Tank Truck Insights

Feature Story

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.

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