How To Work with Your Bulk Fuel Provider After The Hurricane

Hurricane aftermath and your bulk fuel supply

The hurricane is over. Now recovery begins. Since businesses can’t survive without fuel, it’s important to review how your company did in regards to your bulk fuel needs.

To Recover From Any Hurricane – Businesses Need Bulk Fuel

Even though the hurricane has passed, there can still be fuel shortages for weeks. It’s important to keep in regular contact with your bulk fuel supplier to understand any supply issues. Also, stay ahead of fuel ordering throughout recovery.

In some instances, supply can be affected for days after landfall. Continue the same “AT landfall” practices.

Invoices from your fuel suppliers may be delayed. Coordinate internally to ensure you still pay your suppliers on time.

After Your Business Recovers From The Hurricane

It’s time to recap your hurricane service with your fuel providers. Here are a few questions to ask yourself and bulk fuel supply hurricane prep check list your staff.

  • Did you have enough fuel before, during, and after the disaster?
  • As a fuel customer, what could you have done better?
  • Under the circumstances, was your provider easy to work with?
  • Would you feel confident using them in another storm?

If engaged, how did your backup suppliers perform?

Once you and your staff answer these questions, you may need to Identify additional fuel suppliers.

Were You Left High and Dry by Your Fuel Provider?

Most suppliers work hard to provide fuel for their customers and offer honest pricing. But, if you were not happy with your service during the emergency, you should shop for an alternative bulk fuel provider. Even though nobody likes it, during a disaster it’s normal that prices will increase and delivery quantities will decrease. That is not price gouging.

Taking advantage of a bad situation for monetary gain is price gouging. If you feel your fuel provider’s pricing was dishonest, it’s only fair that you find out for sure. See what other suppliers were charging and compare it to your invoices. That way you can make a decision based on the numbers.

Ricochet is Here to Help

Now that the disaster is over, it’s time to give thanks and help your community recover. Ricochet Fuel is proud to be part of your community for over 30 years. Contact us today to find out how we can help you with your bulk fuel needs.

The Hurricane Is Coming – Is Your Business Ready?

bulk fuel supply when hurricanes hit You’ve been watching the news, and the hurricane is definitely on its way. The one thing you don’t want to run out of is bulk fuel. Be ready and prepare for:

  • Higher prices
  • Longer lead times for fuel delivery
  • Limited fuel allocation
  • Limited delivery availability
  • Longer wait times at rack
  • Fewer deliveries

Heres’ what to do during hurricane formation, before landfall, and at landfall.

During Hurricane Formation – Time For Double & Triple Checks

Review your hurricane fueling procedures (Business Continuity Plan – BCP or other checklists). Perform an equipment check – ensure all pumps, PMs, etc. are functioning properly.

Make sure you have backup equipment available if the in-service equipment fail. For example, you should have replacement pumps for fuel tanks, backup batteries, and hand-pumps for fuel drum use. And most importantly, don’t forget to top off all emergency generators.

Before Hurricane Landfall – Top Off Your Fuel Tanks

Schedule your fuel service provider immediately to top off all tanks once again. Do this no matter what percent full the tanks are. Once the hurricane makes landfall, deliveries could stretch out for days – you will not be looking at standard delivery windows. Call your fuel supplier and:

  • Order fuel service for emergency generators or remote locations
  • Have them top off drums or fuel cans at the same time
  • Make sure you have designated personnel contacts for each of your locations
  • Update your supplier with any changes to your emergency contacts
  • Discuss any obstacles that may hinder delivery such as road closures
  • Suggest alternate routes to access your tanks if needed

Along with higher fuel prices and delayed deliveries, supply issues and fuel distribution logistics can cause additional complications. Be sure to stay in close communication with your fuel supplier. Understand that they are doing their best under stressful circumstances.

Have an internal discussion with your personnel to set realistic expectations. Everyone should prepare for extended lead times on fuel deliveries.

During this time (when you’re waiting for the hurricane to land) ETA updates and set delivery times are generally not available or next to impossible. So many things are impacting logistics, truck time, traffic, etc.

  • Be flexible with the delivery schedule
  • Allow for late evening and even overnight fueling
  • Prepare or and expect smaller, more frequent loads

Be willing to accept substitute product during this time. For example, you may receive On-Road Diesel instead of Dyed Diesel or Regular Unleaded instead of Premium.

bulk fuel supply during a hurricane or emergency At Hurricane Landfall – Get More Fuel Delivered ASAP

Even though you probably just topped off all your tanks, schedule service immediately to top off all tanks again no matter how full they are.

You want to have a delivery scheduled since you may have to wait for days. Just like before landfall, top of emergency generators, drums, and fuel cans.

Above, stay in close communication with your fuel supplier or suppliers.

How Ricochet Customers Can Prepare

Call our office and make sure your account is in good financial standing

Place your orders earlier than usual to stay ahead of the curve

Make sure you get bulk fuel before landfall fill your tanks beforehand

Communicate to all of your staff about how the hurricane can impact your fuel delivery

Be flexible with delivery times and windows.

Be able to accept loads of fuel during the evenings

Be patient because everyone is stretched

For before, during or after a hurricane, Contact Ricochet Fuel for all of your fueling needs.

Five Steps For Bulk Fuel Hurricane Preparedness

Steps for bulk fuel hurricane preparedness Hurricane season is upon us. If you’re in Texas, Arkansas, New Mexico, Florida, Louisiana, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Massachusettes, or Maryland, it’s vital to have a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) in place designed explicitly for fueling.

Here’s your list of 5 things to do to prepare.

#1 – Line Up Your Bulk Fuel Suppliers Ahead of Time

Ensure your BCP includes at least three bulk fuel suppliers within and outside of your area. It’s also a good idea to make sure all of these suppliers don’t use the same refinery. Reach out to each vendor ahead of hurricane season and ensure your account is active and in good standing. Double check that your vendors have current access information such as gate codes/emergency contacts, etc.

#2 – Warn Your Business Credit Card Companies

If a hurricane is coming your way, notify your business credit card providers. Let them know your company may have higher fuel costs and to expect unusual fuel purchase activity. Frequently, credit card providers will decline fuel charges of greater amounts unless notified in advance. Doing this will save you a lot of headaches.

Bulk fuel plan during hurricane season #3 – Be Hurricane Smart And Plan For Temporary Fleet Yards

Don’t leave your vehicles unprotected. Line up a few possible temporary fleet yard locations.

Although you may never need a fleet yard, just knowing possible locations and vendors will help in contingency planning.

No matter what surprises hurricane season brings, you want to make sure your vehicles and heavy equipment are safe from high-winds, massive storms, and storm surges.

#4 – Plan for Hurricane Business Services

Make a list of all possible disaster expenses and create an internal cost sheet, vendor list, and purchase order plan. Being organized financially will make any unplanned and unusual purchases less stressful. FEMA also has a very thorough Business Contingency Plan you can download.

Hurricane Preparation #5 – Make Sure Your Personnel Is Ready in Case of Disaster

Designate specific personnel that can be available 24×7 to help facilitate vendor response.

Giving your staff specific natural disaster duties and drilling these duties beforehand is vital.

Then, when a hurricane hits – everyone knows what to do and how to help facilitate their fuel providers and other vendors.

Ricochet Fuel is Here to Help in Case of Disaster

Hurricanes and natural disasters are not are created equal. And, most of the time they are unpredictable. Along with that, each hurricane category and its landfall can affect logistics and supply differently. For example, fuel supply in the Gulf of TX might be cut off, but that may not happen in other landfall locations. Each area is different whether local or statewide all across Texas, Arkansas, New Mexico, Florida, or Louisiana. Don’t forget, refinery shutdown is a real possibility like what we saw during Harvey and Ike. In hurricane season, you need to prepare for an impact on fuel supply.

Ricochet Fuel is here to assist your business with their fuel needs and hurricane fuel preparation any way we can. Contact us today.

What You Need To Know About Bulk Fuel Tank Testing

Regularly scheduled bulk fuel tank testing should be part of your routine maintenance. Taking proper care of your above ground storage tanks keeps your fleet and equipment safe from contaminants.

Most importantly, bulk storage container inspection minimizes the risk of tank failure. Knowing how to avoid an expensive hazardous clean-up is vital.

The key is to have a specific plan, schedule, and procedure . Surprisingly, the government does not state how often you need to test your tanks. So, understanding more about what’s involved will help you determine the best fuel testing plan for your company.

The Importance of Planned Fuel Storage Tank Testing

First of all, proper fuel storage tank maintenance consists of two primary tests:

#1 Fuel Sample Test – the first thing to check for is water in the tank. Over time, water can decrease the power of any motor. That is because of the biodegradation of the fuel. Loss of engine power is especially serious and dangerous when dealing with big machinery.

And, when not discovered in time, water and contaminants can cause complete engine failure. So, if you’re a construction company running bulldozers, dump trucks, backhoes, graders, and trenchers, regular fuel testing is imperative.

Additionally, since water is heavier than fuel, it will sink to the bottom of the bulk storage container. That will cause microbes to grow inside and rust the tank.

#2 Integrity Fuel Tank Storage Test – This starts with visual inspections (which should be ongoing). And, different storage tank sizes have different requirements. The Environmental Protection Agency states:

“The SPCC rule requires that you:

  • Test or inspect each container for integrity on a regular schedule and whenever you make material repairs; and
  • Frequently inspect the outside of the container for signs of deterioration, discharges, or accumulation of oil inside diked areas. This visual inspection is intended to be a routine walk-around and includes the container’s supports and foundations.
  • Identify in your SPCC Plan the type and frequency of testing and inspection for each container and the appropriate qualifications of personnel performing the tests and inspections. You must retain testing and inspection records for 3 years. EPA recommends that formal test records or reports be retained for the life of the container. “

How To Avoid Expensive Above Ground Tank Leaks

Planned and consistent visual integrity tank testing can help you avoid above ground leaks. That one practice alone can catch a small problem before it becomes dangerous or costly. This type of visual examination can often be done by trained personnel at your facility.

But, when it comes to the government required inspections, that’s when you’ll need to hire experts . Along with the testing, Ricochet Fuel uses advanced technology for cleaning and repairing the tanks. That helps keep your community, staff and the environment safe.

Government Regulations on Bulk Storage Container Testing

bulk fuel reporting and monitoring The Environmental Protection Agency states:

“Regularly scheduled inspections, evaluations, and testing of bulk oil storage containers by qualified personnel are critical parts of discharge prevention.” You can find more information by reading the Bulk Storage Container Inspection Fact Sheet

Let Ricochet Fuel Keep Your Fleet Safe and Running Great

Since 1988, Ricochet Fuel Distributors, Inc. has been supplying bulk fuel. We service Texas and the surrounding states of Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Wisconsin. We’d like to make you one of our satisfied customers too. For your bulk fuel tank testing, cleaning and repair contact Ricochet Fuel today.