Fuel Storage Challenges In Remote Locations

fuel storage tank in remote locations

Remote control – getting fuel storage right in remote locations

When you’re a regional council or a transport business operating in a remote location, fuel usage is a significant cost.

fuel storage tank in remote locations

Our experience working with remote operations means we know where your pain points are, and we can help you design solutions that are right for you.

Broadly, some of the most common problems our remote customers face relate to fuel theft and inefficient refuelling logistics.

Think creatively – explore the latest fuel storage options

Losing fuel by theft from your tank or your vehicle is a common problem.
Many operators try to run fuel levels down at the end of every day to minimise the attraction for would-be thieves, but fuel storage has come a long way and the range of fuel theft solutions available is as extensive as the different needs of remote operations.

If you want to make a positive change that will help contain fuel costs and boost your bottom line, a good starting point is your fuel storage tanks. It may seem obvious, but this is an area where upgrading to newer solutions can have a huge impact.

For example, we’ve worked over the last several years with a local council covering a region of 94,000 hectares in outback Australia. When they first came to us, their fuel storage systems consisted of old-style, single skinned tanks in frames mounted to semi-trailers. While the trailers could transport the tanks to their various work locations, they were then there for the duration of the job – often several months. What’s more, the tanks weren’t secure and could easily be drained by thieves.

Upgrading to our aboveground fuel storage tanks that are self bunded and fully transportable meant not only was the fuel far more secure in dual-walled environment with lockable access hatches, but the tanks could easily be transported between work sites and left on-site while the truck and trailer went back into the fleet, maximising use of their equipment.

What’s more, moving from old-style cylindrical tanks at their depots meant they could significantly increase their storage capacity without increasing their storage footprint.
Finally, fuel theft was reduced because, after all, it’s a lot harder to break into a fuel tank that’s double-skinned and has lockable access doors. Using a modern, integrated fuel management system that can monitor usage to the litre also makes it easy to identify and address problems early.

Act logically – getting the logistics right

Once you’ve considered the tanks you’re using, the next step is to look at the location of your storage and your fuel management systems.

If your vehicles have to travel long distances to refuel, that’s an inefficient use of time, fuel and plant resources.

There’s a human resources element too – when you’re covering large distances and have fuel stored at one or two sites, sending somebody out to read fuel levels and monitor usage can be a significant task.

Talking to an expert about the best solution to suit your workflow can help you find new ways to maximise efficiency and minimise waste.

Using a combination of fixed fuel storage at depots or bases, with mobile tanks that can be dropped at remote work sites and moved to meet work requirements, is often a good choice. And with the introduction of modern level gauging systems that can monitor fuel levels remotely, it’s now easier than ever to monitor fuel levels and usage at all your storage locations without the expense of manual checks on site.

Ask us about a solution for your business

Whatever your business, if you’re working in a remote environment there’ll be challenges.
With more than 100 years combined experience in the fuel industry, our technicians are experts in remote refuelling solutions and can work with you to plan the best solutions for your operation.
Call us on 1300-651-391 or get in touch here.

Oil Storage for Commercial Businesses

oil-storage. oil drum spilling out oil

Commercial Oil Storage. Don’t slip up!

If you’re in any industry that runs a lot of vehicles or heavy machinery, no doubt you are keen to get the best value out of your fleet – and who isn’t? – there’s a fair chance you’ll at some stage consider designing or equipping a new vehicle maintenance facility for your business.

oil-storage. oil drum spilling out oil

A properly run maintenance depot can help your fleet operate at maximum efficiency with minimum downtime.

Getting your oil and lubricant storage right is one of the critical considerations – we’ve listed some of the key points to note for your transport facility.

The Good Oil – Avoid oil storage slip-ups

Keeping the oil you use in top condition is critical to your operations. Not only that, but getting oil storage wrong can be an expensive mistake.

For many transport operations, the best option is to design an oil storage room for storing bulk oil tanks, intermediate bulk containers (IBCs) and drums.

It’s worth consulting an expert when planning this part of your operation. You’ll need to check the storage regulations in your state to determine whether you need bunded tanks, which are generally considered industry best practice.

Some operators consider constructing a bunded oil room as the most cost-effective option, but these days there are plenty of cost-effective self-bunded waste oil tank options in a variety of capacities that will give you the advantages of versatility and portability without the expensive capital works costs. What’s more, tanks like those in the F.E.S. TANKS range offer extra advantages like easy access for cleaning and testing the quality of your oil and fuel.

Self-bunded tanks vs IBCs

Did you know it is contrary to Australian Standards (AS1940) to store oils for dispensing in intermediate bulk containers (IBCs) unless you have high turnovers and can provide evidence that the container is being changed every 2-3 weeks?

The reason is that IBCs degrade due to UV exposure, making them non-compliant with the Australian Standards and not necessarily the optimum storage option for your products.

Hartex Engineering general manager Varuna Krishnaratna says insurance companies may also refuse to pay out for damage due to fires or oil spills from IBCs being incorrectly used as oil tanks.

The upshot is that if you opt for IBCs you might pay less initially, but the costs could be considerably more in the long-term in regular container replacement, compliance paperwork and containment.

Small volume waste oil tanks are a safe, economical and convenient way to avoid the headaches if you need to store and dispense smaller quantities of oils or lubricants, and importantly these small cube tanks are fully compliant with Australian standards.

F.E.S. Bloc tanks are built from high grade steel with durable fittings. They are all finished with a heavy-duty 300 micron paint finish and are self-bunded with a secondary internal container. These tanks also come with forklift pockets and lifting eyes at each corner, while their cube styling gives maximum volume (more space efficient than drums) with a small footprint.

To find out more give the experts at F.E.S. TANKS a call on 1300-651-391 or get in touch via our web form.

Australia’s first self-loading relocatable self bunded bulk fuel storage solution

HULK - hydraulic un-loading kit for self bunded tanks

Australian-first self-loading, relocatable bulk fuel storage solution

THE search for a better fuel distribution solution for a remote inland shire council has led a Queensland collaboration to come up with an Australian-first. The Hydraulic Un-Loading Kit (HULK) is an optional self-loading system grafted onto a bulk self bunded tank.  It offers a complete self-sufficient relocatable bulk fuel storage solution – and this idea’s got legs!

Diamantina Shire Council on the border of Queensland, Northern Territory and South Australia understand the challenges of managing the dispensing, storage and relocation of fuel in remote locations. Construction sites in outback Australia present certain challenges, like a distinct lack of infrastructure and logistics that urban locations take for granted. It was this challenge that prompted Diamantina Shire Council to come up with the concept of a self-loading fuel storage system that would improve logistics, reduce costs and streamline the council’s remote refuelling operations.

Diamantina Shire Council appointed Cairns based Nqpetro, a specialist fuel fit-out company to help bring their concept to life. Nqpetro appointed the market leader in self bunded storage tanks, F.E.S. TANKS, and together the innovative HULK design was born.

The HULK will improve fuel management and logistical costs on hard-to-access remote work sites.

Here’s a demonstration of this impressive new system in action:

F.E.S. works with local government and major industry across Australia to provide innovative next-generation fuel storage solutions designed to take business into the future.

“They were using older style portable above-ground tanks and were continually having to move them, which posed a threat to the integrity of the tanks and a potential environmental and safety risk,” F.E.S. business development manager Daniel Porter says.

“They sometimes had three tanks on the back of a semi-trailer, chained to the tray.

“Theft was a problem too, because there were only certain ways you could lock the tanks.

“The previous fuel distribution systems were also very basic with no filtration and a 240V pump that was hooked up to extension leads.

“Anyone wanting to steal fuel could rock up after hours, plug in their power source and take as much as they wanted.”

The F.E.S. team, who are known for creating tailor-made fuel solutions for business, consulted on the adaption of the HULK system to a self-bunded, high quality 28,000-litre F.E.S. Grande tank. With it’s in-built hydraulic legs engaged it allows the truck to simply drive away while the tank lowers itself into position.

The system makes it easy to position and relocate tanks at remote sites without the cost or logistical issues associated with a crane lift.

It means the council can more securely and safely carry high volumes in a single self-bunded tank, virtually eliminating the risk of fuel leaks due to structural breaches.

The HULK also dramatically reduces opportunities for theft, with the pump contained inside a lockable door, with a separate lockable isolation switch.

The pump has 24V and 12V options so it can be battery powered in case of power failures.

“Basically, it means they can go easily to more remote sites with a bigger volume of fuel storage and enhanced safety, portability and efficiency,” Daniel explains.

“As part of the engineering process we built in additional capacity too, so if they wanted to we could use the system on even our Grande 68,000-litre tanks.

“This system is already attracting plenty of attention from councils and has great potential for the civil construction sector too.”

F.E.S. TANKS would like to extend a big outback thankyou to Diamantina Shire Council for the opportunity to be a part of such an industry changing concept.

For details on how the HULK or other self-loading options from F.E.S. TANKS could work in your situation, contact us on 1300-651-391 or get in touch via our contact form.

Top 5 Advantages of Fuel Tank Hire & Leasing

Why You Should Consider Fuel Tank Hire & Leasing

In any expanding project or times of business growth, outlay and capital can be two major hurdles that often need to be overcome while meeting increased demands and need for infrastructure.

fuel storage tanks - hire or buy

Whether its covering the cost of implementing these systems or buying new equipment, investment is often required. Hiring and leasing can provide a great alternative to traditional purchasing that allows you to adjust to these changes in demand while minimizing purchasing and maintenance costs.

Why hire fuel storage?

Hiring and leasing is a flexible option for fuel storage that allows you to reduce your outlay to a monthly payment. In fact the cost of the fuel tank hire can be factored into your ongoing fuel purchases so it can be indexed to a fixed price per litre.

Whether it’s a short-term solution to cover some immediate fuel storage demand, such as a tank failure, or a long-term way of supplementing existing infrastructure to handle issues like seasonal variance and peak-demand.

Hiring and leasing fuel storage is a way of ramping up your fuel supply when its necessary and adding additional equipment as needed.

You can always purchase when you have a clearer picture of your needs. We run through our top 5 benefits of hiring below.

Minimal Initial Outlay

Hire and lease agreements are a great way of providing the means to cover immediate demand needs without a high amount of initial investment or cash-flow. Also, our fuel management and storage systems can be upgraded and the size of your leased equipment changed as your business does.

This flexibility can be very useful for businesses that want to test the waters before making a purchasing decision as it allows you to test or trial a system, and see how it performs on-site.

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Easy Set-Up & Maintenance

Providing all the benefits of a self-bunded system, that is a tank within a tank, these systems have a minimal on-site footprint and require no major external construction for safety compliance. You can read about the benefits of self-bunded tank design here.

All tanks come with a certified maintenance document to ensure fully operational for immediate use on site.

Our tanks also provide many features for easy maintenance, such as dual-manways for inspection and cleaning, a protective anti-corrosion coating and are fully certified for compliance with all Australian safety standards and regulations.

Relocatable & Convenient

Set up of our self-bunded tanks is as easy as dropping them on-site.

Whether the project is accessed by land, sea or air – hire tanks can be a great way of providing immediate access to fuel in remote areas, off-site projects and any situation where a long-term fuel storage solution may not be financially viable.

Add-ons for Fuel Management & Security

F.E.S. TANKS have a full range of dispensing equipment that can give your hired fuel tank all the capabilities of a refuelling station, and our fuel management systems mean you can even monitor and measure metrics like fuel consumption to help with accounting and budgeting.

Dispensing equipment allows your fuel storage to act as a refuelling station – your fleet vehicles and equipment can be refuelled directly from your hired storage tank.

Worried about fuel theft and security of your hire tank? We can also provide security solutions for your hired tank, such as user-account access, that make fuel theft virtually impossible.

Free Consultancy

F.E.S. TANKS consultants have years of experience in both fuel supply and distribution – and it’s all available to our customers free of charge.

Regardless of whether the decision is made to rent or buy – we ensure that you get the right system for your needs, and are happy to provide quotes free of charge.

Not only do our staff help you stay on top of all the technical stuff, like current regulations and compliance issues for your equipment, but we can also help you figure out a combination of lease and purchasing that fits your needs perfectly.

Longreach Council Depot – Fuel Dispensing Upgrade

Longreach Council Depot – Fuel Dispensing Upgrade

Recently we did a site installation of a GrandeX68 self bunded tank for Longreach Council in Queensland, Australia. They were desperate for a refuelling solution that would allow them greater speed and flexibility within the depot for refuelling machinery & trucks. The other requirement was full Australian standards compliance on the equipment and minimal disruption to existing operations during the installation phase. One of the biggest caveats around this was the need for MINIMAL building work.

The end product speaks for itself. It was a straight forward job with a satisfied customer at the end of the job.

We captured a great video of the installation team on route to the job.

The F.E.S. TANKS Convoy consisted of:

  • Puma Energy fuel delivery truck 120,000l capacity approx..
  • Semi-trailer with 67,120 safe fill level fuel storage tank.
  • Support vehicles and installation crew.

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What we hope it shows is the sense of size with our units and the massive capacity these tanks can hold.

self bunded tank seating

Bunded tank High Mast system

self bunded tank and puma energy refuelling truck

grandex68 self bunded tank longreach council depot

Make no mistake these are big commercial units that deliver big commercial efficiencies once installed.