app, you can get in touch with us today to discuss your options.
What can the DVSA do if I do not follow their AdBlue requirements?
Since September 2018, a DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) examiner can check lorries for emissions cheat devices during a roadside vehicle check. One such device is an AdBlue emulator. It means an HGV’s emission levels will be far more dangerous and could end up costing you money.
If you are caught using a cheat device, you will be given 10 days to remove it and repair your emissions system, so it is in good condition. Failing to do so results in a fine of £300 and your vehicle could be taken off the road.
Ignoring these warnings could cause the DVSA to launch a follow-up investigation, referring the case to a traffic commissioner. They have the power to revoke a company of its operating licence.
How AssetGo can help
Here at AssetGo, we have developed an app that can simplify the entire walkaround check for you. The app has daily checklists that are completed and annotated as you walk around your vehicle. There are pre-loaded DVSA-compliant checklists that ensure any vehicle defects are spotted before it is too late.
In terms of AdBlue, you can record the level in your vehicle before you set off on your journey. You can even add pictures to provide further evidence.
Having one place that is easy to access is vastly superior to keeping paper records. Instead of rifling through sheets of paper, you can simply open the app or CMS and find what you are looking for. The details of your checks will be sent to your transport manager, and you can provide 28 days worth of previous reports should you be asked in a roadside check.
Can you drive a lorry without AdBlue?
If you run out of AdBlue during your journey, it will only drive at limited engine performance. Once you switch the engine off, the lorry will not restart until you have refilled the AdBlue tank.
How much AdBlue does an HGV use?
It is reasonable to expect you will consume AdBlue at approximately 5% of your diesel fuel consumption. That means for every 100 litres of diesel you use, 5 litres of AdBlue will also be used.
Is AdBlue the same for cars and lorries?
AdBlue has been used by commercial vehicles since 2002 and is now required for diesel cars with SCR technology as well. The more recent model you buy, the more likely it is to use AdBlue.
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