Ultimate Guide: Learn All About Fuel Truck

There are a lot of different types of Semi Trucks that are specialized for transporting specific type of cargo and they all have specific requirements but the fuel truck is only one of the class 8 trucks that is specialized and designed for transporting liquids.

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All of other Class 8 trucks such as Dry Van, Flatbed Truck, Tow Truck are transporting dry goods.

  • Machines
  • Metal Parts
  • Palletized Packages
  • Damaged Vehicles …

The fuel truck is for hauling fuel to the gas stations but other trucks with similar design are hauling other liquids such as:

  • Water
  • Milk
  • Juices
  • Industrial chemicals

What is Fuel Truck

Tractor part with attached fuel tank is called fuel truck. Since the tank trailer is the part that is having the fuel but it has not front wheels, it needs to be connected to the tractor part to be movable. These both parts are making fuel truck.

  • The tractor part and
  • The trailer with the fuel tank

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This type of truck is specialized to move fuel from the place of preparation to the place where it needs to be sold. To do that requires special driving skills from the truck driver. The stability of the fuel truck needs to be maintained in highest level because the fuel can be very unstable when the fuel truck is performing movements.

The splashing of the fuel inside of the tank can be very dangerous for the stability of the truck

  • The safety of the driver and
  • The safety of the other participants in the traffic

OSHA to protect the drivers of the fuel truck have requirements that need to be fulfilled.

To increase the stability of the fuel inside of the fuel truck some fuel tanks are made with multiple compartments which are limiting the movement of the fuel inside of the fuel tank. These compartments are also practical for transporting different grades of fuel which increase the delivery option of one trip.

 

Use of the Fuel Truck

The initial purpose of the fuel truck is to storage the fuel safely on the inside of the fuel tank and transports it to the required location (Gas Station or Truck Stop). The tank space is specifically designed to stop or limit the evaporative emissions and to stop the fuel leakage.

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Today we all drive cars or another type of transportation vehicles that is powered by fuel. If the fuel truck was not invented the security of the fuel transportation would be very low and the speed of transportation not so good to satisfy the quantity requirements.

The fuel truck gives spark free loading and unloading of the fuel tank. Also, the fuel truck is controlling the pressure of the fuel that is inside of the fuel tank. Controlling the pressure of the explosive liquid is the main purpose for safe transportation.

Size and Volume of The Fuel Truck

A Semi fuel truck can hold 9,000 to 11,500 gallons of fuel. If the fuel truck has 3 axle trailer the regulations for hauling are not allowing fuel transportation that is over 8,500 gallons even if it have 9,500 gallon capacity. The fuel truck with 4 axle trailer has 11,500 gallon capacity and can haul maximum 105,000 pounds when it is fully loaded.

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One fuel compartment of the fuel truck can hold 500 to 2500 gallons of fuel. These fuel compartments are very practical because one gas station usually needs refill of few different grades of fuel so one fuel truck with multiple compartments can deliver these requirements.

The Shape of The Fuel Tank

Why most of the fuel tanks have a cylindrical shape? That is a thing that anyone who saw a fuel truck has thought of. The answer my friends lie in the security of the tank when the fuel hit the tank wall. I will explain what I mean with this.

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The elliptical fuel tank provides high capacity and low center of gravity which give high stability of the truck. OK fellas, in this moment you probably thinking: AND WHAT ABOUT THE RECTANGULAR FUEL TANKS? IF THEY WHERE UNSTABLE PROBABLY WOULD BE OUT OF WORK BY NOW! That is a really logical question.

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The rectangular fuel tank has also a stable gravity point when it has a wider base at the bottom than at the top.

In addition to this review, I like to point that the cylindrical shape of the fuel truck allows better force reducing of the waves inside of the fuel tank. The angle of the wave is reduced to the

  • Upper side
  • and the fuel tank wall

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So, in this case, the strength of the wave is reduced in 2 directions, not in one like in the rectangular fuel tank. The strength of the wave is splitting in 2 and the hitting force to the wall is lower which brings higher stability of the truck.

Tanker Endorsement for Driving Fuel Truck

I will mention again that transporting liquids can be more difficult rather than dry loads. The liquid cannot be fixed like the dry van loads. The liquid will always move inside of the fuel tank. The fuel truck should not be fully loaded because of the expansion of the liquid inside the tank.

There should be always free space in the fuel tank to put the pressure in control. The splashing will exist and you cannot do anything to stop that. But… you can learn how to drive a fuel truck safely and to discover on which skills you should pay more attention.

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You need to learn how to control the fuel truck when you:

  • Slowing down
  • Speeding up
  • Stopping
  • Taking Turns

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has regulations to protect the roads from hazards caused by the fuel transportation or any liquid as a matter affect.  These regulations apply for every truck driver that hauling liquids and by that, the drivers need to pass the tanker CDL endorsement.

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