Gas station owners understand the importance of fuel tank cleaning, which is why most clean their tanks in-house. Since you already have the tools and equipment, why not add it to your list of services? This is a competitive service, because it’s one that most mechanics and garages can’t accommodate—making it an excellent new stream of revenue.
Even if a driver is consistent and up-to-date with all scheduled and preventative maintenance, changing the fuel filter simply isn’t enough to catch all contaminants. Every type of vehicle or commercial fuel filter varies, but most stocks and strainers are only designed to catch contaminants that are about the thickness of human hair. The problem with this is that many contaminants are much smaller. Inline filters do a better job, and catch particles 25 percent smaller than human hair, but some have a small surface area and therefore a limited capacity.
Over time old fuel tanks, improperly maintained fuel tanks, or fuel tanks that sit without use or new fuel become contaminated with debris, rust, and sediment. These contaminants can create sludge that restricts flow and makes your fuel pump work harder than required, which can led to a failed fuel pump. Even when replaced, the internal contaminants need to be resolved or the new pump will fail sooner than expected.
There are multiple fuel tank services you could provide, either by walk-in or appointment. This could include:
To further expand your options, you could invest in reconditioning equipment, tank leak detection services, and even mobile tank cleaning services for below ground tanks—or tanks that are cumbersome to transport.
To best serve your customers and effectively market fuel tank cleaning, you must create a guideline for how frequently tanks need to be cleaned. Some states require commercial tanks to be cleaned every 3 to 5 years, but that is not necessarily frequently enough to adequately maintain sludge. There is not a one-size fits all schedule, and your suggestion will vary depending upon a variety of factors:
Tanks will need to be fully drained before they can be cleaned, meaning that you will may need to provide short-term fuel storage options, or increase the capacity and frequency of your toxic waste disposal.
You will need to put a clear system in place and possibly invest in some new equipment, but adding fuel tank cleaning can be an excellent way to grow your business.