Fueling alternatives for aggregate producers to consider

By |  August 4, 2022
Photo: Western Global

By integrating an on-site tank and wet hosing strategy, fleet managers can best utilize their resources and efficiently service their fueling needs. Photo: Western Global

Finding a solution for a fleet’s fueling needs can be a complex process, with many factors for aggregate producers to consider.

While fleet managers may often request wet hosing operations from fuel distributors, it’s worth understanding alternative methods and the benefits of bulk fuel storage.

Challenges of wet hosing

Sometimes called wheel-to-wheel fueling, wet hosing can be labor-intensive and expensive. Drivers require hazmat endorsement and a CDL. The service is often used at night when equipment on-site isn’t working or trucks won’t be in the way of day-to-day operations. As a result, refueling can take all night. And because of the job’s demands, there’s often a high driver turnover rate.

The potential of missed deliveries poses another challenge with wet hosing. Wet hosing relies on people, consistency and a keen focus on logistics and scheduling – all things prone to mistakes.

Underestimating fill times and overscheduling a driver is easy to do, as is accidentally missing a stop on a busy night. Drivers call in sick and equipment breaks down, further increasing the potential for a missed delivery.

So although wet hosing appears to be, at first glance, a great way to fuel a fleet, a hard look at the risks and headaches associated quickly indicates some serious evaluation is necessary.

With new technology and equipment, producers have the opportunity to limit the applications that truly require wet hosing service while efficiently and effectively using on-site tanks that allow them to take responsibility for their own fueling demands.

Determining the wet hosing need

Wet hosing provides a valuable service for fleets in the aggregate industry. But while the method provides convenient portability for fueling, it’s not always the best choice for every situation.

For stationary equipment like generators, wet hosing may seem like the only option. But a service truck equipped with a trailer-mounted tank easily fulfills the mission for those willing to invest in drivers, tank technology and certifications.

Success depends on finding a tank that can be easily and safely transported while full. Square tanks with the proper licensing can be transported full and are conveniently trailer mounted. This allows crews to do their own wheel-to-wheel fueling, offering the best of both worlds. Fuel is always available, and usage can be monitored.

For producers, making this decision requires a keen attention to their needs, the right tank offering and an ability to work through the added profit potential of buying fuel in bulk and controlling their own supply.

Wet hosing often offers the preferred option for customers in areas with rigid regulations regarding above-ground fuel tanks. In these instances, the number of tanks available to meet strict codes is very limited, and wet hosing is often a practical solution. By integrating an on-site tank and wet hosing strategy – reserving wet hosing for those applications that strictly demand it – fleet managers can best utilize their resources and efficiently service their fueling needs.

Many producers look to wet hosing as a solution for theft prevention, accurate fuel tracking and budget forecasting. Because the distributor maintains control of the fuel at all times, the chances of theft are virtually eliminated, and fleet managers receive a detailed report of how much fuel went into each piece of equipment with each fuel drop. This allows for easily forecasting future fuel use.

While technology exists to control theft and track fuel use with on-site storage tanks, few manufacturers offer an integrated, comprehensive solution. Knowing the technology exists and finding the right manufacturer to partner with substantially increases confidence in alternative on-site methods.

Integrated on-site systems offer technology that locks the tank to any user without a card key to unlock the dispense controls, preventing unauthorized use or theft. In addition, because each key card is unique, the system determines which driver is taking fuel, along with refueling frequency and amount of fuel used. This remote-monitoring capability aids in tracking how and where fuel is used, as well as forecasting consumption and costs for the life of the job.

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