Farming and Agriculture. The (Wo)Man on the Land

Do you run lots of machinery?

Fuel is probably one of your biggest expenses.

modern combine harvester working on a wheat crop

What do farmers need?

Australian farmers are as tough and tenacious as they come.

They Need To Be 

Farming in the 2000s means being on top of rapidly advancing science and technology – and business practice – while still battling hard against traditional enemies like drought, disease and competition with other industries for prime agricultural land.

Whether you’re helimustering across thousands of acres in WA or growing grain in the wheat belt, your operation depends on your fuel supply.

A reliable supply at the right price and the ability to meet environmental requirements, make the most of each load and keep your on-farm fuel secure


make a difference to your bottom line.

Top 3 Fuel Issues for Farmers

On-farm Fuel Security and Farm Fuel Theft

Time and again, farmers tell us fuel security is at the top of their list of farm fuel issues.

If you’re storing large quantities of fuel, theft can cost you thousands of dollars directly, not to mention the cost in lost productivity when storage tanks or machinery tanks in remote locations are drained, delaying essential work.

Fuel theft is very, very common around north-west NSW. Cotton farms carry an enormous amount of fuel and many pumps have large fuel tanks. They deliver fuel by the tanker on large broad acre cotton farms

Liz M-B
Cotton Farmer, Moree, NSW

University of New England research confirms more than one in five farmers have first-hand experience of the problem, with crop farms a particularly attractive target at harvest and seeding times, when tanks are full.

rates of reported crime on australian farms statistics 2014

Do you have Fuel Storage Issues?

Supply Security

When it comes time to harvest, or shift stock in remote areas, you need to know the fuel is on hand to do the job.Supply problems can be devastating, particularly when unforeseen problems at the big oil end leave communities short.

In December 2012, Victorian farmers received a huge wake-up call when large regional areas of the state ran out of diesel fuel after a problem at the Shell refinery at Geelong.

GrainGrowers Ltd says supply security is one of the issues causing concern, particularly with Australia importing much of its fuel, and farmers heavily reliant on road transport.

“With the closing of several fuel refineries across Australia in the last few years Australia is almost completely reliant on refined fuel from Singapore and other locations.”

Australia' oil refining future

The NRMA has released a series of reports on this issue as it lobbies for a national policy to stop the decline in refining capacity and reduce our reliance on imports.

Fuel and Transport Costs

Cost is huge, because we have to buy in bulk – it’s a huge outlay at one time, and coincidentally it mostly seems to come in the first month of the BAS quarter, so some time before we are able to claim any back.

We can store about 15,000 litres and get fuel in about three times a year, but because we can’t take a truckload we have to get it when others out this way are getting it, so we take it when it’s coming more often than trying to organise it when it’s cheaper.

Wendy S.
Grazier, Qld.

Despite the fuel excise rebate and the recent glut of oil on the world market bringing down the price of fuel, farmers say fuel still remains one of the largest cost inputs into farming.

The rebates are really important because if you are a big user of diesel, and fuel is one of the biggest variable costs you are facing, to add that extra cost will cut your margins.

The cost of bringing fuel on to farms and the cost of purchase all adds up.

Alastair Rayner
Rayner Ag

ABARES research shows in 2013-14 the national average fuel and oil spend per farm for crop farmers was more than $67,000, increasing to $114,000 for WA farms.

Cattle and sheep farmers aren’t immune either – in the Northern Territory, where properties cover huge areas, the average beef farm spent more than $131,000 on fuel in the same year.

Those costs increase when transport is factored in, making exercises in how much fuel to store on farm and when and how to buy an important aspect of business planning

The Other Challenges

It’s critical to keep fuel safe, keep people safe and keep the environment safe, and

juggling all three means keeping your eye on the ball.

As environmental and workplace health and safety regulations tighten, keeping up with practical fuel storage concerns and broader environmental and safety issues has become a full-time job.

Fuel infrastructure is not the sort of infrastructure that you regularly upgrade. An issue into the future is upgrading this equipment, because it’s a fairly restrictive cost.

The other side of things is making sure you have storage that meets environmental and WHS standards.

People have to make sure they are aware of the standards and compliant, and there’s a greater level of environmental compliance required now.

Alastair Rayner
Rayner Ag

Do you have Fuel Storage Issues?

Keeping Fuel Safe

There’s no point having a huge store of fuel if contaminants like water and algae creep in and spoil it. As well as wasting the initial purchase and transport costs, dirty or contaminated diesel can do significant damage to the machinery that keeps farms working.

Maximising fuel life and minimising waste means staying on top of storage and maintenance issues.

Problems like contamination and losses through leaking tanks or valves can add dramatically to the cost of farm operations, as can the need to replace poorly maintained storage systems.

It’s important to use a water finding paste to monitor regularly for water contamination – usually caused by condensation or leaking joins. Pumping out any water that’s collected under the fuel and treatment with biocides are recommended to help prolong storage life.

As well as maintaining the tank itself, fittings can also deteriorate over time and need to be properly maintained.

The hidden cost of a leaking tank or fittings

every 6 secs


4.3 Litres
per day


1,600 L
per year


Keeping People Safe

It’s important to have safe access to tanks for cleaning and refuelling

Safety issues over recent years have included new regulations around tripod tanks.

In 2005 NSW farmers using overhead tanks were forced to make expensive modifications after fuel distributors began to enforce tough new Workplace Health and Safety bans around access.

Traditionally the tanks were accessed from the top, which made safety a concern for tanker drivers refilling the supply.Because a driver must have three points of contact when refilling a tank, standing on a ladder while holding a nozzle was no longer an option once safety standards were tightened.

To comply with the new requirements, many farmers converted their tanks to bottom loading and at the same time installed gauges to make it easier to check fuel levels.

On the ground, stability of the tank stand itself is another issue when dealing with overhead storage.

It’s important to ensure solid foundations for the tank’s supports, and that the tank is properly earthed.

Rust spots and joint weaknesses can also be an issue as dents and deformations can shift the centre of gravity and establish corrosion stress points.

Looking After The Environment

Specific environmental by-laws differ across regions, but at a minimum Australian environmental regulations require a bunded area when more than 1200 litres of fuel is being stored.

Basically the law requires that tanks should be surrounded by a containment structure that will keep surrounding soil and water safe if a rupture or leakage occurs.

Not knowing the laws or taking shortcuts can be costly in environmental and monetary terms.

When spills do occur without proper protections in place the fuel is non-recoverable and large penalties apply, in addition to clean-up costs.

A problem clearly exists that frustrates farmers on a daily basis




That is why we created our unique range of self bunded fuel storage tanks. We cover all aspects of fuel compliance so "YOU" don't have to.


1,000 litres - 13,000 litres

A smaller more mobile storage option for small to intermediate fuel storage solutions


(Tank Sizes)






Customer Product Satisfaction

6000l diesel tank

BLOC Tanks

THE BLOC RANGE of tanks are designed for operators with the small to medium amounts of fuel usage. They are our most popular range because of their compact sizes, flexibility and the ease at which they can be moved or transported.

These tanks are like a first stage upgrade to an in-house refuelling solution.

Below are the refuelling benefits of a BLOC 4500 Tank for a range of common commercial vehicles.

farm fuel tank refilling guide

Do you have Fuel Storage Issues?


12,000 litres - 69,000 litres

The "Big Boys" of our product range.

Serious large scale fuel storage solutions for operators who shift larges amounts of fuel

(Tank Sizes)




Customer Product Satisfaction

69,000 bunded diesel tank

Grande Tanks

The Grande Tank Range is for the big operators that move at scale. Large volumes of fuel required to drive a large fleet of vehicles and equipment. These tanks have a self contained pump bay that is spec'd out to suit your exact requirement.

These tanks offer a great drag and drop solution with all internal fit-out done off site.

Grande Tank Pump Room Compartment

Grande Tank Pump Room Compartment

Big commercial farms that use tens of thousands of litres of fuel over peak periods are well suited to the GRANDE offering. Remember no underground works required here. Drag and drop. Job done.

Both the BLOC and GRANDE tank range are compatible with multiple fuel types

fuel compatibility key landscape

The Pros

  • Self bunded secondary tank containment system for additional environmental safety.
  • Off site fit-out. Minimal ground work requirements with drag and drop on-site installation. 
  • Easy refill and inspection access points.
  • Easy to move around and transport with flexible lifting options.
  • Extra thick paint finish as standard that protects tanks longer in harsh environments.
  • Tanks able to store different fuel types should operation requirements change.
  • No grief from environmental, workplace health and safety or local authority officers as our tanks have full compliance with Australian Standards and Workplace Health and Safety rugualtions.

The Cons

  • Unlike gravity fed tanks, our tanks need a fuel pump system and power source to operate.
  • The BLOC Tank does not include the price and cost of installation of fuel pump system.


So confident in our product we are offering a 100% FES manufacturers guarantee across our entire tank range. Your FES TANK is warranted to the original user against defects in workmanship or materials under normal use for a period of 24 months* after purchase date.


About Fuel Equipment Specialists Tanks

It is rewarding to be part of a company that is making a difference for the rural community of Australia.

I enjoy the outback jobs because you see first hand how it improves a farmers working day. You guys work hard enough so any little thing we can do to help works for me.

Any questions, get in touch using the contact form at the bottom of the page or call me personally on 1300 651 391 so as we can work through a solution.

Yes we can help. Fill out the form below.

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We work closely with you to ensure you get a superior product with A1 service at competitive prices. Simple.....

Frequently Asked Questions

What is included in the standard package?

Why aren’t you able to gravity feed from the bottom of the tank?

Are you able to transport/ move the tanks full?

Why aren't tanks supplied with pumps as standard?

How often does the tank need maintenance/ servicing?

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