Hemmings Motor News Blog Blog

Hemmings Motor News Blog

Hemmings Motor News has been around since 1954. We're proud of our heritage, but we're also more than the Hemmings full of classifieds that your father subscribed to. Aside from new editorial content every month in Hemmings, we have three monthly magazines: Hemmings Muscle Machines, Hemmings Classic Car and Hemmings Sports and Exotic Car.

While our editors traverse the country to find the best content for those magazines, we find other oddities related to the old-car hobby that we really had no place for - until now. With this blog, we're giving you a behind-the-scenes look at what we see and what we do during the course of putting out some of the finest automotive magazines you'll ever read.

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6 comments

Tanks for the Memories

Posted September 03, 2009 12:01 AM by dstrohl

They lent themselves to streamlining better than any other kind of truck. They were more intimately tied to the fortunes of the auto industry than any other kind of truck. Beginning as an outgrowth of horse-drawn wagons and sleds, tank trucks progressed from primitive and ungainly fuel haulers to sleek, slick vehicles which promoted as well as delivered an oil company's products.

Tanks on early trucks were riveted and placed on cradles either above the truck's frame or sometimes even on an existing flatbed. At the rear of the cylinder tank was a rectangular bucket box, with doors opening to the rear. Inside the box would be faucets for emptying the tank, funnels, a shelf for wrenches, and empty buckets used for measuring small sales. Containers for axle grease, another big-selling item in motoring's pioneer days, might also be stored there. At the top of the tank would be a manhole cover used for filling.

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#1

Re: Tanks for the Memories

09/03/2009 10:29 AM

Whenever I think of tankers, this unbeautiful beast comes to mind:

... from the movie Duel

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#3
In reply to #1

Re: Tanks for the Memories

09/04/2009 5:45 PM

"unbeautiful beast"

I disagree, That truck is just plain sexy.

I'd drive her down highway 101 any day.

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#4
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Re: Tanks for the Memories

09/04/2009 6:01 PM
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#5
In reply to #3

Re: Tanks for the Memories

09/04/2009 7:36 PM

BTW - did you ever see the episode of The Incredible Hulk which featured a lot of (outtake?) footage from Duel? I thought I was hallucinating when I first saw it!

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#6
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Re: Tanks for the Memories

09/04/2009 8:04 PM

not yet... (that I remember) But I'll check it out over the weekend.

Happy holiday weekend!

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#2

Re: Tanks for the Memories

09/04/2009 12:16 PM

Tanker trucks, or at least the tank, is round for a reason and streamlining is not one of the reasons. it is round because it is an efficient shape for carrying liquids. It also aids in drainage of the contents. A flat bottom tank would be difficult to drain without some form of internal guide baffles to direct the flow. All tankers today are drawn by box like tractors. It appears the streamlined truck in your picture was designed for airplane fueling, as a design exercise, not as an efficient wind breaker. All tanks used to transport liquids have a set of internal baffles arranged to keep "sloshing" to a minimum. "Weep" holes at the lowest point of each baffle allows for complete drainage.

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