Portable Fuel Tanks: Aluminium VS Steel

So you’re thinking about buying a portable diesel tank. There are plenty of options to choose from with features ranging from the much needed fire safety valves to efficient fuel flow meters. A quick Google search will likely return thousands of results and it can be a tedious task sorting through all of the available choices.

Above all the shiny new features and advantages, there is one debate that has a lot of people interested, and that is of material. Portable diesel tanks can either be made from steel casing or aluminium, and both have their advantages and disadvantages.

We’ve decided to let science and experimentation take the reign and here, we’ll show you the results of our research.

How Efficiency Is Increased

There’s no denying that lightweight materials contribute largely to fuel efficiency. Trucks and trailers have been replacing more and more of their parts with aluminium, sacrificing weight in favour saving fuel. Unfortunately, manufacturers haven’t quite decided yet whether this is a good move when it comes to the fuel tank.

For one thing, it could mean an approximate 10% reduction in weight in most models. This number varies widely for different types of vehicles. But the higher price tag seem to put fuel economy benefits in question. Is it really cheaper to go aluminium versus steel?

Other Factors

One more thing to consider is the lifespan of these materials. There’s no reliable research done that can provide a substantial lifespan for aluminium diesel tanks. Its counterpart, however, is well known to have some serious side effects. Steel is susceptible to rust and corrosion and with high usage, will need frequent changing. What good is saving fuel during operation when this benefit is recouped by replacing the tank ever three or so years?

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The Verdict

In the long run, it makes much more financial sense to use aluminum. The costs incurred with the more expensive price tag can be recovered in as little as three years. If you’re planning to use your truck, trailer, or tractor for more than that, then you’ve made the right choice.

A little research never hurt anybody and from what we’ve observed above, it can even provide some very real financial benefits.