Farmers plump for steel, says Tanks R Us

This Zeppelin-sized 22,500-litre steel fuel tank on the Tanks R Us stand attracted a lot of attention at LAMMA, though you’d obviously need to be a fairly sizeable farmer or contractor to warrant something of this magnitude.

It costs £12,500 and comes with 110% bunding, an 8m spring-rewind hose and a 10-micron filter. And, at 60p/litre, it would cost an eye-watering £13,500 to fill with red diesel.

A rather more popular size, says the firm’s managing director, Badger Chapman, is the 10,000-litre version that costs between £6295 and £7000, depending on equipment.

The firm now sells about 2000 tanks a year into farming and makes both plastic and steel units at its factory at Ulceby, Lincolnshire. Five years ago, the split was 20% metal to 80% plastic, says Mr Chapman, but farmers’ worries about fuel security have turned those figures round so that 80% of what it sells are made of steel and just 20% are plastic.

Farmers’ other fuel worry, which is whether their old steel tanks are up to the job of providing a clean and secure store for the new ultra-low sulphur gas oil that replaced red diesel at the turn of the year, is also prompting a lot of them to take the replacement route. So much so that sales are up 110% on this time last year, he says.

Mr Chapman reckons that the horizontal cylindrical shape is best for farming purposes. The double skin, as well as providing the 110% bunding, acts as a thermal blanket and discourages moisture from condensing inside the tank and getting into the fuel.

This type of tank can be moved with a big handler and sits on a frame off the ground so there is less likelihood of it rusting. The cylindrical shape means no corners for crud to hide in, he adds, and the fuel is picked up from just 8mm above the bottom of the tank.



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