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Old 06-17-2015, 10:07 AM   #1
juddspaintballs OP
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Transporting diesel

I guess The Garage is the best place to post this.

Here's my dilemma:
My tractor is big and thirsty. My generator is also diesel. 5 gallon cans just don't cut it.

I have secured a nice clean plastic 55 gallon drum. I have these awesome heavy duty plastic pallets that weigh about 80# each. I plan to secure my drum in the vertical position to the pallet using rim clamps and banding. I will then use the tractor to place the pallet and drum into the bed of my F150 and go fill it at the gas station with the pallet secured in the bed.

Do I need to placard or otherwise label the container? The gas station with on-road diesel is 5 miles away and I cross state lines. The gas station with off-road diesel is 15 miles away and across the street from the State Police barracks.

I'm about 99% positive the drum with the caps in place is a DOT legal container for transporting diesel. I'm unsure of whether 55 gallons needs labels or placards or if it's legal to not use placards. Either way, I'm planning on stenciling "DIESEL" on the drum. This is entirely for private "farm" use and my truck is gasoline powered.
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Old 06-17-2015, 10:12 AM   #2
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Seen others transport diesel the same way, no issues with DOT or LEO.

My tractor just grew tracks and is much larger curious what the price difference is between on road and off road diesel in your area?
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Old 06-17-2015, 10:17 AM   #3
juddspaintballs OP
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The price difference between the two fluctuates greatly. Fuel taxes are cheaper in VA (the close station to me) so road diesel is currently $2.699/gal. I haven't been into town with the off-road diesel in a while, but a couple weeks ago it was $2.699/gal as well since fuel taxes are higher in WV. 6 of one, half a dozen of another. I don't have any diesel vehicles anymore and off-road is now ULSD too, so I'll go with whoever is cheapest when I need to fill the drum. My tractor is new enough that ULSD is what it's made to run on anyways.
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Old 06-17-2015, 10:26 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by juddspaintballs View Post
The price difference between the two fluctuates greatly. Fuel taxes are cheaper in VA (the close station to me) so road diesel is currently $2.699/gal. I haven't been into town with the off-road diesel in a while, but a couple weeks ago it was $2.699/gal as well since fuel taxes are higher in WV. 6 of one, half a dozen of another. I don't have any diesel vehicles anymore and off-road is now ULSD too, so I'll go with whoever is cheapest when I need to fill the drum. My tractor is new enough that ULSD is what it's made to run on anyways.
Interesting, sounds like the establishment may be pocketing the $ difference between on vs off road.

Fuel Taxes by state
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Old 06-17-2015, 11:02 AM   #5
juddspaintballs OP
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I'm sure they are. When I lived in MD I had a special fuel permit that allowed me to run used motor oil (or whatever I wanted) as fuel in my M35A2 as long as I recorded how many gallons I used and paid the taxes on it. At the time, the road taxes were 24.5 per gallon. There was a gas station I went by often that sold road and off-road diesel and the off-road fuel was always only 15 cheaper a gallon. I knew what was happening there...
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Old 06-17-2015, 11:31 AM   #6
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I don't know the rules for transport but I wouldn't hesitate to do this using basic common sense rules. One consideration below.

I manage a transport company with 35 tractor/trailers and what I do have experience with is remediation of diesel fuel spills. If you spill anything above the RQ (reportable quantity) you are going to hate life quick. Don't know if vehicle insurance would pay for a fuel spill from a plastic barrel or not, but the costs of a 3rd party environmental clean up even if it is 20 gallons or so will be five figures easy and can go WAY up depending on where the spill was (into water or watershed is worst).
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Old 06-17-2015, 05:26 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Johnf3 View Post
I don't know the rules for transport but I wouldn't hesitate to do this using basic common sense rules. One consideration below.

I manage a transport company with 35 tractor/trailers and what I do have experience with is remediation of diesel fuel spills. If you spill anything above the RQ (reportable quantity) you are going to hate life quick. Don't know if vehicle insurance would pay for a fuel spill from a plastic barrel or not, but the costs of a 3rd party environmental clean up even if it is 20 gallons or so will be five figures easy and can go WAY up depending on where the spill was (into water or watershed is worst).
Yep, seen it happen! HAZMAT is big bucks! Last "real" job I had, there was a 200 gallon diesel spill (not my fault lol)

Might be safer to have it delivered!
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Old 06-18-2015, 05:03 AM   #8
trailer Rails
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Might be safer to have it delivered!
That might be worth looking into if you figure what your time is worth, having to load/unload the drum. Maybe buy a used heating fuel tank off of Craig's list and have it filled every once and a while.
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Old 06-18-2015, 05:35 AM   #9
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Just be sure when carrying all that diesel you aren't also carrying ammonium nitrate, you know, for "the farm".
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Old 06-18-2015, 05:56 AM   #10
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I just looked up the placarding rules. If it is less than 1,001 lbs. no placards are required, so you would be fine.
My only questions are if the plastic of the drum can be disintegrated by diesel fuel, and if your tractor is capable of unloading the full drum out of the back of your pick-up.

If you have these covered, than go for it!
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Old 06-18-2015, 06:05 AM   #11
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Gallon of diesel should weigh about 7.5 lbs. Load, with pallet, should be under 500 lbs.
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Old 06-18-2015, 06:07 AM   #12
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100 gallon semi truck fuel tank in the bed of a pickup has been done many times. Often as a semipermanent installation.
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Old 06-18-2015, 06:48 AM   #13
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Maybe buy a used heating fuel tank off of Craig's list and have it filled every once and a while.
I think you would be surprised at what you have to go thru to get a tank installed properly(and inspected) to get an oil company to deliver fuel to someone's home. At least here in Virginia no oil company will deliver fuel to anyone who doesn't have a recovery system(spill containment) around the tank...at least a newly installed tank(new or used off CL).

OP, I'd just buy a tank made for a truck bed along with a 12V pump and be done with it.
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Old 06-18-2015, 07:53 AM   #14
trailer Rails
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I think you would be surprised at what you have to go thru to get a tank installed properly(and inspected) to get an oil company to deliver fuel to someone's home. At least here in Virginia no oil company will deliver fuel to anyone who doesn't have a recovery system(spill containment) around the tank...at least a newly installed tank(new or used off CL).

OP, I'd just buy a tank made for a truck bed along with a 12V pump and be done with it.

Not here in PA. They never inspect anything on my tanks. The just come and fill them when I call.


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Old 06-18-2015, 08:06 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by bwalsh View Post
I think you would be surprised at what you have to go thru to get a tank installed properly(and inspected) to get an oil company to deliver fuel to someone's home. At least here in Virginia no oil company will deliver fuel to anyone who doesn't have a recovery system(spill containment) around the tank...at least a newly installed tank(new or used off CL).

OP, I'd just buy a tank made for a truck bed along with a 12V pump and be done with it.


I went through that in NY a few years ago. All our vehicles are diesel and it would have been nice to fill up at home once a week for a bit of savings. By the time I jumped through all the hoops it wasn't worth it. But I did throw a polyethylene drum in the back of the van, strap it down and drive 18 miles into VT to get the fuel for my heating system quite a number of times.


Haven't looked into it down here in NC yet.
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