Best Practices for Adding Fuel Lanes

We frequently getting asked for advice on adding fuel lanes. Adding fuel lanes can help operators accommodate more traffic and draw in customers, but there are several key factors operators should consider when expanding their fuel offerings.
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Best Practices for Adding Fuel Lanes
 

We frequently getting asked for advice on adding fuel lanes.

Adding fuel lanes can help operators accommodate more traffic and draw in customers, but there are several key factors operators should consider when expanding their fuel offerings.

Here are 22 best practices to employ when adding to your travel center.

  1. Attract RVers by created RV fueling lanes not associated with diesel lanes.
     
  2. Consider adding a biodiesel tank and appropriate equipment for onsite blending.
     
  3. As long as you’re undergoing construction, think about parking. Keep in mind that it could become paid parking for non-customers one day.
     
  4. Add a separate register inside for fleet customers. It can be used as overflow for non-fleet guests. Also have a secondary point-of-sale system for over-the-road customers to process fleet cards like EFS, TCH, CommData, ETC. Look at adding a separate register/POS that is capable of linking with your current POS equipment if possible. You can create a much better customer experience with this rather than having to complete a retail transaction on one register and a fuel transaction on the other. Check to see if Smartdesq or Retalix can accommodate this.
     
  5. For a commercial fueling lane, you’ll want high-flow master and satellite fuel dispensers. Also look at dispenser flow rates of 40 gallons per minute, 30-micron filters, large nozzles and B20-compatible dispensers.
     
  6. Built in additional space to accommodate turning radius of a sleeper cab with a 53-foot trailer.
     
  7. Have extended poles on squeegees for windshield, with bucket low to ground/squeegee attached to canopy column. Offer a wheeled step ladder for safe windshield washing.
     
  8. Consider building in a food ordering system for professional drivers to order while they fuel or at the very least develop a buy-online-pickup-in-store capability and capacity so that drivers can at the very least have their food ready to go as soon as they arrive. Remember, it will soon be commonplace that drivers will be able to verbally request food orders from Google or Alexa from their trucks. If you are not part of this disruption, you will become invisible, literally, to drivers utilizing this functionality.
     
  9. Think about adding a robust grab-and-go hot and cold food program on, near or adjacent to the fueling transaction counter. 
     
  10. Don’t forget driver amenities. Consider adding a scale offering, such as Cat Scale, as well as parking stalls for large trucks. Make sure you have Transflo/Trip pack capabilities. Over-the-road drivers use this service to send in load paperwork and shipping papers.
  11. Make sure the fueling canopy is well lit with LED lights. It makes a difference with later evening fueling gallons. 
     
  12. If you can afford it, make your fueling canopy larger than normal in case you want to add future fuels underneath it in the same fueling lanes. In other words, planning ahead would enable you to have diesel, DEF, CNG, LNG or propane all under one roof.
     
  13. You could also pipe for these future fuels rather than tearing up concrete later on.
     
  14. Build a separate underground tank for commercial diesel. Install a minimum 20,000-gallon tank, but your tank size may vary depending on lanes and expected volume. Add a 30,000-gallon tank for three or more lanes if the expected volume warrants it.
     
  15. Add DEF at the pump. Depending on your location, you may need a heated cabinet. Ideally, your underground storage tank will be sized to be able to receive a full truckload, which is 5,200 gallons of DEF.
     
  16. You should consider having the fueling canopy connected to the main building and creating a side entrance to building close to diesel canopy.
     
  17. Make sure the fueling lanes are at least 14-feet wide. Also, the canopy height must exceed 14 feet.
     
  18. Create space so trucks have the ability to properly stage when preparing for fueling. You’ll also want to ensure trucks have the ability to pull up once fueling process has been completed out of professional courtesy for next driver in fueling process.
     
  19. Ingress and egress are very important for professional drivers and commercial vehicles. A separate entrance and or exit preferred but not necessary.
     
  20. If possible, build an MPD on no curb. Not having a step up will prevent trips and falls.
     
  21. Use reinforced bollards in front and in back of the fueling equipment. 
     
  22. Install an oil trap/oil separator for diesel lanes.

Please reach out to me at dschulte@natso.com or Don Quinn at dquinn@natso.com, if you are adding fuel lanes and have questions.

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