In today article I will talk about the Auxiliary fuel tank and is it worth buying or not. The biggest concern when we are in the trucking business is the fuel and we always trying to find a way to low the fuel expenses.
To make the transportation really successful besides having the right truck you need to be careful with the expenses and find a way to reduce the unnecessary cost.
We all try a few things to low the fuel consumption starting with the preparation of the routes using route optimizer, also using fuel cards to control the fuel spending or to get lower fuel prices on specific gas stations.
The latest practice to control the fueling process is to use fuel management devices that will give us specific information about the quantity of fuel that our truck drivers are putting in the fuel tank and by that giving us a chance to prevent fuel frauds and fuel misuse.
I will give you the pros and cons of having an auxiliary fuel tank and I leave this decision to you.
In Which Category is Your Truck?
1. Class 8 Trucks
The Class 8 trucks fuel tanks have few sizes with a different capacity of course. On average the standard fuel tank can hold 125 to 300 gallons of fuel and you have 2 fuel tanks. So let’s say on your truck you have two fuel tanks with 125 fuel capacities which make 250 gallons of fuel that you can use.
In the other hand, you are installing an auxiliary fuel tank with 50 gallons additional fuel capacity. On your route, you have a lot of gas stations that you can stop and refuel the truck and I am talking about gas stations where you can use your fuel card to get a cheaper fuel.
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So when you can stop almost everywhere you don’t need to have spare fuel because you can purchase fuel in every 20 miles let’s say. If you can do that what would be the reason to have an auxiliary fuel tank for?
You getting my point, right?
2. Medium Duty Trucks
However, this is for the trucks that are in the category of the class 8 trucks. But if you are driving medium duty trucks where the fuel tank has smaller capacity than, you can consider buying an auxiliary fuel tank although you should consider the range of the driving and the ability to refuel your existing fuel tank along the routes that you are taking.
But if you need to take long mile route that doesn’t have a lot of gas stations or you are not familiar with the fuel prices on that route then, an auxiliary fuel tank is a good choice for you. It will remove the possibility to get stacked in the middle of nowhere or being forced to purchase a high-cost fuel.
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In one way or another If your existing fuel tank does not have a good capacity the auxiliary fuel tank in your truck bed is like having a spare tire; it will be there in case you need. For medium duty trucks, a auxiliary fuel tank can be worth of the buying cost because it will allow you to choose gas stations where the fuel is less expensive.
If You are Preparing to Buy a Auxiliary Fuel Tank Check The Fuel Prices
Like I mentioned, the purpose of the auxiliary fuel tank is to have additional fuel to expand your range and choice of refueling where the prices are lower. That is OK when the prices are high so the difference between gas station to gas station can be enormous and the savings will be noticeable.
But in the time when the fuel cost is very low and the savings are not noticeable then you do not need to invest in the auxiliary fuel tanks.
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The purpose is to save money with the auxiliary fuel tank and not to cause additional expenses without any reason.
Pros and Cons of Auxiliary Fuel Tank
Buying an auxiliary fuel tank or not is an individual matter and it depends of your driving habits or the routes that you are driving through. Anyway I like to list the general pros and cons of having auxiliary fuel tanks
- You can buy Fuel on your schedule – Buying a fuel when you want and not when you are forced is a big advantage when you are on the open road. The choice is yours when you have an auxiliary fuel tank and you can make your own schedule without obeying the highway prices and rules.
- You can save money – The auxiliary fuel tanks can save you money if you are passing through the route where the prices are high. So driving trough this area without this fuel tank you will be forced to purchase fuel on those gas stations no matter of the fuel price. But if you have the additional fuel in the auxiliary fuel tank you can pass through the route without stopping at a gas station.
- The Auxiliary Fuel Tank will extend your mileage range – You can drive more miles between fill-ups. So you can drive a lot more miles without stopping at a gas station. With extending the mileage range you will save time.
- The highest ranked in this list are the federal regulations that need to be obeyed if you have an auxiliary fuel tank. If you decide to install auxiliary fuel tank then you need to ensure that is leak and drop tested. These FMCSA regulations are there to ensure that the fuel will not leave the tank in case some catastrophe occurs.
Also, it needs to be certified and properly marked with:
- The month and the year of manufacture
- To have the Manufacturer’s name
- To have a possibility to identify the location of manufacture
- The maximum fuel tank size is 119 gallons – if it is above will be classified in transported goods and it will be under hazardous materials regulations
- Also, the regulations about the fuel lines need to be covered
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- Additional weight on the Truck – the additional weight of the fuel can entail higher fuel consumption so at the end you can have zero savings even if you invest in an auxiliary fuel tank
- Additional cost for proper installation – It is not just to buy an auxiliary fuel tank you need to take your truck to the professional servicer to perform the installation by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) or Department of Transportation (DOT) Rules and Regulations. If the auxiliary fuel tank is not installed by these rules the chances that you will get a penalty from the road inspection are high.
- Additional Maintenance – Auxiliary fuel tanks need to be maintained in the same way as you maintain the manufacture fuel tank. You have to be very careful when it comes to maintaining because the not maintained auxiliary fuel tank is only a bad news which can affect on your pocket.
- Additional Cost – The cost of the auxiliary fuel tank can vary from:
- Brand to brand
Basically, the price of the auxiliary fuel tanks varies from $400 to more than $1,500. Also, if you need customized auxiliary fuel tanks with additional specifications or additional equipment, then the prices can go very high.