As anyone on a farm or ranch can tell you, diesel fuel storage around can be a hassle.
When we moved out to our ranchette, I bought several 5-gallon “jerry cans” to keep a supply of gasoline and diesel. These allow me to keep going during the day and push my fuel runs to the evening. However, true luxury is having a supply tank at the ready, forgoing the nightly fuel raids.
The Fat Rancher looked into buying one of those elevated steel tanks that real ranchers have to keep their equipment fueled. However, I wasn’t keen on having the local fuel truck trundling out to refill the monstrosity.
So when I saw the American Fuel Tank diesel shuttle, I was intrigued. Call this Tupperware for your tractor. It’s a blow-molded plastic tank with an integral fuel pump and dispensing handle. But don’t be fooled: This nifty product is imported from Italy, which explains some of its cost.
With a 116-gallon fuel storage capacity, this tank has a built-in 12-volt pump and fueling handle. Just connect the supply leads to the battery on your equipment and start pumping. Properly secured to a forklift, the tank can be moved when full.
The fill cap is under the protective lid and adjacent to a mechanical fuel gauge. The unique integrated design has recessed storage for the nozzle and even drip galleys to minimize any mess. The business area is protected from rainwater by a raised lip and a cover that fits over that lip.
Operating the AFT Diesel Tank is a no-brainer. The pump has an on-off switch and fuel bypass to help cool the pump when fuel isn’t flowing. The pump volume was more than adequate and the hose nozzle operates just like the nozzle at your favorite gas station. Note that leaving the pump running with no fuel flowing will eventually cause the pump to thermal cycle off. But really, your 15-20 gallon equipment tank is going to fill pretty quickly. So there really isn’t any reason to leave it unattended.
The lockable hasps are best used to keep the lid in place. They wouldn’t stand up to a screwdriver pry, so they really aren’t for security. If you are worried about theft of your fuel, you would be better off spending $2500 on a steel fuel storage solution with a steel cover. See the Western Industries Fuel Cube.
The AFT tanks come complete with the exception of a fuel filter. But that can be added at a nominal cost. The nice thing about these tanks is that you can load them on your trailer and take them down to your local gas station and fill them up. Then bring them back to the ranch and unload it.
Pricing on the 116-gallon diesel shuttle is $1199 plus shipping. Not cheap. But what price convenience? The price is comparable to a standing gravity-fed tank. However, you get the added benefit of portability. And, it will never rust out…
Note that this particular tank is for diesel fuel only. AFT has tanks rated for gasoline but they are $300 more expensive. I imagine this additional cost is due to the static management of the components.
The American Fuel Tank AM-TANK-DIESEL-116gl is a handy piece of equipment to have access to. My only regret is not having a matching gasoline tank!