The Five Star DEF Story: The Truck Stop Experience

First, there was no way to pre-pay using a credit card at the pump in the big-rig lanes. The pumps are set up for truckers with company credit accounts and do not accept credit cards. This required going into the store and waiting in line (for 5 minutes) to provide my credit card to the cashier. I asked to fill up with DEF, and this was where the experience became truly annoying. The cashier informed me that I would have to purchase diesel first, and then pump DEF on the same transaction. Since I had just filled up with diesel 50 miles earlier and I advised the cashier that I did not need diesel, only DEF. No exceptions, she said, it’s all automatic. So I said OK, I’ll get a few gallons of diesel and then fill up with DEF. I provided my credit card and she preauthorized my purchase at $100. I’d need to come back in after filling up with diesel and DEF, wait in line (again), and sign the credit card receipt for the actual amount.

I walked out and found the pump ready to go. This was where I discovered difference number 2 at the Flying J: The diesel nozzles in the truck lane are much bigger and pump diesel at a very high rate. They are a bad match to passenger vehicles and trucks. By the time I got it to work, I has diesel squirting all over me, the truck, and the ground. After adding five gallons of diesel, I returned the nozzle to it’s holder. I removed the filler cap from the DEF tank, figured out how to get the DEF nozzle out of its enclosed docking station, and inserted the nozzle in the filler neck. I squeezed the handle and DEF began to flow into the tank. I figured the nozzle would shut off automatically when the tank was full. Simple, right? A few seconds later, DEF shot out between the nozzle and filler and the nozzle was expelled out of the filler neck by pressure, and a stream of DEF shot out of the filler neck, all over the ground, on my shoes, and all over the side of the truck. This explained the white crystalline deposits all over the area near the DEF pump. Seems the nozzle shutoff does not work so well in service.

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