When working in the transportation or trucking industry, a quality transfer tank is more than just a luxury. It is a beneficial must have, much like so many other pieces equipment and gadgets such as a GPS, tracking systems, and good communications (truck radio, cell phone, etc.).
Fuel is a major consideration, it is literally the difference between getting to your destination and getting stuck in the middle of nowhere with a dry tank. In this industry a transfer tank is essential.
With everything else to manage, worrying about fuel should not be one of them. Well, actually it is a major issue, but considerations like cost of fuel per gallon, should be your concern not running out. This is the key reason so many trucks have a transfer tank.
Trucks from small, to medium duty trucks, to large (private and commercial) can have a tank designed especially for their specific needs. They come in so many varieties you might have a hard time deciding the best configuration for your particular need. You can find a transfer tank direct from the factory or you can find one from an aftermarket supplier.
I am sure there is more information available, but for now let’s touch on these 10 things to know about a transfer tank.
1. What Exactly Is A Transfer Tank
The Vehicle Equipment Safety Commission (VESC) defines a transfer tank as a fuel storage tank and/or other component, to hold more fuel than what the original manufacturer had intended that is attached to the vehicle. This ‘additional’ tank is secured to the vehicle. Basically the transfer tank is to hold additional fuel which can be transferred when need. They can operate in a different manner and the two most obvious are:
- The fuel is transferred to the main tank /tanker truck then used
- The fuel is used directly from the auxiliary tank.
This is really great for those travelling very long distances. Places out west or the southwest, Central Canada, or even the Outback will be in need of a good transfer tank. Sometime fuel and service stations and truck stops can be few and far between. No one wants to run out of gas and be at the mercy of the auto club, at least not for something as basic as having enough fuel.
There are some clear advantages to having the transfer tank. It might be expensive to fill up before you start, but as you know fuel prices can get really expensive the further away from urban areas you travel. You may also encounter unexpected weather such as a blizzard or flash flooding causing to either wait or take a longer alternative route. Best to be prepare!
2. Where Do I Find Out About Transfer Tank Regulations?
The most obvious places to check are the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Environmental Protection (EPA). But as everyone knows, there are tons and tons of regulations so it is highly recommended to check with state and local agencies. All these agencies ensure compliance with VESC-22 regulations. SO your transfer tank must meet or exceed the set standards, as set by law.
Safety is a major concern behind much the laws and regulations, which are constantly updating and changing. Keep in mind that the transfer tank had been designed for both Diesel and gas but as the regulations get stricter, many companies no longer work with gas transfer tanks.
This is due to the DOT and EPA cracking down potential environmental hazards. But if you shop around you can still manufacturers of a gas transfer tank, if that is what you need.
3. How Hard Is To Install A Transfer Tank?
To install a transfer tank? -Not really all that hard, if you have mechanical ability, a place to work, and all the proper tools. However, just like trailer brakes, truck tires, truck lights or any other mechanical work, it is recommended to have it done by a certified mechanic. Though, many transfer tanks are designed to be installed by the actual buyer.
However, it really isn’t necessary since most shops that sell the transfer tank will have it installed, using all the proper equipment. And of course the technicians are all properly trained in the installation process.
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Make sure you have plenty of time, don’t schedule appointments until you are sure the work will be completed. As always, setting up an appointment is never a bad idea. After all you want the transfer tank to be correctly installed.
4. Be Sure The Transfer Tank Is Well Made
Quality is the key to any purchase, why should a transfer tank be any different? Before making a purchase, whether aftermarket or from the factory itself, check out the US Consumer Product Safety Commission). You’ll want to make sure there are no recalls, like with Ford not long ago.
They are of course a good and strong company with a proud reputation, but they had an issue with one of their transfer tank models. The issue was delamination. Delamination basically is a separation of the material layers within the tank.
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Simple put the innermost layer of Ford’s tank began peel away from the other layers! It doesn’t peel in big sheets but in flakes. These would then clog the fuel filter. A defective transfer tank can be a major issue; in essence you could run out of fuel with a full tank in a fuel truck! Imagine that!
Be aware of the tanks overall material makeup. Remember plastic tends to break down in excessive heat and/or cold. They can also warp or get deformed overtime. The three most common are:
- Or a composite
The best transfer tank will be of rugged design, preferably with baffles. These give additional strength, support and help make them more durable. The baffles also reduce sloshing of the fuel inside the tank, the fuel can’t violently move from side to side as easily.