6 Tips for Tank Truck Driving in the Summer Heat

It’s that time of year again! You know, the time of year when you start to sweat profusely after standing outside for only a few minutes. Mid-June heat can be brutal. That’s why it is crucial to ensure that you and your tank truck are prepared for summer weather and all that it can bring! Before venturing off into the extreme heat, here are a few pre-trip inspections that every tank truck driver should take note of.

Make sure you check your tanker’s:

1. Tires

It is paramount to check your tire mounting and air pressure. You should inspect your tires every two hours OR every 100 miles when driving in extreme heat.

Air pressure naturally increases as the temperature increases. It might be tempting to let air out when you see the air pressure increase. Don’t do this because it will become too low once the tires inevitably cool off. If your tires become too hot to touch, stay stopped until they cool off. This will prevent blowing a tire or even the possibility of your tires catching on fire.

Pro tip: A burning tire should be cooled with water.

2. Engine Oil

Engine oil keeps the engine cool, and also lubricates it. You should always make sure there is enough in your tanker. Bonus points if you have an oil temperature gauge—this helps you ensure the temperature is within the proper range while you are driving.

3. Engine Coolant

Before getting on the road, make sure your tanker’s engine cooling system has enough water and antifreeze. (Antifreeze helps your engine in the winter and summer!) When driving, check the water temperature and/or coolant temperature gauge every now and then to make sure it remains in the normal range. If the gauge goes above the highest safe temperature, there is probably something wrong, and could lead to engine failure and possibly a fire. Stop driving as soon as possible to investigate the issue.

NEVER remove the radiator cap or any part of the pressurized system until the system has cooled. Boiling water or steam could spray and cause fatal burns.


Don’t forget—it is just as important to take care of yourself as it is your tanker! Here’s some tips to beat the heat as you’re out on the road this summer:


4. Stay Hydrated

It’s easy to forget to drink water while on the road, but it’s extremely important in order to stay properly hydrated – especially during the hottest months of the year. Keeping a large jug of iced water next to you while you’re driving will serve as a constant reminder and make it practical for you to drink water throughout the day.

5. Wear Sun Protection

Wearing sunscreen at the pool is common sense. Wearing sun screen to drive a tank truck, on the other hand, may not cross your mind. But if you spend long hours on the road during daylight hours, applying sun screen is a good idea. While it’s unlikely to get a gnarly sun burn, deeply penetrating UVA rays from the sun can still be harmful and damaging to your skin and health.

A study in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found those who had spent the most time driving a car each week were more likely to develop skin cancers on the left sides of their bodies and faces — the side exposed to more sunlight while driving. In patients with malignant melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, 74 percent of the tumors were found on the left sides, compared with 26 percent on the right.

6. Beware of more traffic

During the summertime, roads tend to be a lot more crowded. Kids are out of school, a lot more people have time off work, and families are take more vacations. Heavier traffic can present more dangers for for tank truck drivers, so pay extra close attention to other vehicles on the road and possible sudden slow downs.


Bottom line:

Follow these tips to beat the heat this summer as you drive your tanker truck! In the meantime, check out some of our high quality tank trucks to ensure you stay safe on the road. We manufacture tanker trucks that last longer, saving you downtime and money. We also provide service centers around the country to provide help when you need it most!

New Machine Increases Efficiency of Tank Production

Introducing: The SweBend Roll Machine—Amthor International’s newest plant machinery! All the way from Sweden, the SweBend machine uses advanced engineering to bend sheets of metal with tremendous force that reduces the flat ends to a bare minimum.


Here at Amthor, we know the importance of saving our customers downtime and money. That’s why we manufacture, in a time-efficient manner, tanker trucks of the highest quality. This machinery brings tremendous value to our company and our manufacturing plant in Gretna, Virginia.

The SweBend Roll Machine:

  • Increases the quality of Amthor tanks
  • Increases the efficiency of production
  • Increases safety within our plant and for our employees

The SweBend Roll Machine was a two-year time investment including the time it took to purchase it, deliver it, and train employees how to handle it. As the machine quickly becomes a cornerstone in our production process, the SweBend proves to be well worth the investment for both our employees and our customers.

SweBend is a Swedish company located in Hässleholm, Sweden. Their team of engineers and mechanics design state-of-the-art machinery in the field of bending and forming metal. This SweBend Roll Machine has operator friendly controls and offers the strongest available shafts on the market. It also has the highest drive torque and rotation speed, which helps minimize cycle time and maximize quality output. Needless to say, we are excited about this new machinery in our plant and our ability to manufacture higher quality tanker trucks that save you downtime and money.

Imagination Meets Innovation

Here at Amthor, we take pride in creating solutions for our customers; we know not all needs are the same. In this case, a customer named Chris explained that his new septic pumping business, Septic Solutions located in Greer, SC, would also service small restaurants by pumping out their grease traps for proper disposal.

Chris was facing several significant dilemmas. First, he needed to figure out how to pump the grease traps using a 55-gallon drum vacuum cleaner to avoid pulling a long pumper truck hose through a restaurant. Then, without hauling a trailer behind him, how could he transport it on his 2500-gallon vacuum tanker truck without compromising any operations or functions of his tanker truck.

Many “like businesses” typically strap the 55-gallon vacuum drum to the front of their tanker trucks. For safety reasons, this wasn’t our solution. Amthor International’s team designed a liftgate carriage built onto the tanker truck’s rear driver side (seen in the photo). The vacuum liftgate holds up to 1500 pounds! With the simple switch of a button, the liftgate raises and lowers. The portable 55-gallon vacuum drum is attached to a dolly for easy navigation, which allows our customer to clean out grease traps in a time-saving manner and without any heavy lifting.

This innovation enables Chris’s business to be more successful and tackle two separate services with one tank truck.

The truck shown in the photos is a 2020 F-750 Vacuum Unit designed for our customer’s needs. This tanker is equipped with a Fruitland RCF-500 Vacuum Pump and has all heated columns.

Check out this video to hear Chris introduce his new vacuum carriage.

3 Steps to Clean Your Tank Truck

Is your tanker not shining like it was when you first purchased it? If so, it may be time to clean the exterior of your tank truck. Not sure where to begin? Keep reading for a 3-step touch-less method to cleaning a tanker.

Whether it’s your family-owned business or you are working for a larger company, your truck is a representation of your business. When your tanker is shining, not only will you represent your brand well, but you will attract more business as a result.

The best part about this process is that you don’t have to scrub with your hands— it is a touch-less method.

*It is best to clean the cab of your truck before you begin to clean the tank.*


To clean the tank…follow these steps: 

  1. Start with a foam cannon pressure washer. Apply a low pH detergent to the tank using the foam cannon. The low pH product will brighten the metallic tank. Apply the product from the BOTTOM of the tank to the TOP of the tank. Start at the front of the tank and work your way towards the back in small vertical sections.
    • (Side note: Foam cannon pressure washers are ideal when you are looking to mix in a detergent or cleaning chemicals. This type of washer produces thick suds at high and fast pressure making it easy to wipe any surface down without damaging it.)

2. Next, apply a high pH detergent directly on top of the low pH detergent. The high pH product attacks dirt, grease, and oils.

3. After about a minute of letting the detergents sit (do NOT let them dry), use warm water (about 100°F) from your pressure washer and rinse your tank truck from TOP TO BOTTOM! Maintain your high pressure nozzle within 2 feet of the surface and spray at an angle of about 45°.

Repeat these steps until you’re satisfied with your tank truck! Dirty tankers have a grimy haze to their surface, but a cleaned tanker will have a bright, shiny surface.

Once it’s shining, get back on the road and your business will certainly stand out!

11 Tips for Safe Winter Driving

It’s that time of year to consider proper safety measures for driving in serious winter conditions. Driving in winter weather can be risky due to poor visibility, poor traction on snow-covered or icy roads, and the increased unpredictability of other drivers on the road. We want you to be equipped to get your job done in winter weather, but most importantly, arrive home safely to your family. Driving a tanker truck in serious winter conditions demands a knowledge of proper and preventative safety skills.

Here’s a refresher of some safe winter driving tips and tricks that can be invaluable to a tank truck driver:

1. Slow Down

  • Most accidents on snowy or icy roads occur from excessive speed. It is important to compensate for poor traction on the roads by reducing your speed!

2. Inspect Your Tank Truck

  • Having your tank truck prepared for winter is imperative to prevent any major issues. Check the tire pressure, engine oil, and antifreeze levels before you hit the road!

3. Keep a Safe Driving Distance

  • The stopping distance on icy roads is almost 10 TIMES the normal stopping distance. It’s important to leave plenty of room between your tank truck and the vehicle in front of you to ensure you have enough space to stop or move out of the way.

4. Stay Smooth

  • When you’re driving on snowy and icy roads, avoid any sudden braking, acceleration, turning, etc. If a situation arrises where you need to come to a stop, pump your breaks lightly. The objective is to keep a consistent speed to avoid reducing traction on the slippery roads.

5. Never Push Beyond the Limits of Your Equipment

  • Knowing how your vehicle operates and what your equipment can handle is VERY important. It is one of the best ways to stay safe!

6. Don’t Risk It 

  • If the weather is so bad that you need to pull off the road, DO IT. Find a place to get off the road safely and wait until conditions are safe!

7. Warm the Windshield

  • Not sure what to do on those really cold mornings when your windshield fogs up? Turn your defroster on high for a minute to help warm the glass.

8. Carry Kitty Litter, Sand, or Cardboard

  • If your tank truck is stuck in snow, you can sprinkle sand or kitty litter in front of the tires (and behind them if you’re planning on backing out). Another way to get traction is to lay cardboard, or even plywood, in front of the tires (or behind them if you’re starting in reverse).

9. Keep Your Gas Tank Full

  • Having a full gas tank gives extra weight over the tires which provides additional traction.

10. Check Tail Lights

  • After driving in the ice and snow, check your taillights and license plate to ensure they are cleared and clean. It’s important to make your tank truck as highly visible as possible.

11. Be Prepared

  • It’s a good idea to have the following with you on the road:
    • Warm clothing
    • Extra blankets
    • Food and water
    • Flashlight
    • Cell phone and charger
    • Tire chains



Please, Wear Your Seatbelt | Chris’s Story

A few weeks ago, here at Amthor, we received an email that stopped us in our tracks. The email was from a man named Chris, and he shared—with tears in his eyes—the story of a horrible accident that would forever change his life. His story deeply moved us, and we wanted to share it in hopes that it will do the same for you.

Chris explained he was driving one of our 2,000-gallon Matador Runabouts ( a portable restroom tank truck), when his truck hydroplaned at 70 mph. Losing control, his vehicle flew sideways up a grass freeway embankment, catching air and rolling four times before it rested.


The accident crushed the cab and was a total loss. But remarkably, the tank itself was undamaged. The only damage was a slight bend in the uppermost paper box on the driver side, easily beaten back into shape, along with a slight angle in the license plate bracket.

Miraculously, Chris walked entirely away from this accident without any injuries and was able to go home to his family that night. For that, we are immensely grateful.

The Amthor tank was the only barrier preventing the cab from being crushed with him inside. The tank did not separate from the frame due to the unique tie-down system Butch Amthor designed many years ago.  We realize this story could have ended very differently, and we are thankful that Chris is here to share his story with us.  It reminds us of the enormous responsibility we have for our customers and the integrity of every tank we manufacture.

In his email, Chris stated,

“Thank you to every single team member who is involved in the process of creating the tanks—from the designer who sketched it, all the way to the person who put the final touch of the tank and everyone in between.”

That being said, we are noting that Chris was an extremely fortunate man because he also informed us that he was not wearing a seatbelt. We are sobered by the fact that this story could have ended very differently, and feel the call to encourage our customers to always wear their seatbelts.

We are aware it can be tempting to remain unbuckled when your job requires continuously going in and out of the truck—but unfortunately, accidents do happen. It is our deep desire to ensure that our customers go home to their families safely. So, when you’re on the road, wear your seatbelt; if you are a fleet operations manager, scheduler, or controller—please remind your drivers to buckle up. For safety and for family.

His story deeply moved us, and we wanted to share it in hopes that it will do the same for you.