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  1. #1
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    Default Buying a Used 300 Gallon On Site Fuel Tank

    Iíve found a 300 gallon used fuel tank that came off another farm. It was used for gasoline, but I want to use it for diesel. The tank and stand need a good sandblasting and paint job, but I can handle that. My questions are more about the condition of the inside of the tank.

    Currently, the tank is open and empty. It's not on the stand, but sitting on the ground beside it as it has been moved from it's last location where it was in use. I'd say it's been a while since it was in use.

    There is no apparent debris on the inside, but being a steel tank, Iím sure there is some rust inside. He has the hose, nozzle, flow meter, filter housing, etc. I know Iíll need a new filter, but what else will I need to do to the tank prior to using it? Also, what is the shelf life for diesel and will I get water in the mix due to condensation if I use it over, say, a 12 month period between fillings?

    The guy wants $200 for it.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Veteran Member
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    Kubota Grand L4740, B2400 and F2680

    Default Re: Buying a Used 300 Gallon On Site Fuel Tank

    </font><font color="blue" class="small">( <font color="blue"> what else will I need to do to the tank prior to using it? </font> )</font>

    Probably not a lot. If there is no junk on the inside and it is dry, you can probably set it up and use it right away. When you do set it up, keep the hose end of the tank slightly higher than the other end. That will let the water settle to the low end where there should be a drain valve of some sort to drain it off. The filter should handle any small particular matter that gets stirred up, otherwise it too should settle. Over time, you will always end up with some water in the tank, either from condensation or even in the delivered fuel but it can be handled as I said earlier. Also, I like to add diesel fuel stabilizer to it just after it gets delivered. That'll help control water and the bacteria that can grow in it.

    Diesel should keep for at least a year and if it's stabilized, I've heard people say it'll keep for 5 years or longer. I don't know how true that is because mine never lasts that long but it will be usable for at least 2 years. We once kept diesel that long at the farm between fill-ups without any problems. Diesel as a fuel is a lot more forgiving that gasoline.

    Maybe some of the other guys will have more ideas on how best to the clean the tank but the bottom of the tank will probably end up rusting anyway because of the water. So, a long as there is no loose or flaking scale on the inside, I don't know that I'd be too worried about it. It just depends on how bad it is.

    As for the $200 for a used fuel tank, I don't know about these things but there would seem to be some serious negotiating room there. I'd give my local distributor a call and see how much he charges for new one. That at least would give you some idea.

    Also, if you have an ag exemption, I'd get a copy filed with my local supplier so I could get cheaper, offroad (red) diesel delivered, if it's to be used solely for farm use.

  3. #3
    Super Member Dargo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying a Used 300 Gallon On Site Fuel Tank

    Nothing sounded like a problem until I read $200. That sounds high to me. I bought mine in decent condition for $50. Several others I know paid about the same for theirs in ready to use condition. Maybe it depends on the area. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif[/img] Just my thought.

  4. #4
    Super Member JerryG's Avatar
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    Northwest Arkansas
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    MF 1440-4 PowerShuttle

    Default Re: Buying a Used 300 Gallon On Site Fuel Tank

    Five years ago, I paid $400 for a new 300 gallon overhead tank . I am sure that they are higher now.

  5. #5
    Super Star Member
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    Upper Midwest USA
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    JD 4300, JD X485 JD 4x2 Gator, JD 425, JD455

    Default Re: Buying a Used 300 Gallon On Site Fuel Tank

    FWIW, I had gas tank that I bought new in 1975. I quit using it for gasoline because it became handier and almost as cheap getting it in town.

    In 1990, I sold it to a friend who put diesel in it. In 1995, it began to leak diesel fuel and he didn't use much at a time (less than 300 gal a year). The leaking fuel became quite a nuisance to him, and an embarassment to me. It never was sitting on the ground, but always in a cradle on a stand.

    So they do rust. Just thought you needed to know, to add that to your decision.

    Wouldn't be too bad if it does leak if you use 300 gal in a couple months. And, $200 does seem high. But maybe this tank is newer than mine was

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    North East CT
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    2003 Kubota BX-22

    Default Re: Buying a Used 300 Gallon On Site Fuel Tank

    The tank should have a manufacturers plate on it showing the date of manufacturer. If it is more than 10 years old, I would be cautious of using it. Tanks that are in service are less likely to have rust problems than tanks that have been empty for a while. The moisture in the air will cause rust if they are empty. Also, it should have a drain installed at the low end to be able to drain off the moisture/water. Remember, that a tank that starts to leak can cause you a large environmental cleanup headache and all the savings will quickly be diminished. I would look into the purchase of a new 275 or 330 gallon home heating oil tank. In the end, you will be better served using that. As for the price of the used one, you need to consider the value of the dispensing mechanism that comes along with it. Today, the only way to dispose of that old tank would be to cut it up first and then deliver to the scrap yard. $200 for a tank that under todays political/environmental thinking is called "hazardous waste" seems like a lot of money. Even the small home heating oil tanks cost a lot of money to get disposed of if they leak. Personally, I would go for all new for the small additional cost if you feel that you want to keep that amount of diesel fuel on hand. The good part about a home heating oil tank is that it comes ready to plumb and includes a bung at the bottom that you can use as a water drain. The bottom of the tank also has plates welded to it that will accommodate pipe being screwed into them so you can make legs of any length you like. If the legs are extremely long, I suggest that you weld some angle iron diagonally from leg to leg to give it some additional stabilization.

  7. #7
    Silver Member
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    Texas, Williamson County (aka Texas Hill Country)
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    New Holland TC55DA, delivered 05/25/2005

    Default Re: Buying a Used 300 Gallon On Site Fuel Tank

    GaryBDavis,

    Whatever route you decide to take, new or used, don't forget you will need to obtain a license/certificate from the State of Texas for your new fuel site if you want a bulk distributor to deliver diesel to your tank. If you decide to through with this PM me and I'll look up the link to get this going. Probably takes about 3 weeks. It's free, so might as well apply for it now.

    Bulk Distributors will probably charge you a premium if you buy less than 300 gal. This varies though so check your local sources. You didn't mention how much fuel you plan on using.

    If it's no where near 300 gal./year you might be better off getting something smaller and new that you can haul back and forth to a bulk distributor for refill and move with your tractor, if you have one. 300 gal. of fuel is a lot of cash sitting in a tank that you can't use except for one thing. Lot's to consider. In case you haven't done so, search this forum for "fuel storage" and you'll find some interesting solutions.

    BTW, I checked on a new tank recently from an outfit in San Antonio. I believe it was over $500 for a new 300 gal. and I would have to go get it.

  8. #8
    Veteran Member
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    Default Re: Buying a Used 300 Gallon On Site Fuel Tank

    </font><font color="blue" class="small">( <font color="blue"> don't forget you will need to obtain a license/certificate from the State of Texas for your new fuel site if you want a bulk distributor to deliver diesel to your tank </font> )</font>

    I didn't know that. Thanks for the info. I keep looking for a used bulk tank to set up at the house but haven't run accross one lately. I'd hate to get one and find myself crosswise with the State. That's usually one battle you can't win.

  9. #9
    Super Member Dargo's Avatar
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    Jinma, Foton, TYM, Belarus, Yanmar, Branson, Montana, Mahindra and maybe some green and orange too.

    Default Re: Buying a Used 300 Gallon On Site Fuel Tank

    </font><font color="blue" class="small">( Whatever route you decide to take, new or used, don't forget you will need to obtain a license/certificate from the State of Texas for your new fuel site if you want a bulk distributor to deliver diesel to your tank. )</font>

    Dang! According to my distributor, I would only have to do that if I wanted to have unleaded delivered. I briefly considered having a gasoline tank setup until my distributor handed me the regulations required for the gas storage tank. Those 5 gallon cans of unleaded really aren't that inconvenient. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif[/img] I'm glad there isn't a lot of regs in Indiana for diesel.


  10. #10
    Super Star Member EddieWalker's Avatar
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    Tyler, Texas
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    Several, all used and abused.

    Default Re: Buying a Used 300 Gallon On Site Fuel Tank

    </font><font color="blue" class="small">( GaryBDavis,

    Whatever route you decide to take, new or used, don't forget you will need to obtain a license/certificate from the State of Texas for your new fuel site if you want a bulk distributor to deliver diesel to your tank. )</font>

    I don't have my fuel delivered, so I could be wrong on this, but all I needed was a tax ID number for them to sell me red diesel. Once I turned in the forms, they said they'd deliver to me for free with a 300 gallon minimum. Nobody ever mentioned needing a state license. I'd look into that one to be sure about it.

    As for the storage tank, I looked for over a year for one that wasn't rusted out without any luck. Then I came across an aluminum fuel tank off a big rig. No rust.

    My solution was to mount it onto an old beat up trailer and pick up the fuel myself. I have two tanks on the trailer and buy 150 gallons at a time.

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