Above Ground Fuel Storage Tank: Questions to Consider Before Buying
WHAT FEDERAL AND LOCAL REGULATIONS DOES MY ABOVE GROUND FUEL STORAGE TANK NEED TO MEET?
The first and most imperative inquiry you have to ask yourself before picking an above ground fuel storage tank is what regulations will affect you. There are regulations that cover tanks when they are transported full (even residue) and different regulations that handle permanent installations. For road transportation, you should conform to Federal Regulations as set out in 49CFR Parts 100-185.
Stationary tank installations are normally controlled by the local fire marshals’ department. The fire department may have their own code dependent on specific requirements of their geographic region. They frequently have different guidelines dependent on what fuel is being stored and whether they consider the tank to be a permanent or a stationary tank. For the most part, the fire department will follow the National Fire Protection Association Regulation 30 (Flammable and Combustible Liquids Code) and 30A (Code for Motor Fuel Dispensing Facilities and Repair Garages).
What’s more, the Environmental Protection Agency has a program called the Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC). This applies to a few facilities dependent on the area, activity and quality of stored fuel.
HOW MUCH FUEL DO I NEED TO IT TO CONTAIN?
You want a fuel storage tank that will meet your capacity needs. Each tank refuel creates additional risks of spillage, operator error and delivery costs. We recommend you use a tank that will hold at least 1 month’s supply of fuel. Larger fuel tanks provide a cost-effective solution for storing fuel, however you want to avoid having it stand for too long. When looking into different capacities, make sure you calculate the safe-fill of any tank that is considered (95% of the tank’s brim-fill capacity) and also take into account the pump intake (amount of fuel that the suction hose leaves at the bottom of your tank).
DO I NEED TO TRANSPORT MY FUEL TANK FROM JOB TO JOB?
If you’re only using the fuel storage tank as temporary fuel storage at a job site, event or seasonal use, it would be beneficial for you to use a mobile, transportable fuel tank. Mobile fuel storage tanks are designed and tested to withstand movement of fuel during transport. They also must be approved and comply with rules laid out in 49CFR. If you plan on using a trailer with your mobile fuel tank around your job site, you will need to consider what approvals your trailer may need to meet as well. Trailers can be approved for towing on-site only or for highway use.
WHAT TYPE OF EQUIPMENT WILL I BE FUELING?
If you are fueling construction equipment on-site or powering a generator for an event, you need to determine what type of tank you will need. In addition to what pump you will be attaching to the tank. If you are powering a generator for example, you’ll need a fuel tank that can connect directly to it. If you’re refueling Tier 4 engines, you may also consider diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) storage. How you will use the tank is crucial to finding the right one you need.
WHAT IS YOUR MAIN CONCERN FOR HANDLING THE FUEL?
Only you are the most qualified in determining what you need. Think about your application and what concerns you the most. If you have a small yard, you might be more concerned about storage optimization and it may be best suited to have stackable tanks. If fuel shrinkage is an issue in your area, then security might be more of a concern. Determining your problems and needs will help you figure out what fuel tank features are most important for you.