Agriculture

agriculture

We’ve been manufacturing bulk liquid storage tanks for over 30 years and boast a huge range of storage and dispensing tanks ideal for the agricultural industry, and with the amount of machinery involved in farming, having an extremely high capacity tank is a cost effective long term investment.

These include tanks for fuels, AdBlue, liquid fertiliser, water and more.

tanks for agriculture

Agricultural storage tanks play a crucial role in the farming and agriculture industry. From storing fuel for machinery and vehicles to storing fertilisers, pesticides and water for irrigation these tanks provide a means to safely store and dispense liquids for a range of agricultural operations.

Our Expert Guide to Agricultural Tanks explores our range of bulk agricultural tanks with key information including our top-selling tank models within the agricultural industry, farm fuel storage regulations and industry insights.

 

types of agricultural storage tanks

Bulk farm fuel tanks

We manufacture plastic and steel bulk farm fuel tanks which are suitable for the storage and dispensing of red and white diesel or heating oil. These can be fitted with forecourt-style dispensing equipment for filling agricultural machinery or supplied as simple storage only tanks for heating homes, drying grain and for sites with generators or existing dispensing equipment.

Diesel tanks for farms

Fuel consumption on farms is notoriously high with Farming for a Better Climate quoting a fuel requirement of 60 litres per hectare while ploughing, sowing and cultivating land. Having on-site red diesel fuel storage tanks for farm use is therefore essential while white diesel storage is also commonplace for public road or non-agriculture usages. Higher capacity tanks benefit from lower fuel prices and greater fuel security by bulk-buying diesel. Choosing a reputable tank manufacturer such as Tuffa Tanks helps to ensure your tank has greater structural integrity and durability with ancillary equipment carefully selected to be reliable and fit for purpose. We manufacture diesel tanks for farms in both plastic and steel with each material having its own advantages.

Plastic diesel tanks for farms

We manufacture plastic diesel tanks for farms in capacities from 1,350L to 15,000L as a single unit, or 30,000L with interlinking. Our unique ability to rotomould plastic tanks in these high capacities makes them some of the most cost-effective bulk farm fuel tanks on the market and a budget alternative large steel tanks. Both the primary tank and bund are constructed using a UV stabilised and corrosion-resistant polyethylene with a higher than average shot-weight for increased wall thickness. This creates a durable and sturdy tank with a 10 year warranty and 20 year minimum design life. The tank is designed with reliable equipment and filters which are easy to maintain or replace. Installation too is simple requiring a concrete base and electrical connection.

All our plastic diesel tanks for farms are fitted with 10 micron water and particulate filtration as standard. This is essential to reduce diesel bug and prevent sludge from entering farm machinery. Standard specs also include a European pump, reliable Puisi K33 pulse meter 6m hose. Our small models (1,350L & 2,500L) include a manual float level gauge and lockable lid. Large models (3,500L to 30,000L) feature an FMS Gauge & Alarm and a spacious lockable cabinet. Optional extras include a K44 pulse meter (for connecting with a fuel management system), a Horn Fuel Management System, higher flow rate, Watchman Sonic, and 12/24V pumps for sites without mains electricity.

Steel diesel tanks for farms

Our steel farm diesel fuel tanks come in capacities from 5,000L to 100,000L as standard and are fabricated using a high-quality mild steel. These models are extremely strong and hardwearing with a 10 year guarantee and a design life of at least 30 years when maintained. All our steel farm diesel fuel tanks are fitted with a high-security steel cabinet with roller shutter door. Models from 20,000L have a 1m full-end cabinet.

The steel tank range benefits from a high specification as standard including a 10 micron water & particulate filter, European pump with 6m hose, C2020 contents gauge with bund alarm and Piusi K44 Pulse Meter allowing connection with a new or existing fuel management system. We weld all our steel tanks in-house and they are made to order which gives greater scope to customize them to suit site requirements.

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types of agricultural storage tanks continued...

Farm oil storage tanks

Oil-fired heating is common within the agricultural industry as the gas grid doesn’t always extend to these rural locations and farms can have additional heating requirements, for example, to fuel grain dryers. Our farm oil storage tanks are available in domestic sizes from 900L to 2,500L and commercial sizes from 3,500L to 100,000L. Both our steel and plastic tanks are built to last with thicker than average tank walls and premium equipment such as Ultra Compact’s isolation valve on domestic tanks and a C2020 contents gauge with bund alarm (230v) on large steel tanks. We are also the UK’s only tank manufacturer with a range of plastic and steel integrally fire rated oil tanks which are perfect for compliant installations in difficult situations.

AdBlue tanks for agriculture

The EU Stage V emissions legislation for off-road engines came into effect in January 2019. This means most new heavy agricultural vehicles (such as tractors and harvesters) sold from 2019 will use a Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system and AdBlue to reduce harmful emissions. AdBlue consumption is best calculated as a percentage of diesel consumption. For a tractor typical AdBlue consumption is around 5.5% of diesel consumption.

Our AdBlue tanks for agriculture are bunded, have a 10 year warranty and are available in capacities from 1,350L to 15,000L. The tanks are designed to provide optimum storage conditions while dedicated dispensing equipment helps to prevent contamination of the AdBlue and subsequent damage to the SCR system. Storage only tanks are also available.

Specs for our small AdBlue tanks (1,350L & 2,500L) include an external European pump, nozzle with integrated flowmeter, 6m hose and a manual clock gauge with the option of a pulse meter and 12V/24V dispensing. Specs for our large AdBlue tanks (3,500+) include a submersible European pump, digital flowmeter, FMS contents gauge & tank alarm, and 6m hose with the option of upgrading to an 8m hose reel, K44 pulse meter and a Horn fuel management system.

Farm water storage tanks

The agricultural industry in the UK uses more water than any other industry making it essential to minimise mains water usage with supplementary water stored in farm water storage tanks. Arable farms can have hundreds of acres of crops and require irrigation and spraying. Pastoral farms need water for wash down, cleaning pens and feeding livestock. According to a report from the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs, 25% of farm businesses use boreholes, 8% rainwater storage and 6% store water from rivers, streams and springs.

Rainwater storage tanks for agriculture

The large rainwater collection areas provided by sheds, barns and stores make farms ideal sites for harvesting rainwater. The properties and nutrients within rainwater makes it more beneficial for crops and livestock than mains water which is treated for human consumption. The process of capturing rainwater also improves water attenuation and prevents runoff which reduces flooding while helping to protect the environment. This is a major reason why rainwater harvesting systems are frequently supported by government grants such as the Farming Investment Fund. While the applications to the Farming Investment Fund have now closed, you can stay up to date with future farming grants by subscribing to our newsletter. You can also check your eligibility with the Countryside Stewardship grant.

We manufacture plastic water storage tanks in capacities from 1,350L to 20,000L as a single unit and higher capacities are achieved through interlinking. Our farm water storage tanks are rotomoulded with a high-grade, corrosion-resistant, UV-stabilised and WRAS approved polyethylene which has anti-bacterial properties. All of our rainwater storage tanks for agriculture are available with rainwater harvesting filtration suitable for roof sizes up to 800m2 per filter.

Liquid fertiliser storage tanks

Within the UK agricultural industry liquid fertilisers are becoming an increasingly popular alternative to solid fertilisers. Liquid fertilisers have numerous advantages such as the ability to combine other nutritional and protective products which can be applied in one pass and absorbed more easily. The use of reusable liquid fertiliser storage tanks also reduces plastic waste and benefits the environment.

Our above-ground chemical storage tanks make perfect storage for liquid fertilisers. These are available in capacities from 1,350 to 15,000 litres but can be interlinked to achieve higher working capacities. These bulk liquid fertiliser storage tanks are made from polyethylene plastic which are durable, have anti-corrosive properties but are very cost-effective.

Molasses tanks

Molasses provides an easy way to supply livestock with sugars and minerals and is ideal to mix with ground feeds to make the feed mixture more edible. A grain/molasses blend can lead to improved herd health, performance, fertility and weight by increasing food intake, maximising rumen function and stimulating fibre digestion.

We manufacture molasses tanks in capacities from 3,500 to 20,000 litres. Our molasses tanks are roto-moulded with an extra thick tank wall specifically designed for the high-density liquids with a specific gravity up to 1.5. These are very durable, UV stabilised, corrosion-resistant and vented to prevent condensation and bacterial growth. Options include a 2″ ball valve and a natural (translucent) polymer to give a visual gauge of the liquid level.

 

UK standards & regulations for farm storage tanks

Everyone storing oil (including diesel, biodiesel, kerosene and petrol) in a container with a capacity to store over 200 litres must follow the oil storage regulations for the country in which the fuel tank resides. Typically, this will require oil tanks to have a secondary containment system (a bund) with a capacity to store at least 110% of the inner tank’s contents.

If you store oil on your farm or horticultural business to fuel vehicles, you must comply with the Oil Storage Regulations for Businesses, which includes specific guidance for storing oil on farms.

These regulations outline requirements and considerations for storing oil, including capacity limits, secondary containment, spill response planning, and regular maintenance and inspections. By adhering to these regulations, you can mitigate the risk of oil spills and associated environmental harm.

Oil stored for agricultural usage in England in a container with a capacity over 1,500 litres must be bunded. For Scotland and Northern Ireland this is reduced to 1,250 litres. Oil storage regulations for Wales have recently been updated and new fuel tank installations with a capacity to store over 200 litres must now be bunded.

 

 

Rules also apply to how close fuel storage installations can be to water sources. For example, in England, no parts of the installation (including yard drains, dry ditches and land drains) can be within 10 meters of inland or coastal waters. Upon the Environmental Agency’s recommendations, you should avoid locating your fuel system (even when bunded) within a groundwater Source Protection Zone or within 50 metres of a borehole, well, or spring used to supply drinking water.

Building regulations and fire separation distances

Tanks used to feed an oil-heated furnace or boiler must also comply with building regulations and fire separation distances. These state that oil tanks cannot be located within:

  1. 1.8m of a non-fire rated building or structure
  2. 760mm of a non-fire rated boundary
  3. 1.8m of non-fire rated eaves
  4. Close proximity to a balanced flue

Our Fire Protected Oil Tank range offers an alternative form of compliance when fire separation distances cannot practically be achieved. The unique, patented fire-rated material is factory-fitted within the tank’s bund which enables compliant installation adjacent to buildings and boundaries or even inside an uninhabited building such as a barn or garage.

Gravity feed fuel tanks on the farm

In the majority of cases, it is against regulations to gravity feed fuel tanks on the farm or elsewhere. This is due to the health & safety risks involved with raising a diesel tank and the increased risk to the environment. All of our diesel tanks are bunded, comply with regulations and are fitted with dispensing equipment as standard. Storage only tanks can also be manufactured for sites with existing pumps.

Manufacturing and quality standards

Fuel storage tanks should meet British Standards and trade association standards. At a minimum, tanks need to comply with BS EN ISO 9001, and should be made of a material suitable for the oil stored with sufficient strength to ensure it won’t burst or leak with ordinary use. Rotationally moulded polyethylene tanks must also meet BS EN 13341 standards and be CE marked to indicate conformity with health, safety and environmental protection standards. Steel tanks must meet BS 799 standards. Our fuel tanks are designed and manufactured to the highest standards and enable compliance with all current UK environmental guidelines.

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preventing rural fuel theft and protecting your tank

With domestic oil tanks capable of storing anything from 500 to 3500 litres, or into five or six figures at farms and businesses, fuel tanks are an ideal target for organised criminals and naughty neighbours alike. Statistics from Crown Oil reveals that there were over 25,000 confirmed fuel thefts in 2018, equating to over £1.75m. However, with nearly half of constabularies withholding theft statistics from the Freedom of Information request, the real cost is likely much higher. In fact, the British Oil Security Syndicate suggests that forecourt theft alone could be as high as £30m.

The Office for Budget Responsibility has just announced that unemployment rates are at a 5 year high in the UK with 1.7 million able now unable to secure a job. Economists expect this to rise to about 2.2 million during 2021. With high unemployment rates and fuel prices starting to return to their normal rate, it’s easy to see how the next couple of years could see an increase in fuel theft. To make matters worse, a combination of factors including underreporting of the crime, and extreme difficulty in identifying ownership of fuel once taken, means that 99% of fuel theft goes unpunished according to police data.

However, there is hope these figures will improve as Norfolk Constabulary have become the national lead for rural fuel theft and the team dedicated to tackling the issue. Earlier this year Sergeant Steve Graves of the Norfolk Constabulary Steve called a summit of industry experts from various roles within the industry with the aim of using our combined knowledge to reduce fuel theft in rural communities. While discussions are still taking place, Steve stressed the importance of the general public being proactive in reporting suspicions of attempted fuel theft to the police as early as possible.

Early detection of fuel theft – before tank owners tamper with the scene – helps the police to identify evidence such as fingerprints. Regularly monitoring fuel levels is vital as victims of fuel theft often don’t know it’s occurred until the fuel runs out. Steve explained that every reported incident of fuel theft (successful or not) helps the police to identify exactly where and how theft occurs and gives them the data needed to make fuel theft prevention a greater priority. On this account, Norfolk Constabulary are successfully fostering a community culture where suspicious activities are reported and can be acted upon.

While we haven’t reached the ‘summit’ of anti-theft tank designs or contraptions, there are precautions that homeowners, farmers and businesses in rural areas can implement to prevent theft and protect the tank and its contents.

 

Protecting your tank from fuel theft

Firstly, there are various products on the market for around £20-£60 such as lockable fill caps, or even spinning caps which make forced entry via these access points extremely difficult. While this does offer some protection, it also means that thieves may try to penetrate the tank wall itself which causes more issues as excess oil leaks into the surrounding area which then requires a call to the Environmental Agency, a cleanup and new tank. Plastic is far easier to penetrate than steel and the use of heated copper pipes is extremely quick and virtually silent making it a popular method. Steel tanks on the other hand require drilling which is time consuming – particularly for bunded tanks with two tank walls to drill – and far noisier. Where fuel theft is a major concern a steel bunded fuel tank is always best. Other worthwhile gadgets on the market (which can be supplied with our tanks) are electronic fuel gauges and alarms. These are available for around £100-£150 and alert you via a monitor or even app when there is a sudden drop in fuel such as you would expect from fuel theft.

One reason that oil tanks are an ideal target for thieves is that they are typically installed outside and at least 1.8m away from the property. For this reason, Tuffa’s Fire Protected Oil Tank range are arguably the most secure oil tank available on the market. These tanks are factory-fitted with a material offering 30 or 60 minute fire rating meaning you can install the tank adjacent to your property where it can be kept in eyeshot (and ‘earshot’) and in a location less visible from the road. Fire Protected Oil Tanks can also be installed within uninhabited buildings such as a garage or outbuilding which would make theft extremely unlikely.

Other physical barriers can also be used to protect fuel tanks. Thorn bushes are difficult to navigate through and have the added benefit of capturing clothing fibers or blood which can be used as evidence. Tank cages are available on the market – although they look particularly unattractive – and large steel tanks at commercial premises are often valuable enough to warrant bespoke solutions such as interlocking blocks forming a barrier around the tank.

 

Preventing Fuel Theft

The best form of protection is often a simple deterrent. CCTV does a great job at discouraging theft and is available from as little as £40. Of course, this has the additional potential benefit of being used to identify and convict thieves. Similarly, providing lighting such as motion detection or dawn to dusk lighting is a relatively cheap yet effective way to deter thieves.

 

 

While lighting and CCTV are deliberately visible deterrents, Samantha Parnell, Fuel Buyer at Fram Farmers, suggests keeping tanks ‘hidden’ and out of sight of the road but in a location still accessible to fuel suppliers. Samantha elaborates that fuel theft is such a big issue in rural areas that farmers with a tank capacity of 10 or 15,000 litres will only ever order a small amount of fuel in case it gets stolen. Fuel theft is such a concern that it’s not uncommon for Fram Farmer’s customers to leave delivery instructions for the driver to call when the fuel supplier is en route, so the tank isn’t left unlocked for a minute longer than necessary. As a final suggestion, the fuel specialist suggests keeping fuel levels to a minimum when off-season as a way to decrease the value of any fuel stolen.

Public Awareness

Public awareness is a great and ‘free’ way to reduce fuel theft and is a major priority for Norfolk Constabulary. Short days and full oil tanks during the winter mean it’s a prime time for theft so it is well worth being particularly vigilant and ensure you have your fill caps and tank lids locked. Whereas some thieves may follow oil tankers or search for oil tanks while driving in rural areas, it is increasingly common for organised criminals to identify tanks from the sky using Google Maps or even drones. With this is mind, anything you can install to disguise your tank from above such as trellis is beneficial – just make sure you still comply with fire separation distances. With this in mind, Tuffa’s Fire Protected Oil Tanks can be installed under a lean-to or hidden under trellis.

Fuel theft is a real concern particularly in rural communities. It’s not just the expense of fuel lost, the inconvenience of being left without heating or even the cost of a new tank, but the cost to the environment that needs to be taken into account. We recommend doing everything within your budget to prevent theft and protect your tank. While some measures such as lighting are relatively cheap, being aware of the issue and reporting suspicious behaviour is free and can be just as effective but only costs a little time.

Tuffa Tanks are a UK bulk storage tank manufacturer boasting a wide range of steel and plastic tanks for fuels, AdBlue, chemicals, water and more. For a quote, please call 01889 567700, email [email protected] or use the online enquiry form.

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