Bucket Trucks and the Delaminating Fuel Tank Curse


Nothing can slow down a job faster than faulty equipment, especially if the main machine you rely on is the bread and butter of your business. If you're the operator of a 2002-2010 Ford Diesel truck, there's a solid chance you've figured this fact out the hard way. Especially if you're operating a bucket truck, where most have been converted from Ford diesel trucks.

Titan Fuel Tank-Diesel Ford

Ford Diesel Trucks Plagued By Faulty Tanks

Delaminating fuel tanks have been a curse of 1999-2010 Ford F-250, F-350, F-450 Super Duty, F-550 diesel cab and various others in the Ford stable. You could be driving down the road, on the way to your next job when suddenly you feel a vibration like one you experience when your alignment is messed up. You pull over and discover that the tires are on the truck and everything seems to be working.

What you can't see is a factory defect that has plagued multiple Ford diesel trucks. The liner in these factory fuel tanks has a liner that is highly prone to delaminating and peeling off in flakes. No good can come from this scenario. This is a significant cause for concern due to the large percentage of active commercial Ford diesel trucks from the years 2002-2010 that are still operable on job sites across the country--particularly in bucket truck related industries such as power line maintenance and tree trimming.

What has Ford done to remedy this issue?

Nothing, yet. This is bad news, because if not addressed, these flaking tanks can clog up fuel lines and eventually break down the fuel pump or injectors. This makes for an expensive trip to the mechanic. Worst case scenario, you're looking at thousands of dollars in engine damage due to a poorly made, assembly line product.

Changing the fuel filters as often as changing the oil filter will help to keep the flakes from reaching further into the fuel line and engine. However, continued use will eventually cause damage to the fuel pump and contaminate the fuel lines, says Heath Sagon, Sagon Trucks & Equipment. Ford has been sued in a New Jersey federal court for allegedly selling F-Series pickup trucks and E-Series vans with defective fuel tank linings. The charge against these tanks has been that they fill fuel systems with debris and rust that cause a loss of engine power and stalling.

Don't Worry, There is a Solution

There are only a couple of options for Ford drivers with these diesel tanks. You can replace the tank with another Ford tank with a hefty price ranging between $1,211-$2,420. Ford can also boil out the tank and apply a new liner to the inside, using sodium hydroxide. This offers little long term assurance considering it's the fuel additives that cause the liner to deteriorate.

Sagon Trucks has found a more common sense approach to this issue. We found a local radiator shop that was able to turn around the repair to the tank in less than two days. We also tried a plastic tank made of polyethylene from Titan Fuel Tanks. It's a little less expensive than purchasing a new tank from Ford and Titan guarantees that the tank will never be affected from fuel additives, says Sagon.

Titan Fuel Tanks  produces a replacement tank made out of military-grade polyethylene. These tanks (which fetch $896) are claimed to be impervious to diesel additive corrosion. Compared to the price of a Ford fleet maintenance replacement part, the Titan tank is a no-brainer solution to a burdensome problem that affects thousands of contractors from accomplishing their job quickly.

Located just outside Atlanta, Georgia, Sagon Trucks & Equipment supplies a variety of bucket trucks, digger derricks, forestry trucks, trailers, dump trucks and more. In addition to selling heavy equipment, Sagon Trucks offers daily, weekly and monthly rental rates.