Jump to content
  • Join the TowForce community.

    It looks like you're not logged in. Register to get started and to receive Tower Down Notices.

Safety & Gas Cans

Recommended Posts

We all have experienced road service calls where someone simply runs out of gas.  The choice of which container the operator uses to bring fuel, safety can or gas can, is actually not so simple.  I’ll summarize the difference between the two types of containers and the regulations that pertain to them.

  • Safety Container:  Is approved by a third party such as UL or FM, of not more than 5-gallons capacity, having a flash-arresting screen, a spring closing lid and spout cover and so designed that it will safely relieve internal pressure when subject to fire exposure per OSHA 29 CFR 1926.155(l).  It’s design is intended to prevent the can from exploding by use of a venting lid and flash arrestor.  They are required when used by any business or commercial enterprise.
  • Portable Fuel Container: Is any reusable container designed and marketed for use by consumers for receiving, transporting, storing and dispensing gasoline, diesel fuel or kerosene.  All utility jugs that are red, yellow or blue in color are deemed to be portable fuel containers regardless of how they are labeled. EPA 40 CFR 59.680.  This containers design is intended to control evaporative emissions and reduce spillage.  These are often referred to as CARB (California Air Resource Board) compliant containers.  Models are also designed with child resistant features to meet the Children’s Gasoline Burn Prevention Act.  They are generally intended for consumer use.  

While these containers can be used for storing or transferring fuel, the real key for our industry is whether they can be used for transporting fuel on our commercial road service vehicles.  The short answer is... it depends on the container!  This leads to the third type of container.


  • DOT Compliant Container:  Need to meet the Performance Oriented Packaging requirements of the Federal Hazardous Materials Regulations.  For instance, a standard safety container does not meet the requirements for transport.  However, there are Safety Transport Containers that have a hold-down bracket for the lid and guards to protect the spout assembly which do.  Some portable fuel containers have DOT caps that replace the spout assembly during transport to make them compliant.  Jerricans with screw-in caps that replace the spout assembly can also meet DOT requirements.
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi All ... Read closely to what's being offered here. There are many, many gas cans on today's market that are NOT approved for certain use or activities. It's important that you read the small print on the gas can that's sitting on the back of the carrier on your trucks. I've included a photo of such wording on theback of a can that reads, "Not intended for refueling on-road motor vehicles". That's one of those statements that's open to interpretation by a scales officer or highway patrol officer bent on writing you a ticket. Remember, every cop has a pet peeve and this is one of those "peeves" that goes unnoticed until that one in a million cops stops your tow truck for an inspection. Don't shoot the messenger here, this post is FYI.   R.

GAS CAN (4).jpg

  • Thanks 1

Randall C. Resch

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Its a weird senario really. Looking at that can's labeling, it can be interpreted a couple different ways I feel. It states it is US DOT approved, then says not for fueling on road motor vehicles. So The way I'm reading it, It's Legal to have this can on board your rig But Don't use it for fueling a car. So, can you only get a ticket if a Law enforcement officer catches you pouring fuel in a car with it? Anybody else interperate the wording that way or what do you read from it? Now i'm gonna have to look at my cans. Truth be told, i've never paid any attention to what's written on them.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Unfortunately, your content contains terms that we do not allow. Please edit your content to remove the highlighted words below.
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...
Please Sign In or Sign Up