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Grounding your vehicle while fueling???

#1
I was getting some sales stuff ready for V2R and was going through the BITD rules and saw this regarding pressurized systems and fuel towers.

It is highly recommended that your fuel system and your vehicle are grounded during refueling.

Do you actually ground your vehicle? If so, how?

I almost never see a vehicle actually grounded while being fueled. (And honestly the first time I ever really thought about it was also The first time I saw someone do it)

This was at an Ultra 4 race. Vehicle came in and stopped. Young man had a modified spring clamp with a thick long wire hooked to it that was mated to a stake that was in the ground. The kid clipped it onto a tab on the rear corner of the car as soon as it stopped. When the fueling was done he un clamped it and walked away. At the most, it was a possible tripping hazard. I liked it. I talked to he kid briefly and he told me his driver can barely afford to fix what he breaks and that if it burns to the ground "all this is over for us".

Another way I have seen was there was an antenna that was stuck in the ground and the truck drove over it when it pulled into the pit. The antenna had a spring and it bent over and stayed in contact with the bottom of the truck while it was being pitted. This seemed dumb to me. (Like there was a lot of ways for it to go wrong. Like nobody made sure it was contacting the truck in a good place.) This I did not like.

I would love to hear that some of you guys, especially ones running gravity or pressurized systems, actually do ground the vehicle and how.

Also, FWIW I don't think I have ever seen anyone ground a fuel tower that is mounted on a chase truck and that should be something that scares me, right?
 

Crusty Shellback

Well-Known Member
#2
The antenna stuck in the ground may be more than what you are seeing. :)

If it's done right, and made for the vehicle, it will work. I.e., there is a metal skid plate under the car that is full length and width.
 

Rory

Crayola Killer
#4
Collins Motorsports uses an antenna in the ground with the ground wire running back to the Fuel tower. The race truck drives over the antenna and grounds out on the bottom of the truck.
 

Zambo

Well-Known Member
#5
Grounding is when you connect the equipment to the earth. It really isn’t necessary. Bonding is when you connect the race vehicle to the fueling equipment. This is the critical process. It prevents having a different static charge between the two pieces of equipment, which is what causes a spark when they come in contact. Every fuel truck on the airport has a bonding wire that the fueler connects to the aircraft before he begins fueling. There is no stake in the ground.
 

Big Whitey

Active Member
#7
Grounding is when you connect the equipment to the earth. It really isn’t necessary. Bonding is when you connect the race vehicle to the fueling equipment. This is the critical process. It prevents having a different static charge between the two pieces of equipment, which is what causes a spark when they come in contact. Every fuel truck on the airport has a bonding wire that the fueler connects to the aircraft before he begins fueling. There is no stake in the ground.
Very true, good point
 

Crusty Shellback

Well-Known Member
#8
So use a ground rod in the ground and connect the "antenna" for grounding the car and the fuel probe to that rod.
 

Fourstroker

Well-Known Member
#9
Pressure pro to the ground rod with a battery cable. Antenna/plate under the truck grounding the truck. Long cable with alligator clips from ground rod to front bumper. Takes no extra time
 

Bro_Gill

Well-Known Member
#10
The issue with most race fueling is we do not use a metal nozzle inserted into the fuel inlet, so there is no connectivity between the two. It is advised that when fueling a car, touch the nozzle first before opening the nozzle to get any static charge to act before fuel is flowing. Since our nozzles are not conductive, but other things we are doing with the vehicle are, there can be a discharge from other actions as well. Antennae in the ground with a connecting wire will work, but simple is a cable to attach to a grounding point on the chassis with the fueling rig. But remember, it is vapors that ignite, and they can find anything hot enough on the vehicle to ignite them, like hot brake calipers, exhaust, etc... Discharge is probably not the biggest cause of fuel fires at races.
 
#11
grounding.....or more accurately said in this case........bonding of the fuel delivery equipment to the vehicle is mandated in the aviation industry. you will never see an aircraft being fueled that is "grounded".

the theory goes that a ground potential difference between the aircraft and fueling equipment will cause a spark when the two are mated together. its really no different with a race car.

However, think of how many vehicles fill up at a gas station each and every day....yet there is no bond....and cars aren't blowing up.

while "good practice".......I highly doubt you will ever see anything of this nature manifest itself. its just another old school thought that has been around for generations, doesn't really hurt anything, so why bother changing it.
 

PaulW

Well-Known Member
#15
When you fill your tank at the gas station the nozzle is bonded to the car filler. Thus a static gap and consequent spark is eliminated and there is no fire.
For safety bonding is all that is required. Grounding is a fairy tale and not understood by many. Bonding is not grounding.
Pour gas into any container without bonding the nozzle to the container will create a static spark and usually results in a big fire. Does not matter whether the container or the nozzle is metallic. Just make sure the two are in contact.
The cable you see at the airport during fueling is a redundant bond and makes sure the things going on in the truck do not create a voltage differential between the truck and the plane. The truck ins not grounded to earth. Its just like filling your car at a gas station.
If you doubt what I said do your homework. I am sure you will find even more details.
 

Bro_Gill

Well-Known Member
#16
This is no different than when filling plastic fuel jugs in the bed of a pick-up or trunk of a car. You are suppose to place them on the ground before filing them. Once fuel is flowing, even the movement of fuel through a rubber hose will create static electricity and any gap can allow electrical transfer to spark. The fire I helped out out at San Felipe a few years ago was a steel fuel drum in the bed of a truck fueling dump cans. There was no 'bond' and a spark ignited the vapors around the fuel spout. Fortunately, the truck did not burn completely and no one was injured. Be safe.
 

Bricoop

Well-Known Member
#17
This is no different than when filling plastic fuel jugs in the bed of a pick-up or trunk of a car. You are suppose to place them on the ground before filing them. Once fuel is flowing, even the movement of fuel through a rubber hose will create static electricity and any gap can allow electrical transfer to spark. The fire I helped out out at San Felipe a few years ago was a steel fuel drum in the bed of a truck fueling dump cans. There was no 'bond' and a spark ignited the vapors around the fuel spout. Fortunately, the truck did not burn completely and no one was injured. Be safe.
BG, when dealing with racecar refueling, could we use a fuel tower to ground the vehicle rather than driving a large spike?
 

200MPHTape

Well-Known Member
#18
BG, when dealing with racecar refueling, could we use a fuel tower to ground the vehicle rather than driving a large spike?
Collins Motorsports uses an antenna in the ground with the ground wire running back to the Fuel tower. The race truck drives over the antenna and grounds out on the bottom of the truck.
No matter what the fuel tower has to be grounded.
 
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