Titan Fuels Burns the Candle at Both Ends to Serve Texas Construction and Mining Industries
2:00 AM comes at you fast. That’s the time of day when San Antonio-based Titan Fuels, LLC rolls out its fleet of Thunder Creek trucks and trailers to begin serving its clients in the construction and mining industries.
In addition to the region’s continued growth in population and construction, the company noticed a trend it could capitalize on: many construction companies were choosing to remove diesel tanks from their construction sites in favor of wet hosing services (mobile fuel delivery). Similarly, the region’s underground coal mines have strict fuel storage restrictions — so it makes sense to have a service that delivers regular/smaller quantities of diesel to equipment on these sites.
Many of these sites scattered throughout Hill Country and the South Texas Plains require equipment to be fueled and ready to go before the start of the workday — hence the wakeup call in the middle of the night. According to Zac Russell, co-owner and president of Titan Fuels, the company isn’t limited by the clock or traditional working schedules. Each truck and trailer will fill up twice each day, delivering almost 2,000 gallons of fuel per vehicle/driver.
“We work seven days a week, we have guys on call — and for specific jobs we will run 24/7,” Russell shares.
The current Thunder Creek fleet at Titan Fuels consists of six Multi-Tank Upfit trucks and a number of MTT 920 Trailers — each capable of hauling up to 920 gallons of diesel.
One of the biggest advantages of both designs is the ability to deploy trucks, trailers and people without being limited to drivers who currently carry a CDL or HAZMAT endorsement. Both designs feature Thunder Creek’s proprietary multi-tank design that separates diesel fuel into independent 115-gallon tanks tied together by a shared manifold when fueling but isolated during transit.
“This has really been a key component of our business model,” says Russell. “Without this requirement, and with the labor shortage that everybody's experiencing, Thunder Creek has opened more doors for finding good people.
“We can keep our labor force strong, and also offer opportunities for people who don’t necessarily have a lot of experience — but who know how to operate machinery and work hard. Working with Thunder Creek Equipment is the perfect fit for them.”
The Thunder Creek Multi-Tank Upfit truck features 920 gallons of diesel separated in 8 individual 115-gallon tanks, and a rear utility box that contains the diesel pump and the manifold system that ties everything together when pumping. Options include a variety of meters for measuring, security and tracking, numerous reel options and lengths, and a powerful 4-micron filter to ensure greater fuel quality. Because of its design specifications, most states allow you to legally transport 920 gallons of diesel without a CDL or HAZMAT with this medium-duty truck body.
“From the factory, we put in a hundred-foot hose reel,” says Russell. “That has definitely helped us out on events, and on generators 75 feet from the road. Those different little things have really helped us out. We've added meters inside the trailer and at the nozzle so that the driver can safely be away from the trailer, know how much he's pumping in, have an idea of what's going on. We've added the lighting, the strobes for safety. We do a lot of mines and so we want to make sure that the equipment can see us from a distance.”
Titan Fuels also depends on the Thunder Creek Multi-Tank Trailers. These were the industry’s first pull-behind trailers that allowed contractors and service providers to haul their own bulk diesel to jobsites without requiring a CDL or HAZMAT.
“I’ve pulled a lot of trailers and there’s no trailer that pulls as easy as this one,” says Russell. “Plus, we’ve put our trailers through the ringer when we’re short on trucks and we’ve seen what they can really do on a 12-hour shift. They can quickly maneuver into congested job sites while fully loaded. We understand the importance their mobility and the fact you can carry multiple products.
“They’re built smart and tough. They’re easy to get up on. Everything has a strong and reliable seal so when you leave the job site, you know everything is safely contained. When you get to a new job site, you can quickly roll out the hoses and get everything done and get out quickly.”
The primary jobsite benefit to Russell and his team is the more compact and agile setup of both the truck design, as well as the trailer-hauled models, to make it easier to get on and around jobsites.
“It works out great because we have a smaller footprint compared to a [larger fuel truck], says Russell. “They're just so much easier to get in and out of a job site. We don't cause a ruckus with them having to move materials around.
“Often, I’ll get calls and contractors will be asking, ‘When's my fuel coming?’ I get to tell them we've already been there. Moving the smaller Thunder Creek trucks and trailers is just so fast and under the radar. It’s quick and low-key. We get in and out safely.”
Another major benefit of both the trucks and the trailers for a growing company like Titan Fuels is the massive branding opportunities that the tank design provides. The clean and slick Titan Fuels logo looks great on both the trucks and the trailers.
“When we can be on a jobsite, do great work and they can also see our logo easily, it mean’s everything,” says Russell. “The trucks and trailers have a flat face on the side that allows us to capture customers by making sure they can see who we are. If they catch our name and number, it just allows us to gather those customers easier … and grow the business.
“Our customers like the way we do things. Thunder Creek is key to our business plan, and this is how we’re building our business model. We’re going to keep on going. We're excited. We’re Thunder Creekers for life.”