How to Select the Right Transfer Fuel Tank for Construction Sites

Uses for a Fuel Tank at a Construction Job Site
Features to Consider
Environmental Compliance and Features
Considerations by Job Location
Security and Fuel Tracking
Temporary Fuel Tank Safety Considerations
How to Store Fuel at a Construction Site
Benefits of Working With a Precision Metal Manufacturer for OEM and Custom Fuel Tanks
Partner With Superior Manufacturing Company for Custom Fuel Transfer Tanks

While some companies might use permanent fuel tanks, above-ground transfer tanks provide more mobile solutions so that businesses can transport essential materials across several locations. Construction companies use steel, aluminum or stainless steel transfer fuel tanks to move fuels, typically diesel, between sites or different parts of a site. Workers must have a transfer pump to pump fuel directly into the equipment from a transfer fuel tank.

An above-ground fuel transfer tank is much easier to clean, maintain and inspect than other fuel tank alternatives, as inspection professionals and crews can access above-ground tanks without digging. Below, we’ll discuss the uses and benefits of fuel transfer tanks and environmental considerations, as well as how to choose a tank.

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Uses for a Fuel Tank at a Construction Job Site

A fuel transfer tank keeps equipment on a construction site running, saving the time it takes to fuel off-site. The construction industry uses site tanks to minimize fueling times and, therefore, downtime.

The benefits of using fuel transfer tanks for construction sites include the following:

  • Reduce downtime: Waiting for fuel trucks to arrive at your job site or searching for fuel in town wastes valuable time. Fuel transfer tanks allow crews to fuel on-site, keeping a job site running and minimizing downtime.
  • Fuel anywhere: Worksites in remote areas may be far from fuel sources. Portable fuel tanks provide a fueling option to keep equipment in rural or secluded environments working without you visiting an urban fueling station.
  • Fuel faster: Some fuel transfer tanks for construction sites allow for fueling several machines simultaneously, saving time.
  • Save money: Many companies pay crews hourly. If workers aren’t efficient at the gas station or spend time searching for a place to refuel, they cost your company money. On-site fuel management provides a solution, reducing the time it takes to refuel.


Features to Consider

When selecting a fuel transfer tank, you’ll want to contemplate the specific fuel storage and transfer requirements for each site. Because different job sites necessitate various construction site transfer tanks, you’ll want to select a tank with features to suit your purposes:

  • Size: Consider your company’s needs when selecting the fuel tank’s size. Account for how much fuel different operations require and how often you need to refill a tank. While smaller jobs may only need a 60-gallon tank, more extensive operations may require tanks that can hold more than 200 gallons. Ideally, you should only have to refill tanks a maximum of once a month to reduce risks. Larger tanks are also less portable, so construction companies that frequently move tanks should consider smaller alternatives.
  • Type of tank: Round tanks are a traditional fuel transport tank shape. However, these models require workers to clean secondary containment parts, which is costly and time-consuming. Newer cubed tanks are often double-walled, which permits the exclusion of a secondary basin.
  • Number of ports: Fuel storage tanks with multiple in and out ports can serve as both an auxiliary fuel supply and fuel transport method.
  • Type of fuel: The type of fuel you use impacts the fuel transfer tank you should select. Double-walled tanks are best for storing and transporting flammable liquids, as they better protect contents from the elements. You’ll also need a different tank for each fuel type you have on-site.


Environmental Compliance and Features

Above-ground transfer tanks are regulated under the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) regulation (40 CFR 112). The SPCC rule strives to protect bodies of water from oil spills. Because the policy considers above-ground fuel transfer tanks larger than 55 gallons to be bulk oil storage containers, construction companies must ensure the tanks are compliant.

Companies must follow two types of secondary containment requirements:

  • General: General secondary containment requirements dictate construction crews must take measures to contain more likely fuel spills. Examples include drainage systems, spill barriers like mats, drip and sumps and collection systems. All job sites must adhere to these requirements.
  • Specific or size-specific: Intended for bulk storage containers and portable fuel tanks, specific requirements address significant problems such as a tank failure. Containment methods must hold at least the largest tank’s total capacity and additional precipitation room for transfer tanks.


The EPA requires companies to regularly test tanks. While trained personnel can conduct external visual inspections, a specialized technician must complete integrity tests. Evaluations should follow industry standards.

Construction companies can also equip tanks with specific features to prevent and manage spills. Such gauging systems include:

  • Tank gauge and pump system communication system
  • Liquid pump cut-off devices
  • Regularly inspected liquid level meters and sensing devices
  • High-level alarms


Considerations by Job Location

Each job location has different characteristics. Therefore, various job sites will require different types of transfer tanks. Crews should evaluate whether certain features may improve a site’s operations. Remote locations, in particular, may necessitate portable, sturdy tanks with remote fuel tracking capabilities and additional power sources like batteries and solar.

How much fuel a site needs and how mobile crews need the fuel supply will determine the fuel tanks’ sizes. For example, a larger area with many pieces of equipment requiring fuel may need more or larger transfer tanks. The amount of space available on a job site also influences the number and size of tanks needed.

Managers in charge of sites that require highly mobile fuel should select tanks approved by the Department of Transportation for trailer mounting. These tanks typically hold between 200 and 1,000 gallons and are ideal for supplying fuel to remote job sites. Because many of these sites are only accessible via rough roads or rocky terrain, these tanks must be sturdy enough to withstand these harsher environments. Consider selecting a tank that multiple global safety organizations have certified, as it has passed rigorous testing.

If a tank can hold more than 1,000 gallons, crews should consider how to move the tank around the site. While crews may have to move round tanks with a crane or loader, some larger cube tanks may include pockets for forklifts.

Security and Fuel Tracking

Keeping fuel transfer tanks on your job site helps your company better track fuel usage, including whether employees are honestly using company credit cards to refuel equipment off-site. All companies hope employees properly use these company assets. However, employees can, unfortunately, take advantage of a business’s trust by stealing fuel for their personal uses. On-site fuel transfer tanks prevent this problem by allowing crews to refuel without leaving the site.

While on-site above-ground tanks may prevent crews from stealing fuel with company credit cards, construction site fuel storage tanks are also vulnerable to fuel theft from strangers. These people may sneak onto sites and siphon fuel with a tube or pump during the night. However, you have several ways to help ensure your fuel stays secure.

When installing a new tank on a site, consider its location. Tanks located in easily visible areas close to a road or pathway may be more vulnerable to theft. Instead, try to place tanks in a spot that is not easily visible to the public but where crews can still easily access them.

Construction crews should also secure all manual tanks and surrounding gates with high-quality padlocks that tools may struggle to cut through. Tanks with electric pumps should have the power turned off at night or when not in use and features locked.

Fuel monitors offer another solution to increase security, tracking fuel levels to ensure fuel is secure on a site and crews are using it at an appropriate rate. Remote fuel monitoring also allows you to track different types of fuel usage to tell which fuels crews have used. Beyond helping prevent fuel theft, these systems can optimize fuel management. Fuel tracking systems reduce the need for manual fuel checking, freeing your crews to complete more pressing tasks.

Many fuel monitoring systems send alerts when fuel levels are low to optimize refilling and fuel delivery schedules, saving time and money. Others may offer automatic tank refilling. Authorized personnel can track historical fuel usage trends to streamline fuel use and management.

Temporary Fuel Tank Safety Considerations

Safe fuel handling and storage are crucial for any construction operation. You should be aware of the following when making a transfer fuel tank purchase and creating a fuel tank safety plan:

  • Testing: Each above-ground transfer fuel tank must undergo regular testing to ensure its structural integrity, including pressure and storage capacity and the strength of its structural foundation. The type of testing depends on the container’s purpose, design and size. However, regardless of the tank’s use, inspections must include a visual survey in addition to scientific techniques like hydrostatic or radiographic testing. During inspections, you should also monitor tanks for corrosion.
  • Training: Employers should conduct annual fuel tank safety reviews to ensure all crew members understand how to contain, dispense and clean fuel. Discuss spill prevention and how to handle accidents like leaks or explosions. You can also use these regular training sessions to update staff on new company fuel handling policies, including inspecting and using tanks.
  • State legal requirements: Different states have various legislation explaining different above-ground transfer tanks for construction sites. For example, some states require extra alarms for tanks or that companies label attachments with different colors based on their purpose. Many codes regulate above-ground tanks, including the International Fire Code (IFC), National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). You should also check that the tank you select has the proper certifications to keep your crews safe.
  • Proper filling: Train staff to only fill tanks to 95% capacity. Temperature fluctuations can cause the fluid to expand. If a tank is full with no room for the liquid to expand, the increasing pressure levels could pose a safety threat.


How to Store Fuel at a Construction Site

Construction companies often store on-site fuel above the ground. An above-ground tank has a simpler installation that eliminates the need for excavating and backfilling. Further, above-ground tanks provide a portable, easy-to-maintain on-site fuel storage solution. The benefits of using above-ground on-site fuel transfer tanks include:

  • More accessible to service, including cleaning, maintenance and inspection
  • Portable to serve several sites
  • Fewer regulations
  • Lower upfront, installation and maintenance costs
  • Fast fueling, as trucks can back up to tanks


Benefits of Working With a Precision Metal Manufacturer for OEM and Custom Fuel Tanks

A reputable precision metal manufacturer can supply quality, dependable fuel transfer tanks for your needs. These professionals work with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and other heavy-duty equipment manufacturers to provide high-quality fuel and hydraulic tanks. They can discuss your specific needs with you to develop the best fuel transfer tank solution, whether you’re creating a new product or updating an existing one.

Working with a precision metal manufacturer comes with many benefits, as they thoroughly test steel, stainless steel and aluminum fuel transfer tanks to ensure they’re rust and leakproof. Metal manufacturers make custom tanks in a range of sizes. They handle the entire process, from product design and engineering to shearing, punching, forming, welding, deburring and polishing. After working with you to create a fuel transfer and storage solution for your needs, a metal manufacturer will ship the finished product to you, already assembled and ready to install.

Working with a company with engineers on its team is incredibly beneficial. They have the technical expertise and design capabilities to create custom, cost-effective products for your needs, meaning you don’t have to spend time trying to build a fuel transfer tank in-house. The design process is as follows:

  • Consultation: A team of design engineers will consult with you to discuss your needs. Once you share your product specifications, the design and engineering team will determine the best method for executing your request. For example, a design engineer has the technical expertise to help guide you both in your product design and materials selection.
  • Planning: After discussing your needs, the team will draft a blueprint outlining the complete manufacturing process. Professional sheet metal engineers can even create functional designs that save you money, such as improving a product’s composition with design for manufacturing and staying up to date with modern technologies and design trends.
  • Prototype: To ensure you’re happy with the design, the engineering team should then create a prototype for your final review.


Following design, a precision metal manufacturer will then create, assemble and ship your products.

Partner With Superior Manufacturing Company for Custom Fuel Transfer Tanks

Working with a precision metal manufacturer is especially beneficial for OEMs specializing in bulk orders. For more than 75 years, Superior Manufacturing has been an industry leader in precision metal manufacturing. We handle the entire fuel and hydraulic tank manufacturing process from design to assembly without using third-party contractors. The result is consistently high-quality products.

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Contact us today to learn more about how our team can create custom products for you or request a quote!

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