Stick the Tank

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An expression used in the petroleum marketing industry to describe the action used in manually measuring the amount of liquid in a storage tank.

When a station operator “sticks the tank,” he removes the fill cap from the tank and inserts a long gauge pole marked with numbers indicating inches. After the end of the pole has touched the bottom of the tank, the operator withdraws it and notes the highest number, to the nearest 1/8 inch, at which the liquid has “wetted” the pole.

By relating this number to the numbers in a conversion chart for that particular tank, the operator can determine the number of gallons of liquid currently present in the tank.