When you need to haul acids, flammable liquids or other corrosive fluids, you need a vessel that's tough, durable and reliable. This is where chemical trailers come in. Because the cargo can pose a threat to the environment and to people's health, even the base models of these trailers are often loaded with helpful features to increase safety, make transportation smoother and make things easier for operators.

Trailers of Texas is your local chemical tank trailer dealer and have compiled some helpful information about them for you. When you're ready to check out chemical trailers for sale in Houston, TX, contact our sales department for more assistance.

 Here are some helpful things to consider while buying a Chemical tank trailer:


One of the most important things to keep in mind when shopping for chemical trailers is the amount of fluid you'll be transporting. This will help determine the size of your vehicle. Smaller tanks have higher specific gravity and can hold from between 3,800 to 5,000 gallons. Standard chemical trailer's length is usually between 42 and 45 feet and can hold between 6,000 to 7,000 gallons, while the largest models will be able to haul upwards of 8,000 gallons.

Fluid Type

You have to know the chemical characteristics of what you'll be transporting to select the right material and decide whether you need a liner. For example, for any acidic fluid, you will need a liner, the type of liner will be specified by the customer or manufacturer. If the liquid being transported is corrosive, then the tank must have an acid or corrosive-resistant lining or it will degrade very quickly. The chemical composition also determines the way you'll fill the tank. For example, air pumps aren't recommended for corrosive liquids unless you're thoroughly cleaning after each use.

Access Points

There'll be times you have to climb up the tank, such as when you need to perform an inspection, so when looking at chemical trailers for sale, ensure you select a model that has easy and safe access points. Some models will have additional safety features to prevent falls, like retractable handrails along the catwalk or drivers tethering themselves to a stable frame fixed on the trailer. You can also look at models with bottom loading and vapor recovery systems to avoid the climb. This vapor recovery systems vents and valves channel vapors to the right place, rather than causing build-ups in tanks or venting into the atmosphere. Also consider a ground level pressurization line that keeps you or your drivers off the tanks when off loading. With the pressurization line you have air at the front and or rear of the tank over the fenders.


Lighting is very important when you're dealing with combustible, hazardous and volatile liquids in big bulks. Make sure your selected model has great lighting that can brighten up the darkest roads. Some models will come with additional light features above the discharge tube area and on the steps of the ladder so you don't have to fumble around in the dark. LED strips mounted along the body of the trailer will also help keep other vehicles away from you. You can also consider the "Ring of Fire" which is a red light strip around the diameter of the rear head to ensure other drivers know you are stopping.

Compliance Standards: DOT 407 and DOT 412

DOT 407 - The DOT 407 tank trailer is a tough stainless-steel tank trailer that's designed to transport non-corrosive chemicals and related products effectively, economically, and safely. These DOT 407 tank trailers' specifications are as follows:

  • Straight round or Double Conical
  • 5,000 - 8,000 gallons
  • MAWP of 30 PSI
  • Max Loading Temp. of 250-300 deg. F
  • Insulated / Non Insulated
  • Rear Discharge / Center Discharge
  • Intransit Heat / Steam Capable
  • Liquid Level Gauge (optional)
  • Safety Walkways and Railings (optional)
  • Tank Linings (depending on service)
  • Vapor Recovery (optional)
  • Overfill protection system (optional)
  • Ground Pressurization Line (optional)

DOT 412 - DOT 412 compliant used for transporting the toughest corrosive and acidic fluids. These tank trailers are composed of fibreglass reinforced plastic (FRP) lined or rubber-lined which ensures a high level of safety. These are the following specifications of DOT 412:

  • Max Loading Temp. of 150 deg. F
  •  Max weight 16 lbs./gallon
  •  Intransit Heat / Steam Capable
  •  Tank Linings (Rubber)
  • Vapor Recovery System (optional)
  • Overfill Protection (optional)
  • Rear or Center Discharge
  • Overfill Protection System (optional)
  • Ground Pressurization Line (optional)
  • Safety Walkway and Railings

Types of Chemical Tank trailers

Types of Chemical Tank trailers - Straight Round chemical tank trailers are DOT 407 compliant and as the name suggests, are cylindrical in shape. These tank trailers are available in two variants- insulated and non-insulated. These are the industry standard when it comes to chemical trailers. 7000-gallon capacity, Rear discharge, no baffles, In transit heat. Consider adding vapor recovery and a ground level pressurization line to have more flexibility.

Double Conical - Double conical tank trailers are central discharge trailers with the base of the trailer creating a slight “V” from the front and back to the centre. This allows better drainage for the product on level ground. These are DOT 407 compliant tank trailers available in two variants- insulated and non-insulated.

Fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP) - FRP tank trailers are ideal for safely transporting products having a high concentration of acid, like Sulphuric acid without damaging the vessel itself. FRP trailers are DOT 412 compliant and are available in a variety of size configurations.

Rubber lined - Rubber lined stainless steel or carbon steel tank trailers are common when transporting Hydrochloric Acid or Bleach. Trailers are usually built to DOT 407/412 compliance and are typically around 3500-5500 gallons in capacity.

Safety Considerations

Product Characteristics - The crucial consideration of chemical characteristics of what you'll be transporting, For example, some chemical liquids are more viscous than others. Therefore, we need to choose trailers very carefully, so that there will be no complications or chemical reactions while transporting the chemical product.

Loading and Unloading - As we see from the safety aspect, loading and unloading are very critical practices for the shipper and receiver. They will have to define the unit's best loading and unloading arrangement for these chemical products. Rear discharge trailers are the most "common" and can have a belly line built that allow for a center discharge location usually near the ladder on the curbside of the trailer.

Vapor Recovery System - Chemical compounds may be flammable which requires the use of a vapor recovery system in the tank trailers. The vapor recovery system is a set-up designed to remove harmful and unwanted vapor from the chemical products, rather than causing build-ups in tanks. It also increases purity and prevents hazardous chemicals pollutants from entering the environment.

ESC systems "Roll Stability" - ESC systems have been applied to the tank trailers industry in recent years. These intelligent systems can detect a rollover or lose directional control and can apply the tanker's brakes safely to prevent an accident.

These are just the basics when it comes to buying a chemical and acid tank trailer. To find out more, get in touch with us at Trailers of Texas and tell us what you need so we can make the best recommendations for you. We have a top-notch selection of chemical trailers for sale and are the preferred chemical trailer dealer for our friends from Houston, Katy and The Woodlands!

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