A farmer's guide to fuel tank options
- 30 June 2017
Buying and storing fuel is one of the biggest expenses for farms, with some farmers spending six-figure sums annually on fuel alone. Luckily, thanks new storage technologies and government incentives, there are ways to cut down on your long-term fuel expenditures. If you’re looking to upgrade your farm fuel tank, here are the benefits and drawbacks to the three common types of fuel storage.
Above-ground cylinder tanks on a tripod stand
Paint a picture of a classic farm, and you would usually incorporate an above-ground tank on a tripod stand. These tanks are still available for purchase, at storage sizes of around 1,200 – 2,000 litres.
Benefits of above-ground cylinder
- No electric pumps needs. Any fuel you need can be dispensed with a gravity feed.
- Due to the smaller storage size of these fuel tanks, environmental legislation doesn’t apply so there is no need for bunding around the tank.
Risks of above-ground cylinder
- Filling these tanks poses a health and safety risk with a fuel filler needing to have three points of contact when refilling a tank. Standing on a ladder while holding the hose is no longer a safe-practice method.
- Structural integrity needs to be monitored regularly, with tripods needing to be tied down to ensure stability. The tripod stand is also not an ideal option in areas with severe weather, such as cyclones and heavy winds, as it can cause the tripod to topple or erode.
- These tanks offer low security, with many farmers reporting fuel theft from exposed fuel tanks.
On-ground tanks are similar to the above-ground tanks, but they don’t require structural support. On-ground fuel storage tanks for farms come in rectangular, square or cylindrical form
Benefits of an on-ground tank
- Farmers can reduce overall fuel costs, with discounted bulk fuel
- Most on-ground self-bunded tanks, including the fuel tanks at Bulk Fuel Australia, are self-bunded, meaning there is secondary containment that will capture any drips and slops, preventing product to ground contact.
- Can store large quantities of fuel – anywhere between 2,000 to 80,000 litres of fuel, which is perfect for productive farms.
- Security is optimised with nozzles, pipework and metering equipment able to be stored away.
Risks on an on-ground tank
- On-ground tanks with a fuel pump will need access to power.
- Vehicles can run into them if not placed in a secure area.
Underground petroleum storage systems
Some farmers who require more than 10,000 litres opt for a below-ground fuel storage system, and while technology of these storage tanks has improved in recent years, many regard them as ticking time bombs.
Benefits of underground petroleum storage systems
- Reduce the likelihood of fuel evaporation, which saves money in the long run.
- Eliminates fuel theft, which is a big problem many Aussie farmers are reporting.
Risks of underground tanks
- As underground tanks are out of sight, out of mind, maintenance can often be forgotten about .
- Maintenance can be costly and time-consuming.
- Environmental contamination and damage if leak occurs.
- Must be constructed of non-corrodible materials, which can incur further costs.
Bulk Fuel Australia (BFA) offer fuel tanks, which are fully compliant with Australian Standards AS1940, EPA, and OH&S regulations. We also safely deliver bulk fuel Australia-wide, to help reduce farm down time and ensure a positive return on investment. BFA bulk fuel can be used independently or as part of a comprehensive on-site fuel management solution. Contact Bulk Fuel Australia today on 1300 579 990 to discuss your farms fuel tank storage needs.