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Old 01-22-2022, 01:55 PM   #1
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Filling diesel cans in pickup bed

I know it's illegal (and dangerous) to fill gas cans in the bed of a pickup, but what about diesel? I am currently limited to lifting no more than 20 lbs due to a recent surgery, and I'm wondering if I can safely (and legally) fill an 8 gallon plastic diesel container in the bed of my pickup. There are plenty of posts online regarding gasoline, but I couldn't find anything with a reference to diesel fuel.
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Old 01-22-2022, 01:59 PM   #2
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I cannot speak for legality, but I think you are perfectly fine to fill a diesel can while it rest in the bed. Think of the gallons that go into the external tanks in the beds of service trucks. The only problem you may encounter is spillage and well we diesel owners no exactly how greasy diesel fuel may be. Take care and stay healthy and happy camping out there.
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Old 01-22-2022, 02:10 PM   #3
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I do believe it depends on local laws (State). In my state, approved steel fuel containers can be refueled on the rig. Plastic containers, no matter what fuel approved for, must be on the ground for refueling. Just wondering though, if you're limited to a 20lb lift, how do you get the 8 gallon container out of the truck? Diesel weighs about 7 lbs/gal.
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Old 01-22-2022, 02:18 PM   #4
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I do believe it depends on local laws (State). In my state, approved steel fuel containers can be refueled on the rig. Plastic containers, no matter what fuel approved for, must be on the ground for refueling. Just wondering though, if you're limited to a 20lb lift, how do you get the 8 gallon container out of the truck? Diesel weighs about 7 lbs/gal.
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Old 01-22-2022, 02:20 PM   #5
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I do believe it depends on local laws (State). In my state, approved steel fuel containers can be refueled on the rig. Plastic containers, no matter what fuel approved for, must be on the ground for refueling. Just wondering though, if you're limited to a 20lb lift, how do you get the 8 gallon container out of the truck? Diesel weighs about 7 lbs/gal.

I thought somebody might ask. I don't plan on taking it out of the bed. It's a plastic container and I "customized" it with a tire valve stem (no actual valve inside it) and plastic cap with a hose that I can run into the fuel tank on the truck. A couple of pumps from a bicycle pump will get the siphon started, then release the lock on the bicycle pump allowing air into the container. At least that's the plan. I'll know if it works when I test it in the Spring.
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Old 01-22-2022, 02:38 PM   #6
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I thought somebody might ask. I don't plan on taking it out of the bed. It's a plastic container and I "customized" it with a tire valve stem (no actual valve inside it) and plastic cap with a hose that I can run into the fuel tank on the truck. A couple of pumps from a bicycle pump will get the siphon started, then release the lock on the bicycle pump allowing air into the container. At least that's the plan. I'll know if it works when I test it in the Spring.
Fair Enough! .....
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Old 01-22-2022, 02:40 PM   #7
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I thought somebody might ask. I don't plan on taking it out of the bed. It's a plastic container and I "customized" it with a tire valve stem (no actual valve inside it) and plastic cap with a hose that I can run into the fuel tank on the truck. A couple of pumps from a bicycle pump will get the siphon started, then release the lock on the bicycle pump allowing air into the container. At least that's the plan. I'll know if it works when I test it in the Spring.
If that works for you, great!
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Old 01-23-2022, 05:14 AM   #8
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I thought somebody might ask. I don't plan on taking it out of the bed. It's a plastic container and I "customized" it with a tire valve stem (no actual valve inside it) and plastic cap with a hose that I can run into the fuel tank on the truck. A couple of pumps from a bicycle pump will get the siphon started, then release the lock on the bicycle pump allowing air into the container. At least that's the plan. I'll know if it works when I test it in the Spring.
That sounds like it should work. If that doesn't work, battery powered pumps for this purpose are cheap. I bought one for an older friend to transfer gasoline from a five gallon can to his generator. In his case, he can lift the can but can't hold it to pour it.
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Old 01-23-2022, 05:25 AM   #9
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Other than I understand the need for maybe an emergency use of the stored diesel.

As an older person, (70), the stops for fuel tend to be welcome stops for emptying a weak bladder. And to stretch my old body a bit.
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Old 01-23-2022, 08:31 AM   #10
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The issue is static electricity, grounding and sparks. Properly ground the plastic tank tot eh truck and the truck to the ground and there will be no static buildup.
Just adding fuel to a plastic can can generate static electricity.
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Old 01-23-2022, 09:30 AM   #11
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Diesel is not considered a flammable liquid. You should be fine.
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Old 01-23-2022, 09:42 AM   #12
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Diesel is not considered a flammable liquid. You should be fine.
Certainly you meant volatile. If diesel was not flammable, would kind of defeat its intended purpose!
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Old 01-23-2022, 09:48 AM   #13
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The real danger is spilling diesel in the truck bed where it will stink for days if not months.

Diesel is, of course, flammable. Just not as flammable as gasoline. My inboard gasoline engined boats required running the ventilation blower before starting to eliminate any fumes which could be set off by sparks or static. Not necessary with the diesels.

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Old 01-23-2022, 09:59 AM   #14
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Diesel container

I have actually used this setup pre-surgery, back when I could lift the full container up into the bed. The only thing I did that was different was, I transferred the fuel from the container to the truck's tank using my at home air compressor. It didn't take much to get the siphon started. I mentioned the bicycle pump because that's what I would use on the road. And yes, it would be mainly for emergency use.
Thanks all for your interest and replies.
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Old 01-23-2022, 10:22 AM   #15
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I can’t speak to the legality of your concept, and while you most likely have thought about every aspect of this. I really liked your concept and thought it out. While I am 5’10 my belly is larger than it should be. So my reach over the bed of the truck is probably that of a person 5’5 . I am not sure I could reach everything in order to execute your plan especially with ALL the limitations placed on you post surgery. However in an emergency might be worthwhile to try just remember that if no fuel if you do injure yourself maybe no cell service or close help.
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Old 01-23-2022, 10:26 AM   #16
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I found a heavy duty plastic tote that was perfect size to hold two five gallon plastic fuel containers. Bungee it to the side of the bed so it does not slide around. I fill them in the back of the truck. If I spill a little it goes in the tote.
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Old 01-23-2022, 10:33 AM   #17
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As per Google,

"Is diesel fuel a flammable liquid?

While gasoline readily vaporizes, diesel fuel has very low vapor pressure. Thus, gasoline is considered “flammable”, while diesel fuel is classified as “combustible”. Flammable liquids are readily ignited with a spark or match, while combustible materials are not as reactive."

Know your definitions before you criticize.
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Old 01-23-2022, 11:20 AM   #18
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As per Google,

"Is diesel fuel a flammable liquid?

While gasoline readily vaporizes, diesel fuel has very low vapor pressure. Thus, gasoline is considered “flammable”, while diesel fuel is classified as “combustible”. Flammable liquids are readily ignited with a spark or match, while combustible materials are not as reactive."

Know your definitions before you criticize.
49 CFR 173.150 states that a flammable liquid with a flash point at or above 38 °C (100 °F) that does not meet the definition of any other hazard class may be reclassed as a combustible liquid.

Reclassifying diesel

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 flash point at or above 100º F (38º C).
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Old 01-23-2022, 12:25 PM   #19
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I've carried two yellow 6 gallon plastic jugs in my 2500 bed since 2005, used them on my boat for 15 years prior. I set them on a heavy rubber mat, so no wear on truck bed.
At almost 84, I use a 12 volt pump with wires direct to battery for emptying. Just fill'em up slow...
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Old 01-23-2022, 12:31 PM   #20
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These cheap little pump work great with some tubing .Click image for larger version

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