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  #1  
Old 09/05/08, 10:48 AM
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 36
How do I move a 500 gallon propane tank?

Hi.

Have a chance to pick up a used 500 gallon propane tank for $200.00 and I need some ideas how to move it. They weigh around 950 lbs and it's empty of course. I think leasing a tank from a local supplier limits my options and puts me at their mercy while purchasing one is out of the picture financially. The deal sounds pretty good to me on the surface but I need to know how to move it safely.

The tank in question is located down a slight grade 25 feet from the driveway area. I don't have access to a hoist truck or any type of loader equipment and renting one makes the deal a whole lost less attractive. Anyone here move one without lifting equipment or use something small like an engine hoist to relocate one onto a trailer?

I don't use propane presently but I'm figuring that 500 gallons for a tankless hot water heater and emergency power generator would go along ways toward my preparedness goals. Any ideas would be appreciated.

Thanks
Caddyshack

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  #2  
Old 09/05/08, 11:22 AM
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: ozark foothills, Mo
Posts: 997
IN younger days

I helped another fella load a 500 gal tank for an old man, we slipped a board under one end raised it up and he backed his ole chevy p.u under that end. Well we set that end down and went to the back and raised it with our 2x4 and shoved it forward(seems to remember the 2 by catching on the legs of tank to give us a means of pushin). Had about 10%gas still in it also, one of the reasons my back is in the shape it is today.
If you had acess to a tilt bed trailer and some material for skids, come-a-long,.etc.a 12 yr.old boy could load it.

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  #3  
Old 09/05/08, 11:54 AM
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Kentucky
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Be certain you get the original puchase receipt, & a receipt from the seller. Getting them filled here requires both documents.

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  #4  
Old 09/05/08, 12:02 PM
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A winch and a trailer or ramp material to the bed of a truck would do it.
I am cautious about over using my body ( 45 yr old body ) Not too many yrs left on it. A winch hooked to a chain connected tot he post holes on the front of the pickup bed would help get the tank moving Up. A floor or bottle jack might also be useful depending of on situation.

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  #5  
Old 09/05/08, 12:21 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: SW Mo.
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Call one or more of the local propane dealers and ask about moving service. When I moved my newly purchased used tank it cost me $125, but he also pumped the fuel from my old leased tank into the new one. And he moved the old one out of the way so the leasing company just picked it up and left.

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  #6  
Old 09/05/08, 12:25 PM
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Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 3,739

call the propane dealer and work out a deal, move it for me and Ill fill it with you. If there is any propane in the tank its a HUGE bomb waiting to go off if handled wrong. NOT the time to be cheap about moving it.

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  #7  
Old 09/05/08, 01:03 PM
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 36

Thanks for the advise thus far. The seller does tell me that the tank is empty but I fully understand the cautions - I'll back away from deal before I risk someone's life. It has to be done safely or not at all as far as I'm concerned.

I called several local suppliers but they don't offer the moving service - they did tell me to get ownership papers from the seller to save hassles in filling later on.

I was figuring two furniture dolly arrangements of sorts with pneumatic wheels instead of casters would let me 'roll' the tank to the trailer and then use a come a long to get it loaded. A couple of friends on each side of a 4x4 slid under the tank should be able to lift it high enough to side a homemade 'carrier' under it.

Since I don't have any propane appliances at the present time, it's starting to sound like this deal might be more trouble than it's worth.

Yet when I read about those suffering from hurricanes and ice storms, I imagine how much easier it would be to deal with these emergencies if my family has access to hot showers, lights, freezer food storage and emergency heating. Maybe it's worth the effort... My head's just spining

Maybe something like this....

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Last edited by NewDad; 09/05/08 at 01:27 PM.
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  #8  
Old 09/05/08, 01:29 PM
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Quote:
How do I move a 500 gallon propane tank?


Very carefully
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  #9  
Old 09/05/08, 04:10 PM
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: WV
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Get yourself a couple of them big ol blow up helium balloons.......
...............never mind.

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  #10  
Old 09/05/08, 04:52 PM
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Location: SW Mo.
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Know anyone with a backhoe? Borrow, rent, Hire? A good backhoe can easily lift 1 end of a tank, set it on a trailer, then do the same with the other end. When you get to your new location, reverse the process.

Also, be aware you can fairly easily convert a say 5kw or so generator to burn propane. Then you don't have to worry about your emergency fuel supply going stale.

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  #11  
Old 09/05/08, 05:38 PM
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Whiskey Flats(Ft. Worth) , Tx
Posts: 7,755

..................... Borrow or rent atleast a 12 foot long trailer . Position the trailer directly in front of the tank , longways , Position 2 , 2x12's about 4 foot long in front of each foot on the front of the tank with the other end laying on the edge of the back of the trailer . Now , hook a chain thru the welded eye on the front of the tank and attach the chain too a come along and hook it too the front of the trailer . Put blocks behind one or both axles , then Using a 4 foot tall bumper jack , raise the Front of the trailer , when the back is almost touching the ground , start pulling the tank forward with the come along as it should slide UP the 2 x 12's and slowly start moving up onto the rear of the trailer . At some point you'll want to start lowering the jack down a few clicks at a time . Gradually , the center of gravity will start shifting towards the front of the trailer as the tank is pulled further forward ; you'll beable to discern this point as you lower the bumper jack . Leave the 2x 12's in place as you may need them to skid the rear legs up and over the rear of the trailer . If , you can find a trailer with loading ramps you won't need the 2 x12's . , fordy

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  #12  
Old 09/05/08, 08:01 PM
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
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Thanks anyway for all the info folks. I just got an email from the seller - he called and had his propane vendor pick it up as he 'wanted it out of his yard'. He didn't get any money for it.

I'm a firm believer that everything happens for a reason - so this wasn't meant to be.
Thanks again.

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  #13  
Old 09/05/08, 08:55 PM
KCM KCM is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewDad View Post
Thanks anyway for all the info folks. I just got an email from the seller - he called and had his propane vendor pick it up as he 'wanted it out of his yard'. He didn't get any money for it.

I'm a firm believer that everything happens for a reason - so this wasn't meant to be.
Thanks again.
Wow, that was Quick! Does his propane supplier deliver as quickly?


I would have rented equipment to move it. Those 500 gal tanks go for $900 to $1200 new around these parts. I bought a new 500 tank years ago for less than that and recouped the entire cost the first 1 1/2 years of winter heating just in savings alone between the difference in price delivered to customer owned tank over price delivered in suppliers tank. Over the years I have saved many times the cost of the tank.
Your $200 + moving costs would have been a bargain if you regularly used 1500 gal a year. Sorry you lost out on the bargain. On the bright side, if you had bought the tank and had it moved to your location, it still would have cost extra to have it inspected and certified before they could fill it.
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  #14  
Old 09/05/08, 10:07 PM
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 6,488

One of my older used tanks (500gal) cost $300 delivered. and not many bucks to hook it up and pressure test and the proper *paper work* . . .by a propane Co. . . .Ferrell Gas.

One other factor is the DOT folks and others with badges.
Here in Michigan you can get in a heap of trouble transporting a propane tank down the road. Lots of rules and regulations re guarding this.

A backup generator running on Propane is a very good thing.
They run very clean and theres no problem starting in very cold weather.

Keep looking.
Call around to all the propane suppliers.

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