August Trailer/Body Builders described how seven-axle dump trucks can legally haul 25½ tons in eight states by using three steerable lift axles ahead of the truck tandem plus a booster axle at the rear. Now comes the Super Tanker, also using three lightweight steerable lift axles ahead of the tandem. Instead of a booster axle on a pivoting arm at the rear, the Super Tanker uses a more conventional 13,200-lb non-steerable tag axle at the rear. Net payload is more than 52,000 pounds.
Key to the weight savings is a new 8,000-lb-capacity steerable lift axle from Watson & Chalin that weighs only 895 pounds using steel wheels and hubs. This new Tru-track Super Lite lift axle uses 17.5" wheels and tires and an imported 325 × 100 mm (13" × 4") brake from ArvinMeritor. Previously, the lightest lift axle from Watson & Chalin was a 12,000-lb-capacity Tru-Track Lite scaling 1,249 pounds.
The new Super Tanker was introduced at Brenner Days in June. Besides many other weight-saving features, it is equipped with a 6,300-gallon sanitary milk tank from Brenner Tank LLC, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. The shell is of 12-gauge Type 304 stainless steel. It has 24-gauge bright stainless jacketing and 3" of polystyrene foam insulation. It has a single stainless steel ladder but no top deckplate. Fenders are aluminum.
Tare weight of the seven-axle Super Tanker on aluminum wheels and hubs is 26,320 pounds. Besides the insulated tank and Sterling chassis, that weight includes a stainless steel rear cabinet, Jabsco 2½" sanitary pump, and sanitary hose to collect milk from dairy farm holding tanks.
The Super Tanker can legally gross 80,000 pounds in Wisconsin, which includes that state's milk carrier allowance. The outer bridge is 32 feet. The four Watson & Chalin lift axles were installed by Michael's Truck Equipment Inc in La Crosse, Wisconsin. The customer is Neitzel Trucking Inc in Alma, Wisconsin, a seven-truck fleet using mostly five-axle tankers capable of 75,000-lb gross.
The 5,000-lb increase in allowable payload means the new Super Tanker can gain an additional $25,000 revenue annually, according to owner Gerry Neitzel. He says the seven-axle truck is one of the most stable and maneuverable farm pick-up tankers he has ever driven.
Tank trucks rather than tractor-trailers are the best choice for farm pick-up in the hilly terrain along the Mississippi River in his area of southwestern Wisconsin. Dairy farms keep getting bigger, requiring a larger tank to haul all of the milk in one load from any farm holding tank. Many farms in the area are adding 6,000-gallon holding tanks. Wisconsin regulations require all the milk in a holding tank to be carried in one pick-up tank.