What is it like driving an tanker truck? As I talked about in my web page about trucking companies I hauled tanker with three different companies. One was the heating oil . Most deliveries were deliver by gravity. The other two companies you delivered by pumping product from the tanker to a storage tank.
Different types of tankers and what jobs they perform
Tanker Truck Jobs
The Gasoline Tanker
The first tanker job I am going to talk about is a gasoline tanker. Gasoline tankers unload by gravity most of the time. When you see a truck driver unloading at a gas station they are unloading by gravity.
The tanker is built with individual compartments so they can store different grades of gas. They are also piped so you can have one type of grade of gas in all compartments and unload from one location if needed.
The tanks are made with a vapor recovery system to prevent fuels from going to the air when loading and unloading. See and example of a tanker by viewing this You Tube.
Smooth Bore Tanker Truck
The next type of tanker is the smooth bore tank. The smooth bore tank is used for different chemicals and it does not have baffles. The tank is clear of obstruction from one end to the other. You could get inside and walk from the rear to the front. This tank is made this way so it can be cleaned easily and completely after each use. Permitting you to load with a different chemical.
They do make chemical tanks that have compartments, but the smooth bore is preferred.
The Delivery Proceedure
In making the delivery you need to follow procedures like anything that you want to do correctly. In unloading a tanker there are three types of off loading.
The steps seem simple enough but things can go wrong when hooking your lines improperly or disconnecting your lines with product still in the hoses or worst yet if there is pressure in the lines.
See this video to explain what I mean when things go wrong
Driving Safely in a Tanker Truck
As a truck driver in a tanker getting to the customer safely is important. There are driving styles you must adhere to. In a van trailer or flatbed if your load shifts it can cause you to roll over even at speeds at 15 mph. Keeping the load secure is important. In a tanker the load can not be secured and in a smooth bore it can slosh from one side to the other for they do not have baffles. So it is important to be alert on the open highway and when making turns.
When going into turns it is a good practice of driving 10 mph below the speed limit. You want to have the rear wheels stay three to four feet from the curb. To do this I put my front steer tire on the outer edge of the turn,being careful to stay on the roadway to making sure the rear wheels stay on the hard surface of the road way and not hit any obstructions curbs, or soft shoulder.
When on the open highway you need to be alert. You can not have sudden moves. If you go off the road slow down bring the unit back slowly or come to a stop. If the shoulder is to soft you may need to call a tow truck to get you back on the roadway. The company may not like it but it is better then a role over.
See this video about driving a tank truck