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Wet Hosing Vs Fuel Storage Tanks

A shortage of licensed commercial drivers has meant that relying on wet hosing for refueling can be a challenge. Businesses are seeking alternative solutions that will keep them up and running with a  steady supply of fuel. 

Mobile fuel storage tanks offer distributors a way to save time and labor while delivering reliability, flexibility and bulk fuel sales to customers. This helps to increase efficiency on your customer’s work site and ensures you continue to provide outstanding customer service in these challenging times. Read on to find out more.


What is wet hosing?

Wet hosing, sometimes called direct fueling, is the process of refueling vehicles and equipment directly from a fuel distribution truck that travels to the site. The fuel truck generally travels to the site and refuels all equipment when it arrives. This is usually scheduled for hours when equipment and machinery are not in use, but trucks are subject to delays and cancellations.  This can often lead to downtime and shutdowns.

Problems faced with wet hosing

For distributors and businesses that rely on fuel, any interruption to its supply costs time and money – putting a halt to any work until supply is restored. One of the major issues affecting this is a shortage of licensed commercial drivers (CDL).

​​The ongoing shortage of CDL drivers continues to cause disruption for fuel distributors and customers in construction and agriculture. High driver turnover, increased absence rates, and rules instituted in 2022 on the CDL license mean that the US currently has a shortage of 80,000 truck drivers – and this is expected to rise to 160,000 by 2030.

This means that reliance on licensed drivers is a risk, and, as a consequence, wet hosing is a far less attractive prospect for many businesses and suppliers. 

What is a CDL license?

A commercial driver’s license (CDL) is required in the US to drive a vehicle over a certain size or a vehicle transporting hazardous material. This includes transporting diesel in quantities of over 119 gallons. The current shortage of CDL-licensed drivers means hiring one can be difficult and expensive. For this reason, an alternative method of transporting fuel that doesn’t require a CDL license can save businesses time and money and avoid delays to work.

A workman refueling a TransCube fuel tank.

Wet hosing vs fuel tanks – your options

If you are a distributor or a business that is reliant on fuel, there are two main options for delivering fuel: wet hosing and mobile fuel storage tanks. We take a look at both options below.

Wet hosing 

On the surface, wet hosing seems to offer convenience for the customer. However, this isn’t always the case. 

Smaller amounts of fuel are delivered to each piece of equipment, meaning frequent trips for  trucks to come and refuel when you’re running low. If these aren’t managed properly or are disrupted in any way, that means downtime and shutdowns across the jobsite.. It also limits flexibility on the jobsite, as work is paused when  fuel arrives and doesn’t always line up with downtime, using up valuable time that could be better spent on other tasks.  

For distributors, wet hosing can be extremely labor intensive. Experienced staff are needed to manage usage and forecast future needs. Equipment and machines need to be fueled one by one, which is time-consuming. It also generally means a CDL driver is needed and operations can be disrupted by staff shortages. Additionally, there is a significant investment of both time and money to keep up with CDL certification for each driver. 

On-site fuel tanks

Mobile fuel storage means using storage tanks that are designed to safely and securely store fuel onsite. They are available in a variety of sizes and styles to suit different requirements. They can be transported already fueled, so for distributors, it’s just a case of unloading the tank for the customer to use. Bulk fuel tanks provide many benefits for distributors and end users.

Tanks can be delivered full of fuel, ready for the customer to use at their convenience. This can help distributors avoid disappointing customers by minimizing missed deliveries caused by delays, breakdowns or shortages associated with CDL-driver shortages. They can also help you balance your drivers’ availability and employee time better as trips aren’t required to sites every day to deliver fuel. In addition, it can be an opportunity to increase bulk fuel sales, as tanks provide a great long-term storage option.

As well as improving things for distributors, tanks also make things easier for end users. Limited-access sites where wet fueling would be impossible can receive deliveries of fuel tanks at an access point and then distribute them as needed. Tanks also allow users to refuel at the optimum time for them, rather than when the fuel can be or is delivered. What’s more, customers will have full control over fuel usage and reduced downtime when waiting for deliveries. When they’re empty, the tanks can simply be taken to be refilled (or wet hosed) by the fuel distributor at a convenient location.

Our TransCube Global is one of the most reliable and portable tanks on the market. It can be easily moved and installed in difficult locations and can fuel 3 pieces of diesel-powered equipment simultaneously – maximizing efficiency. If fuel theft or security is a concern, the TransCube has a lockable equipment cabinet and is compatible with fuel management systems that help you monitor usage. Its 110% bunded design also means there is no need for drip trays and eliminates spills and leaks. This is just one of the tanks we have available, click to view our full range.

A TransCube fuel tank being moved by a crane.

Wet hosing or mobile fuel storage – which is right for you?

If you’re a fuel distributor, offering mobile fuel storage to your customers ensures you’re providing them with a reliable fuel source while reducing time, labor and costs. 

Western Global has a range of fuel tanks that are popular with fuel distributors. Contact your local sales rep to find the tank that’s right for you, but for an all-rounder, you can’t go wrong with our TransCube Global.

  • Capacity options ranging from 251-1,204 gallons
  • Meets multiple worldwide transport regulations so can be transported whenever and wherever
  • Easy to lift and move by crane or forklift
  • Provides backup fuel and extends run times on up to 3 pieces of equipment
  • Tough, secure and reliable – designed to perform in the toughest conditions

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