In 1985, a dispute between the Queensland Government, led by then-Premier Sir Joh Bjelke Petersen, and the Electrical Trade Union resulted in Brisbane’s Central Business District having the majority of emergency power generators in Australia.
This provided Fuel Doctors with its first client – the Queensland State Government.
Fuel Doctors founding director Steve Marriott says government buildings have dozens of underground emergency fuel tanks, containing thousands of litres of diesel.
When these tanks are stored year after year, they can oxidise and degrade, sometimes to the point of compromising the very infrastructure they support.
Steve says that up to 90 per cent of refined fuel is consumed within 90 days of manufacture, but 90 per cent of fuel in emergency power generators is rarely consumed within 900 days. These facts were the basis of Fuel Doctors’ business plan in 1990.
The preservation of the asset – fuel – and the preventative maintenance and integrity of the infrastructure – the fuel tank – form the foundation of Fuel Doctors’ business philosophy.
“With CBD underground diesel tanks having a life expectancy of 25 to 35 years and those in highrise buildings being 75 to 100 years, preventative maintenance is of paramount importance to maintain these assets,” Steve says. Emergency generator tanks are installed within the foundations of the host buildings and are designed with access for regular internal cleaning.
Service stations, truck stops and marina storage tanks are not.
Removing accumulated debris from these tanks presented Fuel Doctors with a considerable challenge, leading to the in-house development of a chemical formulation that would release and safely disperse the tank bottom debris into the fuel for removal via centrifuge and filtration – that chemical was christened “Fuel Doctor”.
With the ability to clean inaccessible fuel tanks of any size, in-situ, without removing them, Fuel Doctors presented a major financial and logistical advantage for owners and managers facing such a dilemma.
Steve says cleaning numerous boat tanks, treated with Castrol DFC (diesel fuel conditioner) showed that it was not up to the task of maintaining tank cleanliness. “A meeting with Castrol was convened, comprehensive field trials were undertaken from 1996 until DFC was deleted and a joint branding distribution agreement between Castrol and Fuel Doctors was established in May 2000,” he says. Then, BP’s purchase of Castrol that same year resulted in BP’s Diesel Go additive being deleted, while Fuel Doctor was still only available through industrial outlets. In 2002, SuperCheap Auto commenced retail sales of Fuel Doctor, thereby facilitating a costeffective, industrial strength formulation of a single product for all fuel types and applications, in a single bottle.
Fuel Doctors’ core business of fuel tank cleaning ensures daily hands-on experience by staff, which in turn facilitates ongoing research and development of the Fuel Doctor formula.
In the face of ever-changing fuel quality, and the necessity to maintain cleanliness and optimum lubricity in modern common rail diesel and petrol engines, this hands-on experience and continued research is ever-important.
Fuel Doctors founding director Steve Marriott.