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EYE ON SAFETY
Ditas A. Garcia and Martin C. Concepcion

 

  1. Check that your pump hoses have breakaway couplings. A breakaway coupling will detach the hose from the filling pump in case a vehicle speeds away while the filling nozzle is still in the vehicle’s fuel tank. This breakaway feature prevents the trapped hose from dragging the whole pump down and spilling the product. One station learned the hard way that fire can break out in the forecourt when a pump gets pulled down.

 

  1. Check that your filling pumps are properly fastened to the anchor bolts. Poorly fastened pumps can topple down even when equipped with a breakaway coupling. A recent incident was traced to a negligent contractor.

  2. Check all fuel deliveries for adulteration. This practice is your only effective safeguard against receiving adulterated products, according to the President of the Haulers Confederation. Criminally inclined drivers strike when the dealer or his staff are lax and lie low when they are alert. In fact, we were told that if you are popular in Pandacan, you should not regard that as a compliment. It may mean that tank truck drivers know your staff is lax which is why they are falling all over themselves to haul in your orders!

  3. Check daily for product loss and/or water contamination. Dealers who manage an old site should be extra vigilant because aging tanks or suction lines may fail without warning. Neither are new underground tanks (UGTs) a guarantee that you will not experience product contamination or loss. Negligent contractors may fail to tighten the UGT’s bolts or seal its gaskets properly.

  4. Check the UGT for water regularly. To avoid pumping water-contaminated product into a customer’s fuel tank, practice this precaution religiously. When you detect 1-2 inches of water at the bottom of the tank, drain the UGT and check the product at the pump for water contamination. Although there is a clearance of about 3-4 inches between the suction pipe and the tank bottom, this gap may vary. Note that if you are using the metal drawpipe to drain the UGT, you must make sure that only a properly trained staff member wields the pipe. The drawpipe can punch a hole in the UGT if it is not lowered gently. A second and safer option, according to a contractor, is to use a rubber hose that is fastened to the dipstick or any long wooden stick and connected to the pitcher pump. This eliminates the possibility of slowly boring a hole in the tank.

  5. Check the tip of your product measuring dipstick for any cuts and dents Any deformation will alter the dipstick’s dimensions, thus giving false readings. If you have a flawed dipstick, replace it at once. If you cannot replace it immediately, measure the difference and make the necessary adjustments.

  6. Check that the nozzle is well inside the vehicle’s filler pipe and points down when filling. This allows the pump’s automatic filling system to work properly and therefore prevents the possibility of product overflow.

  7. Regularly calibrate station’s pumps. It is best to calibrate the pumps regularly to make sure they dispense accurately. Contractors undertaking a calibration test should be accompanied by the station supervisor or a senior staff member to make sure accurate results are reported and defects corrected. DOE advises retailers to maintain a calibration record that can be made available to any customer or DOE inspector. The penalty imposed by DOE for each underdelivering pump is  padlocking and a P1,000.00 fine.

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The Dealer's Forum is the official newsletter of ACDPI. It is published thrice a year.