There have been many instances when vehicles blow up because of a leaky fuel tank. Such accidents are very horrible to contemplate because in most instances, the occupants of a truck or vehicle meet instant death, often burnt beyond recognition. However, nothing can be truly safe in trucking because even fuel tanks made with the most stringent standards can also show signs of fatigue. This is why to replace a truck's fuel tank or to at least check the present one should be done on a regular basis.
When replacing your truck's fuel tank, the following must be considered:
- The safety level of the tank is paramount. Firstly, the tank must be able to withstand long exposure to hot temperatures, which is common during long voyages that trucks make. The material must be made from a lightweight metal, usually with a rubberized internal lining. Most importantly, the fuel tank must be certified by authorities to be safe for use.
- The tank must be constructed in such a way that dangers posed by accidental fire or explosions resulting from sparks are eliminated. In trucks, this is accomplished by providing an extended probe for the tank through which a fuel nozzle is placed during refueling. For better safety measures, a working fuel level indicator is also installed to monitor the truck's fuel level to avoid overfilling.
- Ventilation and fuel storage. A good fuel tank must provide a good ventilation system and at the same time a reliable mechanism avoidance of leakage and to limit evaporative emissions of fuel that pose a risk for possible explosions.
- One of the more advanced features of the latest design of fuel tanks is that it must provide an opportunity for escape for the truck's crew in the case of accidental explosions.
A reserve fuel tank is often necessary in the case of trucks plying a transcontinental route such as from the West Coast of the U.S. to cities on the eastern seaboard. Indeed, in very long voyages, it is always wise to have a reserve tank especially on instances where fuel stations are far apart.
In most trucks, the fuel tank is positioned right next to the engine. This is the most common layout although such is widely criticized for being too susceptible to explosions. As a result, many new designs of trucks have the fuel tank (or the reserve fuel tank) outside the cab's body in order to spare it from accidental explosions brought about by heat from the engine. This is common especially on a cab body that is placed over the engine.
However, in the case of long-noosed trucks, the engine is placed on front and the fuel tank behind it or directly beneath the cab body. In effect the cab's crew sits on top of the fuel tanks. Such configuration is advantageous in the sense that the tank is somewhat spared from too much heat from the engine although the possibility of accidental explosion is not totally eliminated.
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