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Tank Trailer - Petroleum

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Petroleum Equipment
Transportation Equipment
2010 Ozgul 36,000L Fuel Tank Trailer
Tank trailers
comprise a group of haulers used to transport bulk liquids in the transportation industry. Within this group are those used for the transportation of petroleum products. The available configurations of these tank trailers are: semi (a tractor and one trailer); double (a tractor and two trailers); and truck and trailer (a truck and tank body pulling a smaller trailer than a semi would).[1] These trailers include landing legs for loading and unloading purposes.

Contents

[edit] History

[edit] The First Petroleum Haulers

Before motorized tankers were in existence, gasoline was transported from refineries by horses. The first motorized oil tanker truck was developed in 1905 by a subsidiary of Standard Oil, known as Anglo-American. The trucks this company developed were used in the transportation of fuel products from railroad tankers to substations. Though these trucks were common in urban settings by 1910, rural areas continued using horses into the following decade. By the end of World War I, the tanks, initially round and sometimes rectangular, were reconfigured to be cylindrical or elliptical.[2]

[edit] Dominating Companies

In 1910 Standard Oil began using motorized tankers; they would soon be the leaders in the gas and oil service industry.[3] During this time, oil companies remained loyal to certain truck companies. For five years after they entered the market, Standard Oil chiefly used Ford trucks to transport their products. Texas Oil Co. preferred Mack trucks, Kansas City Fuel Oil Co. used Federal trucks, Texaco’s products were transported by REO, and American Oil Co. was loyal to Pierce-Arrow trucks.[4]

[edit] The Development of Style

By 1920 oil tank trucks began to resemble billboards, displaying the name of the company whose product they were hauling. A decade later, it became apparent that not only function, but also style, was becoming an important aspect in the manufacture and sale of these trucks.[5] At this time, futuristic-looking trailers, such as Diamond T’s 1933 offering, were being produced. This model integrated a cab and tank in a rounded package. Its most advanced feature was a rear-mounted six-cylinder engine.[6] In 1936, a stylish trailer line, the 9000 series, was introduced by White. The trucks in this series comprised a streamlined tank with a V-12 engine.[7]

[edit] Chrysler Enters the Market

Amidst the many companies producing stylish tank trailers was Chrysler. Their Airflow trucks, described as Art Deco in style, were introduced as a result of the popularity of their Airflow cars in 1934.[8] The first such truck, the Dodge Airflow tanker, was built for Texaco and unveiled in December 1934. By the end of the following month, Chrysler had built 29 Airflow models for Standard Oil. Aside from their stylish appearance, these tankers took only six minutes to transfer their 1,200-gallon (4,542-L) load.[9]

[edit] Features/How it Works

[edit] Composition of the Tank

The tanks that transport petroleum today are commonly made from aluminum rather than steel to prevent sparking in the event that the trailer rolls over. Aluminum is also a popular choice because it weighs less, and can therefore haul a heavier payload, than steel tanks can.[10] Oil tanks are outfitted with large plates extending from side to side within them (known as baffles). These baffles, comprised of holes, allow liquids to flow at a greatly decelerated speed when the trailer is turning a corner, stopping abruptly, or accelerating. The domed covers mounted on top of the oil tanks include impact-resistant locks to prevent leakage in case of an accident. These covers comprise pressure release valves, enabling fuel vapors escape while liquid is contained within. Though some oil tanks have only one compartment in which to store fuel, most modern tanks are comprised of five or six to allow different products, or different grades of the same type of product, to be loaded at the same time, if necessary.[11]

[edit] Loading

The loading times on oil tanks vary depending on the design of the tanks and their suppliers. Today, many fuel suppliers utilize computerized systems capable of high-flow loading. In the most favorable situation, it can take as little as eight minutes to load a 9,000-gallon (34,068-L) tank.[12] Loading an oil tank can be accomplished from the top or bottom.

[edit] Top Loading

Top loading, the older method, requires fuel to be loaded into the oil tanks through the dome covers on top of the tank. This method requires a loading platform at the fuel facility to allow people to mount the trucks. Additionally, it is time consuming, as the person loading the fuel must walk to each of the tank’s compartments.

[edit] Bottom Loading

Bottom loading is a more modern method, and is faster than its alternative. In this method, fuel is loaded into a tank through the same lines that are used for unloading. The fuel lines include a “dry-break connection”, preventing liquids from trickling out when the hoses are disconnected. Often, all the oil tank’s controls are clustered together, facilitating loading of the tank from one area.

[edit] Unloading

For unloading purposes, oil tanks have drain valves with quick shut-off capabilities, located in several areas on their underbelly. Additionally, these tanks include cargo discharge lines, each able to be manually shut off if necessary. A load of fuel can be discharged using a pump, or by the force of gravity. Tanks are normally lightly pressurized to enable quicker unloading.[13] The process of unloading generally takes between 18 and 24 minutes in total at a retail gas station.[14]

[edit] Load Weight and Volume

State law decides whether a trailer is of semi, double, or truck and trailer configuration;[15] load weight is a major consideration. A trailer’s potential load weight is dependent on the tractor’s suspension. Air suspension, for example, adds weight to a trailer, minimizing the load weight it is able to carry. Semi trailers tend to be lighter, and can therefore carry more fuel—approximately 9,000 to 9,100 gallons (34,068 to 34,447 L)—than truck and trailer models, which can hold approximately 8,900 gallons (33,690 L).[16]

The type of fuel being transported also affects the tank trailer’s weight, and therefore dictates how much fuel can be hauled due to weight restrictions. Since aviation fuel weighs less than automobile gas, a tank trailer can haul up to 200 more gallons (757 L) of the former than the latter. Jet fuel, however, is heavier than automobile fuel, allowing only 8,000 gallons (30,283 L) to be transported in a tank. Diesel fuel weighs even more, enabling it to be transported in 7,700-gallon (29,148 L) loads. Aside from weight, the volume of fuel carried in a tank is variable, and therefore affects the amount of fuel that can be transported. For example, gasoline expands approximately 0.4 percent for every five-degree increase in temperature.[17]

[edit] Environmental Considerations

In addition to safety requirements put in place by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Air Quality Management District, most large oil companies have strict regulations.[18] A major development has been that of vapor recovery systems, developed to trap environmentally harmful vapors, preventing them from seeping into the atmosphere. Previously, these dangerous vapors were simply released into the air. As companies have oriented themselves toward environmentally responsible practices, spill prevention has also become an important issue. In light of this, several states have implemented annual tank inspections, as well as larger, more comprehensive inspections every five years. Tank trailers are now required to display a placard to indicate their cargo’s level of hazard; a lower number is indicative of a more hazardous material. This system, known as the HazMat Code System, is applicable in any country.[19]

[edit] Developments in Wheels and Tires

[edit] Super-single Tires

Last decade, super-single or wide-base tires on lightweight aluminum wheels were introduced. These wide tires are advantageous because they lessen each axle’s weight by approximately 300 pounds (136 kg). Also, because each truck comprises half as many wheels, carriers require a smaller inventory of spares. Although there are advantages to these new wheels, there exists a considerable drawback: As super-singles are not compatible with the wheels and tires used on most trailers, they can’t be used interchangeably.[20]

[edit] Low Profile Tires

Low profile tires, also known as low riders, are lighter and smaller, and therefore cheaper, than traditional tires. Additionally, the lighter tires increase the trailer’s payload capacity. Because these tires are smaller, the trailer’s stability is increased by way of a lower center of gravity. A disadvantage of these tires, as a result of doing more revolutions than standard tires, is their shorter life. Problems can also present themselves at railroad crossings due to the tires’ reduced clearance height.[21]

[edit] Marketplace

[edit] Common Manufacturers

[edit] References

  1. Holtzman, Stan. Semi-truck Color History. Motorbooks International Publishers Wholesalers: 1997.
  2. Davies, Peter J. The World Encyclopedia of Trucks. Anness Publishing Limited: 2000.
  3. Robinson, Jon G. The Big Book of Car Culture: The Armchair Guide to Automotive Americana. MBI Publishing Company: 2005.
  4. Robinson, Jon G. The Big Book of Car Culture: The Armchair Guide to Automotive Americana. MBI Publishing Company: 2005.
  5. Robinson, Jon G. The Big Book of Car Culture: The Armchair Guide to Automotive Americana. MBI Publishing Company: 2005.
  6. Robinson, Jon G. The Big Book of Car Culture: The Armchair Guide to Automotive Americana. MBI Publishing Company: 2005.
  7. Robinson, Jon G. The Big Book of Car Culture: The Armchair Guide to Automotive Americana. MBI Publishing Company: 2005.
  8. Robinson, Jon G. The Big Book of Car Culture: The Armchair Guide to Automotive Americana. MBI Publishing Company: 2005.
  9. Robinson, Jon G. The Big Book of Car Culture: The Armchair Guide to Automotive Americana. MBI Publishing Company: 2005.
  10. Holtzman, Stan. Semi-truck Color History. Motorbooks International Publishers Wholesalers: 1997.
  11. Davies, Peter J. The World Encyclopedia of Trucks. Anness Publishing Limited: 2000.
  12. Holtzman, Stan. Semi-truck Color History. Motorbooks International Publishers Wholesalers: 1997.
  13. Davies, Peter J. The World Encyclopedia of Trucks. Anness Publishing Limited: 2000.
  14. Holtzman, Stan. Semi-truck Color History. Motorbooks International Publishers Wholesalers: 1997.
  15. Holtzman, Stan. Semi-truck Color History. Motorbooks International Publishers Wholesalers: 1997.
  16. Holtzman, Stan. Semi-truck Color History. Motorbooks International Publishers Wholesalers: 1997.
  17. Holtzman, Stan. Semi-truck Color History. Motorbooks International Publishers Wholesalers: 1997.
  18. Holtzman, Stan. Semi-truck Color History. Motorbooks International Publishers Wholesalers: 1997.
  19. Holtzman, Stan. Semi-truck Color History. Motorbooks International Publishers Wholesalers: 1997.
  20. Holtzman, Stan. Semi-truck Color History. Motorbooks International Publishers Wholesalers: 1997.
  21. Holtzman, Stan. Semi-truck Color History. Motorbooks International Publishers Wholesalers: 1997.