Thursday 30 May 2024

Road tanker

The Meridian kit for the round tanker wagon using a Bagnall chassis is based on an example at Snailbeach which had been built using a tank from a road lorry. I recently saw this early road tanker, at an event at Goodwood, which is probably of a similar era. I figured some detail photos might be useful.

The tank is oval rather than round, probably to reduce the centre of gravity, and of course is branded Shell Mex BP (I guess petrol) rather than Royal Sunlight (paraffin). However, it looks to be a similar size to that used at Snailbeach. 

I can't quite work out if the hand-pump on the rear is connected into the tank, or what it was used for.

This tank also has three openings on the top, but equally spaced. The photo isn't very clear but the openings have a metal plate over them with a couple of pipe fittings, presumably for a filling pipe and I guess a vent to be connected during loading. There are also three levers protruding from little shrouds, but these aren't all on the metal plated openings.

However, the levers are aligned to the three outlet pipes at the bottom of the tank. These protrude from the left side and look like they have a tap on the end, although I think it is a pipe connection and valve assembly. My guess is that each lever at the top opens a valve in the bottom of the tank to discharge via the aligned outlet. The tank will be divided into three sections internally, which both prevents surging of the liquid and enables up to three separate deliveries (or three separate products) - modern tanker trucks have this arrangement too. Therefore, there are three separate filling connections and three separate outlets, plus some hoses to connect the outlets to the receiving tank. I'd expect both filling and emptying are by gravity, but perhaps that pump handle on the end is used to dispense?

A close-up of the discharge outlets. The pipes can be seen connecting them to the underside of the tank. The photo of the wagon at Snailbeach suggests that had three outlet connections at the end (rear) of the tank, rather than the side like this. 

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