Cheap Poly jerrycans VS Quality Poly jerrycans

Submitted: Monday, Oct 27, 2014 at 18:11
ThreadID: 109944 Views:5552 Replies:8 FollowUps:5
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G'day Everyone!

After a recent discussion re metal VS poly jerrycans - here's a little education on the major differences between the poly jerrycans built to a price level - and the poly jerrycans that are built to do the job.

I have a number of 20L Rheem jerrycans (now made by Haigh), that are around 25 yrs old.
They've been dragged around the countryside, emptied and filled multiple hundreds of times - and they're still completely serviceable.
I have only just, after 25 years, had to replace a couple of the filler spouts - because they wore out and split. I had no trouble obtaining new Haigh filler spouts from Auto One.

In recent days, I had to fly to Alice Springs to pick up a traytop vehicle and drive it back to Perth. I went via the Stuart Hwy, the Lasseter Hwy, the Tjukaruru Rd, the Great Central Rd, the Goldfields Hwy and the Gt Eastern Hwy.

I had to purchase 3 new jerrycans for the trip, as I couldn't bring mine on the 'plane.
I bought the cheapest jerrycans that I could find - the red-coloured "Adventure Products" 20L jerrycan, that's available from Bunnings, Repco, Supercheap, camping stores, and probably half a dozen other retailers.
These red jerrycans range from $18.84 at Bunnings to around $21-23 at the other retailers.

The marketing blurb on the sticker on the jerrycan advertises, "Made in Australia for Australian conditions" - and and it claims, "tough, durable filler spout".

Sadly, like most advertising claims, these cheap jerrycans don't live up to the advertising blurb.

The jerrycans were both roped down, and tied down, with 10mm diameter rope and 500kg ratchet strap, so they couldn't move on the tray.
I used these new jerrycans just ONCE - I filled them in Alice Springs and emptied them into the tank along the route, as required.

Whilst emptying one of the jerrycans into the tank, I was appalled to find fuel running everywhere from the filler spout!
It turned out the filler spout had split along the convoluted bend in the spout!
A second jerrycan was emptied, and the same thing happened!

Now, I know I bought cheap jerrycans - but to not be able to even get one use out of the filler spout is pathetic, to say the least.

I have included a series of pics, showing one of the almost new jerrycans, and an old Rheem one.
Also included is pics of the caps and filler spouts showing the major differences in construction and thickness - and the very rapid filler spout splitting incurred on the cheap jerrycan filler spouts.

The red jerrycans are stamped that they meet AS/NZS Approval 2906-1999 for fuel containers.
IMO, they only just scrape by on the approval level of standards.
I have to say the red jerrycans did endure a couple of 39 deg days when full of petrol, without splitting.

I would be suspicious of them being able to resist repeated extreme temperature days, full (or half full) of fuel, along with regular handling and tying down - without failing.

The bottom line is, of course, that you get what you pay for.

In the case of the much better quality Haigh/Rheem jerrycans, you pay more than double for these jerrycans - but the life of the Haigh/Rheem jerrycans would be measured in decades, as compared to as little as weeks for the cheap jerrycans.

Cheers, Ron.

Cheap jerrycan and quality jerrycan

Cheap jerrycan cap with minimal ribbing - difficult to unscrew and with little strength

Heavy duty jerrycan cap - lots of heavy ribbing, strong, and easy to unscrew

Two filler spouts - quality one on the left, cheap one on the right

The startling differences in wall thickness and design, between a quality filler spout and a cheap filler spout

Cheap filler spout showing splitting and holing

Cheap filler spout, showing split
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Reply By: Member - Munji - Monday, Oct 27, 2014 at 18:23

Monday, Oct 27, 2014 at 18:23
Good feedback Ron

Same old story, people whinge about the price of food and other quality products but they will go and pay big dollars for entertainment, shoes, less important items etc
We used the old Jerry cans for years in the Pilbara and did not experience any of these issues, and we couldn't just pop into a Bunnings and get straps and so on.
You pay for what you get hey.
Penny wise, pound foolish
AnswerID: 540919

Reply By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Monday, Oct 27, 2014 at 18:30

Monday, Oct 27, 2014 at 18:30
I have 6 Rheem cans and I wouldn't buy anything else. The only problem is the filler hole is too small for high flow bowser nozzles in refilling. If they were smart, they would modify the second filler on the back to a slightly bigger size with a new, bigger screw on cap. This would allow them to continue to use the current spout on the front and have a bigger filler hole for high flow diesel nozzles for filling. Forget the cheap rubbish, false economy. regards, Michael
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Follow Up By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Monday, Oct 27, 2014 at 18:50

Monday, Oct 27, 2014 at 18:50
In fact, I think you have answered your own questions! Michael
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Reply By: Member -Pinko (NSW) - Monday, Oct 27, 2014 at 19:36

Monday, Oct 27, 2014 at 19:36
Ron
I'm old.
Experience had taught me 'buy cheap, buy twice'
Living is a journey,it depends on where you go !
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Reply By: Member - Duncan W (WA) - Monday, Oct 27, 2014 at 20:58

Monday, Oct 27, 2014 at 20:58
Ron the cheap can would definitely meet the applicable Aust Standard. But as you said the Standard is the minimum manufacturing and performance requirements. I doubt if the filler spout has a standard as such. From what I read of your post that the jerry can actually performed well and did exactly what it was designed for, albeit not the spout.

Were the cans the type where the spout sits inside the tank or the totally separate spout?

I hope your trusty old can's spouts fit your new el-cheapo's, if not a screw on spout is easily replaced.

Cheers

Dunc
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Follow Up By: Member - Duncan W (WA) - Monday, Oct 27, 2014 at 21:01

Monday, Oct 27, 2014 at 21:01
Just looked at the photos and I see the spout is a separate unit to the can.
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Monday, Oct 27, 2014 at 23:05

Monday, Oct 27, 2014 at 23:05
Dunc, I don't intend to keep the el-cheapo jerrycans. They were purchased with the specific aim of one trip, and then for resale.
I already have plenty of good jerrycans, I didn't really want to lash out and buy 3 more top quality ones.

The disappointing thing to me is that these jerrycans barely made the requirements - to perform satisfactorily for the one trip down the GCR.

Yes, the spouts are the major problem - but looking at the jerrycans themselves, they're pretty flimsy, and I don't doubt it wouldn't be too long before I had a split jerrycan, if I continued to use them.

I wonder if there's any requirement in the AS/NZS 2906-1999 specification as to how many times the jerrycans need to be filled and refilled, to meet the specification? - or if they only have to meet the specification, just the once?
Looking at the preview to the specifications, it doesn't appear to mention any re-useability.
The product presented, appears to only have to meet the tests once.

And there's something else I found out, too. The AS/NZS 2906-1999 standard is now obsolete - and it has been superseded by AS/NZS 2906-2001. So this particular product only meets a superseded standard.

AS/NZS 2906-2001 standard - preview only

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: Sigmund - Tuesday, Oct 28, 2014 at 08:59

Tuesday, Oct 28, 2014 at 08:59
A standard is one thing; regular random testing of a product for compliance with it, and with the implied fitness for purpose expectation, is another altogether.
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Reply By: olcoolone - Tuesday, Oct 28, 2014 at 09:03

Tuesday, Oct 28, 2014 at 09:03
Now Ron according to you post the plastic gerry cans survived we but it was the plastic pourer that failed...... so how can you and many others complain the gerry cans are not what they are made up to be when in fact the added pourer failed and not the gerry can.

I have had steel gerry cans spill fuel out of them because the seal failed on the pourer...... doesn't mean the who gerry can is crap.

It's like buying a new car and then complain the car is rubbish and not worth the money ...... because the tyres failed.

The "The red jerrycans are stamped that they meet AS/NZS Approval 2906-1999 for fuel containers." .........relate to the fuels storage device ONLY and not the pourer so yes the standards do mean a lot and chances are they passed with flying colours.

"I would be suspicious of them being able to resist repeated extreme temperature days, full (or half full) of fuel, along with regular handling and tying down - without failing."....... how do you know that? are you basing it on the fact an add on pourer failed so according to you the rest is just the same.

"The bottom line is, of course, that you get what you pay for. "...... yes true because 97% of people who would by them are tight arses and would think paying a bit more is a waste of money.


AnswerID: 540956

Follow Up By: Ron N - Tuesday, Oct 28, 2014 at 10:38

Tuesday, Oct 28, 2014 at 10:38
olcoolone - Yes, that's correct, I am purely surmising that the jerrycans themselves would not perform satisfactorily, because the pourers did not perform satisfactorily.
It's not an unreasonable opinion, and that's all it is - my opinion.

Yes, it is possible the jerrycans would provide a moderately satisfactory level of service.
However, once one finds that one component of a product has been produced with extremely low cost as the guiding principle, then it's not unreasonable to extrapolate that the same principle was applied to the entire product.
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Reply By: Peter K20 - Tuesday, Oct 28, 2014 at 12:52

Tuesday, Oct 28, 2014 at 12:52
I have 4 cheapo - adventure products - and can't fault them. Used on 3 simpson trips and a high country visit.
AnswerID: 540970

Reply By: Sandman - Tuesday, Oct 28, 2014 at 13:00

Tuesday, Oct 28, 2014 at 13:00
I had a cheaper WILCO 20L water container in the car last week travelling the Kintore road. 15L managed to disappear in the back of the car when the container split on the side. It was freestanding with nothing against it.....

Buy cheap, pay twice.....sadly your life might depend on these products so think VERY carefully.

I live in Alice Springs and we see lots of tourist and grey nomads pass through with some pretty flash "bling"....some folks clearly have their priorities mixed....spend money on items that might save your life and the rest, leave it at home !!!
AnswerID: 540971

Reply By: Rainman WA - Tuesday, Oct 28, 2014 at 13:31

Tuesday, Oct 28, 2014 at 13:31
I bought exactly the same jerry cans for a recent trip down the Canning Stock Route. I purchased two Tracklander jerry can holders for my roof rack but found my old Rheem jerry's didn't fit, so not wanting to add the extra weight of steel cans, I looked around and found the ones at Bunnings fitted OK so off I went.

The first time I tried to use one the spout separated from the can and spilled diesel all over the vehicle and my clothing. Same thing happened with the next one so it was syphoning after that.

I wasnt too disappointed when I got home and found one of the cans had managed to work its way loose and fall off the roof.

Some of my clothes still smell like diesel.
AnswerID: 540975

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