And Away we Go –Gas Caddies
The obvious advantages of gas caddies are portability and a larger carrying capacity. One major disadvantage however, is weight. The strong reinforced plastic, beefier handles and wheels to ease transportation are all welcome, if not neccessary features for a device that weighs about 100 pounds, or more. Besides the larger capacity, the caddies sported 6” solid wheels (the Tempo has 10 inch wheels) which made pulling them down the dock a breeze. After the chore of crossing the gravel parking lot the dock was a treat. The gas caddies can save you the trouble of having to carry multiple jugs but they are very heavy when full.
First we evaluated the 14 gallon Scepter Flo n’ Go Duramax Caddy, the larger cousin of the 6 gallon Flo n’ Go Combo Pump we also tested. Its pump system is identical to the smaller device, and we encountered the same frustration – it wouldn’t pump up hill effectively. We followed the instructions to the letter and even elevated the caddy, but we still could not empty it. The stated flow rate is 2 gpm, but we observed a mere 0.67 gpm. On a positive note, this caddy did not leak. When your target tank is full, simply release the pump handle, and tap the nozzle lightly to release the last drop before removing from the tank.
The Tracy Gas Kart had a 6’ rubber hose with a brass shut-off valve. We also ordered for the Gas Pal pump kit, a $54.99 option, so we could test its ability to pump uphill. This optional pump mechanism appeared to be the identical the Petro Pump that we tested earlier. It was similarly slow and required hundreds of strokes to empty the caddy’s entire contents. To make matters worse, the pump broke midway through our initial tests. We removed it and installed the spare pump - it too broke, this time leaving us fishing for pieces that fell inside the tank. With no other options, we decided to continue the unit’s evaluation as a gravity-fed pump. The brass shut-off valve was a very effective cut-off device. Although it lacked the style and comfort of a nozzle handle, it was easy to direct and didn’t drip once the valve was closed.
The third gas caddy in our line up was the Tempo Gas Walker. It was the largest of the caddies, weighing 221 pounds, and required two people to lift into the back of a vehicle. We were thankful that it had large pneumatic tires. It rolled over the gravel parking lot easily. However, when rolling the full tank over uneven ground the whole unit it became slightly unstable. It included a 3/4” Goodyear fuel-rated hose and a sturdy metal pump handle, similar to the style you’d encounter at a service station. It also came with a grounding wire to prevent static charge build up. The biggest draw back is perhaps its price - $379.99. We decided not to order for the rotary pump, which was another $147.25 and instead tested the Gas Walker as a gravity-fed pump.
Very specific transportation instructions included with the unit say that when transporting this caddy from the service station, you’ll need to affix a red diamond-shaped Flammable Liquid placard in clear view on the rear of the vehicle. Because its capacity is greater than 20 gallons, national DOT regulations would classify a vehicle carrying this caddy as HAZMAT. In some states though, a vehicle carrying as few as 9 gallons can be considered HAZMAT.
The Gas Walker’s stated gravity flow rate is 3.5 gpm, however, the best we could get was just under 2 gpm. The pump handle and the brass shut-off valve allowed testers to precisely control the flow of fuel with no drips. This was a solid unit and solid performer although not as fast as we would have liked.
If one of these larger caddies is right for you, remember, always use two people to move heavy gas caddies into and out of your vehicle when full. These units are heavy!