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Truckstop Diesel Exhaust Fluid Installation Considerations

Posted in: Fuel and Trucking, Thought Leader, Diesel Exhaust Fluid


/// Guest post by contributor Chad JohnsonGilbarco Veeder-Root

When thinking about adding diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) dispensing to your forecourt there are a couple of key decisions for truckstop and travel plaza operators. Those decisions involve:

  • The tank,
  • The piping;
  • And how the dispensing equipment will mount and eventually tie to existing forecourt controller/point-of-sale (POS) systems.

DEF Tank Configuration
DEF tanks can be provided in above and below ground installations. For above ground installations, if the ambient outdoor temperature falls below 30 degrees F, the cabinet should have additional heating to prevent freezing of the DEF product. An example of an above ground and below ground installs are highlighted below:


Above Ground Tank w/ DEF Dispenser

Advantage:     Less forecourt disruption

Disadvantage: Forecourt size, heating requirement



Below Ground Tank

Advantage:     No heating required, larger tanks available

Disadvantage: More costly upfront


Piping to the DEF Dispenser
Piping of the DEF products has been achieved by two ways, above and below ground, which is similar to the decision on tank configurations. Operators can choose to run DEF piping from a below ground via the underground or utilize the canopy to bring DEF to the dispenser. Each has its advantages depending on the location’s configurations.


Below Ground Piping to Dispenser

Advantage:      Minimize trace heating

Disadvantage:  Disruption of forecourt, cost for existing site



Above Ground Piping to Dispenser

Advantage:     Less forecourt disruption

Disadvantage:  Trace heating of all piping


Dispenser Options
Once the piping and tank configurations are decided, the dispenser and the tie-in to the existing POS is the last and final critical decision for truckstop and travel plaza operators. The most common dispenser option is to provide DEF + diesel dispensers minimizing the forecourt footprint and allowing both diesel and DEF to be dispensed at the same fueling position. An optional retrofit kit further minimizes the forecourt spend by adding a DEF cabinet to an existing diesel dispenser. A stand-alone DEF dispenser can also be used but it does require additional logistics for the driver or forecourt layout considerations.


DEF + Diesel Dispensers

Advantage:     Minimize forecourt footprint, ties to existing POS/forecourt

Disadvantage: Up front capital



DEF Retrofit Kit

Advantage:     Minimize forecourt footprint, ties to existing POS/forecourt, minimize capital spend

Photo Credits: Gilbarco Veeder-Root

Editor’s Note: Gilbarco Veeder-Root will be on hand as an exhibitor at The NATSO Show to answer additional questions for those interested in investing in DEF dispensing equipment. The NATSO Show attendees can sign-up for a one-on-one consultation at the conference.- AT


{Guest Post} Guest post provided by NATSO Chairman's Circle member, Gilbarco Veeder-Root, and may not be further reprinted, modified or otherwise used without the express written permission of Gilbarco Veeder-Root. Gilbarco Veeder-Root, the worldwide technology leader for retail and commercial fueling operations, offers the broadest range of integrated solutions from the forecourt to the convenience store and head office. Gilbarco earns the trust of its customers by providing long-term partnership, uncompromising support and proven reliability. 

The opinions and advice given by guest post contributors are not necessarily those of NATSO or Gilbarco Veeder-Root, and are not intended to be legal advice. Please seek the advice of a qualified professional regarding your specific circumstances.

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About the Author

Chad Johnson

Chad Johnson

Chad Johnson is responsible for the marketing and product development for Gilbarco’s North American dispenser business. Chad joined Gilbarco, a Danaher Corporation, in 2008 to enhance and expand Gilbarco's retail dispenser product line. Prior to joining Gilbarco Veeder-Root Chad held senior sales and marketing positions within other divisions of Danaher Corporation. Chad has earned a Master of Business Administration from the University of Indianapolis and a BS in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University.