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Fueling When Tanker Is Present?


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25 replies to this topic

#1 blitz

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Posted 29 October 2004 - 11:03 AM

As kind of an informal survey, I wonder how many people on this board avoid getting gas when the tanker is present?

I always avoid fueling my car when the tanker's in sight to avoid getting stirred-up sediment & rust water in my fuel system, but I'm amazed to see drivers that do. In fact, at the station I frequent, I see the same amount of people at the pumps when the tanker is present than when it isn't. Out of curiosity, in trying to fit a profile, I'm finding no pattern. Male, female, black, white, old, young, fuel-sipping compact drivers, brainiac pickup truck dudes, they're all present. Even Subarus.

I wonder if they're oblivious to any risk, or do they just not care? Is this actually something to be concerned about?

#2 Legacy777

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Posted 29 October 2004 - 11:23 AM

I try not to get gas when the tanker is there. I have done it before.

I think some of the getting gas when the tanker is there problems are more myths. There is probably some truth to them though on older stations especially.

#3 rweddy

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Posted 29 October 2004 - 11:41 AM

As kind of an informal survey, I wonder how many people on this board avoid getting gas when the tanker is present?

I always avoid fueling my car when the tanker's in sight to avoid getting stirred-up sediment & rust water in my fuel system, but I'm amazed to see drivers that do. In fact, at the station I frequent, I see the same amount of people at the pumps when the tanker is present than when it isn't. Out of curiosity, in trying to fit a profile, I'm finding no pattern. Male, female, black, white, old, young, fuel-sipping compact drivers, brainiac pickup truck dudes, they're all present. Even Subarus.

I wonder if they're oblivious to any risk, or do they just not care? Is this actually something to be concerned about?

I do the same, my brother work at a gas station in High school and they told him the same thing. I know they have filters, but I wonder how often they change them??

#4 99obw

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Posted 29 October 2004 - 11:47 AM

I avoid gas stations when the tanker is present. I am most worried about the layer of water sitting on the bottom of the tank. It's a virtual certainty that this will be disturbed and could get into the car's tank. I change my fuel filters regularly so I am not terribly worried about the particulate contamination.

#5 NOMAD327

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Posted 29 October 2004 - 12:09 PM

the other way to look at it is that those people valiantly pumping stirred up fuel are doing their best to keep the tanks cleaned up for the rest of us.

#6 Setright

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Posted 29 October 2004 - 12:21 PM

Don't pumps in the states have a sight glass at each "gun"?


Over here we can see what we're pumping.

#7 86subaru

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Posted 29 October 2004 - 12:22 PM

i always smoke a big-o cigar , while the tanker truck is there

#8 sios

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Posted 29 October 2004 - 01:45 PM

Don't pumps in the states have a sight glass at each "gun"?

Um, maybe only when the covers are removed. :)

I know I've seen a fuel filter glass bowl at one time; a modern box-shaped pump had a panel off of it, I suppose for maintenance or repair.

I don't think the general public (mostly everyone) cares to see what the gasoline going into their vehicles looks like.

I've heard many stories about bad gas, locally and elsewhere. Cars that broke down before or immediately after leaving the station. I purposely try to get gas at places on hills, not flat or low areas, because I'm afraid of ground water contamination.

#9 99obw

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Posted 29 October 2004 - 01:56 PM

Basically ALL gasoline pumped from underground tanks contains water. When the fuel is drawn out, atmospheric air is drawn in through the vents, the air cools (underground=~55°F) and the moisture condenses. The gas pickups in the tanks are set up off of the bottom for this reason, but when it's all being disturbed by an inrush of gasoline, the water is most likely no longer only on the bottom.

#10 Setright

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Posted 29 October 2004 - 02:12 PM

Most pumps here have a globular sightglass just below the gun.

#11 blitz

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Posted 29 October 2004 - 03:17 PM

I did work at a filling station for a short period after I graduated high-school and one of the duties of the evening shift was to check the fuel level AND "water" level in the tanks with a long measuring stick. It was more of a muddy, rusty, nasty looking crud than clear water. Then again, this was quite a while ago, back when the tanks were steel rather than fiberglass.

#12 forester2002s

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Posted 29 October 2004 - 03:37 PM

I keep away from filling stations when the tanker truck is there.

But my main reason is safety. That truck is like a bomb. I don't want to be anywhere near it when something goes wrong. Same goes for propane trucks.

On a related note, one of my most frightening driving experiences involved a tanker truck. I was passing a tanker truck on the freeway; we were both going at high speed; when I was exactly level with the truck's rear axle, one of his tires exploded, and he started fishtailing. Boy oh boy, I thought that my days were over. Fortunately, the truck driver regained control, and we both lived to tell the tale.

#13 applegump

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Posted 29 October 2004 - 03:41 PM

I stay away when the fuel tanker is there for safety. BTW an empty tanker is more dangerous to suddenly exploding than a full one due to the air fuel mxture being optimal when empty.

#14 Legacy777

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Posted 29 October 2004 - 05:39 PM

I've got a tanker story. This was a month or so. I was in my cube, and one of the directors comes over and starts looking out the window. There was a HUGE plume of black smoke and flames on the 610 loop here in Houston. Apparently a tanker truck was going to fast, and traffic was backing up at the off ramp.....he couldn't stop in time, plowed into several cars, rolled over and the thing burst into a huge fireball. They had both sides (4-5 lanes) closed for several hours. The thing burned for a good hour or so. It was crazy. We got a pretty good view from our building though :)

#15 operose

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Posted 29 October 2004 - 07:03 PM

WAIT WAIT WAIT WAIT WWWWAAAIIITTT!

you have a window in your cubicle? I feel robbed... my cubicle (don't even have assigned cubicles.... whichever one is open) has three walls, a computer, a corkboard, and a desk......

#16 SevenSisters

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Posted 29 October 2004 - 07:07 PM

Dittos. Don't fuel up when the tanker is discharging.
For what it's worth, I've talked to people that pull into a station that's receiving gas because they think it is fresher. They probably didn't realize a typical station gets at least one load a day.

Does any body buy Top Tier gas?

#17 86subaru

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Posted 29 October 2004 - 07:07 PM

i have had tires blow out on me before , trailer or drives , sounds like a shoot gun, i few years back i had a younger guy fall asleep and side swap the drive tires and then, along the trailer ,and i was hauling hazard material [ glow in the dark stuff] , to be honest i was safer in my truck than in my car , his car blew out 1 of my trailer tires .

#18 Hondasucks

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Posted 29 October 2004 - 07:18 PM

Funny thing is, there is NO federal standard for fuel cleanliness, be it gas or diesel fuel...

#19 THAWA

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Posted 29 October 2004 - 10:37 PM

I avoid gas stations when the tanker is present. I am most worried about the layer of water sitting on the bottom of the tank. It's a virtual certainty that this will be disturbed and could get into the car's tank. I change my fuel filters regularly so I am not terribly worried about the particulate contamination.


I've never seen inside a tank but one would think the suction would happen near the bottom of the tank. So why is it not a good idea to get gas while the tanker is there? If water is heavier than gas it will sink to the bottom eventually right?

#20 Setright

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Posted 30 October 2004 - 01:33 AM

Josh, with a window it doesn't qualify as a "cubicle". Keep it quite or Dogbert will come and paint over your daylight!

#21 99obw

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Posted 30 October 2004 - 07:53 AM

Josh, with a window it doesn't qualify as a "cubicle". Keep it quite or Dogbert will come and paint over your daylight!


ROFL!!! Then the evil pointy-haired boss will move you to the basement and take your stapler away. Wait, I think I'm getting this mixed up.

I've never seen inside a tank but one would think the suction would happen near the bottom of the tank. So why is it not a good idea to get gas while the tanker is there? If water is heavier than gas it will sink to the bottom eventually right?


Eventually sure it will settle again but if you are pumping while it's all mixed up you might get some in your tank.

#22 blitz

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Posted 30 October 2004 - 07:58 AM

I've never seen inside a tank but one would think the suction would happen near the bottom of the tank. So why is it not a good idea to get gas while the tanker is there? If water is heavier than gas it will sink to the bottom eventually right?


The siphon's located a specific number of inches from the bottom to allow for condensate, which is why it's important that the condensate level be checked daily. I recall routinely reading three or four inches of water with the instruction to immediately phone the station manager if the reading reached a given figure (six?), but I don't recall the exact number. This was at a corporate-owned Amoco which was corner-located on a major metro Detroit intersection. I was never informed as to how the level was kept in check, whether by siphoning out the condensate, or by gentle, continuous emulsification (dry gas).

#23 THAWA

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Posted 30 October 2004 - 09:14 AM

ah okay, that makes sense then.

#24 Legacy777

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Posted 30 October 2004 - 10:45 AM

No I don't have a window in my cube. My cube is just backed up against the side of the building, with a 3 ft walkway to the next cube in the back. The building is a glass facade building, so I can swivel around in my chair and see outside.

It's the building in the building in the background for my pics
http://www.surrealmi...21/DCP_3516.JPG
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#25 Ranger83

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Posted 30 October 2004 - 10:55 AM

So, have any of you ever gotten water in your fuel after refueling while the tanker was there? I've never had a problem.




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