Proper tank truck preparations for the upcoming heating season
By Butch Amthor, Executive Vice-President, Amthor International
Now that the summer vacations are over and school is starting that is a sure sign that it’s time for the heating oil companies to get back to work. Since your trucks were most likely sitting dormant from late spring until now, there are some items that are recommended that you look for and address to make sure you don’t run into any unforeseen issues when you are ready to start delivering. Below is a list of items that you or a local tank distributor should check on your fuel truck before you start to pump your first gallon:
Check all lights on vehicle
Check fan belts
Check battery connections
Check PTO shaft and grease
Grease pump and check for leaks
Check hose reel swing joint and grease
Check and oil hose rollers in rear
Pull out fuel hose and check for bad scrapes, tears, digs and bad wear spots
Check hose reel chain for slop and wear
Check nozzle and make sure it is operating correctly and isn’t leaking
Check emergency valve operator
Check front fire release for operation. Note: Be sure ‘Pull to Close Decal” is attached.
Check all placards and DOT plate (if applicable)
Check all wiring to make sure they are tied up in place and are not rubbing on any sharp edges.
Check to make sure there are no frays and cuts in the wiring.
Check mudflaps and make sure they are around 9″to 10″ off of the ground
If you have bottom loading, make sure you check vapor boots for tightness
If you have a manifold, check the valves and makes sure they are operating and the packing nuts on the valve stems are snug and not leaking. Note: Same goes for units with dry brakes and whip hoses.
Have the meter checked for leaks and make sure that it has been sealed by Consumer Affairs
Check brake locks to be sure they are working
Check dome cover vents to be sure they are operating. Check dome cover by inserting a piece of paper between the 10″ cover and the opening. Close and lock the cover. If you can pull the paper out, the cover will need to be adjusted.
Check tank tie-downs to make sure they are tight
Check all air lines to make sure they are tied up in place and are not rubbing on any sharp edges.
Check to make sure there are no frays and cuts in the lines.
Arnold “Butch” Amthor of Amthor International has been working in the industry for over 50 years. He has agreed to provide some insight, from time to time on a variety of issues related to tank trucks, new industry and DOT regulations and more.