Local Independent Provider

Competitive Pricing

Flexible Delivery


Delivery Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to be in when you deliver?

As long as the driver has safe access to your property and tank, you don’t need to be at the property.

How far can the tank be from the tanker?

Our tanker hoses are approximately 60m (200ft) long. Please notify our team if our tanker has to park further away than this distance.

Can I have my oil delivered by a smaller tanker?

If you know your property is difficult to access by normal LGV vehicles (e.g. refuse collection, furniture/white goods deliveries), our standard tanker may not be able to safely access for your oil delivery.

Vale Oils have smaller 4-wheeler tankers available for this situation.

Can you deliver to an IBC or other non-standard oil tank?

An IBC (Intermediate Bulk Container) is not suitable for use as a domestic heating oil tank.

Deliveries cannot be made to any containers, tanks or fill points that do not meet recognised standards or are deemed unsafe. If our driver, on arrival, considers the tank unsafe or not fit for purpose the delivery will not be completed.

Why does the driver switch off my tank sight gauge – I can’t keep check how much is in my tank?

The Environment Agency recommends that tank sight gauges are turned off except when checking the tank contents level. There have been numerous occasions where a site gauge tube has fallen over or valve has leaked causing serious leaks and spills.

Our driver will switch off your sight gauge after delivery. If your sight gauge is found to be suspect or defective, we will notify you.

Does your driver check my tank before making delivery?

Before making a delivery, our driver will assess the site and check that it is safe. The kind of safety issues our driver would look out for include:

Can you deliver to a houseboat?

Unfortunately due to the possible risk of injury to our driver gaining safe access and the serious environmental risk of oil spillages into water, we are unable to make deliveries to domestic houseboats.

Can my dog be left out while driver is making delivery?

We would appreciate for you to keep your dog and any pets, poultry or animals secured while we make delivery. Our driver will always check before opening gates etc. but if there are loose dogs, pets or livestock, our driver may be at risk, and your pets or livestock may escape.

How do I maintain my heating oil system and tank?

You should have your heating oil tank and oil boiler inspected at least once per year by an OFTEC registered heating technician.

We recommend you take a look at your tank and the surroundings once a week. You should be checking for any signs of damage or deterioration such as:

Do you know where the shutoff valve is for your tank? It’s worth finding out, so you can shut off your supply in an emergency.

Seek professional advice from an OFTEC registered technician if you notice anything of concern.

How can I identify a heating oil leak?

You should be suspicious of an oil leak if you notice any of the following:

What should I do if I have a leak or an oil spill?

Firstly stop it spreading further by turning off your tank shut off valve.

If you find a leak on your tank:

If there is a strong smell of oil in your home:

If there is oil on the ground (hard standing e.g. concrete/tarmac):

If oil has soaked into the ground or entered the watercourse:

What base is needed to support a plastic oil storage tank?

Plastic oil tanks must be supported across their entire base on a stable level surface that extends beyond the widest point of the tank. The base can be constructed of concrete or paving slabs. If a plastic tank is not properly supported it may bend, distort and fail with weight of oil.

What are the building regulation requirements for tank installation?

The building regulations require tank to be installed at minimum distances from combustible surfaces or sources of ignition. In summary these are as follows:

If the above is not possible, a fire protection barrier fully enclosing tank from above with at least 30 minutes fire resistance is required.

Further Safety Reminders – Fire Precautions/Oil Contact:

My tank isn’t high at all; I can stretch up and reach the top, do you need to use a ladder?

Some drivers are taller than others so some may need to use ladder where others don’t – especially if the driver needs to look in the top of the tank to check the oil level, make sure we fill your tank safely and don’t overfill it.

Can your driver use our ladder?

Our drivers cannot use your portable ladder or stepladder. Only if the ladder is a suitable design and is a permanent fixture to the tank can our driver use your ladder. Tied or fixed portable ladders are not suitable.

I haven’t got anywhere else to put my tank and it needs to be at this height to feed my boiler.

Our driver can still make your delivery, we recognise that it is often not practicable to site tank at ground level and we can continue to use our ladder to make your delivery.

What could you do to help us improve safety when working at height?

If your tank is at height and you think we will need a ladder to make a safe delivery please let us know at time of your order.

If you are thinking of making changes or improvements to your oil storage tank, we ask that you might consider the following possible options:

You may well be completely satisfied with your current oil storage tank and decide that none of the above are necessary or practicable options in your circumstances.

My tank is difficult to access and I need to be there for the delivery?

Please let our team know, at time of your order, how our driver can safely access your property and tank and what arrangements you need for the delivery.

If you need to be at home, we can set up a call, text or email to contact you the day before delivery is due, or our driver can ring you on the day.

My tank filling point is what is called an offset fill (i.e. my tank is located away from the access or filling point). Can you deliver to this tank?

Yes, we can deliver to an offset fill as long as:

Can you deliver where the hose has to go through a dwelling/living quarters?

There are serious health, safety and environmental risks if our tanker hose burst in your living quarters. There is also the risk of damage and oil contamination to furniture, carpets, fittings etc. if our driver pulled hose through these areas.

We define living quarters as any area, room or passageway which has been closed off, plastered, decorated, carpeted, tiled, furnished etc. which forms an integral part of the regular living area of the property.

These deliveries will be completed subject to driver discretion and receipt of a signed disclaimer prior to delivery.

Can you deliver to my underground storage tank (UST)?

Yes – however we must confirm if your tank is suitable. As the tank is underground it is not possible for our driver to check before delivery. You will need to provide some information about your UST i.e.

Is the tank a suitable type?

The plastic UST design normally has a tell-tale mushroom shaped lid.

Has the tank been correctly installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions?

We would require written confirmation from your installer or from your local authority building control.

Please contact us if you need further advice on your UST.

My tank is at height and needs a ladder to access the fill point, can your driver make a delivery?

Ideally, we would much prefer if all oil tanks were installed at ground level but we recognise this is not always a practicable option.

Providing our driver can follow our safe working practice using the ladder carried on our tanker, we can safely make your delivery.

Vale Oils have a legal duty under the Work at Height Regulations to help our drivers avoid working at height where this is at all practicable.

Over the years, in the oil distribution industry, serious injuries have occurred where drivers delivering fuel have fallen from ladders propped up against the tank, often in slippery conditions.

What if the driver deems my tank to be unsafe and delivery is not made?

If our driver deems your tank unsafe, he will let you know if you are at home or leave a written report stating why delivery cannot be made. We will actively look to provide help and advice on practical solutions to allow future deliveries to take place safely.

Can I help the driver with my delivery?

Our drivers welcome any information and directions to your property and tank. Once our driver has carried out his checks please stay well clear while the delivery is in progress. Our drivers come fully equipped and are instructed not to permit any assistance with the delivery for your own safety. Our driver is not permitted to use your ladder, stepladder, portable steps etc.

Do I need insurance to cover my oil tank?

Your heating oil tank can contain thousands of pounds worth of heating oil, which may be at risk of being stolen.

There is the risk of oil leaking from your tank, which has the potential to cause hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of damage to your property and neighbouring land/watercourse.

Did you know that most household insurance doesn’t cover heating oil tanks?

The Environmental Agency recommends every heating oil customer takes out insurance to cover their oil tank. When you are comparing policies, make sure yours covers:

Where can I find further information about looking after my oil tank?

Click here for the Oil Care Campaign website which includes lots of useful information about looking after your oil tank including regular safety checks, theft prevention and dealing with spills.

What is the expected lifespan of my plastic oil tank?

OFTEC guidance indicates that above ground plastic tanks have a life expectancy of no more than 20 years at which point replacement is advised. This is mainly due to the effects of sunlight on the plastic material used to make the tank. If the tank has not been properly supported this life expectancy could be greatly reduced due to the possible stress placed on the plastic which can cause cracking and splitting failure of the tank skin.

Can a plastic oil storage tank be repaired?

Unfortunately we do not make deliveries to plastic oil storage tanks which are cracked or split. There is no industry recognised method of repairing a cracked or split plastic tank. Contact us and we will help you in finding a replacement tank.

How can I improve the security of my tank and deter oil theft?

Unfortunately, fuel theft is becoming increasingly common. To prevent this, you could consider the following safeguards:

I’m fitting a new tank, how can I make it easier for drivers?

If you are thinking of replacing, refitting or repositioning your tank it would be great if you could consider options to allow our driver to make delivery from ground level. If this isn’t practicable don’t worry, we can still make your delivery.

Will I still get my oil delivery if you have to use a ladder?

Yes. It would be great if you could consider options to allow our driver to make delivery from ground level but if this isn’t practicable don’t worry, we can still make your delivery using our ladder – you don’t need to change anything.

I haven’t got a ladder, what ladder will you use?

All our delivery tankers carry a portable ladder, this is what our driver uses to reach your tank. All our drivers have been trained to safely use the ladder we provide.

What is an offset fill?

An offset fill is a (metal) downpipe which is connected to the tank inlet so tank can be filled remotely. If tank is at height the offset fill can be brought down to ground level and our driver can make your delivery without using a ladder. With an offset fill it is important there is a gauge fitted to the tank so our driver can check there is enough space (ullage) in the tank for your delivery quantity and avoids overfilling the tank.

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