A Beginner's Guide to Tank Trailers

Feb 13, 2020 Lifestyle By ___

Tank trailers are a unique type of vehicle designed for transporting liquids or dry bulk materials. It's easy to spot them on the open road due to their sleek, glistening tank. Other common terms for this vehicle style are fuel tank trailers and tanker trailers, but whatever you call them, they can be a great investment for those working in the transportation industry.

We've created the following guide to understanding tank trailers. If you want more information or to explore tanker trailers for sale, head over to Trailers of Texas. We are a tank trailer dealer based in Houston, Texas.

The Design of Tank Trailers

Fuel tank trailers are built to hold liquids and dry materials for easy, safe transportation. They can transport a range of cargo, from milk to hazardous chemicals. The tank may be divided into different sections by partitions, allowing drivers to carry different materials in the same load. The height of the tanker trailer is usually designed so that bridge height is not a problem, making it easier to build out your route.

The Types of Tank Trailers

Tanker trailers can be broken down into four broad categories based on what they are used to transport.

  • fuel and petroleum: carries liquids such as fuel oil, gasoline, and propane. This usually requires a Hazmat endorsement.

  • food grade: carries liquids such as water, milk, and juice. These models may come with a heating and/or cooling system. There are also food grade dry bulk variations that can carry foods such as sugar, salt, and flour.

  • chemical and acid tanks: carries industrial chemicals. Some models can be designed to safely carry corrosive chemicals.

  • dry bulk: carries materials such as sand and fertilizer.

The Challenges of Driving Tanker Trailers

The unique design and use of tank trailers can lead to some unique challenges for drivers. In general, fuel tank trailers are statistically among the safest to drive. Data shows these vehicles are involved in fewer fatal, injury, and tow-away crashes than other transportation vehicles, but there are still some relevant difficulties for driving tanker trailers.

First, tank trailers are crafted in a way that results in a high center of gravity, which can make them more difficult to drive and control. Second, fuel tank trailers can experience liquid surges. This happens when the liquid in the tank sloshes in a certain direction. When a wave hits an area of the tank, it can push the truck in that direction. Then the liquid will slosh in the opposite direction, which then pushes the truck in that direction. Liquid surges can be caused by changing speed (such as accelerating or braking) or changing direction (such as turning or changing lanes). Drivers will need to stay aware of liquid surges and adjust their driving as needed. The less fuel the tank is, the faster the liquid travels and the harder it hits the wall. Third, tanker trucks tend to not be completely full because it would exceed maximum weight limits. This can make it more challenging to meet output needs and can make liquid surges worse.

The Job Outlook of Driving Tank Trailers

There is an overall shortage of individuals qualified to work as fuel tank trailer drivers. This results in plenty of job openings across the nation. In many cases, the shortage also results in great pay rates for those who are qualified to work as tank trailer drivers.

Ready to explore tank trucks for sale? Check out the selection at Trailers of Texas. Our expert staff is happy to assist you in finding the perfect fuel tank trailer for your needs and budget, so stop by and visit us today. We proudly serve those in The Woodlands and Katy.