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Would you stake your life, right now, on the condition of your equipment?
NEWS | Nov. 18, 2019

POL: How Low Can I Go?

BLUF: Army regulations specify the rules for low-usage or administrative storage for equipment.

Soldiers with pipeline
Photo by Master Sgt. Benari Poulten

Dear Connie,

When my unit puts our petroleum equipment in low-usage or administrative storage, am I still required to perform PMCS and conduct filter effectiveness tests (FETs)?

Dear Sergeant,

The rules are found in the regs. First, figure out if your unit’s equipment even qualifies for low-usage. See Para 4-3 in AR 750-1, Army Materiel Maintenance Policy (Feb 23), and Chap 3-9b.-(10 a-f) in DA Pam 750-8, The Army Maintenance Management System (TAMMS) Users’ Manual (Aug 05).

If the equipment qualifies for low-usage, follow these guidelines:
  • Prior to petroleum equipment being placed into low usage, all scheduled services must be performed.
  • Fuel in the tank compartment of refuel vehicles and filter separators must be sufficient to recirculate fuel and to make it possible to conduct the required 30-day FET. Refer to the applicable TM for minimum quantities.
  • Although in low-usage, the equipment still requires monthly PMCS, which includes conducting all before, during, after, weekly and monthly checks. Additionally, this monthly PMCS includes driving vehicles a minimum of five miles to exercise seals and ensure mission capability.
  • The storage tank must retain enough fuel to conduct recirculation and fuel testing, IAW the applicable TM. Due to the high cost of replacements, filter elements must remain wetted in the filter separator of refuel equipment for conducting FETs.
  • Equipment will still be considered “in service” when in the low-usage program.
  • FETs are still required, not to exceed 30 days from the previous sample date.
Administrative Storage

Administrative storage is entirely different. Commands must provide a plan when they decide to place equipment in administrative storage, per Para 14-10 in Chap 14 of AR 750-1. Administrative storage is only intended as a short-term solution.
  • Prior to petroleum equipment being placed into administrative storage, all scheduled services must be performed.
  • Whenever possible, equipment must not be left in administrative storage for a period exceeding 365 days, and the unit is still required to exercise the equipment as directed by the applicable TMs.
  • Due to the relatively high cost of replacement filter elements, it may be impractical to drain the fuel from the storage tank and filter separator. However, if the filter elements are removed from the filter separator prior to being put in administrative storage, it’s advisable to empty the storage tank and filter separator of fuel to prevent accumulation of water and microbiological growth. If filters are removed, cover over (remove) any stenciling of the filters’ change- date.
  • FETs aren’t required while in administrative storage; however, when removed from administrative storage, a thorough PMCS of the petroleum equipment is necessary. Follow the instructions in FTL 18-01, Petroleum Sampling Guidance, to include installing filters (if they were removed) and stenciling on a new filter-change date.
  • Commanders must also ensure a visual examination of the fuel is conducted, as well as a sample or FET submitted to an authorized laboratory, prior to issuing fuel to any equipment.
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