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.


Amthor International Vacuum Truck

Vacuum trucks are a type of tank truck that boast heavy duty vacuum pumps. This allows you to load all kinds of substances, including liquids, solids or sludge,through the vacuum pump’s suction lines. Most vacuum pumps use rotary vane vacuum pumps. Here at Amthor International, we provide our clients with a variety of vacuum trucks in the Matador line.

Our Vacuum Tank Trucks

Our vacuum trucks are part of the Matador line. We have stationary vacuum tank trucks, dumping vacuum tank trucks and full opening rear door vacuum tank trucks that you can choose from. Additionally, we have both code and non-code vacuum trucks that you can use. The following are the main differences between the two:

Code vacuum trucks – A code vacuum truck is built according to the regulations of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and is meant to be used on hazardous materials. For example, many businesses use code vacuum trucks to clean up various oils and chemicals that are deemed hazardous by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Non-code vacuum trucks – Non-code vacuum trucks are used for any materials that are safe. They cannot be used for materials that are hazardous.

Our Vacuum Tank Truck Features

Our trucks are fitted with all kinds of innovative features. For example, one of our latest innovations is the CLAW. The CLAW is a series of hydraulic arms that are used to open and close the rear door, thereby eliminating the need to use wing nuts along the sides and top of the truck. This creates a much tighter – and therefore more convenient and safer – seal.

Our Vacuum Tank Truck Options

If you need a turnkey unit, we always have vacuum tank trucks that are ready for sale. However, we can also customize a premier vacuum tank truck according to your unique specifications. We have a wide selection of custom materials and options to help build the tanker that you need.

At Amthor International, we pride ourselves on being able to handle any needs you have when it comes to our vacuum tank trucks, all while still being able to provide every one of our customers with the personalized customer service that you might expect from a smaller family owned and operated business.

Amthor International Introduces The Claw

Amthor’s innovation for rear door operation on vacuum tanks will be introduced at the Pumper & Cleaner Environmental Expo on Tuesday, Feb 25, 10:00am

Amthor-theClaw-finalAmthor International will introduce The CLAW (patent pending), a series of hydraulic arms to open and close the rear door on vacuum trucks, eliminating the use of wing nuts along the top and sides. The CLAW will be unveiled at the Amthor booth (#4327) at the Pumper & Cleaner Environmental Expo, Indianapolis, IN on Tuesday, Feb 25, 10:00am. Additional demonstrations will also be conducted throughout the trade show.

“No longer does the driver have to climb ten to thirteen feet in the air to tighten down the rear door,” explains Brian Amthor, VP, Marketing. “All he has to do is pull a lever and the arms extend and reach out to release or pull the door in which will ensure a much tighter seal than any human can provide manually. The CLAW locks past center and even if pressure is lost or the cylinder falls to operate, the latch will not be loosened.”


Amthor’s CLAW design can be used on any code or non-code vacuum tank and is available mid-first quarter of 2014. The increase in cost over the standard wing nut design is minimal. The CLAW increases driver safety and saves money on unnecessary tank repairs due to incorrect operation. For more information on this innovation please contact Brian Amthor at

Amthor International, a fourth generation family-owned company, is the nation’s largest and most diverse manufacturer of truck mounted tanks, which include uses for the refined fuel, propane, mining, vacuum and septic, portable restroom, water, well drilling, and construction industries. The company has grown from a 1928 blacksmith shop in Ellenville, N.Y., to its two locations today. At their Gretna headquarters, the company operates an 86,000 square foot plant and employs over one hundred people. Amthor International has been named to the Inc. 5000 of the fastest growing privately held companies in the US.