Tanker driver question

Discussion in 'Tanker, Bulk and Dump Trucking Forum' started by ChristyLW, Oct 29, 2020.

  1. ChristyLW

    ChristyLW Bobtail Member

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    Oct 29, 2020
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    Hello,
    New tanker driver here. My situation is, when I was in training. We delivered to a company that uses nitrogen to pressurize the tank when offloading the product. When I was in training the person who off-loaded us never mentioned anything about leaving our Tanker pressurized. When I get back to the yard I have to open the tank and drain any remaining residue and there never was pressure left in there while my trainer was with me. So, now I'm on my own and my first solo delivery to this customer, he tells me when he's done off-loading me that he left pressure in my tank and some drivers say that's bad and you shouldn't drive like that. I told him I would have to call the office because I wasn't sure what to do. When I said that, he went back and drained the pressure. Moving on to my second delivery, he didn't mention anything about leaving pressure in my tanker. I get back to the shop to drain the contents of my tanker and spent 20 minutes or so bleeding off the pressure. Today was my 3rd delivery and once again, no mention of leaving me pressurized. I begin heading home after he off-loaded me and my tractor and tanker were real squirlly and shaking. Almost felt like I was hydroplaning. I pulled over on to an off ramp and checked my tanker. The fella left me full of pressure again. I spent about 20-30 minutes releasing the pressure and started driving again and everything felt normal. No squirlly steering. My question is, has anybody else experienced this type of thing and what is the correct procedure? Does it matter if I drive with an empty pressurized tanker. I know that it feels different when there isn't any pressure left in the empty tanker
     
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  3. meechyaboy

    meechyaboy Medium Load Member

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    You don’t want to be driving around pressurized. Any accident can immediately become more dangerous. Anything pressurized wants to escape..people that unload your trailer only job is to get their product out. Some are good some are not.. we always had to check how much product was left in the tank before we headed for the tank wash so I always let out pressure to crack domelid. A lot of these places wont allow you to climb your trailer on their premises but right outside the gate is usually good. If not find the closest safe spot.. Now if theyre using nitrogen make sure you’re not breathing it in cover your nose crack it then sit in the truck while it depressurizes even when it gets quiet give it a few minutes cause it’s still pushing out pressure
     
  4. wis bang

    wis bang Road Train Member

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    70% of the atmosphere we breath is nitrogen; without that 20% of oxygen, you die.

    99% of the time you do not transport a pressurized trailer, at least not a lot of pressure.

    Sometimes it is necessary to purge the tank with Nitrogen to prevent condensation when loading hydroscopic products. but only a few pounds.

    I remember transporting medical either based product with a Nitrogen bottle slung under the belly with a regulator connected to a washout cap for purity, again low pressure.

    Running around empty under pressure shouldn't affect the handling unless the pressurized barrel distorts the tank rings enough to distort the sub frame holding suspension +/or kingpin. Pressurizing a barrel causes it to 'grow' some. Dry bulk trailers are built to control the growth in a vertical direction in order to keep the pressure focused on the outlets. That's the reason for the outside channel bracing on older Heil and Butler bulkers.

    High pressure has forced it way out propelling the dome lid a considerable distance, usually landing with dramatic results.

    One pound of air pressure packs a few hundred pounds of impact force, had a boss who just touched the ear on a 6" cap on a dry bulker [less than 15# PSIG] and the cap shot off, like a rocket, past his head and we never found it...
     
    ChristyLW Thanks this.
  5. ChristyLW

    ChristyLW Bobtail Member

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    Oct 29, 2020
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    Thank you for your input. I'm delivering to the same place today. Two of my coworkers are here delivering as well. They said the person unloading usually depressurizes the tank when they are done. We haul hazmat and flammable material so I was concerned with the flammable residue in a pressurized tank. I'm new to this, I still have a lot to learn.
     
  6. wis bang

    wis bang Road Train Member

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    You learn by asking questions, I worked around tankers form 1977 to 2003 and two times I took a mechanic to get the unit before I went to get the driver from the hospital.

    One got smacked by a spiller on a cold lube rack, wasn't chained down tight enough the other a guy who went to remove a cap and A-nut he was loaded by another guy when they found a fusible cap to load caustic. His safety goggles saved his eye. The cap did break his ocular bone, one huge shiner and the largest fat lip you ever saw.

    It is very sobering when you pull up and see the ribbon of blood that ran down the sides of the tank...
     
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  7. RockinChair

    RockinChair Road Train Member

    You're doing the right thing by asking.

    Make sure they de-pressurize your tank after you finish unloading every time. It should be at atmospheric before you leave the facility to return to your shop.
     
  8. ChristyLW

    ChristyLW Bobtail Member

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    Oct 29, 2020
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    He didn't depressurize me again today. I told him I'm going to do it before I leave. He looked at me funny. It's unsafe for me to get back to the yard and open the back end to drain the residue thinking that he depressurizes me. When he leaves me full of pressure, the product comes out with so much force and splatters everywhere. Do to hazmat regulations we aren't supposed to have the product splatter everywhere. I have been long tested everyday there today and I had to pull over because my ELD notified me that I'm out of hours. I called the office and they are sending someone to pick me up. They said they will be following up about the "long testing" with the customer because nobody has ever been long tested everyday. My coworker who is on the way to pick me up said he thinks it's because I'm the "newbie" so the receiving department is saving me last to offload and claiming it was a "long test"....go figure.
     
  9. spindrift

    spindrift Road Train Member

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    I'm not sure why it's taking you so long to depressurize the trailer. Stand clear, ears included, and open the valve slowly but 100%...shouldn't take that long.

    How much pressure are we talking about?
     
    ChristyLW Thanks this.
  10. ChristyLW

    ChristyLW Bobtail Member

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    Oct 29, 2020
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  11. ChristyLW

    ChristyLW Bobtail Member

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    Oct 29, 2020
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    I'm new but don't know exactly how much pressure it is. We relieve the pressure through the top using a hand valve. This is how he showed me to do it. Through the pressure relief port. It's a pretty small opening. I think it's called a blow off Chicago fitting. My boss just informed me that the company is having personnel issues due to Covid-19 and that the regular guy would be relieving the pressure if he was there.
     
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