Truck Driver Fueling Tips

  • How does a driver prevent a fuel spill while fueling? Fuel one side at a time and stand there watching it. If you chose not to follow that rule, then be sure to take notice of the ground before beginning to fuel. If there is diesel on the ground or diesel residue left from a diesel clean-up, it is a good indicator that the pump nozzle does not automatically shut off. 


  • How does a driver prevent driving away while the fuel nozzle is still in the tank? If you have a locking fuel cap, you put the ignition key and fuel key on the same key ring. If you forget to take the fuel nozzle out of the fuel tank you will not be able to start your truck and drive away. This will only prevent this kind of accident if you are fueling one side at a time.


  • How do you prevent fuel from gelling in the winter? When the fuel gels, it will clog your fuel lines and fuel filter, keeping you from starting your engine. Use fuel additives as directed on bottle when temperature may be dropping below 20 degrees. Diesel #2 gels close to 10-15 degrees. Also, use a mix of diesel #1 and diesel #2 when temperature may get below 10 degrees. As temperature drops use more diesel #1. Diesel #1 is less prone to freezing. I like to replace 10% of my diesel #2 with Diesel #1 for every 5 degrees under 20 degrees, so 0 degrees would equal a diesel mixture of            40% Diesel #1 and 60% diesel #2. Note: Do not use Diesel #1 in hot temperatures. Diesel #1 burns hotter, so be sure to keep topping the fuel tank off with diesel #2 as you drive into areas where the temperature is higher. Idling your truck will help to keep your fuel from jelling.


  • Fuel Islands are sometimes located in cramped areas: Watch upper and lower nose swing and tail swing. If fuel island has a of area to maneuver, try to pull straight in.


  • Glance at your mirrors before pulling out of fuel island: You may have forgotten to take the fuel nozzle out of your fuel tank. (Yes, I have done that before. I am lucky there was a quick disconnect on the end of the hose line or I would have really screwed up the fuel island pump.)


  • What if the card reader will not read my fuel card? Sometimes card readers will not work and you will have to go inside truck stop to get fuel card to work. Sometimes trying a second time will get it to work. If you do not punch in the correct information, you will have to start over.


  • Frequent Fueler Fuel Cards: Most fuel stops have fuel reward cards that give you points which can be redeemed at their store for other products. 


  •  DEF (Diesel Exhaust Fluid): Never add DEF to your fuel tank (It will cause major damage).  Always fill up DEF, not all Fuel stops have DEF. I have found that usually DEF pumps need be started on slow to get them started. If you try to pull hard on the lever at first, it will shut off.


  • Replace Fuel Cap:  Replace your fuel cap before hanging up the fuel hose so you do not forget to. (Yes, I have done that before and lost some diesel as I am going down the road. It is hard to get good fuel mileage when your diesel is sloshing out of the top of the tank.)


  • I Log a Minimum 7 minutes in my logbook for fueling: At least make it believable to the DOT officer that will be checking. I’d like to see someone fuel in less than 7 minutes unless they are only putting in 20 gallons, or you are at a full-service pump. I suppose if you use an app to get your fuel information set up ahead of time, it may take you less time. Most fuel pump will pump at 40 gallons a minute. 


  • Never go below ¼ tank: Do not show up at shipper/consignee with less than ¼ tank of fuel, some drivers prefer ½ tank minimum. I find that ¼ tank of fuel will get me to a fuel stop. I fill up before going into Canada.


  • Fuel Island Courtesy: Be courteous to the drivers behind you who need to fuel. Pull your truck up past the fuel island after you are done fueling before going inside to take care of any business. Limit your business to about 10 minutes, about the length of time it takes for the driver behind you to fuel. 


  • Fuel Gauges – If you are driving at fast speeds for a long stretch, the fuel gauge may be incorrect. Stop your truck and you will see the gauge go up sometimes because of this.


  • Do not top off fuel to the very top in the hot summer. (Fuel expands with heat)


 *Article Written by LeRoy Clemmer - Founder of ParkMyRig