09-26-07 by dugan
There’s no one more upset about the "hot fuel" ripoff than independent truckers, who lose hundreds of dollars a year on lost energy from heat-expanded fuel. They also find truck stops that sell fuel really hot, way above the air temperature. Here’s a great story about one of these "hot spots" from Randy and Julia, truck owner-operators in Texas:
"We were at the Flying J in Greenwood, LA on Sept. 21. The truck stop manager asked to measure the temperature of the fuel as my husband was filling our tanks. The temperature was 92 degrees, the same temperature as the fuel in the bulk tank. This was mid morning and the ambient temperature was 80. The manager was proud that the temperature coming from the pump was was 92, matching the temperature in his storage tanks.
"My husband asked him why this was? It was early in the morning, the ambient temperature was 80 degrees and it should have cooled in his bulk tanks overnight. Randy commented that there just may be something to this hot fuel thing we’ve been hearing about. The manager’s face fell and he just walked away."
The high fuel temperature is a testament to how hot the fuel was when it went into the station’s underground tanks, and how well the double-walled tanks preserved that heat.
The friend who originally received Randy and Julia’s e-mail had this comment:
"This is the first time I’ve ever heard of this! [The manager] has got to be partially brain dead to ask a customer help him prove that he’s cheating that same customer!"
Events like this are why truckers are in the forefront of a class action lawsuit charging implicit deception in the sale of fuel that is not adjusted for temperature variations. Diesel expands less than gasoline, but when you’re buying 200 gallons at a time, pennies matter. And at 92 degrees, (32 degrees above the 60-degree federal standard), diesel has expanded by about 1.4% for a loss of nearly a nickel a gallon.