In todays trucking safety blog, we want to look at the specific changes happening within the tanker manufacturing industry that specifically impact truck driver and passenger vehicle safety. There are many reasons why this is important. Consider that motor carriers today typically keep their tank trailers for a very long time. As a result, they want to get the most out of these expensive pieces of equipment.
Yet, getting the most bang for their buck isn’t the only thing truck tank manufacturers are focused on. Tanker safety is key. But why is a focus on this aspect of trucking so important? Consider that things change every year. Whether it be a new design on the upper coupler or new and improved landing gear, you must stay on top of what your vendors are designing.
Long life is important, but equally important is fuel efficiency and safety.
What Makes a Safe Tanker Design?
If there is one sector of trucking looking closest at tanker safety, it is the hazmat sector. While tanker fleets tend to look for the best technologies, they are also looking for the safest. While roll stability is the most obvious choice, there are tractor specs that also go a long way in improving a tanker’s safety profile. These include antilock and air disc brakes.
The greatest concern for a tanker lies in the roll over concern. While roll stability and a lower center of gravity help, roll stability control has increasingly become a popular option. For many tank manufacturers, roll stability now comes standard with the tanker.
Tanker fleets looking to further improve their safety measures are seeing client motor carriers increasingly ask for air disc breaks as a way to improve safety measures. While spec’ing advanced braking technology can present a bit of an upcharge in the beginning, these technologies generate big returns when it comes to safety in the long run.
Where lighting is concerned, active driver safety technologies like extra turn signals and high wattage mounted lights provide an answer. Motor carriers operating tankers in high numbers, from 400 on up, see increased safety benefits when they utilize these technologies.
Well-designed and aesthetically pleasing lighting systems also signal to potential clients that your fleet takes safety (and looking good) seriously. When a tanker is equipped with a bright LED that contains to filaments, shines brightly, and looks good, the motor carrier addresses several goals.
Addressing your Wheels
One aspect of tanker safety that is oft-overlooked is that of the tires carrying the tanker. Tankers are often quite heavy, which means most tanker fleets look to aluminum wheels and wide-base tires. Yet, sometimes this setup isn’t the most advantageous.
Many wide-base single tires utilize automatic tire inflation systems, which cause leakage concerns. Tankers require an utmost level of safety. While some wide-base tire manufacturers have come a long way in alleviating these concerns, they must still weigh them against tire wear, fuel economy, and inspection results.
Another area receiving greater focus is that of lift axle usage. Pneumatic tanks retrofitted with lift axles make sense because these operators don’t have a lot of backhauls, which results in greater safety, increased fuel economy, and greater truck driver satisfaction.
The most important part of increasing tanker safety lies in collaboration. Engineers and salespeople from both the manufacturing and fleet management realms must get together and help each other figure out the most effective ways to increase tanker safety. There are so many variables, which seem to change constantly, so ensuring you are on the right side of change ensures greater safety outcomes for your tanker fleet.