The minimum volume of heating oil delivered by road tanker may vary depending on the type of vehicle meter used to deliver the product.
For many years the industry standard for a minimum delivery of oil for efficiency reasons has been 500 litres, using mechanical meters calibrated and sealed by Trading Standards using tamper proof seals to meet this requirement. Whilst legislation allows the minimum delivery to be lower than 500 litres using electronic meters, the equipment must still meet the legislation in terms of the accuracy of delivery and type approval for the equipment must be obtained. The vast majority of heating oil delivery vehicles are not fitted with such equipment.
Modern road tankers deliver to the customer’s storage tank via a sealed system, comprising a dedicated meter and hose. The meter system and component parts of the pipework have to be approved by National Weights and Measures under Statutory Instrument No. 1269: 2006 The Measuring Instruments (Liquid Fuel delivered from Road Tankers) Regulations 2006.
Part of the approval process is the specification of a minimum delivery volume. This is to do with the accuracy of the meter and hose dilation. Both mechanical and electronic vehicle meters are still in use by a numbers of operators.
The National Measurement Office advise that smaller deliveries than the certified amount should not be made without the tankers meter being reassessed and approved for smaller deliveries.
However due to the costs involved in making smaller deliveries and the reduction of productivity levels, the price per litre is likely to be proportionately much higher.