This is the instrument cluster are of a kenworth t680 and various access cards to fuel Terminals in the area

I have guys at gas stations come up to me often asking questions, maybe there is an interest here.

Comments: 881 • Responses: 52  • Date: 

jgang42330 karma

Did you ever deliver low rated octane fuel into the wrong underground storage tank?

SJHSparkplug663 karma

No I haven't, but back when we did smaller gas stations a lot of owners, especially Indian owned, would order more regular than they could hold and they would be informed and say "just drop the rest in the premium". I wouldn't put it past some drivers to say ok, so yes if you buy premium gas from one of these stations you've probably been ripped off.

Chevyfollowtoonear71 karma

On this note, any idea why some premium costs 40 cents less a gallon?

SJHSparkplug50 karma

Never seen that around here lol

BadBoiBill42 karma

I've spoken to an Indian owner of a station and got deep into conversation about the business. They said the margins on fuel were so low that they only made money on the convenience store side.

Is that your understanding.

SJHSparkplug37 karma

Most of the time, but not all the time.

JohnnyFoxborough19 karma

So how did you respond to that request?

SJHSparkplug66 karma

I said no and called dispatch and took that compartment elsewhere.

Hu996 karma

Indian as in indigenous or Indian as in south Asian?

SJHSparkplug26 karma


wehosh133 karma

So I work in the oilfield working with a streight tanker handling sceptic waste. Truth be told, outside CDL school I haven't had to deal with trailers long than 20 feet. Is there a harsh learning curve for having to learn to back 50+ foot trailer in city? Is the pay good?

SJHSparkplug145 karma

I don't back too much in this job so I can't really answer this with any kind of accuracy, plus I drive a day cab. In a day cab it's a lot easier no matter where you go. But it has the same danger as most places... If you're exposed to cars, then trying to squeeze past you as you back up.

Yes pay is good, one of our guys made six figures.

Sparkybear16 karma

Day cab? Without a sleeping area? Why is the easier?


Shorter cab, shorter lever angle when backing up.

SJHSparkplug72 karma

Plus I have a back window and don't have to rely solely on side mirrors

SpeculatesWildly112 karma

How do gas stations set prices?

SJHSparkplug169 karma

Prices are largely dictated by the Terminals. The gas is purchased from them by the station owner, and then they add a little bit of profit after all costs considered

JustinisaDick152 karma

I worked at a gas station for nearly 9 years. Unless it's an independent station, the price isn't adjusted to make a profit. Stations make a profit from inside sales. Sodas and food (made in store).

I was a manager for the majority of that time, and we set our prices in due to our competitors. Every morning we'd have to do fuel surveys. If they went up or down, we'd do the same, except on Tuesdays in recent years when we'd try to beat out everyone else by dropping prices by 10¢. There is no profit in gas sales. Lower prices exist to get you inside to buy other things.

SJHSparkplug104 karma

Yes. This is true, but it doesn't mean some places don't try to make a tiny profit in it. But you are correct, most stations just use it to keep traffic flowing into the store. Some companies own a lot of gas stations and they are responsible for keeping it full, and the store space is "rented" to somebody else who really has no say in the gas prices and just sells their product.

When a customer sends us to a citgo store with Chevron gas, it's usually because the Chevron gas was cheaper out of the terminal and they saw a little bit of profit to be made.

JustinisaDick30 karma

Around town it's rumoured that the one independent company (they own 5 stations around my community) jacks up prices for profit reasons. "Price fixing."

SJHSparkplug26 karma

It wouldn't surprise me in the least

jdoughboy69 karma

Is it true all the different stations gas comes from the same tanks?

SJHSparkplug113 karma

Yes, yes it does. Chevron stations come from their terminal, citgo comes from theres, BP comes from theres. Those are "branded". But most gas comes from other Terminals like Magellan, and they will use a generic additive for the most part. This is 'unbranded gas'. A lot of stations will use this like supermarkets, racetrac, Murphy USA. As far as the branded stations go, sometimes Chevron goes to a citgo and visa versa.

reagancd32 karma

Well all gas and diesal come from the same place. I mean 84 octane gas is just 84 octane. Now add the 10percent ethanol and a bit butane to bring it up to 87 octane. Now the ONLY thing that makes gas different from one station to another is the additive. In a 8500 gallon load, there might be 5 gallons of additive that makes their gas more "special" then others. Perhaps it does, but raw gas is gas and all comes from the same spot.

SJHSparkplug40 karma

Yes this is what I was saying. Chevron just has their own additive as well at citgo, etc.

If a customer is big enough they can buy their own additive tank at another terminal, otherwise the additive comes from "generic"

JustinisaDick64 karma

Recently, a gas station in the community I work in had a gasoline leak from their tanks into the river, literally next door, due to overfilling the tank. Gas sales were shut down for like two months, and they just recently started selling gasoline again. Have you ever had a problem like that?

SJHSparkplug68 karma

No, that sounds like a station issue with maintenance etc, it'd take a lot of gas leaking over time for it to be that big of an issue. The wait was probably so the guy could fix his tank.

SWaspMale62 karma

How many miles did you drive last year?

What did you pay in taxes?

SJHSparkplug132 karma

Last year, probably about 40000 in truck. When I was an over the road trucker about 120000 average.

Taxes I don't know but I know this year I actually owed the irs for like, the first time ever. Damn.

reagancd63 karma

That is because the assholes took our biggest deductions away from us. As a trucker we could claim 58.00 a day for meals. Was a huge savings, now we do not get to claim shit... I paid in 2800.00 this year where last years was 1250...

SJHSparkplug33 karma

I was local. I did not get the per diem when it was available.

InsomniacAlien4 karma

Probably that wonderful tax plan Congress passed

SJHSparkplug1 karma

Incorrect, I would have actually gained more on my taxes this year, I owed because my wife started a new job and filled out here withholding form incorrectly and I didn't find out until filing time.

limpiff58 karma

Why did you say “almost”? What are you hiding or not willing to come forward with?

SJHSparkplug84 karma

There's some stuff about the fuel industry the general public doesn't need to know. That and personal info

profstenny29 karma

Managed gas stations for a while. One of my stores had an actual mid-grade tank instead of mixing premium and regular...had one of those static protection systems on it to make sure it didn’t blow up. Average customer would probably not be pleased with that idea. Haha

SJHSparkplug30 karma

Lol actual mid grade is hard to find, most Terminals around here don't even offer it.

profstenny17 karma

Yeah...the chain I worked for had 32 locations, and only 2 stores actually had mid grade tanks. Don’t know why they made those decisions, but the fuel depot in Nashville, TN definitely does carry mid grade. Haha

SJHSparkplug13 karma

We have like 9 fuel Terminals right here where I'm hauling from, I think 2 have mid.

Jaguar51506 karma

Or care about, like the different vapor pressure "seasons".

SJHSparkplug9 karma

We are going through that right now, ugh

1320Fastback53 karma

We have a lot of Red Dye deliverd to our job site and I am always amazed at how clean the trucks are. Do you polish your tank and rims yourself? Seems to me it would take a crew hours to do tank.

SJHSparkplug58 karma

We have a company that comes in every 2 weeks and does washing and detailing.

Chevyfollowtoonear45 karma

Do you have work/life balance? How much do you make and is it worth the pay?

SJHSparkplug111 karma

Yes I do, the hours are long but I'm not over the road. 2 days off a week, some days I work 8 hours some days I work 12. I work nights though, because in this city I can cover a lot more ground working at night.

Pay wise, well I'm on track for about $82000, the pay range depends on a minimum of 65k, our top guy made over 100k last year. Really depends on how much you want to work and what kind of loads you can do.

Loads going to trucking companies and bus depots that have above ground tanks pay more Than a mom and pop gas station.

Worth the pay, well I came out of the office to do this. Between making pretty good money and just chilling listening to podcasts half the night, it's pretty well worth it. Company has great benefits.

pizza_engineer30 karma

Loads going to trucking companies and bus depots that have above ground tanks pay more Than a mom and pop gas station.

Why? This seems backwards to me. I would think the major consumer industries would have a very streamlined logistics, making deliveries simpler and faster.

SJHSparkplug28 karma

Above ground tanks require you to use a line pump which takes a few minutes longer. Requires an extra hose.

Gorakk4 karma

are you paid by the load or by the hour?

SJHSparkplug8 karma

By the load, but I have a very respective base salary I get just for showing up to work. Sometimes I just make that.

Gorakk8 karma

I just moved to a company that pay's by the hour and pay's OT. I see some drivers that are paid hourly that just milk it, So i can see why some companies pay by the load.

SJHSparkplug9 karma

I see hourly guys sometimes hangout around at the terminal waving trucks last them to load.

Chevyfollowtoonear28 karma

Not over the road, does that mean you work locally?

SJHSparkplug59 karma

Yes it does I am home every day

awesomerrol37 karma

What was the worst experience you’ve had while doing what you do?

SJHSparkplug99 karma

Having a slow Costco or something lock up on you because the gas readings are incorrect and you've put in too much is a pain too. Really, all you can do is sit there until enough people buy gas to drain out what you have in your delivery hose. So boring.

xampl97 karma

That won't take long at the Costco's I've been to. The attendant there says they'll get deliveries twice a day. More than that when there's a spike in demand like when a hurricane is approaching.

SJHSparkplug9 karma

Yes, except for night drivers.

SJHSparkplug52 karma

Lol.... Seems really simple man but honestly it is when the colonial pipeline burst on the west end.... Stations ran out of gas and when it was finally repaired they were so busy trying to get these stations filled back up that the lines just to get to the loading Terminals were half a mile long and you just sat there and waited.... And waited... And waited... So boring.

SWaspMale27 karma

How much of a gallon is used to deliver a gallon?

SJHSparkplug29 karma

The whole gallon. If that answers your question if not please elaborate!

SWaspMale16 karma

How much do you use to deliver how many gallons?

SJHSparkplug31 karma

Unless it's a location with tiny tanks, a full trailer goes to one store. 9000 gallons if it's gas, 7500 if it's diesel because diesel is heavier.

Chevyfollowtoonear35 karma

I think he's asking about how much fuel it takes to deliver a tank.

SJHSparkplug43 karma

Lol. Loaded I go about 8 miles a gallon so.

Chevyfollowtoonear40 karma

Only slightly better than my Ford Explorer.

SJHSparkplug26 karma

Haha as a former explorer owner, true. Diesel burns a little slower than gas. Gas it'd probably do about 5.

splinkymishmash6 karma

8mpg? That's pretty good for a semi. How do you achieve that?

SJHSparkplug13 karma

Auto shift transmissions lol. But even on my worst days in mountain driving over the road I did about 6.

FreelancerC27 karma

Should I not fill up my vehicle when you're filling the tanks? With the new fuel kicking up sediment/whatever else at the bottom of the holding tank?

SJHSparkplug32 karma

At a smaller station it might make a difference but honestly at a lot of the bigger stations that have 20000 gallon tanks and the like it doesn't make much of a difference as it is usually getting filled when there is already a few thousand gallons of fuel in the tank.

They also do regular maintenance on the tanks at reputable stations, there isn't as much "dirty sediment" on the bottom as you might be lead to believe, and whatever you do get in your vehicle will just burn off with the gasoline.

TheW8312 karma

What would you consider to be a bigger station? How many pumps? The one I frequent most often has 4 two sided pumps (8 total) and I always avoid it when there's a truck there and go for the less convenient one a mile farther.

SJHSparkplug18 karma

It's not so much about actual size, by bigger I just mean high volume.

DetectorReddit20 karma

Do you ever have any gas left over for your own tank?

SJHSparkplug27 karma

Haha no, that'd be stealing. There is some left over because it's liquid, but you'd never catch me taking it out. It'd be messy too.

homegrowncountryboy25 karma

I knew a driver that used to keep what was left over and pump it out at his house, he had several like 300 gallon caged plastic tanks with pumps, gas nozzles and everything. He would sell the gas on the weekends when he was off, he would sell it like 25 cents cheaper then any gas station and word got out and the sheriff department would come over to control traffic.

SJHSparkplug20 karma

Lol. I actually see this story being true in some smaller counties. Bigger cities, it'd never fly, especially if the Terminals got word of it.

dexxen16 karma

Do truck drivers still user CB radio? If not what if anything do they use now?

SJHSparkplug11 karma

I've used it a few times in traffic. Otherwise a bunch of nonsense.

psilome15 karma

Did you ever have a serious spill of product? How does your employer deal with these?

SJHSparkplug36 karma

Honestly most of the time if its a small spill i just keep it from going down drains and use a "let it dry" approach. With bigger spills a cleanup crew has to be called out and an agent put on it, but thats rare, hasn't happened to me personally. But even a big gas spill wont take too long to go away, gas dries very quick. Now diesel on the other hand...

notgmoney12 karma

Where do you haul fuel? I would guess Houston.. I insure a fuel hauler in Houston that uses Magellan terminals and kinder Morgan among others.

Edit: and motiva

SJHSparkplug22 karma

Houston is huge and a lot of Terminals are based out of there mainly because of the pipeline but I'm not in Houston.

jmzstl8 karma

As a hazmat driver, do you ever forget to stop at railroad crossings?

SJHSparkplug8 karma

I did when I was first starting out in hazmat lol

u_w_i_n8 karma

are you worried about automated, electric, low maintenance trucks like the tesla semi ?

SJHSparkplug10 karma

No, with this kind of material it is a long way off from loading and unloading itself and navigating busy parking lots full of cars zooming in and out.

In this city id welcome a functioning tesla truck so it can deal with the traffic and not me, lol

JohnnyFoxborough7 karma

Do you pee in jugs while driving or take the time to stop everytime you need to go?

SJHSparkplug18 karma

I'm not over the road, I am local and regularly see bathrooms throughout the night.

However, when I was over the road I used a jug.

porcelainvacation6 karma

How do I know if I'm actually getting B20 at the biodiesel pump instead of B5 or straight diesel?

SJHSparkplug6 karma

Pretty much just trust my friend!

johhnytexas5 karma

Hey I am a fuel dispatcher!!! I bet we work for the same company lol. My question is how do you feel about dispatch? I started 2 months ago and love it but I have issues with a couple of my drivers logging in without telling me or going to Walmart and turning their phone off for a few hours.

SJHSparkplug5 karma

I work for a smaller company, I don't work for Kenan or Florida rock or anything like that, but we are growing. Pretty much dispatch just puts 4 or 5 loads on my iPad and if I need something changed I'll call in. Otherwise they don't care about logs and all that business. I only deal with 3, they're fine. Usually just correspond through text because we never really actually need too much unless allocation issues.

theroguex5 karma

Is it true that you can't tell people how many gallons of fuel can be carried by a truck because of some post 9-11 laws?

EDIT: How many of those 486,846 miles did you put on that truck?

SJHSparkplug12 karma

No, this is not true, it's even on the trucks how much it will hold, next time you see a fuel truck check up top and it'll say how many gallons each compartment holds.

missahbee7 karma

I’d take a guess that the fire department would like to know that information in case of emergency, and with each trailer being different, the easiest way to tell them is by printing it on.

SJHSparkplug8 karma

More important than how much it'll hold is just having the right placards in place to communicate what is being transported, they can be moving gas, diesel, ethanol, jet fuel, various other fuels

dihapus4 karma

How you get the job?

SJHSparkplug10 karma

Get a CDL, endorsements, then apply.

witqueen3 karma

I use to work in the industry back in the day, and the does the term " a buck to the truck" still apply?

SJHSparkplug3 karma

I've never heard it

DomPhotography1 karma

Is there any difference in gas quality when I fill up my truck and the tanker is adding fuel to the tank underground?

SJHSparkplug1 karma

As far as I know only at Costco where additive is automatically added at the pump, otherwise no.

sirkilgoretrout0 karma

How soon do you see electric diminishing demand for you job, and automation replacing the job completely? 5 years, 10 years? What do you think you and others in your position will do if/when these jobs go away? Something else that is still very close to the driving industry (eg servicing vehicles, remote nav of vehicles), or something far different? Do you spend much time now on continuing education to build new skills or not really?

Lots of semi-related questions, thanks for entertaining them!

SJHSparkplug5 karma

I already have a couple degrees with experience, I went into trucking because of the pay and trucking was something I always wanted to try when I was a kid, and I kinda like it.

However I'm not worried about losing my job because of the loading and unloading process. I can see driverless trucks on the road before the loading, unloading, and dealing with busy station parking lots, so even if driverless trucks became a thing they'd still need me.