Fuel Tankers At Suttons Tankers

Fuel logistics is a critical service to the country considering the importance that fuel plays in every aspect of our lives.

Here at Suttons Tankers, our position as a nationwide fuel supplier means that we help keep the country running. Our fuel delivery service encompasses roughly 8000 forecourts across the country and includes traditional fuel stations as well as private bus and delivery company depots.

This article will give you more of an insight into how our road tanker logistics team transport fuel using our tankers, and answer some common questions that people have about fuel logistics and fuel tankers in general, such as how much fuel does a petrol tanker hold and more.

Fuel tanker specifications UK

UK fuel tankers are made of aluminium instead of other materials such as stainless steel. Aluminium is a much safer material on these large tanks due to the levels of crevice corrosion that can occur on any welds.

Our tanks measure 15.5m long x 2.5m wide x 3.5m high and can transport up to 40,000L of fuel. Each tank has six internal compartments so that multiple types of fuel can be transported in one run.

Of course, there are two components to fuel tanker transport: the tank and the tractor. All of our tractor units abide by the required regulations and are strictly designed and operated in a way that avoids the creation of sparks during transport, loading and delivery.

How many fuel tankers are in the UK?

There are thousands of tankers of all different sizes that are transported on UK roads. At Suttons Tankers, we have a fleet of 40 tanks that we use to deliver fuel to around 8000 forecourts spread throughout the country.

40 tanks make for a large fleet for bulk fuel transport. This, combined with the strategic locations of our depot network, ensures that we have the capacity to effectively manage demand across 24 hours of the day, seven days a week.

More important than how many fuel tankers there are, is how many HGV-trained drivers there are to transport the tankers.

The UK quite famously had a fuel supply crisis in 2021 when there were not enough HGV drivers available due to a combination of issues such as:

  • EU drivers returning to the European continent as a result of COVID and Brexit

  • More UK drivers retiring than entering the profession

This is why at Suttons Tankers we provide opportunities to train new drivers through licence boot camps or apprenticeship schemes. We understand the importance of having trained drivers on the road, and we want to be a desirable employer for HGV drivers.

Do fuel tankers carry petrol and diesel?

Yes, fuel tankers can carry both petrol and diesel at the same time. They can also carry different grades of the same fuel type without cross-contamination.

Deliveries to forecourts are often equal parts Unleaded and Diesel, whereas most of our commercial deliveries are either Diesel, Kerosene or Gas Oil.

This is possible because fuel tankers are not one large cylinder as it would seem from the exterior to the untrained eye. Instead, there are normally six compartments inside a fuel tanker. These compartments house fuel and prevent different products from mixing together.

Without these internal compartments, not only would transporting fuels across the country be less efficient, but it would also be dangerous as a result of slosh dynamics.

When tankers filled with liquid are travelling on the road, the liquid within them will surge forward and backward. The force of up to 40,000L of liquid sloshing within a tank would be more than enough to cause it to jack-knife (when the tractor unit and the trailer fold into each other).

By separating different grades of fuel into individual compartments, you mitigate the effects of slosh dynamics and make for much safer transport.

This is very similar to our baffle tanks, that work to the same effect with regards to surging, except they allow for some transfer of liquid from one baffle compartment to the next. As you can imagine, this is not something that is desired when transporting different types of fuels.

How many litres in a UK fuel tanker?

The largest fuel tankers in the UK weigh 44 tonnes and have a capacity for up to 40,000L of fuel, depending on the grade and conditions.

There are many different sizes of fuel tanker on the road, but our fleet comprises 40 of these tanks.

How heavy is a litre of petrol?

The standard weight of a litre of petrol is 0.79kg. In comparison, the standard weight of a litre of diesel is 0.85kg, and the weight of a litre of water is 1kg.

The reason that we say the ‘standard’ weight of petrol and diesel is because fuels will weigh more when they become cold. Fuels have a density of specific gravity which will change as the temperature rises because the fuels will expand and become less dense, meaning that they occupy more space at the same weight.

When filling our trucks, our fuel is stored and maintained at a constant temperature so that our customers receive what they pay for.

Fuel temperature and weight are also important for us because tankers have a maximum capacity to ensure that they are safe on the road. The DVSA can perform random stop checks to make sure that hauliers are not carrying loads that exceed regulations and issue fines and penalties to those that are.

Bulk fuel tanker transport at Suttons Tankers

Despite the pressure to embrace electric or hybrid fuel types, forecourts are still being built and petroleum fuels will be a commodity of great importance for decades to come.

We also provide services relating to biofuels such as HVO (Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil) and even use it to fuel our trucks. We would be happy to speak to you more if you have any questions about biofuel services.

We are able to offer spot and contract hire logistic services for fuel haulage for any new customers. For more information about how our nationwide fuel supply can help you, please contact us here.

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