Wet Hosing

What is wet hosing?

Wet hosing is a term used interchangeably with other terms like mobile fueling, direct fueling, direct truck-to-truck fueling, on-site refueling and touch fueling.  When you hire a fuel delivery company to provide wet hosing service, your fuel company delivers fuel directly from their fuel trucks into the running fuel tank(s) on your vehicle, equipment, generator or boat.

As you can imagine, you can’t drive a large piece of construction equipment to a gas station to refuel. Wet hosing has therefore been used to refuel construction equipment for decades. More recently, in the 1990s, with the EPA’s promulgation of regulations requiring the upgrading or removal of underground fuel tank systems, many truck fleet operators began to evaluate alternate methods for fleet fueling. Many large, sophisticated transportation, distribution and logistics companies decided to use wet hosing instead of maintaining above ground fuel tanks or going to cardlocks. Companies like FedEx, Yellow Freight, Sysco, Coca Cola, Pepsi, Brinks and even the United States Postal Service all use wet hosing for all or a portion of their fueling requirements.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of wet hosing?

Wet hosing is not for all fleet or construction companies, but most truck fleet operators or construction companies would benefit from using wet hosing services at some or all of their facilities.  Wet hosing doesn’t make sense if your fleet does not return back to a depot or facility at the end of each day.  It also may not make economic sense if your fleet is too small.  Because wet hosing companies depend upon building route density to make money and because it is a very labor intense activity, they may have to charge a price that is too high for it to benefit you if your fleet is very small say 1-3 trucks.  However, as of January, 2017, there is a new service in Florida that offers flat-fee fuel delivery pricing where you can actually buy fuel at wholesale cost and pay only a small fee for wet hosing service (under $10 per vehicle) for wet hosing.  This type of service, with it’s revolutionary pricing model, may eventually be available throughout much of the United States.  Lastly, if you have a very large fleet (100 trucks or so) and a brand new above ground double walled fuel tank, you may be better off buying in bulk and self-fueling.

Aside from those limited situations, the majority of fleet operators and construction companies benefit from wet hosing The advantages of wet hosing over self-fueling via on-site fuel storage tanks or driving to gas stations include:

5 Reasons to use on-site fleet fueling (wet hosing) compared to bulk tank fills, card-locks or gas stations.

  1. Reduce labor costs – time is money and when you pay your drivers to undertake the unprofitable task of fueling your vehicles, they cannot be engaged in other profit-generating activities. With mobile fueling via wet hosing, your trucks or construction equipment and ready to go at the beginning of each shift and your labor costs – likely your largest line item expense – decreases. Some businesses have more than one worker in a truck like landscapers and armored carriers like Brinks, compounding the labor savings with wet hosing.
  2. Reduce maintenance costs – driving your vehicle about 5 miles less per day by eliminating the fueling function, adds up and results in less need for fluids, tire replacements and vehicle repairs over time with wet hosing.
  3. Reduce capital expenditures – more time for deliveries means more deliveries per shift and thus wet hosing reduces the amount of equipment that you need to buy to service your customers.
  4. Reduce fuel theft – when you entrust your employees to self-fuel from an on-site tank or to buy fuel on a company credit card a certain percentage of the fuel will be written off to shrinkage. Even the best run transportation, distribution, logistics and construction companies experience 1-2% shrinkage and some experience much higher levels, like 5% of more.
  5. IFTA Tax Reporting Benefits – when you use a sophisticated wet hosing service, you will get reports that show you when, where and how much fuel was delivered to each vehicle or piece of equipment each day, easing your quarterly fuel tax reporting.

The economics of wet hosing are compelling for most fleets. What you need to ask yourself is the following question:  what is my REAL COST OF FUEL?  The real cost of fuel is not just the price you pay at the pump, but the cost of fuel at the pump, plus the cost to pick it up, plus the incremental wear and tear on your vehicle, plus shrinkage.  Taking that into account, the Real Cost of Fuel could be calculated as follows for a business that paid their employees $32 per hour with taxes and benefits:

Number of Vehicles 20  
Gallons per month 10,000  
Fueling trips per week 3  
Labor Savings $41,280  
Time Savings 1,290 hours assumes 10 mins out of route and 15 to fuel


So, even putting aside maintenance cost savings and increased productivity, a typical fleet operator would be expected to save $41,280 using wet hosing versus cardlock or gas station refueling.  That equates to an extra $.41 per gallon!!  Thus, if you are paying $2.50 at the pump, your REAL COST OF FUEL is $2.91.  Many times, wet hosing service can be obtained at or slightly above the average pump pricing, meaning that once you take labor into account you are saving a lot of money with wet hosing.

To learn more about how we can cut your fuel costs and give you more predictability and transparency when it comes to fuel pricing, please contact our wet hosing fuel experts today.