How much fuel do you really have left when that fuel light comes on

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by DAX_, Mar 5, 2020.

  1. tscottme

    tscottme Road Train Member

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    I don't dispute anything you say, but I've run my tanks low for most of my 25-27 years. I've never run out of fuel or been stopped on the shoulder or customer property.
     
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  3. Moose1958

    Moose1958 Road Train Member

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    ----and I know many other drivers that did the same. I was not trying to infer that as a certain outcome. I was only trying to get across to the new drivers what is in a lot of tanks. As I said, there is such a thing as unuseable useable fuel. It's possible to suck up a lot of crap and clog up the filters before you actually run out. Now when I said running low I was not necessarily talking about 1/8 tanks etc. I was referring to when those tanks are getting under 6 inches. I will admit this is more of a problem with reefers. One further thing. As with so much about trucking what driver A does is what's right for that driver! If driver B is doing it differently that does not necessarily mean driver B is doing it wrong. Sometimes this gets lost in these forums.
     
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  4. Moose1958

    Moose1958 Road Train Member

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    One further thing I would like to bring up. For purposes of the future, I will LINK this thread. Right now there is a question about "cheap" fuel being asked in the forums. Even with a premium product, there is always a danger of getting bad fuel. I remember once getting bad fuel near Omaha while headed west. The fuel did not disable me, but it dang well came close. I finally had to call my company and they directed me to a shop. Took several hours to clean out my fuel system and clean out both of my tanks. I also missed my delivery appointment causing a service failure. Not my fault of course, but in a time-critical situation that plant is looking for that delivery and a service failure is a service failure. Some places will clean out a fuel system up to and including the tanks on a periodic basis. Water is always a constant problem. Thankfully most truck stop operators filter their fuel. Still, it is a real possibility you can encounter bad fuel. I wonder how many people reading this comment have for whatever reason placed a diesel nozzle on the ground? I have many times. You make a habit of doing this you might well be picking up crap and then putting it in the tanks. Over time this can build up. In most situations, water and other things are heavier than the fuel and will stay toward the bottom even when the truck is in motion. Sometimes a piece of crap will get sucked up into the fuel system and most of the time it gets stopped by the fuel filter. I'm going to stand by my comment. You keep running those tanks in what I will call a critically low situation it is not a matter of IF you have a problem, it is a matter of WHEN!
     
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  5. Opus

    Opus Road Train Member

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    depends a whole lot on where you are and where you can fuel.
     
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  6. gentleroger

    gentleroger Road Train Member

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    Today my low fuel light came on as I was leaving my last drop. I drove 70 miles, dropped my empty, then another 5 miles yo the truck stop. I put in 136.7 gallons, then parked with 5 minutes left.

    Had I stopped for fuel earlier in the day I would have not dropped my empty tonight, which means it would unlikely for the shipper to have my 3rd load ready when I'm ready for it. Ignoring that, I would have overnighted at a truckstop without showers and been an hour away from my shipper instead of 5 minutes.

    Despite driving 70 miles after the low fuel light popped on, I put in 136.7 gallons into a truck that has a 190 gallon total capacity. I had 14 gallons of "usable fuel" with a 10 gallon "emergency reserve" before I would be in danger of sucking air or contaiminates.
     
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  7. Moose1958

    Moose1958 Road Train Member

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    I won't say you are right or wrong. You are doing this the way that works for you and I will always respect that! When I was active I did not have much of a choice when I got fuel. I was given a fuel solution at a place and I had to stop and buy fuel. Sometimes it was just 50 gallons and sometimes it was top off. When you are trying to maximize your miles for that day having to stop for a mere 50 gallons is rather stupid.
     
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  8. Moose1958

    Moose1958 Road Train Member

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    The above comment reminds me of the day I blew off a fuel solution at the Roanoke Va TA. Back in 2011/2012 that TA was doing a lot of diesel pump maintenance and had a lot of their pumps disabled. The line of trucks was long. I just said heck no I am not going to sit and wait for an hour or more to buy 75 gallons of fuel. I was headed north and not far north of Roanoke I called my Fleet Manager and told him what I did. I got another fuel solution for the Fishhook north of me. I will agree with @gentleroger on this!!! My time is valuable! I will not allow it to be wasted like that!
     
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  9. tscottme

    tscottme Road Train Member

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    There are a lot of drivers in trucking that hear very careful instructions for specific situations as "do any dang thing you want, any ol way you want, and it is guaranteed to always work in every situation." Idiots that need adult supervision if not a leash.
     
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  10. Moose1958

    Moose1958 Road Train Member

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    There is a place in the middle with regard to this. I would never drive for a carrier that was so strict that they dictate how and when I took a 10 99! Both extremes are simply wrong. When I was an active driver I used common sense born out of years of experience. Sadly this is what is missing with far too many drivers AND dispatchers!
     
  11. Lennythedriver

    Lennythedriver Heavy Load Member

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    Sign field had an episode on this topic. Look it up.
     
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