After a year like 2020, it’s become apparent that buffing up your emergency supplies is more critical than ever. Naturally, that includes gasoline, but how many gallons can you legally transport? Certainly, carrying it yourself is more cost-effective than trying to order a fuel truck out to your house. Then again, if you need to make fifty runs for fifty gallons, you’ll probably use more gas than you obtain. Fortunately, the standards aren’t quite that strict. Nevertheless, you do need to be careful. I will explain how much gasoline you can transport, along with how much diesel and how to do so safely. No one wants to end up in jail for carrying too many gas cans; after all, that would be ridiculous.
How many gallons of gas can you legally transport? You can legally transport up to four-hundred and forty pounds of gas in containers with no more than eight gallons apiece. Each container requires specific, clear labels. However, some states or cities may have stricter limitations. It is always wise to call your local DMV or DOT and ask before you plan to transport a large quantity of fuel.
How Many Gallons of Gas Can You Legally Transport
Transporting gallons of gas legally is a weight issue, not a number issue. First, you need to know the weight of a gallon of gas. According to WorldAtlas, one gallon of gasoline weighs roughly six pounds (6.059 exactly). Meanwhile, an imperial gallon weighs seven point three pounds, including additives.
A US gallon is 0.83 times the weight of an imperial gallon. If you ever need to do the math, multiply the two numbers for a US total. However, that does not factor in container weight.
Since you cannot weigh liquid gas outside a container, always account for your containers’ weight when calculating. I recommend weighing your gas containers before filling them for obvious reasons. By comparison, a gallon of water weighs around eight pounds, and an imperial gallon weighs around ten point three pounds.
An eight-gallon container would then weigh 48.472 pounds, but you should round up to fifty to be certain of an easy answer that doesn’t go over. Therefore, you can carry almost nine of these eight-gallon containers fully in your car legally.
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How Can You Legally Transport More Fuel
If you are willing and able to take some specialized safety classes, you can carry more fuel. By going through the certification process for hazardous materials transportation, you can up the limits. Additionally, you may need a CDL or similar endorsement on your license. Depending on the vehicle’s size you plan to use, proper licenses, permits, and placards are a necessity.
That said, there is no valid reason you cannot obtain these. Unless your license is suspended or you are underage, anyone can take these courses and learn to transport their own fuel. Moreover, it can be a lucrative business.
Transporting Diesel is Different From Other Gas
When asking how much gas you can legally transport, it is essential to understand that ‘gas’ means gasoline. Diesel fuel is a different substance. As such, it has different standards for transportation, which largely depend on the container in which it is being moved.
According to Turbo Diesel Register, “Fuel has to be placarded when its weight is over 1,001 lbs. Diesel fuel (#2) is approx. 7. 1 lb/gal. This means you can carry 140. 9 gallons of diesel fuel without requiring a placard. If you do require a placard, I also believe that you would need to have a CDL with a Hazmat endorsement.”
Confusingly, diesel can either be classified as hazmat or a flammable liquid. When packaged in bulk, diesel fuel is subject to hazardous material restrictions. All the same rules for placards and license endorsements apply. Alternately, non-bulk packaging of a hundred and nineteen gallons or less can be transported as a flammable liquid.
According to JJ. Keller and Associates, “Diesel fuel is classified as a flammable liquid in the hazardous materials table (§172.101), but in most instances may be reclassified as a combustible liquid if it has a flashpoint at or above 100º F (38º C).” Both fifty-five-gallon drums and the hundred and ten-gallon totes are considered non-bulk diesel. Thus, you can probably carry them in your vehicle without special placards, permits, or licensing requirements.
Regardless of the classification, there is a persistent rumor that you cannot safely transport diesel in a vehicle. Happily, this is not true. While there are risks in transporting diesel or hazardous, flammable material, it’s not excessively dangerous when done properly. You would smell any leaks long before they became a health problem.
Practice Common Sense With Fuel Transport
Using appropriate and safe containers is essential to any fuel transportation. Whether it is private or shipping, fuels are potentially dangerous. Always check your containers for leaks and make sure to replace them regularly. Every month or season, depending on how much use they see, containers need to be inspected.
Immediately transfer the fuel out of any container with rust, leaks, or other signs of wear and damage. A little inconvenience can save lives where fuel is concerned. When using plastic, opt for a high-quality container, and check for any cracks or damage before use.
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Is it Legal To Haul Gas in a Transfer Tank
The way you transport gas affects whether it is illegal. For example, transfer tanks are prevalent among rural farming communities and preppers alike. However, it may not be legal for you to fill that tank and move it in your vehicle if you are on public roads.
A transfer tank is a special tank recommended for the backs of pickups, flatbeds, and utility box trucks. These tanks hold more gas than you can put inside the vehicle. Additionally, they typically have a gas pump-style attachment to transfer the fuel to your vehicle.
As emergency preparedness and bug-out gear go, this is incredibly beneficial and wildly useful. I recommend installing one if your BOV can handle the weight. However, until TEOTWAWKI, you can’t simply fill up and go. Especially in states with limiting laws like the eight-gallon container rule in New York, this would be illegal gas transportation.
Some transfer tanks are also baffled to prevent fuel slosh and meet the local EPA and legal standards. Gravity-fed models are normally not allowed, but some areas will allow pump-style transfer tanks for private transport. However, there are often additional requirements, and you need to ask for information at your local DOT to legally install and use this style of gas container.
Can You Legally Fill a 55 Gallon Drum With Gas
A fifty-five-gallon drum can be either metal or plastic. Notably, this will affect the weight of your gas if stopped. However, fifty-five gallons of gas (US) weighs 333.245 pounds. as a result, it should be legal to transport a single container of this size in your vehicle.
Unfortunately, some states do not allow people to transport gas in this format. Instead, use smaller eight-gallon containers. I suggest checking with your local DOT before buying a fifty-five-gallon drum to be on the safe side.
Ultimately, you can fill the drum, but carrying it with you is a different story. Moreover, it is important to understand that private property laws are different from public roads. For example, you do not need a license to drive on private property. Resultantly, if you are only moving gas on your own land, then the standards are likely very different.
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Transporting gasoline in large quantities is a hazardous proposition. However safe you may feel your driving is, other drivers on the road can always change your circumstances. By limiting the quantity of gas you can legally transport, makes the roads safer for everyone.
A four-hundred-forty-pound gas explosion is not small. However, it is also not likely to put the sizeable crater in the road that a driver with a hazmat truck could cause if they got in an accident. While many laws are outdated, non-beneficial, or otherwise questionable, this is one case where it truly is a limit created for everyone’s safety, including yours.
Carrying an extra four-hundred-plus pounds in your vehicle will deeply impact your gas mileage. Although you will have plenty to spare, it’s still vital to remember to account for that when transporting gas to your home or BOL.