Diesel Fuel Storage Solution


Are you tired of lifting 5 gallon cans, and spilling fuel all over your new tractor?    I feel your pain.   When I first got my tractor, I quickly decided that I was not going to cart fuel to it in 5 gallon plastic cans.

However, having just spent 5 years worth of playtime budget, the finance committee (Christy) was in no mood to approve a large expense for fuel storage.  So, it was time to cobble something together.

I started with a phone call to my brother asking if the farm had a used 55 gallon oil drum in decent enough condition to store diesel fuel.    He started with a used 15w-40 engine oil container.  He cleaned it up by rinsing it repeatedly with diesel.

Once cleaned up, I washed the oil off the outside of it and painted it yellow to signify diesel fuel.  (I have yet to get a DOT sticker with the same indication).

The two bung holes in the 55 gallon drum came in very handy.  The larger bung-hole is used for my hand pump.   Use the amazon link to the right to see (and/or purchase) the pump I have.

I’ve made a few changes to the solution as time progresses, and I will continue to make modifications as time and money permit.  For instance, my next modification will likely be a filter just after the hand pump as a bit of an insurance policy against dirty fuel, or dirt in my fuel barrel.

The video below provides an overview of the entire process I use to refill my fuel container.  I hope you’ll find it helpful as you think about how to improve your fuel storage solution.

One of our viewers pointed out that Paul Short had put together a video on his fuel storage solution.   I watched it…again AFTER we had published our video.  It is surprising how close our solution is to his.    He chose a 110v electric pump.  I wanted the simplicity of a hand powered pump (it cranks easily, and doesn’t take much to fill up the tractor).  He has a dolly to roll his barrel around.   I’m going to link his video here as well so that you can see another similar example.





  1. It looks like you fill your 55 gallon drum through the 3/4″ bung hole in the top of the drum. Is that correct and does the diesel fuel hose nozzle fit into that hole? If not how do you make it work? Thanks for ant information and for the great videos.

    • I do fill via the 3/4 inch bung hole. The nozzle fits, yes. but it is a snug fit. So, there isn’t much room for air to escape during filling. Initially, this concerned me, but after several fillings, I realize that it is no problem at all. The air finds a way out somehow. …and this is a much easier way to fill than to remove the pump.

      Overall, this solution is working pretty well now. The only thing I might change in the future is to add another swivel at the ‘tractor end’ of the hose to remove the kink that forms there.

  2. I’ve ordered the parts and look forward to assembling my own diesel tank, just a quick question though. What did you use to extend the line on the rotary pump to get it down towards the bottom of the drum? Was there any prep required on what you used? Thanks!

  3. I am thinking of a way to store diesel at home.
    The question I have is : did you check with your insurance company ?
    In Canada, I have to get a double walled tank if I want it outside and get a remote leak sensor or something. I was considering my used oil tank, but it seems a big no, as I don’t want to keep it inside. A baril seems a good idea, but not sure if insured as it is not intended to be used as such.

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