What are Tank Trucks, Different Types & Uses Explained
Tank trucks, also known as tank transport trucks, large tanker trucks, or tank carrier trucks, are an indispensable part of the logistics and transportation industry.
These specialised vehicles are pivotal in transporting various types of liquid cargo, ranging from chemicals to food products, across vast distances.
In this comprehensive article, we will explore the world of tank trucks, examining their various types, dimensions, benefits and common uses.
What is a Tank Truck?
A tank truck is a motor vehicle designed to carry liquids or gases in a container known as a tank. The design of a tank truck ensures that the cargo remains stable and secure during transit, even when the vehicle is in motion.
Tank trucks are common on highways and roadways, showcasing their versatility in transporting a wide range of materials.
What are the Types of Tank Trucks?
Tank trucks come in various configurations, each tailored to the specific needs of the cargo they transport. Below, we will delve into seven types of tank trucks:
1. Insulated Tankers
Insulated tankers are equipped with a layer of insulation to maintain the temperature of the cargo. They transport temperature-sensitive liquids, such as chemicals or food products, that require precise temperature. Insulated tankers are typically available in various sizes, with capacities ranging from 3000 - 11,000 gallons.
2. Food Grade Tankers
Food-grade tankers are specifically designed to transport food products, such as milk, fruit juices, and edible oils, ensuring the cargo remains uncontaminated and safe for consumption. Food-grade tankers come in sizes, from 2,000 to 8,000 gallons.
3. Asphalt Tankers
Asphalt tankers are constructed with special materials and insulation to handle the high temperatures required for transporting hot asphalt.
These tankers are employed in the construction industry to transport hot asphalt for road paving, roofing materials, and other applications. Asphalt tankers typically have a capacity of 5,000 to 7,000 gallons.
4. Pneumatic Tankers
Pneumatic tankers are designed to transport dry bulk materials such as cement, sand, and powdered chemicals. They use compressed air to unload their cargo. They can vary in size, but their capacity typically ranges from 500 to 3120 cubic feet.
5. Bulkheads Tankers
Bulkhead tankers have internal bulkheads that create compartments within the tank, allowing for transporting multiple types of cargo simultaneously.
These partitions inside the tank prevent the cargo from sloshing during transportation, ensuring stability. Bulkhead tankers come in sizes ranging from 6,000 to 11,000 gallons.
6. Baffle Tankers
Baffle tankers have built-in baffles or partitions inside the tank, which reduce the sloshing of liquids during transit, enhancing stability and safety.
Baffles are angled partitions with holes that reduce the front-to-back movement of the liquid cargo transported by the tanker. Baffle tankers can vary in size, with capacities from 3,000 to 11 600 gallons.
7. Smoothbore Tankers
Smoothbore tankers have a smooth interior surface that facilitates the easy cleaning and unloading of various liquid cargo, making them versatile for various materials.
It makes them ideal for transporting chemicals and other liquids that may be corrosive or reactive. Smoothbore tankers come in sizes ranging from 5,500 to 11,600 gallons.
What are the Benefits of Tank Trucks?
Tank trucks offer several advantages, making them an essential part of the transportation industry:
- Efficiency: Tank trucks are an efficient mode of transportation, enabling the rapid movement of large volumes of liquid cargo.
- Versatility: They can transport a wide range of liquids, from hazardous chemicals to food-grade products; this is possible because of various tanker types.
- Safety: Tank trucks are designed with safety in mind, with features like reinforced tank walls and secure closures to prevent leaks and spills.
- Temperature Control: Some tankers, like insulated tankers, allow precise temperature control, ensuring that temperature-sensitive cargo remains intact.
- Cost-Effective: Tank trucks are cost-effective for transporting bulk liquid cargo, reducing the need for multiple smaller containers.
What are the Common Uses of Tank Trucks?
Tank trucks serve numerous industries and fulfil a variety of transportation needs. Some common uses include:
- Chemical Industry: Tank trucks transport chemicals, including acids, solvents, and hazardous materials, to manufacturing facilities and customers.
- Agriculture: They deliver liquid fertilisers, pesticides, and water for irrigation to farms.
- Oil and Gas Industry: Tank trucks transport petroleum products, such as gasoline, diesel, and crude oil, to distribution points and gas stations.
- Food Industry: Tank trucks are crucial for delivering milk, fruit juices, vegetable oils, and other food products from producers to distributors and retailers.
- Construction: Asphalt tankers supply hot asphalt for road construction and roofing materials for building projects.
- Waste Management: Tank trucks transport and dispose of liquid waste, such as sewage and industrial effluents.
Therefore, tank trucks are the workhorses of liquid cargo transportation, offering a wide range of configurations to meet the diverse needs of industries worldwide. From food-grade tankers to asphalt carriers, these specialised vehicles play a pivotal role in ensuring the safe and efficient movement of liquids, making them an indispensable part of the global supply chain.