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Old 07-22-2014, 02:52 PM   #1
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Crazy Fuel Stop Experiences

I am a bit new to all this; fueling a Diesel motorhome at a truck stop with the rest of the truckers lined up behind me.

This past weekend I had a "crazy" experience which may be common to you folk, it was not for me. I will tell you what happened but would love to hear some of your stories too.

We were returning from The FMCA Northeast Rally in Essex Junction VT when we stopped at the Pilot Fuel stop on Bow NH, exit 11/12C, off Route 3A. The station was mostly empty, only trucks lined up in the field all running their engine waiting for something.

I went to the Fuel Desk and told the attendant what pump I was on, I handed her a credit card and she asked "how much" I told her to reserve $300 since I was 3/4 down. I went out to pump, the pump was dead. Nothing. I went back to the attendant, she was busy but eventually told me to move to a different pump. I did. Still no pump pressure in the hose, nothing.

The pumps had no digital readout on one side and on the other side there was. The pump number was on the side with no digital readouts.

I went back in and told her that no fuel was coming out, she then came out and tried it herself, nothing. She asked me to move to a different pump. I did.

Same experience. I went back in and she was busy, I waited and she called the manager who told her to go out there and help us. She eventually did, told us again to move to a different pump, still nothing.

Finally, another trucker came along and told us to remove the hose, flip the hose cradle up and lay the hose on the ground, then go around to the other side and pump fuel from a different hose.

It worked. All this took us about 45 minutes. Then, she couldn't give us a receipt because we changed pumps so many times, so we had to wait while she voided the transaction and start over.

My wife asked her if she knew that you had to remove the hose on one side and pump from the other side. She said: Yes, I told you that, you probably weren't listening. My DW became a little flippant; she said "I was in here 3 times, you came out yourself and you never said a thing. She said "yes, I told you but you probably weren't listening"

Wow.

I realize I am still new at this but never quite had that type of an experience. I had been to about 6 truck stops so far this year, each one was mostly a pleasant, experience as long as you don't mind walking across a long parking lot in the rain, waiting in line to get your card "reserved" and then go back to fuel, before having to return again for your receipt. Why not just put the card reader at the pump? Seems so simple to me but I accept that's the way it is.

This was a first, it took most of an hour to get fuel and they could care less.

Have you ever experienced having to remove the fuel hose and lay it on the floor, only to pump fuel from a different pump on the opposite side?

Live and Learn!
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Old 07-22-2014, 02:59 PM   #2
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Using truck stops can be intimidating but I've never experienced what you did. I'm guessing that it has something to do with the fact that the truck lanes have a main and a satellite pump so the big rigs can fill from either/both sides. In order to use the satellite pump the main pump must be started first.

At any rate, there is no excuse for the attitude from the counter girl.

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Old 07-22-2014, 03:02 PM   #3
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Yes, I've seen those at both Flying J and Pilot. You start the pump on the right and lay it on the ground, then pump from the other side. My rig has fills on both sides, so I never have to do that.
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Old 07-22-2014, 03:32 PM   #4
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Part of the "walking to the counter/store" can be eliminated by getting a pump start card from Flying J. At least you can motor up beside the pump, insert card, remove nozzle, lay it on the ground, flip up the start lever, walk around to the other (slaved) pump, and fill your tank. Reverse this process, being sure to set all nozzles back in the holders, then get in the rig, drive forward to the white line (sometimes no line is visible), shut the engine off and walk into the building, stand in line and pay.

My wife always makes me wear a pair of old shoes for this operation, and NEVER walk inside the rig with them on. Guess she doesn't like grease tracked inside.

My experiences at truck fueling stations have been fairly mundane, except for the occasional "closed lane" sign that I never see until it's too late. A saw horse across the lane I can see, but a sheet of note paper taped on the face of a pump is not noticed until you get in the lane.

Once in a while you will pull in behind a trucker that has just pulled forward, so you figure he will be out of there before you are ready to pull forward. NOT. He will be the guy that saunters into the building, orders his take out meal, does a bit of impulse shopping then eventually gets in line to pay for his fuel, food, and stuff. Trust me, you will see that guy ahead of you someday.
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Old 07-22-2014, 03:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Musikboy View Post
I am a bit new to all this; fueling a Diesel motorhome at a truck stop with the rest of the truckers lined up behind me.



This past weekend I had a "crazy" experience which may be common to you folk, it was not for me. I will tell you what happened but would love to hear some of your stories too.



We were returning from The FMCA Northeast Rally in Essex Junction VT when we stopped at the Pilot Fuel stop on Bow NH, exit 11/12C, off Route 3A. The station was mostly empty, only trucks lined up in the field all running their engine waiting for something.



I went to the Fuel Desk and told the attendant what pump I was on, I handed her a credit card and she asked "how much" I told her to reserve $300 since I was 3/4 down. I went out to pump, the pump was dead. Nothing. I went back to the attendant, she was busy but eventually told me to move to a different pump. I did. Still no pump pressure in the hose, nothing.



The pumps had no digital readout on one side and on the other side there was. The pump number was on the side with no digital readouts.



I went back in and told her that no fuel was coming out, she then came out and tried it herself, nothing. She asked me to move to a different pump. I did.



Same experience. I went back in and she was busy, I waited and she called the manager who told her to go out there and help us. She eventually did, told us again to move to a different pump, still nothing.



Finally, another trucker came along and told us to remove the hose, flip the hose cradle up and lay the hose on the ground, then go around to the other side and pump fuel from a different hose.



It worked. All this took us about 45 minutes. Then, she couldn't give us a receipt because we changed pumps so many times, so we had to wait while she voided the transaction and start over.



My wife asked her if she knew that you had to remove the hose on one side and pump from the other side. She said: Yes, I told you that, you probably weren't listening. My DW became a little flippant; she said "I was in here 3 times, you came out yourself and you never said a thing. She said "yes, I told you but you probably weren't listening"



Wow.



I realize I am still new at this but never quite had that type of an experience. I had been to about 6 truck stops so far this year, each one was mostly a pleasant, experience as long as you don't mind walking across a long parking lot in the rain, waiting in line to get your card "reserved" and then go back to fuel, before having to return again for your receipt. Why not just put the card reader at the pump? Seems so simple to me but I accept that's the way it is.



This was a first, it took most of an hour to get fuel and they could care less.



Have you ever experienced having to remove the fuel hose and lay it on the floor, only to pump fuel from a different pump on the opposite side?



Live and Learn!

I'm guessing your fuel fill is on the passenger side. Most truck pumps are setup with the control pump on the drivers side and a slave pump on the passenger side. They can fuel both their big saddle tanks at the same time. If you are only fueling from the slave pump, you must go through the routine that you did.


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Old 07-22-2014, 03:46 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moonrover View Post

Once in a while you will pull in behind a trucker that has just pulled forward, so you figure he will be out of there before you are ready to pull forward. NOT. He will be the guy that saunters into the building, orders his take out meal, does a bit of impulse shopping then eventually gets in line to pay for his fuel, food, and stuff. Trust me, you will see that guy ahead of you someday.
Yup, I've met that guy! Waited 15 minutes for him once myself.
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Old 07-22-2014, 04:29 PM   #7
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Thanks for posting this! We would have had no idea how to operate the pump and I'm not sure I understand it now.

So...
1. Get to the pump.
2. Go inside and fork over a credit card.
3. Come back out, if you're pumping on the driver's side, you're good. If you're
pumping into the passenger side, you've got to lay driver's side hose on the ground after you start it,
then pump from the one on the other side? That makes perfect sense.... NOT.
4. Then you move forward to what may be an invisible line, then go back to the
counter and wait in another line to finish the transaction.

Here, I thought fueling a diesel would be simpler and faster than fighting through the gas lines. Silly me.

We'll have to investigate the "pump start card" from Flying J.
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Old 07-22-2014, 04:47 PM   #8
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What you need is the RV Plus Charge Card. Good at nearly all Flying J and Pilot truck stops. Just pull up to the pump, insert the card, select type of fuelling operation, enter PIN code, and pump your fuel. No going to the fuel desk for pre-payment or going back to pay, it's all billed to you on a monthly statement.

https://www.rvpluscard.com/
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Old 07-22-2014, 05:00 PM   #9
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I might be ducking and skootin' after I post this, but why use truck stops? Here in the Southeast, they are now the most expensive diesel fuel around, so what do you guys know that I don't?

We find Sam's Clubs and fill up when we get to them. Given an 800 mile range, it isn't a problem finding one.

Before a trip, I use GasBuddy to find the best price for diesel along the way, and it has never been a large truck stop....so what am I missing?
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Old 07-22-2014, 05:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Ownby View Post
I'm guessing your fuel fill is on the passenger side. Most truck pumps are setup with the control pump on the drivers side and a slave pump on the passenger side. They can fuel both their big saddle tanks at the same time. If you are only fueling from the slave pump, you must go through the routine that you did.


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Steve,

I have fuel fills on BOTH sides and I tried to fill from either side but I would have never guessed (and the attendant didn't know) that you had to lay down the hose on one side to use the other. That was the mystery. I see here that others have experienced this too, so it's not unusual, just new to me.

Thanks.
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Old 07-22-2014, 05:04 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by lllkrob View Post
What you need is the RV Plus Charge Card. Good at nearly all Flying J and Pilot truck stops. Just pull up to the pump, insert the card, select type of fuelling operation, enter PIN code, and pump your fuel. No going to the fuel desk for pre-payment or going back to pay, it's all billed to you on a monthly statement.

https://www.rvpluscard.com/
Thanks! I just applied.
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Old 07-22-2014, 05:30 PM   #12
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Read ALL of the fine print on the Pilot/Flying J card very closely before you use it. I believe it is NOt a credit/debit card so federal protections against card fraud does not apply. In addition we've found that limits on the card make it's use by us when we travel just about useless.

Regardless, the attitude you saw by the counter person is mot unusual at Pilot Flying J. We've experienced similar attitudes throughout the US and it appears to be slowly increasing ever since Pilot took over FJ. If you're not a trucker and part of an organization that buys thousands of gallons a month, you're dirt and are treated as such.

I agree that MUCH lower fuel prices are available at easily accessible stations throughout the US. A check of Gas Buddy and a look at Google earth will show where they are and how to get in and out of the stations with ease.

These truck stops don't want my business and I'm happy to take it elsewhere. Too bad really. The old Flying J chain had occasional problems but was still great to use. No more now.
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Old 07-22-2014, 06:02 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by KarenS144 View Post
Thanks for posting this! We would have had no idea how to operate the pump and I'm not sure I understand it now.
.
1. You remove the main pump handle so you can flip the handle up to turn the pump on. Since you can't put that handle back in the slot it lays on the ground (or in your tank if you fuel from both sides). Now the satellite (or slave) pump will work. Both handles/hoses register on the main pump display.
--------

My best Truck stop story, refueled at a small truck stop near Columbus, IN- The Diesel pumps, were on 4 lanes behind the station. An Army convoy from nearby Fort Atterbury was refueling in 3 of the lanes. After fueling I went inside to pay, just as the Sargent was completing his paperwork. Young lady said I had already paid. The other attendant said, "Oh, I put pump 4 on the Army card too". The Sargent said there are 30 trucks on there, don't worry about it. I mentioned we could probably get adjoining rooms in the stockade......The attendant said it was not a problem and corrected the paperwork. We still get a chuckle about that one...
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Old 07-22-2014, 07:53 PM   #14
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This is way out of hand !
Just get a Flying J Card and you'll be all set, Swipe the Card and pump your fuel have a coke or ice tea - Pull forward as you should and go in to pay !
That simple. Truckers have never ever been intimidating to me at all !
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