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Tripod Tanks

Tripod Farm Tank Several accidents caused by the instability of farm fuel tanks with only 3 legs led to these tanks beginning to be phased out. Some fuel suppliers are no longer comfortable in delivering to these tri-pod tanks and it is becoming clear that farmers need to be aware that upgrading their farm fuel storage may become a necessity.


Department of Labor Cancelation of Approval to Manufacture Tripod Tanks

The department of labor (DOL) approval for the manufacture of tripod (three legged) stands on fuel tanks was canceled in 1996, with the intention that the use of existing tripod tanks would be phased out. Use of tripod tanks has continued and many are now reaching the end of their safe working life.

Any tank manufactured since 1996 using a tripod stand does not meet DOL standards as per the below criteria:

  • No new tripod tank stands shall be manufactured or installed; and
  • No existing tripod tanks shall be reconditioned, sold, or installed in new locations; and
  • Current tripod stands must be condemned as tanks reach the end of their useful life.
  • Because of the difficulties resulting from poor maintenance and their inherent design characteristics, the continued use of tripod tank stands is not recommended.
  • Farmers who do continue to use tanks with a tripod supporting structure should be aware of the possible additional physical hazards associated with their use. Because of the light construction of the tripod supporting structures, the hazards are made worse when the stands have not been well maintained. Tripod tanks must also be installed and maintained in accordance with all of the requirements of this guideline.
  • Tanks with tripod stands cannot be retrofitted.

Reducing Risks with Current Tripod Stands

Bearing in mind that any tripod tank still being used is at least 16 years old (probably much older), there are ways to reduce risk as specified by the DOL. These are listed below:

  • The risks when using existing tripod stands can be reduced provided that the following points are adhered to:
  • Ensuring that the tripod stand is firmly attached both to the tank and to the ground;
  • Ensuring all bracing is present and attached, and that the legs and bracing are straight and undamaged;
  • Ensuring that the tank has adequate grip for safe climbing and filling;
  • Ensuring that the tank is adequately ventilated; and
  • Ensuring effective maintenance is carried out.

Maintenance on Existing Tanks

The DOL specify allowable maintenance includes: painting; replacement of hoses, valves and lost fixings (e.g.... bolts/pins); work to ensure that the tripod stand is firmly attached both to the tank and to the ground; making ladder rungs safe; and auxiliary work to ensure that the installation meets the other requirements the DOL guideline.

Retrofitting Includes

As mentioned above the guidelines advise existing tripod tanks must not be retrofitted. This includes:

  • A tripod tank must not be used and must be condemned if it requires:
  • Installation of new fittings which require cutting or welding (e.g... vents or handles); or
  • Welding or patching the tank; or
  • Straightening, welding or patching (e.g... for rust) of the supporting structure.

Free Disposal of Tripod Tanks

At Petroleum Services we are fully licensed to dispose of both Petrol and Diesel Fuel Storage Tanks of all sizes. If you are upgrading your farm fuel tank and need to dispose of the obsolete tank, we will provide this service free of charge* if you meet the following conditions. We will also offer you a $75 credit off the cost a new tank if you purchase with us.

*Conditions include:

  • The tank can be delivered to our Hamilton depot (at your cost), or;
  • Freight charges to transport the tank to our Hamilton depot are covered (at your cost). We can arrange freight.