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How to Choose a Fuel Transfer Tank

Fuel Transfer Tank in Truck Bed

A fuel transfer tank can be mounted in the bed of a pickup truck to serve as an external source of gasoline or diesel. These tanks require a transfer pump to move fuel into the vehicle’s factory tank, but since they can be used anywhere and at any time, they’re often more convenient than stopping at a traditional gas station.

A fuel transfer tank can be invaluable in situations such as:

  • Working in remote areas with limited access to fuel
  • Traveling long distances
  • Managing time-sensitive tasks
  • Increasing the range of a smaller accompanying vehicle
  • Refueling equipment like generators
  • Responding to emergencies or natural disasters
  • Purchasing more fuel in a cheaper area to save money

Benefits of Owning a Fuel Transfer Tank

Owning a fuel transfer tank provides several advantages beyond convenience and flexibility: 

  • Cost Savings: Purchasing fuel in bulk or in regions with lower prices can lead to significant cost savings over time.
  • Increased Productivity: By minimizing downtime spent refueling, a fuel transfer tank can help increase productivity for individuals and businesses involved in construction, agriculture, or other industries requiring heavy equipment.
  • Emergency Preparedness: Fuel transfer tanks can serve as a valuable resource during emergencies or natural disasters when access to fuel may be limited.
  • Versatility: The ability to transport multiple types of fuel, including gasoline, diesel, kerosene, ethanol, methanol, and aviation fuel, allows for a wide range of applications and uses.
  • Customization: Many tank brands offer custom options and upgrades to meet specific needs or preferences, such as additional storage compartments or specialty finishes.


How to Measure your Pickup Truck Bed Space for a Fuel Transfer Tank

Fuel Transfer Tank

Measuring a transfer tank to fit your truck bed involves taking accurate measurements of your truck bed and comparing them to the dimensions of the transfer tank you are considering installing in your truck.

Review the dimensions of the transfer tank you are considering, including its length, width, height, and shape. Compare these dimensions to your truck bed measurements to ensure compatibility.

Be aware of any additional space needed for mounting hardware, fuel transfer equipment, and clearance around wheel wells or other obstructions. 


Measure the length of your truck bed from the bulkhead (front) to the tailgate (rear). If your truck has wheel wells, measure the length of the bed in front of and behind the wheel wells.


Measure the width of your truck bed from one side to the other, both at the narrowest point (between the wheel wells) and at the widest point (the bed rails).


Measure the height from the bed floor to the top of the bed rails. If you plan to use a tonneau cover or have other height restrictions, take note of the maximum allowable height for a transfer tank.

Transfer Tank Material: Aluminum vs Steel

Aluminum and steel are the two most common materials used in the construction of fuel transfer tanks. Each material has its advantages and disadvantages, which can impact the overall performance, durability, and cost of the transfer tank.

Aluminum Transfer Tanks


  • Lightweight: Aluminum transfer tanks are generally lighter than their steel counterparts. This reduces the overall weight added to the vehicle, which can be beneficial for fuel economy and payload capacity.
  • Corrosion Resistance: Aluminum is naturally resistant to rust and corrosion, making it an excellent choice for outdoor use and in areas with high moisture or salt exposure. This resistance can lead to a longer lifespan for the transfer tank.
  • Heat Dissipation: Aluminum dissipates heat more effectively than steel, which can help maintain a consistent temperature within the transfer tank and reduce the risk of fuel overheating or expanding.


  • Lower Strength: Aluminum transfer tanks are generally not as strong as steel tanks, making them more susceptible to dents and damage from impacts.

Steel Transfer Tanks

Steel Fuel Transfer Tank 


  • Strength and Durability: Steel transfer tanks are typically stronger and more durable than aluminum tanks. This makes them more resistant to dents, punctures, and other damage, which can be beneficial in heavy-duty applications or harsh environments.



  • Weight: Steel transfer tanks are usually heavier than aluminum tanks, which can impact fuel economy and reduce the payload capacity of the vehicle.
  • Corrosion: Steel is more susceptible to rust and corrosion than aluminum, particularly in damp or salty environments. This susceptibility can reduce the lifespan of the transfer tank and may require additional maintenance or protective coatings to prevent corrosion.

We sell steel tanks which include a standard black powder coat finish that prevent corrosion and provide a nice sleek finish. 

When choosing between aluminum and steel transfer tanks, it is essential to consider factors such as weight, strength, corrosion resistance, and cost. Aluminum transfer tanks are lightweight and corrosion-resistant but can be less durable.

In contrast, steel transfer tanks offer strength and durability but can be heavier and more prone to corrosion.

Transfer Tank Fuel Capacity

Make sure to consider what the right amount of extra fuel capacity is for your pickup truck. Remember that larger tanks will take up more space in your truck bed, and the weight of a full tank can affect your fuel economy.

Fuel transfer tanks can hold anywhere from 20 to over 100 gallons. Smaller models may feature a slimmer profile to conserve bed space by increasing height. Some tanks can be as tall as 27 inches, with the top extending above the bed rails.

You can browse our fuel transfer tank by gallon size:


Fuel Transfer Tank Brands

Transfer Flow

Transfer Flow Fuel Transfer Tank

Transfer Flow is based in Chico, California. The company offers a range of high-quality, American-made transfer tanks.

  • Wide Variety of Tank Options: Transfer Flow offers a selection of tank styles and shapes, including rectangular, L-shaped, and dual-tank systems.
  • Multiple Fuel Size Ranges: Transfer Flow transfer tanks come in different capacities, ranging from 40 to 109 gallons. This range allows users to choose a tank size that fits their fuel storage and transportation needs.
  • Fuel Compatibility: Transfer Flow transfer tanks are DOT approved and compatible with various fuel types, including gasoline, diesel, kerosene, methanol, and ethanol. 
  • Durable Construction: Transfer Flow transfer tanks are made from aluminized steel, ensuring durability and strength. Powder coating is standard on all units, providing additional protection against corrosion, scratches, and dents.
  • Compliance: Transfer Flow tanks are designed and manufactured to comply with Department of Transportation (DOT) standards, ensuring that they meet safety and quality requirements.
  • Warranty and Customer Support: Transfer Flow offers an unlimited-mileage warranty for the first six years.

For more information, see all Transfer Flow Fuel Tanks available for sale.

Aluminum Tank Industries

ATI Fuel Tank

ATI is based in Winter Haven, Florida. The company specializes in producing high-quality, American-made aluminum transfer tanks.

  • Aluminum Construction: As the name suggests, ATI Tank focuses on manufacturing transfer tanks made from aluminum. This material is lightweight, corrosion-resistant, and offers excellent heat dissipation properties.
  • Variety of Tank Styles: ATI Tank offers a selection of tank styles, including rectangular, L-shaped, and wedge-shaped tanks. This variety enables customers to choose a tank that fits their specific needs and truck bed configuration.
  • Capacities: ATI Tank transfer tanks come in different capacities to accommodate varying fuel storage and transportation requirements. This allows users to select a tank size that suits their needs.
  • Fuel Compatibility: ATI Tank transfer tanks are designed for use with multiple fuel types, including gasoline, diesel, methanol, aviation fuel, and kerosene. This compatibility ensures users can transport and store the fuel they need for their specific application.
  • Customization Options: If none of ATI Tank's standard units meet a customer's specific requirements, the company accepts custom orders. They can accommodate most modification requests, such as making slight adjustments to size or fit, to provide a tailored solution.
  • Compliance: ATI Tank transfer tanks are designed and manufactured to meet the Department of Transportation (DOT) standards, ensuring they comply with safety and quality requirements.

You can check out our ATI Fuel Tank selection for all tank sizes available.


The Fuelbox

Fuelbox Fuel Transfer Tank

Fuelbox is headquartered in Visalia, California that produces American-made transfer tanks.

  • Range of Tank Styles: The Fuelbox offers a selection of transfer tank styles, primarily rectangular models. They also carry a limited number of high-capacity L-shaped and wedge-shaped units to accommodate different truck bed configurations and user requirements.
  • Wide Range of Fuel Capacities: The Fuelbox transfer tanks are available in different capacities, ranging from 40 to 85 gallons.
  • Diesel Compatibility: The Fuelbox transfer tanks are designed and rated for diesel fuel. It's essential to note that these tanks are not approved for use with flammable liquids such as gasoline.
  • Finish Options: The Fuelbox transfer tanks come with a smooth finish by default, but customers can opt for multiple finish options including a black protective liner and diamond plate finish as an upgrade.

See all Fuelbox Fuel Tank sizes.



ATTA Fuel Transfer Tank

ATTA is based in Fort Worth, Texas and provides high-quality, American-made transfer tanks designed for a wide range of applications.

  • Multiple Tank Styles: ATTA Tank offers an array of transfer tank styles, including rectangular, wedge-shaped, and L-shaped designs. They also have models that can fit under tonneau covers, providing flexibility for different truck bed configurations and user needs.
  • Multiple Fuel Sizes: ATTA Tank transfer tanks come in various capacities, ranging from 20 to 87 gallons. 
  • Fuel Compatibility: All ATTA Tank transfer tanks are designed to safely transport a wide range of fuels, including diesel, gasoline, kerosene, ethanol, methanol, and aviation fuel.
  • Durable Construction: ATTA Tank transfer tanks are made from high-quality aluminum, providing a lightweight and corrosion-resistant fuel storage solution. Diamond plate construction is standard for all models, offering added durability and a rugged appearance. 
  • Compliance: ATTA Tank transfer tanks are designed and manufactured in accordance with Department of Transportation (DOT) standards, ensuring they meet safety and quality requirements.

 See our ATTA Fuel Transfer Tank selection to compare all tank size options.

Transfer Tank Designs

Different shapes and sizes of fuel transfer tanks offer unique advantages and disadvantages based on their design and intended application.


Rectangular Transfer Tanks

Rectangular Transfer Tank 


  • Efficient use of space: Rectangular tanks provide a straightforward design that maximizes the fuel capacity within a tight and compact space.
  • Wide range of capacities: Rectangular tanks are available in various sizes, accommodating different fuel requirements.
  • Compatibility: This popular shape is compatible with most truck models and bed sizes, making it a versatile choice.



  • Limited customization: The simple design of rectangular tanks may not accommodate specific needs, such as fitting around wheel wells or under tonneau covers. 
  • Aesthetics: Some users might find rectangular tanks less visually appealing than other shapes.

See our rectangular fuel transfer tank options for rectangular tanks with small widths. 

L-shaped Transfer Tanks

L Shaped Fuel Transfer Tank 


  • Space-saving: The L-shape tank is designed to slide underneath an existing over the bed rail toolbox.
  • Dual-purpose: Some L-shaped tanks feature a toolbox integrated into the design, offering convenient storage for tools and equipment.


  • Limited Size Options: Fewer manufacturers produce L-shaped tanks, which may make it harder to find the right size for your truck.

Browse all L Shaped Fuel Tank options. 

Tapered Transfer Tanks

 Tapered Fuel Transfer Tank


  • Wheel well compatibility: Tapered units are designed to fit around wheel wells, utilizing truck bed space more efficiently. 


  • Reduced fuel capacity: The tapered shape holds slightly less fuel compared to a rectangular tank of similar dimensions.
  • Aesthetics: Some users may find the tapered design less visually appealing.


Low Height Transfer Tank

 Low Profile Fuel Transfer Tank



  • Tonneau cover compatibility: Short models allow for the use of a tonneau cover, providing added security and protection for the truck bed and its contents.
  • Lower profile: These tanks have a lower profile, which may improve rear view visibility.


  • Lower fuel capacity: Lower height tanks typically have less fuel capacity than taller tanks.

Compare all low profile fuel transfer tank options.  

Wedge Transfer Tanks

Wedge Transfer Tank 


  • Sloped design: The sloping design allows for a better rear view visibility.
  • Space-saving: Wedge tanks typically leave more room for cargo, making them suitable for those who need additional storage space.


  • Reduced fuel capacity: The sloping design may result in a lower fuel capacity compared to similarly sized rectangular tanks. 
  • Aesthetics: The wedge shape might not appeal to all users.

Check all wedge fuel tank options.

Choosing the right shape and size for your fuel transfer tank depends on your specific needs, truck bed dimensions, and personal preferences.

Rectangular tanks offer the most straightforward design and versatility, while L-shaped, tapered, and wedge tanks provide unique space-saving solutions. If you have a tonneau cover, choose an under tonneau cover fuel tank designed to fit under most standard tonneau covers.

Transfer Tank Accessories

Adding the right transfer tank accessories can provide additional functionality, enhance safety, and enhance the overall look of your truck bed.

We have included a list of some of the most popular Transfer Tank add ons: 

  • Transfer Pumps: A reliable transfer pump streamlines the fuel transfer process, making it quicker and more efficient. Transfer pumps are typically available with manual or automatic shut-off and in sizes that range from 8 gallons per minute to 15 gallons per minute.
  • Fuel Gauges: Fuel gauges allow you to monitor the amount of fuel remaining in the transfer tank, helping to prevent running out of fuel unexpectedly and enabling better fuel management.
  • Double Walls: A double wall transfer tank provides built in secondary containment, reducing the risk of leaks and increasing durability. This design can be particularly beneficial in harsh environments or heavy-duty applications.
  • Locking Caps: Locking caps provide added security for your fuel supply by preventing unauthorized access and fuel theft. They also help to reduce the risk of fuel contamination and accidental spills.
  • Powder Coating, Spray-on Liner, or Diamond Plate Finish: These finishes not only enhance the appearance of the transfer tank but also offer added protection against scratches, dents, and corrosion. They can extend the lifespan of the tank and help maintain a sleek and professional appearance.
  • Attached Toolbox: Some transfer tanks come with an integrated toolbox, offering additional storage space for tools and equipment. This feature is particularly useful for professionals who require both fuel and tools at job sites, as it consolidates storage and maximizes truck bed space.
  • Dual Fuel Compartments: A dual fuel transfer tank will allow users to carry different types of fuel, such as gasoline and diesel. This feature provides versatility and flexibility for users with multiple fuel requirements. 

By selecting the right combination of accessories, you can customize your transfer tank to better suit your specific needs and preferences.

Department of Transportation (DOT) Regulations for Fuel Transfer Tanks 

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) sets specific regulations for the transportation of flammable liquids, including fuel transfer tanks. These regulations ensure safety during the transportation of hazardous materials and are contained in Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).

Specifications for Tanks (49 CFR Part 178) 

This section of the CFR provides the specific construction requirements for fuel transfer tanks. The construction material, design, and testing procedures for tanks are detailed here to ensure they can safely contain and transport flammable liquids (49 CFR 178.255).

Marking and Labeling (49 CFR Part 172)

Fuel transfer tanks must be correctly marked and labeled according to DOT regulations. This includes the proper shipping name, identification number, hazard class, and packing group (49 CFR 172.300-336). 

Transfer Tanks with DOT Special Permit

The best way to make sure you are in compliance with DOT requirements is to purchase a transfer tank that includes a DOT Special Permit approval.

Tank Retailer offers multiples transfer tanks that are approved by the DOT to carry multiple fuel types.  These transfer tanks will include a special permit issued by the DOT that allows you to carry multiple fuel types.  The DOT permit will be included with the transfer tank when you have the tank delivered.

Be sure to read the DOT permit in full when you receive the transfer tank. 

Fuel Transfer Tank Safety Considerations

When using a fuel transfer tank, safety should always be a priority. Keep in mind the following safety considerations:

  • Proper Installation: Ensure the tank is securely installed in your truck bed according to the manufacturer's instructions. Improper installation can lead to fuel spills or accidents while driving.
  • Ventilation: Adequate ventilation is essential when storing and transferring fuel. Make sure the tank has proper venting to prevent the build-up of dangerous fumes.
  • Grounding: Fuel transfer tanks should be grounded to minimize the risk of static electricity igniting fuel vapors during the transfer process. 
  • Department of Transportation (DOT) Regulations: Ensure your fuel transfer tank complies with all applicable DOT regulations, including construction standards and labeling requirements. Additionally, familiarize yourself with any state or local regulations governing the use of fuel transfer tanks in your area. 
  • Proper Fuel Handling: Always handle fuel with care and follow safety guidelines to prevent spills, fires, or exposure to toxic fumes.
  • Regular Maintenance: Inspect your fuel transfer tank periodically for any signs of wear or damage. This includes checking for leaks, corrosion, and the proper functioning of all components, such as pumps and gauges.
  • Emergency Equipment: Keep a fire extinguisher and spill kit readily available in case of an emergency.

For more options, you can visit our entire selection of Fuel Transfer Tanks.