Tank Trucks And Tankers

Tank trucks or tankers as they are known in the petroleum industry are exactly what the name makes them sound like – trucks with large containers that carry many different types of liquid inside a cylindrical shape. Used for many different jobs and in many different industries, it is possible to carry anything from swimming pool water to jet fuel in these large move-able containers. Available in multiple sizes, from regular to semi tractor-trailer proportions, there is a lot to know about these vehicles in order for them to be properly used and driven. Tankers make the moving of volatile and other types of liquids safe and easy when operations are handled with care and caution.

Tank Trucks

Tanker Truck Size Considerations

Tanker Trucks range in size anywhere from 1,000 gallons capacity for smaller versions to as much as 11,600 gallons for the largest versions. Smaller units under 3,000 gallons are typically used for local deliveries such as heating oil, water, liquid petroleum, natural gas, and on-site jet fuel delivery for airplane fueling. The larger types are generally used for long distance deliveries of gasoline, oil, chemicals, and other such liquids. Refrigerated versions of this movable holding vessel are used to carry milk from dairies; even vacuum septic trucks are considered a version of the tanker. Larger units can be divided inside the container in order to carry more than one liquid at a time.

Tank Trucks

Construction Considerations

Other than size, the most important feature of any of these large containers is its construction and the material that is used, both of which will differ based on how a truck will be employed. Tank Trucks are usually constructed from either carbon steel, stainless steel, aluminum, or sometimes fiberglass reinforced plastic. Other options that can be included are: insulated versus non-insulated and pressurized versus non-pressurized, each option fitting the transportation regulations of the different liquids being carried based on corrosive properties, any possible chemical reaction between liquids and the metal of which the tank is made. For this reason, most of these unique material carrying vehicles are built and equipped to haul only one type of liquid.

Tank Trucks

Tanker Safety Considerations

A large concern for any type of tanker is how it is correctly operated and handled as driving these vehicles can be somewhat of a challenge. Because the cargo being carried is liquid that can shift as vehicles move around corners and over bumpy roads, these trucks are very easily flipped. The weight of the moving fluids in the tank is many times enough to unbalance the load and the vehicle, causing it to turn over onto its side. Driving too fast is a main factor in accidents with these vehicles; not only is there a greater tendency for loads to shift more when a vehicle is moving faster, it will have more momentum to keep shifting and moving rather than being able to balance the load again.
When this happens, not only is the possibility of injury to operators and bystanders introduced; there is also the possibility of a spill of whatever fluid is inside the tank which can end up causing environmental hazards, fires, or explosions.
Unfortunately, tanker trucks have a higher incidence of rollover than any other commercial vehicles on the road. This is why operators of such vehicles need to be skilled, trained, careful, and committed to following all safety procedures to prevent a potentially deadly accident.
Before considering the purchase of any of the different types of tank trucks, it is essential to determine what construction specifications and features are necessary to provide safe transportation for all of the different fluids traveling across roadways every day. Proper training on how to drive these useful vehicles is absolutely imperative to ensure trouble-free deliveries of fluids material every time!
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