Do you tip propane delivery guys?

propane truck delivering propane

Understanding the Etiquette

We take many things for granted around our homes, like the mail and the trash collection. Some of us will offer these people a cup of hot chocolate on a cold winter day, or a bottle of cold water in the summer. What about requested deliveries though, like propane delivery? Is this a person that is paid well enough that tips would be more insult than appreciated? 

Is propane delivery a hard job?

The companies that manufacture and process any type of energy, including propane delivery drivers, or their products won’t get distributed. Propane is delivered not only to residents, but there are agricultural, commercial, and wholesale deliveries too. 

The key part of a propane delivery driver is to fill customer tanks and restock the retailer’s supply (this is where customers buy the portable propane tanks for grills). These drivers are required to complete safety training that covers the following, and more: 

  • Inspection of the filler 
  • Check the tank pressure
  • Check the pressure relief and service valves 
  • How to fill the tank
  • Where to check for clogs and leaks
  • Check for any corrosion
  • Inspect the filler valve gasket 
  • Check the function of the service handwheel valve

Some propane delivery drivers are required to operate a semi-truck and tractor-trailer rigs. They must have a commercial driver’s license endorsed for air brakes,  hazmat, and tanker hauling. Some states have a set of requirements, including additional certification and licensing. 

Is delivering propane dangerous?

Propane delivery drivers are trained to realize that propane is a colorless, odorless substance that has an odorant added It is an extremely flammable material that distant ignition and flashback can happen. With inhaled in high amounts, the following may occur: 

  • Rapid breathing
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Clumsiness
  • Emotional upset
  • Fatigue 
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Collapse
  • Convulsions
  • Coma 

A propane delivery driver must be aware of the condition of the tanks they are carrying to be in an upright position. They must be aware of their surroundings at all times to keep the proper distance from high temperatures and open flames. 

How does propane delivery work?

During propane delivery, the driver will check the bleeder valve is opened and what the level gauge is reading. This prevents the driver from inadvertently releasing propane gas from the tank and advises when to stop filling. 

A propane delivery driver is responsible for driving the truck, delivering the accurate amount of propane gas, and follow all regulations, requirements, and standards as set by the propane company, state, and federal laws. 

How do propane delivery trucks work?

There are several ins and out to a propane delivery truck, just look at this list: 

On the outside if the tank –

  • Tank: The most recognizable part of a propane delivery truck is the part that holds the liquid propane for delivery. 
  • Hose Reel/Delivery Hose: The hose is stored in a reel mounted to the truck. When the propane delivery drier arrives, they pull the hose of this reel, stretching it to the delivery tank.
  • Hose End Valve: This where the hose is attached between the truck and the  tank that is being filled. A lever is turn upward by the driver to begin fueling and then turned down when the fill is completed. 
  • Excess Flow Valve: This is an in-line valve mechanism that pressurized gas flows through and closes when the valve has reached or exceeds the closing flow rate.
  • Meter: This is what tells the driver how much propane delivery the customer received. 
  • Tank Percentage Gauge: This gauge allows the propane delivery driver to monitor the level of propane in the truck tank.
  • Emergency Shut Off: This switch is located close the back taillights for an immediate shut off in case of an emergency. 

Inside The Propane Delivery Tank –

  • Internal Valve & Pump: This part pumps the propane through the meter into the hose and into the delivery tank.

Why are two hoses used during propane delivery?

One is the hose that the propane delivery is being completed. The other is a vapor return hose that prevents over-pressure condition resulting in propane being released through the Safety Relief Valve.

What is the minimum amount for propane delivery?

This is decided by each propane wholesaler. Some have a minimum delivery of 250 gallons, and another may have a 100-gallon minimum. Some companies offer a meter installed on a propane tank and they come by read the meter just like natural gas companies. Then they fill the tank up to a pre-determined point and bill the customer accordingly. 

How long does it take for propane to be delivered?

Again, this is up to the individual wholesaler. Most are able to deliver within a week to ten days. However, based on how far out you are from their starting point, it could vary. 

Can I get propane delivered for my outdoor grill? 

Until the past year when Covid created so many mandates and quarantine, propane tanks for grills were easily purchased at the local grocery store, home improvement store, or other retailers. This past year, a few propane companies have begun offering propane delivery. The minimum requirement and frequency is something to discuss with the wholesalers. 

Why is propane spewing out of my tank during delivery?

During a propane delivery, the fixed liquid gauge, is opened, a requirement by law. The propane delivery driver is not releasing gas from your tank inadvertently, it is a safety process they are required to maintain. 

large propane tank sitting in a garden

In Closing 

Propane is an excellent natural source for cooking and heating. Those who live in rural areas where the propane tank is a common fixture wouldn’t trade this means of power with an all-electric home. Having 2 sources of power are a preferred set up by most homeowners in these areas.