The need for portable fuel transfer has always been an issue for farmers, but today with expanding farm operations, the need for safe and efficient fuel transfer is greater than ever.
Due to rising demand and changing state and federal regulations regarding fuel transport, the design and manufacturing of fuel trailers and carts has grown to involve numerous manufacturing companies, designs and capacities.
Glen Parrett, national sales and marketing manager for HitchDoc Manufacturing in Jackson, Minnesota, says, “Safety is a primary concern. The days of a barrel on a flat rack or running gear are over. Farmers realize that transporting fuel is a serious business; therefore, transporting fuel in a well-built, self-contained DOT-approved fuel trailer assures safe transport of fuel.
From a regulatory perspective, yesterday’s fuel carts and trailers will not pass existing and future regulations; therefore, they will need to be replaced with DOT-approved fuel trailers in order to comply with state and federal laws and regulations.”
Of the manufacturers that responded to inquiries, the trailer types fell into two categories: a horizontal-cylindrical tank with open storage racks for accessories and rectangular tanks with fully enclosed storage compartments for tools, generators, air compressors, DEF tanks, etc.
The manufacturers spotlighted in this feature are not the only companies building fuel trailers in the U.S., but these manufacturers provided information in order to exhibit a range of fuel trailers available, and both custom build and ship the fuel trailer directly to you. A full list of the manufacturers that responded is included at the end of the article.
When shopping for a fuel trailer, it is important to keep in mind the conditions where you intend to use the fuel trailer and the demands you will be placing on your fuel trailer.
Be sure to compare the specs of the trailers before you purchase. The trailers that are built light for ease of towing may not stand up to the demands of off-road farm use as well as the heavier-built trailers.
If it is basic utility and affordability you are looking for, ACME Tow Dolly Company, Kemersville, North Carolina, builds fuel trailer models in 390-gallon, 500-gallon and 1,000-gallon versions.
These trailers come standard with the following features: full interior baffle for surge control, 25 GPM 12Vdc, dual fuel pump suitable for gas or diesel, 12-foot hose with automatic nozzle, digital reset-able fuel flow meter, 10-micron in-line Aquasorb and debris fuel filter, fuel-level indicator, 2-inch passive vent valve, 4-inch emergency vent valve, lockable fill cap, tank painted white and properly labeled for fuel, made from 12- or 7-gauge steel, depending on the size of the model.
The trailers for the 500-gallon and 1,000-gallon “Eze-Gas” models come standard with the following: tandem 3,500-pound torsion axles with electric brakes, a 3-foot tool storage area on the front to serve as a tool catch or for mounting a toolbox, pumps, reel kits, etc., four 16-inch (eight-bolt) galvanized wheels, 10-ply 3,600-pound rated tires, mounted spare tire and wheel.
LED marker and taillights, all proper lighting and reflective tape as required by DOT, your choice of coupler, trailer painted black, Federal Compliance decal with assigned VIN number and original title. The trailer is 15 feet long and 90 inches wide. Every diesel gas trailer has a one-year warranty, fuel pump has a two-year warranty, and the tank has a one-year warranty.
The standard model 1,000-gallon fuel trailer weighs in at 1,330 pounds with a starting price of $7,987 plus shipping. Many optional features are available for these fuel trailers. ACME Tow Dolly builds these fuel trailers custom to your order and will ship them anywhere in the country. For more information you can go to the website ACME Tow Dolly or phone (336) 996-4396.
Rectangular fuel trailers with enclosed compartments
Because many of today’s farming operations are spread over multiple locations miles apart, many farms are looking to more advanced fuel trailers to accommodate their needs.
When discussing the advantages to today’s advanced fuel trailers, Parrett says, “The utility capabilities of a fuel cart have become an extension of the modern maintenance shops that are part of a farmer’s current operation. Fuel carts can be outfitted with tool boxes, generators, air compressors, etc., making them a literal shop on wheels.”
These trailers are built on a rectangular design; the fuel tanks are centrally located with enclosed cargo compartments in the nose and rear of the trailer, allowing your fuel trailer to be the complete mobile service vehicle.
HitchDoc builds enclosed fuel trailers and carts that are designed with the tank independent of the chassis. This design, combined with torsion axles, allows the fuel cart to handle the structural challenges related to transporting heavy loads and off-road conditions with ease.
HitchDoc is compliant with DOT and Canadian regulations. Fuel tanks are removable and can be replaced with larger or smaller tanks without purchasing a new unit or modifying the existing unit.
The tank is warranted against defects in material and workmanship under normal use for five years from the date of purchase. The trailer and frame are warranted against defects in material and workmanship under normal use for one year from the date of purchase.
The fuel cart is upgrade-able, allowing for the addition of a DEF tank, auxiliary oil tank, toolbox and utility box any time after the purchase of a unit. The rear platform provides easy access for filling the tank and also provides a means for adding a utility box, welder, air compressor, generator or other maintenance and service equipment.
Standard features for the HitchDoc fuel trailers include nose storage compartment, 10-gauge double-seam welded tank, removable full-length double-baffled tank, 1½-inch drain plug, electric brakes with breakaway system and safety chains, 25 GPM 12-volt fuel pump, 1-inch-by-35-inch hose with retractable reel and auto shut-off nozzle, 10-micron fuel filter, 7,000-pound lift jack (with removable plate if jack becomes damaged).
Dual torsion axles (3,500-pound – HFC 500 and 6,000-pound – HFC750 and HFC990), DOT-approved tail, stop, front and rear marker lights, adjustable 2 5/16-inch ball hitch, fuel gauge located on top with fuel level indicator, rock guard kit to protect fuel tank and front of fenders, and bolt-on fenders.
HitchDoc fuel trailers can be equipped with many optional features including: 40 GPM gas-powered pump with electric start, custom paint, pintle hitch, fluid meters, solar panel charging kit, DEF tanks/pumps and much more.
HitchDoc trailers start at $9,700 plus freight and can be shipped anywhere in the U.S. For more information go to the website HitchDoc’s or call (800) 446-8222.
Additional sources for horizontal-cylindrical fuel trailers
Lee Agricultural Manufacturing
Dealerships: Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa and Texas
Fuel trailer models available: DT475, DT975, DOT 500 and DOT 990
Contact LEEAGRA.COM or call (800) 825-3346 for more information.
Author’s comments: Well-built heavy-duty farm fuel trailer.
Additional sources for rectangular fuel trailers with enclosed compartments
Thunder Creek Equipment
Dealerships: more than 500 in the U.S. and Canada
Fuel trailer models available: FST500, FST750 and FST990.
Contact Thunder creek Equipment or call (866) 535-7667
Author’s comments: Top-end product. Very well-built using 7-gauge steel with double-welded seams. Many optional features make these fuel trailers stand out as mobile service units.
Fuel Pro Trailers
Delivered to all 50 states and Canada.
Fuel trailer models available: 750/990 base models (BM), 750/990 front box (FB), 750/990 rear box (RB) and 750/990 front/middle/rear box (FMR).
Contact FuelPRO trailers or call (419) 294-0400
Author’s comments: Very versatile product. Lots of options and room to accommodate accessories.
There are many companies building fuel trailers today beyond those listed in this article, so as you begin your search, remember to check on product availability and check that the specifications of the fuel trailer you choose meets your needs and federal, state and local fuel transportation regulations. PD
Michael J. Thomas is a freelancer based in Idaho.
PHOTO: Photo provided by Bill Elverman, Thunder Creek Equipment.