Thursday, June 09, 2011

44 gallons

What a marvellous product was a forty four gallon drum. The last time I checked, they had changed to 205 litres. Would they have been imperial gallons or US gallons? They usually contained oil or kerosene but could hold any liquid. I think you get a forty four of molasses.

I suppose there was a refundable deposit or change over system. They would not have been cheap to make. But oh the uses they could be put to. If you are not sure what one looks like, take a look at Adelaide and Beyond.

Incinerator, cut the top off, cut a hole down the bottom for ash removal and air and they lasted for years. If you want to be posh, leave the lid on and add a chimney.

Barbecue, cut lengthways vertically into half, add a stand and a some wire for a grill and you have a great barbe.

Heating, as above but just for warmth. Or standing up as an incinerator. Get the sides glowing red hot.

A water or feed trough for animals.

Put some bedding in and it becomes a crib for a sick calf or other animal.

An inverted half with the end removed becomes a dog kennel.

There is just no end of uses for the good old forty four gallon drum. Just remember a cut drum can be sharp, soften the edges.


  1. The importance of the 44 gallon drum to Australia is potentially summed up by the Leyland P76
    Which I was once told was designed around the need to fit a 44 gallon drum in the boot.
    Wether it was the design brief or a happy accident it did fit as the picture on this Wiki entry will attest.

    They just don't make em like they used to.

  2. Hello Andrew:
    How are we living without?

    Until this moment we had no idea that an American gallon was different from an Imperial one. What is the difference?

  3. HHHMMMmmm... sounds like there's a book in there somewhere - 101 uses for a 44 gallon drum! Especially now they're obsolete with the 205 litre upgrade!!

    You take the pix, I'll do the words & split you 50/50. Deal??

  4. Indeed it would fit BDT. I drove a P76 a couple of times. It wasn't a bad car to drive. No doubt that the body build quality was bad and there are established reasons known now as to why. The one I drove was a V8.

    J&L, let me check. One of your gallons equals 1.20095 US gallons. That is a significant difference. Who knows why there is a difference.

    Its a deal Red. Now target market? City folk won't be interested and rural folk know the uses already. Damn, we can't even get past stage one.

  5. A very good posting. 44 gallon drums are a vanished part of backyard suburbia, make-do style. (In pioneering days kerosine tins could be flattened to clad a humpy.) Some of the uses you've mentioned for the drums are new to me, I mostly remember the incinerator.

    Nomad, Andrew is good enough with the words.

  6. Americans have a ten gallon hat. So does Bob Katter. A 44 gallon drum would sit nicely on Rob Oakeshotts head.

  7. Ted, not much personal experience with kero tins, but they were very useful, as you describe. Oakeshott is a rare politician in my view, insofar as I don't really have an opinion of him.