Tank Trailers, also known as tank truck trailers or semi-tank trailers, are specialized trailers designed to transport liquids or gases in bulk quantities.
The trailers come in many different models due to the wide variety of liquified loads. The internal structures will also vary depending on the type of gas or liquid the trailer will carry. They may be insulated or non-insulated or pressure or non-pressurized.
When it comes to the construction of tank trailers, various factors are taken into consideration to ensure their functionality and safety. The materials used in the tank’s construction are carefully selected based on the type of cargo it will carry. For example, corrosive substances may require tanks made of stainless steel to prevent chemical reactions and leaks.
Tank Trailer Design
The cylindrical shape of the tank is designed to maximize the storage capacity while maintaining stability during transportation. The tanks are often equipped with baffles or partitions to prevent the liquid cargo from sloshing around, which could affect the trailer’s balance and handling.
Tank trailers are equipped with a range of safety features to minimize the risk of accidents and spills. These features may include emergency shut-off valves, pressure relief devices, and spill containment systems. Regular inspections and maintenance are also crucial to ensure the trailers remain in optimal condition and comply with safety regulations.
These trailers are equipped with specialized equipment to facilitate the loading and unloading of cargo. Depending on the type of cargo being transported, tank trailers may be equipped with pumps, hoses, and meters to accurately measure and transfer the liquid or gas. Tank trailers may also have heating or cooling systems to maintain the desired temperature of the cargo.
Different Types of Tank Trailers
Tank trailers come in various types, each designed for specific cargo and transportation requirements. Some of the common types include:
Fuel/Oil Tank Trailer
The fuel tank trailer is one of the most common types of tank trailer. It’s used to transport diesel oil, gasoline, benzene, and sometimes inflammable and plosive liquid. These trailers are composed of different compartments so that the trailer can carry multiple products simultaneously. Having multiple compartments reduces the changes in the axle load which keeps the trailer stable. Fuel tankers are made from either carbon steel/stainless steel or aluminum alloy. Steel is incredibly strong, less prone to crack, resistant to rust, and can transport edibles. However, it requires galvanizing or painting to prevent rusting and it has a higher density than aluminum alloy. Aluminum alloy is lighter in weight, can carry more liquid, and is safer and more secure than steel. On the downside, they have half the strength of steel, are prone to stress cracking, and are more expensive.
Pneumatic trailers, also known as dry bulk tank trailers are designed to transport solid materials such as powders, granules, or grains, and are equipped with specialized compartments and airtight systems. The name dry bulk trailer just refers to a tanker that transports dry goods. Since they are not transporting any dangerous material, they are considered non-code tankers. They are usually measured by how much they can haul in cubic feet and are either designated as ‘small cube’ or ‘large cube’ based on the cubic feet area. These trailers use manholes to drop material from the bottom of the trailer to allow for an easy flow. Before purchasing consider the shape, code, capacity, manways, and aeration.
Asphalt Tank Trailer
Asphalt tank trailers, also known as hot oil tankers, are a type of trailer that is specific to asphalt and is more insulated than typical tank trailers. They will usually contain diesel or gas heating devices to keep the asphalt in its liquid state while transporting. Asphalt tank trailers also have a role in superficially paving roads and adding a layer of treatment. Some asphalt trailers are designed to unload themselves using the inclination angle. When purchasing an asphalt tank trailer think about shape, capacity, heat rating, and pressure rating.
Chemical Tank Trailer
Chemical tank trailers are designed to transport corrosive or hazardous material that contain heat or pressure ratings that need to be maintained. Most chemical trailers are durable high-quality stainless steel due to the acidic, corrosive, flammable, or toxic nature of the material carried. Sitting around 3,800 to 11,000 gals., their capacity can range greatly. They are designed with safety features to ensure the secure containment of these substances, preventing any leakage or spillage that could pose a significant risk to the environment and public safety. Before buying a chemical tank trailer, understand what shape, code, capacity, insulation, pressure rating, and heat rating that you are looking for.