On-Farm Fuel Storage

Learn the ins and outs of on-farm fuel storage so you can decide if it makes sense for your property.

| March/April 2018

  • A stand-alone fuel tank for bulk storage.
    Photo by Jim Still-Pepper
  • Your farm machinery will run better with fuel that has been properly stored.
    Photo by Getty Images/EbertStudios
  • Before investing in a large fuel storage tank, keep careful records of your fuel consumption so you can calculate your annual rate of use.
    Photo by Dan Kerr
  • Using a filter to catch impurities in the fuel.
    Photo by Dan Kerr
  • The author drains the water from his airplaneā€™s gas tank.
    Photo by Dan Kerr

I’ve often thought how convenient it would be to purchase fuel in bulk and save money. But would I actually save money?

Above-ground bulk storage tanks are available in all sizes, with or without an attached containment system, and come with a barrage of laws including municipal, township/county, state/provincial and federal — all having significant fines should one not comply. We can’t emphasize it enough, look into your specific laws at all levels ahead of time, and consider insurance and other hoops you might have to jump through. But bulk fuel can be beneficial on the farm.

Considerations for bulk storage

• Do I use enough fuel to warrant bulk storage?

• Cost of the tank (taking into consideration laws governing it for my jurisdiction).

• Cost for fuel stabilization additive.

• Cost of pumping apparatus needed to get fuel from the storage tank to the equipment, including proper length of hose.

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