Diesel_Tank_And_Hydraulic_Tank_Resources

Aluminum Fuel Tanks Versus Steel

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Over the years the trucking industry has been working hard to reduce costs to become more competitive. As in many industries, the key to success is from making small improvements to a lot of little things. One of the major expenses that impacts the balance sheet is fuel cost so it’s no wonder that gaining fuel efficiency is one of the primary targets when it comes to cost reduction. This issue is of equal concern to the independent trucker and national fleet operators.

Find an Aluminum or Steel Fuel Tank For Your Truck

Truck manufacturers have been developing engines with greater efficiency and lighter components that are incorporated in tractors and trailers. Aluminum is one of the primary materials used for weight reduction. The problem is that many manufacturers have overlooked the opportunity to reduce weight in the fuel tanks due to the higher price tag. We’re going to explore the financial case for replacing a damaged steel tank with aluminum when the occasion arises.

Because of their size and material thickness, steel fuel tanks add a substantial amount of weight. What we want to calculate is the added cost in fuel consumption for that extra weight. We will answer that question shortly but first, let’s explore some of the added benefits of aluminum fuel tanks.

Another financial consideration about any asset is, “How long will it last?” We all know that nobody can accurately predict the lifespan of an aluminum fuel tank compared to a steel tank, however there are some factors that suggest we should expect significantly more from aluminum. Steel is susceptible to rust and corrosion caused by moisture. This is worsened when combined with salt. In some parts of the country road salt and salt from the sea air near coastal waters accelerates corrosion on steel fuel tanks. To combat the problem most reputable manufacturers will apply zinc-based or powder coat paint to inhibit rust. Although these coatings have been improving over the years they are not impervious to road debris or stone chips that ultimately expose the steel surface to the elements.

Another contributor to corrosion is a little-known fact about low-sulfur fuel. With the recent increased use of low-sulfur fuels we are starting to see an increase in corrosion from inside the tank. An explanation as to why this occurring is not within the scope of this article, however you can certainly appreciate the damage that corrosion may cause when the attack is coming from both the inside and the outside of the tank. Aluminum is not nearly as susceptible to corrosion - outside or inside.

Aside from being lighter, those are some additional advantages of aluminum fuel tanks; now let's explore how long the payback might take if you were to choose aluminum over steel tanks. The formula we used is based on a statement found on the US Environmental Protection Agency web site - epa.gov/smartway. They state that, "Every 10 percent drop in truck weight reduces fuel use between 5 and 10 percent."

Let’s assume a scenario where a truck has a rusted tank in need of replacement. This vehicle is expected to remain in service for another 4 to 6 years. The fleet manager wants to make a smart business decision between replacing the tank with another steel tank or spending an additional $200 to upgrade to the aluminum tank. The question in the manager’s mind is, "What is the break-even point based on fuel savings alone?"

The Calculation:

The steel tank is about 75 pounds heavier than aluminum. The loaded weight of the truck is approximately 75,000 pounds. If a 10 percent reduction in truck weight can reduce fuel usage by as much as 10 percent then a 75 pound reduction can cut consumption by 0.1%. The truck gets around 8 miles to the gallon and typically travels about 2500 miles per week. That works out to about 312.5 gallons of fuel consumed each week. The average cost (at time of writing) of diesel fuel is about $4.00 per gallon which works out to $1250 spent on fuel each week.

We know this is starting to sound like one of those math questions that everybody in the class thought was useless and would never show up in real life, but it's here and it’s proving to be very useful. The 0.1% reduction in weight converts to a savings of $1.25 per week. This truck operates 48 weeks of the year. The annual savings works out to $60 per year. The premium paid for the aluminum tank was $200 so the payback period works out to just over 3 years.

In Conclusion

Since this vehicle will remain in service for more than 3 years it makes good financial sense to install the aluminum fuel tank instead of a steel one. Furthermore, the operator gets all the other benefits of aluminum that we discussed earlier. To can use the same calculation based on your truck’s weight, mileage and travel distance to see if it makes sense in your case too. Reducing weight will save you fuel and money while reducing greenhouse gasses. The added benefit of the aluminum fuel tank is that it increases the lifespan and value of the asset which also makes it more desirable at resale. Will you choose aluminum or steel? Now you have a tool to help you decide.

We hope you will be able to put this information to good use. We welcome you to share it with friends or colleagues. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to contact us. Propower Manufacturing Inc. Phone (877) 435-6452 Dealer Inquiries (877) 435-6452 info@metaltanks.com www.metaltanks.com 5160 O'Neil Dr., Oldcastle, Ontario N0R 1L0



Why Are More People Switching To Aluminum Fuel Tanks?

We’ve been noticing a trend in the industry recently.  We’re seeing an increased demand for aluminum fuel tanks.  When we ask our customers if their original tank is a steel or aluminum fuel tank, we’re most often told they’re steel.  Remember that these customers are willing to pay a bit more to purchase aluminum fuel tanks instead of staying with steel. 

 

We asked why.  They cited 3 main reasons.  The first is because they plan to keep the truck for a good while longer and are concerned that steel tanks may rust again.  Secondly it is for better fuel economy.  Less weight means less fuel consumption.  A pair of saddle tanks can weigh hundreds of pounds and aluminum fuel tanks are significantly lighter than steel.  Reason number 3, which is also related to fuel economy, is that they expect fuel prices to continue to rise.  They are planning today to combat tomorrow's higher fuel costs. 

If you’re thinking of switching to an aluminum fuel tank and you’d like to know what the payback period would be for your truck, read our article entitled Aluminum Fuel Tanks Versus Steel.

It has a sample calculation that you can use as a guide and describes several other valid reasons to consider switching to an aluminum fuel tank.  Substitute your own truck weight, miles per gallon, distance traveled annually and the current cost of fuel to calculate your break-even point.

This will help you decide if spending a little more for an aluminum fuel tank is a good business decision.

We hope you will be able to put this information to good use. We welcome you to share it with friends or colleagues. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to contact us. Propower Manufacturing Inc. Phone (877) 435-6452 Dealer Inquiries (877) 435-6452 info@metaltanks.com www.metaltanks.com 5160 O'Neil Dr., Oldcastle, Ontario N0R 1L0



Things To Know Before Buying A Fuel Tank For Your Peterbilt

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You bought a Peterbilt because quality and strength matter to you. You take pride in your truck and you want it to keep its original factory style and appeal. Only durable components that meet or exceed the original manufacturer’s specifications will do. Some people believe all fuel tanks are the same. Not true. Like anything else – when you don’t know what to look for you’ll make your decision on price alone. You may waste money on lesser quality products that will cost time and frustration. This guide will help you learn what to look for to ensure you get replacement tanks you can be proud of without a hefty price tag, regardless of who the manufacturer is.

 

1. Insist On A Fit Guarantee

 

We’ve done our research and spoken with hundreds of owner/ operators and fleet maintenance techs. They tell us that one of the most important things about buying a replacement fuel tank is the fit. If it’s a nightmare just to get the unit installed it can cost a lot of time and money and further extend your down time. There’s a bit more to it than just hanging a can on the frame. The ports need to line up, the cap has to be in the right place and the straps need to fit. To make sure that your supplier is committed to sending you a fuel tank that will fit without question, insist on a fit guarantee. If it doesn’t fit they should refund your money and pay for return shipping. Don’t accept anything less.  

 

2. Material Thickness Matters

 

Material cost is a big part of the overall cost of the fuel tank so it’s one of the first places manufacturers could go to cut corners without you even knowing. We are proud to say that the wrap on our tanks is 25% thicker than the OEM tanks Peterbilt uses.

 

3. Specify The Coating

 

Road salt and salt from the sea air in coastal areas is one of the biggest enemies of metal fuel tanks. Fortunately, most Peterbilt tanks are made of aluminum. If you’re replacing steel tanks, ask the manufacturer what kind of coating they use to protect their tanks. Insist on rust resistant enamel paint or powder coat to inhibit rust caused by salt.

 

4. Ask About Weld Types

 

Another factor affecting the life of your new tank is something most people simply take for granted and completely overlook.  That is the type of weld used on the flanges. Much of the vibration and stress transfers to the welds along the flanges. The trouble is; it takes a lot of wear and tear before it shows up as a problem – probably long after the warranty expires. From a distance all welds look pretty much the same but TIG welds are much stronger than MIG welds on aluminum. 

 

 

 5. Insist on Domed Heads

 

One of the striking characteristics of Peterbilt fuel tanks is the domed heads on the ends of the tanks. Any manufacturer can produce flat heads for fuel tanks but we went to great lengths to provide you heads that match the domed look, quality material and workmanship of your original Peterbilt fuel tank. 

 

6. Specify A Pressure Tested Tank

 

Ask the manufacturer if they do leak testing on their tanks. They are likely to tell you that they do. Now ask if they use SPC (statistical process checking) or 100% leak testing at 5 psi. Don’t take the risk and accept SPC. Statistical process checking means they take a few random samples and pressure test them. It’s a bit like Russian roulette. Do you want to take the risk of receiving the tank with a pinhole because yours wasn’t pressure tested? We believe manufacturers should do more than talk about quality and testing every tank is the only way to ensure quality.

 

7. Replace Dual Tanks Together

 

Here’s a tip that could save you some frustration down the road. If you have dual tanks you should consider replacing them both at the same time. Chances are good that the other one is near the end of its life too. Otherwise its going to be like déjà vu all over again. As a bonus you’ll save on freight charges. The cost of shipping two tanks is often the same or only slightly more than shipping one.

 

8. How Does It Look?

 

We believe no matter what kind of tank you buy it should look great when you get it – no paint drips, no scratches, dents or scrapes. The guys that build it and package it should be proud of their work and you should expect nothing less than 100% satisfaction that even extends to the look of the tank.

 

9. You Deserve Choices

 

If you have room for a tank 10 inches longer, why not get a larger tank to cut down on refueling stops? Do you want your port placement or fuel cap in a specific place? Just ask – it should cost no more. Your supplier should offer options like locking fuel caps, fuel heaters, visual gauges and sending units. These are all choices we offer our Peterbilt customers.

 

10. Get Shipping Confirmation

 

Finally, you should get your tank when the supplier said you will receive it. Although your supplier can’t control what happens when it leaves his dock, you should ask them to send you a confirmation of shipping and a tracking number. This will give you an independent report of the day it was picked up and where it is along the way so you can track the delivery progress.

 

We hope you found this guide helpful. You can clearly see that we have a strong commitment to providing fuel tanks for your Peterbilt that bear a striking resemblance to the originals. If you have any questions or comments about our products please visit our website at www.MetalTanks.com

 

 

Propower Manufacturing Inc.

Phone (877) 741-2365

Dealer Inquiries (519) 737-1197

info@metaltanks.com

www.metaltanks.com

5160 O'Neil Dr., Oldcastle, Ontario N0R 1L0



7 Solid Reasons Why You Would Choose Propower As Your Tank Supplier

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As an OEM, taking on a new component supplier should never be a game of chance.   After all, your name goes onto the final product.  Every component that impacts your product’s functionality also impacts your brand’s reputation and your bottom line.  At Propower we understand the value of a brand and we take the responsibility of enhancing yours very seriously.  There are seven critical factors to consider as you evaluate a supplier.

 

  1. Measurable Quality – The primary function of a fuel or hydraulic tank is to hold fluid without leaking a single drop.  Most tank manufacturers in the industry use Statistical Process Control (SPC) to measure quality.  It’s a practice that’s been popular with manufacturers for years but when it comes to risking our reputation (and by extension yours too) we refuse to adopt it.  Why?  SPC requires checking a portion of the production run for leaks, then extrapolating the percentage of failures in an attempt to remain within “acceptable” limits.  Zero is our acceptable limit at Propower.  We strive for a zero percent failure rate and the only way to accomplish that is by leak testing every single tank we build.  We don’t claim to be perfect but we sure enjoy boasting about the fact that in the million miles of welding we’ve done so far, we’ve missed less than an inch.  Odds are good that our product will make a positive impact on your brand reputation with reductions in warranty and repair costs.
  2. Price And Profitability – We realize that price is an important part of your evaluation process.  We price OEM products very competitively.  Add in the long-term benefits in item one and you’ll find Propower to be a strong contributor to your profitability for years to come.
  3. Reduced Risk – You’re looking for a successful, reliable partner that will serve you for many years to come.  Propower has been in business since 1995.  We’ve seen lean times and good times.  With careful planning and fiscal prudence we have survived several recessions while many metal fabricators perished.
  4. Expertise/ Engineering – If you have a difficult design challenge our engineering team will assist you.  We’ve created many custom designed tanks for our customers.  Our creative design skills have received many accolades for the very unique “L-Tanks” and “Poly-Tanks” that have become tanks of choice by the rail industry.
  5. Just In Time Delivery.  On-time – not early, not late but just in time.  We accomplish this by keeping plenty of material in stock, reordering early and allowing for unexpected incidences.  We maintain a pool of on-call workers to keep us from getting behind in our work.
  6. Flexible Manufacturing – If you need one tank or 1,000 our flexible manufacturing process can accommodate you.
  7. ISO 9001 – Propower formally began ISO certification with the assistance of a highly respected ISO consulting firm to be completed in November 2012.


10 Things To Know Before Buying A Fuel Tank

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What could be so important to know about buying a fuel tank? After all, it’s just a metal container with a fuel cap. Aren’t they all pretty much the same?

Absolutely not. Buying a fuel tank is like anything else – when you don’t know what to look for you’ll make your decision on price alone, and that can cost you in the long run.  You could waste your money on lesser quality products if you don’t know what to look for.  Whether you buy your tank from us or not, you’ll find this guide to be a useful tool to help you learn what’s important about fuel tanks and suppliers. If you want a tank that lasts long, shows up in a reasonable time and pops into place without a lot of modifications or adjust­ments, use this guide as your benchmark and don’t accept anything less.

1. Insist On Mechanical Drawings
We’ve done our research and spoken with hundreds of owner/ operators and fleet maintenance techs. They tell us that one of the most important things to them about a replacement fuel tank is the fit. If it’s a nightmare just to get the unit installed it can cost a lot of time and money and further extend your down time.  There’s a bit more to it than just hanging a can on the frame. The ports need to line up, the cap has to be in the right place and the straps need to be the correct length. The only way to make sure you get a tank that fits like the original is to insist on mechani­cal drawings. Ask the supplier to fax or email the drawings to you, then spend a few minutes with a measuring tape and compare their design to what you currently have in there now. This can save you a lot of time and frustration and money.  If they can’t (or won’t) send you draw­ings walk away. It’s just not worth the risk.

2 . Material Thickness Matters

Replacing a fuel tank is a job you don’t want to do often, so you want a tank that will last a long time.  The best way to do this is to stack the odds in your favor.  Material thickness plays a big part in durability and since material cost is also a big part of the overall cost of the fuel tank it is also one of the first places manufacturers could go to cut corners. Insist on 1/8 inch aluminum, 12 gauge steel or 14 gauge stainless steel.

3 . Specify The Coating
In many parts of the country road salt and salt in the sea air near coastal waters is one of the biggest enemies of metal fuel tanks. Ask the manufacturer what kind of coatings they use to protect their tanks from the elements. Insist on rust resistant enamel based paint or powder coat to inhibit rust caused by salt.

4 . Ask About Weld Types
Another factor affecting the life of your new tank is something most people simply take for granted and completely overlook. That is the type of weld used on the flanges. Much of the vibra­tion and stress transfers to the welds along the flanges. The trouble is; it takes a lot of wear and tear before it shows up as a problem – probably long after the warranty expires.  From a distance all welds look pretty much the same but TIG welds are
much stronger than MIG welds on aluminum.

5. Identifying A Proper Weld

While we’re on the topic of welds, regardless of the material you choose, the welds hold the pieces together and prevent leaks if done correctly. Ask for a picture with a close up view of their welds. What you are looking for is a convex weld ¼ inch wide that is continuous with no porosity.  It should have deep penetration into the metal.  The weld must be ¼ inch wide and must have deep penetration.


6 . Specify A Pressure Tested Tank
Ask the manufacturer if they do leak testing on their tanks. They are likely to tell you that they do.  Now ask if they use SPC (statistical process check­ing) or 100% leak testing at 5 psi. Don’t take the risk and accept SPC. Statistical process checking means they take a few random samples and pressure test them. It’s a bit like Russian roulette.  Do you want to take the risk of receiving the tank with a pinhole because yours wasn’t pressure tested? We believe manufacturers should do more than talk about qual­ity and testing every tank is the only way to ensure quality.

7 . Replace Dual Tanks Together
Here’s a tip that could save you some frustration down the road. If you have dual tanks you should consider replacing them both at the same time. Chances are good that the other one is near the end of its life too.  Other­wise its going to be like déjà vu all over again.  As a bonus you’ll save on freight charges. The cost of shipping two tanks is often the same or only slightly more than shipping one.

8 . How Does It Look?
We believe no matter what kind of tank you buy it should look great when you get it – no paint drips, no scratches, dents or scrapes. The guys that build it and package it should be proud of their work and you should expect noth­ing less than 100% satisfaction that even extends to the look of the tank.

9 . You Deserve Choices
If you have room for a tank 10 inches longer, why not install a larger tank to cut down on your refueling stops? Do you want your ports or fuel cap in a specific place? You should be entitled to choose where they go.  Your supplier should offer options like locking fuel caps, fuel heaters, visual gauges, sending units and a variety of straps.

10 . Get Shipping Confirmation
Finally, you should get your tank when the supplier said you will receive it. Although your supplier can’t control what happens when it leaves his dock, you should ask them to send you a confirmation of shipping and a tracking number.  This will give you an independent report of the day it was picked up and where it is along the way so you can track the delivery progress.

We hope you will be able to put this guide to good use.  We welcome you to share it with friends or colleagues. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to contact us.
Propower Manufacturing Inc. Phone (877) 741-2365 Dealer Inquiries (519) 737-1197 info@metaltanks.com www.metaltanks.com 5160 O'Neil Dr., Oldcastle, Ontario N0R 1L0



10 Things To Know Before Buying A Hydraulic Reservoir

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Regardless if you are an OEM, installer or end user, there are important things you need to know about buying a hydraulic reservoir.Everyone deserves a quality tank, delivered quickly at a fair price. Quality is at the top of the list because the tank has to function properly right away and stay in operation for years to come, often in hostile conditions. Here are the “10 Things” explained in simple English to help you understand exactly what to look for and why. Keep them at hand when it comes time to specify the tank you need and the manufacturer to build it.

1. Bigger Is Better
You depend on your reservoir to provide a reserve of fluid in addition to that used by the system. This reserve fluid makes up for losses in the system, compression of the fluid under pressure, and it compensates for volume loss when the fluid cools. More importantly; the reservoir acts as a radiator to dissipate heat from the fluid. Order a reservoir with 10% greater capacity than the minimum requirement to help your system run cooler. As a rule of thumb the reservoir should be about two and a half times the pump output per minute.

2. It Sucks!
The suction at the pump inlet causes a swirling action similar to water draining in a sink. This introduces unwanted air into the system. Be sure to specify a reservoir with anti-vortex to prevent this from happening. You should never presume that it comes standard.

3. It Must Have Diffusers
Some manufacturers may cut corners by eliminating diffusers from their reservoirs. Make sure the hydraulic tank you order comes with a diffuser. It has three important purposes – it helps to distribute the heat in the tank, separates the entrained air from the fluid and helps prevent contaminating particles from reentering the system. Instead they settle harmlessly on the bottom until removed by cleaning or flushing.


4. Better Cooling
The reservoir should be designed with the maximum possible separation of the suction and return ports to increase fluid cooling capacity.


5. Material Thickness
Reservoirs can be made of several different materials.  Insist on 1/8 inch aluminum, 12 gauge steel or 14 gauge stainless steel. Either of these will last for many years.


6. Identifying A Proper Weld
Heavy hoses connected to the flanges combined with con­stant vibration can cause metal fatigue and eventual failure. If you are getting an aluminum reservoir insist that they use TIG welding on their flanges. It is much stronger than MIG welds. The TIG process produces a narrow heat affected zone (HAZ) which in turn reduces solidification stress, cracking, and distortion in the finished weld.  You can identify a TIG weld by its “stacked dime” appearance. See photo of weld flange.


7. Ask About Weld Types
Ask for a picture with a close up view of their welds – look for a convex weld ¼ inch wide, continuous, with no porosity and deep penetration.

8 . Specify A Pressure Tested Tank
Insist on 100% leak testing at 5 psi. Don’t accept statistical process control (SPC). Statistical process control means they take a few random samples and pressure test them. It’s a bit like Russian roulette.  Do you want to take the risk of receiving the tank with a pinhole because it wasn’t pressure tested?  We believe manufacturers should do more than talk about quality - testing every tank is the only way to ensure quality.


9 . Specify The Coating
In many parts of the country road salt and salt from the sea air near coastal waters is one of the biggest enemies of metal tanks. Ask the manufacturer what kind of coating they use to protect their tanks from the elements. Insist on rust resistant enamel paint or powder coat to inhibit rust caused by environmental conditions.

10 . Consider A Filter  
Filters are usually available as an option – either inline or internal filters. It’s a small price to pay for the peace of mind it brings.
As the manufacturer of premium hydraulic tanks we take pride in offering the industry the best tanks at fair prices. We recognize the importance of flawless functionality so we take all steps to ensure our products exceed industry standards.  

If you have any questions or comments about our products or to place an order please call or email us.

Propower Manufacturing Inc. Phone (877) 741-2365 Dealer Inquiries (519) 737-1197 info@metaltanks.com www.metaltanks.com 5160 O'Neil Dr., Oldcastle, Ontario N0R 1L0



© 2011 Propower Mfg. Inc. 14300 Henn Rd., Dearborn, Michigan, USA 48126 (877) 741-2365