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55gl drum truck bed fuel tower

MTPyle

Well-Known Member
We have designed a fuel tower lift that will lift 2 55 gallon fuel drums from the bed of a truck to a high position over the tailgate.

we have all the engineering done and ready to order parts to start the build.

I wanted to see what you guys thought about the idea before I pull the trigger. I would rather find out about a gotcha now. Haha.

the idea is to quickly take drums and make them the fuel tower so we do not have to transfer the fuel from drums to the tower and back.

it would take very little time to lift the drums into place and back Into the bed to head to the next pit.

a long bed can easily hold 6 drums so we can have a quick change system to unload the empties and load in full drums into the lift

we have a twin hose system that attaches to the drums with a Y into a single Tube with red head. And screw on vents

IP6electric rams would do the lifting so a simple power source is all that’s needed.

we would have 110 gallons in the system with about 10ft above ground for lots of head pressure.

drums are an approved fuel container.

Thoughts???

Mike
 

JerryB

Well-Known Member
I haven't used a fuel tower since late 90's so I may be a little out of touch with current setups. But I'm picturing the "vent" port on a 55 gallon drum, thinking they are kinda small for that amount of fluid transferring at the rate you'll see from the elevation. Not to say it won't work, but seems to me the air/fluid exchange may be restricted? I could be wrong.
 

MTPyle

Well-Known Member
Jerry

I think you are right. I was worried about that at first also. then when I figured two vents (1 on each drum) it seems like it will be enough for what can come out of one red head.

I would assume the vents they have on drums can flow enough air to replace the fuel that goes out of the larger hole.

but that’s a guess and an assumption.

thanks for your comment.

Mike
 

JerryB

Well-Known Member
I'm sure someone with some knowledge on this, will chime in and dispel my concerns. My thoughts are the existing vent on the drums were designed/sized for slow fluid transfer, not the high rate you're looking for fueling a race car, so it may not keep up with the flow rate. Having the 2 drums run into a "Y" I think will essentially isolate each drums flow to it's own vent. So the two small may not effectively act as one large vent? If that makes sense???? I fit does turn out to be an issue, just set some drums aside for tower use only..... modify the vent holes to whatever size works. No doubt it will work, just might need some massaging to make it work proficiently. Good luck
 

JEFFRPM

Non Sugar Coated
Try your plumbing system configuration out with a forklift to elevate the drums & use water in the barrels for test purposes yes the specific gravity is a bit higher than fuel but it will definatly test out your vent idea although I'm a bit sceptical myself BUT the portable fueling thing is pretty damn good idea being able to lift two 55 gallon barrels of fuel & putting them back down in hopefully less than 10 or so minutes after use is WAY faster than the old way we used to erect, fill, empty, tear down, move to next pit & do it all over again method.

Thier was somebody on here at one point & time pressuring up the barrel pushing out the fuel, no it's not the greatest or safest idea but hey we all do not so bright things just to get the upper hand on our competition.

FYI I use 0.5 psi on my oil barrels @ ground level pushing oil up to a despencer on top of the barrel & it bitches by making some not so pleasant noises I've cranked up the pressure regulator SLOWLY to 1.0 PSI and that caused the top of a full barrel to pop up to what I determined was a not so bright idea level of elevation before turning it back down before I was shure the thing was going to coat the shop in 15-40 Delo
 

Fourstroker

Well-Known Member
Consider the drums have 1" vents and 3" outlets. You would need a total of 9 vent holes to keep up with the flow of a 3" redhead. Seems like a bad idea to me.
 

Speedster

Well-Known Member
I like your idea and think it will flow fast enough with two drums working in tandem.
A FULL drum laying on its side with the smaller vent hole clocked at the top 12 o'clock position will have liquid at the vent. So your screw on vents will need to have 90s on them to get the vent intake above the horizontal drum. I'm sure you already thought of this and have that worked out.
 

Speedster

Well-Known Member
Consider the drums have 1" vents and 3" outlets. You would need a total of 9 vent holes to keep up with the flow of a 3" redhead. Seems like a bad idea to me.
Air vents can be considerably smaller than associated fluid outlet. They will keep up. Since he will mostly not be using each drum a second time, no need to filter the vent, so will not have that extra restriction.
 

JEFFRPM

Non Sugar Coated
This might be a stupid idea but how about running the fuel cell vent directly to the 1" barrel vents? Possibly pushing the fuel out from the air pressure coming out of the fuel cell? Like California tried 30 years ago with the closed loop vent crap on gas station pumps trying to capture those evil hydrocarbons while fueling your daily ride.

Or the thing will just airlock idk
 

Fourstroker

Well-Known Member
I guess the worst case scenario is it takes longer to fuel. How many races do you have multiple fuel stops by the same chase crew? V2R? Have to imagine SS300 is one fuel stop for you guys. Personally I would stick with a tower/pressure pro and get a high volume fuel pump for your drums to fill them. And a Geiser drum adaptor to empty your hoses back to the drums.

I just cant imagine a scenario where you would be able to go pit to pit with any setup and consistently beat your truck there. Maybe your lift should be designed to lift your tower so there is no legs, etc to setup. Just empty, lower and move on. at the next setup you could be filling while setting up your hoses.

Also the new PP's can hold 2-3 stops worth of fuel. You would only need to worry about hoses. My 2 cents of course
 

Bro_Gill

Well-Known Member
The worst case scenario would be the chase truck never gets to the pit because a highway patrol guy saw 2 55 gallon drums in the truck with no federal placarding, no HazMat endorsement on the driver's license, and no commercial DOT permit for the vehicle hauling hazmat items. Anything over 54 gallons that is permitted to transport requires all of the above. And yes, I know teams who have been fanged.
 

MTPyle

Well-Known Member
All good points.

yes we planned for the vents to be 90 degree and pointing up

at Silverstate we want to fuel 3 times. Seems crazy but with E85 we use a lot of it. We get 2mpg and have 68 usable so it’s too close with one fuel stop We would have the Fuel tower truck do the fast splash and goes and at the crew change mid point use dump cans. For use the crew change and tire change takes longer than dump cans. The thinking is the extra power we get with E85 will more than make up for two 20 second stops.

but if we are coming in for a fast fuel dump we need a tower and seconds will count. Dump cans Take longer

A much is a pressure pro? If I remember right it was pretty expensive.

Mike
 

MTPyle

Well-Known Member
BroGill

if we get pulled over for the fuel amount we would be screwed either way. We will always have to carry drums.

mike
 

RanchoPacific Motorsports

Well-Known Member
I think a pressure pro would be a lot faster and safer.
Pressure Pros operate between 10 PSI and 15 PSI
if your set up is 10 feet above ground and 6 feet above fuel tank on race truck, you will only have 2-3 PSI
 

Fourstroker

Well-Known Member
A 200 gallon PP may be upwards of $10k I believe. Worth every penny in regards to safety and speed. Even with a PP you will changes tires quicker with anything more than about 50-60 gallons. With the big TT tanks seems like we are waiting forever after tires are done to finish fueling. My guess is a PP would be 15ish seconds quicker than any gravity fed system. Once you get used to the scary wooshing sound of the CO2 bottles filling the tank they are awesome to use
 

Bro_Gill

Well-Known Member
BroGill

if we get pulled over for the fuel amount we would be screwed either way. We will always have to carry drums.

mike
Exactly, so why not use a 100 gallon bed tank to fill the raised tank from? Plenty of electric pumps that will move 15 gallons a minute to the raise tank no problem. And engineered safe. And highway patrol doesn't care about a bed tank, but could about 3-4 drums in the bed of a truck, especially a commercial cop.
 
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