In early December, Ruan took possession of our first eight-axle super tankers to be used for dairy hauling in the Midwest. Super tankers have twice the capacity of other tankers at 12,000 gallons.
“Adding super tankers to our fleet is a response to our customers’ needs and follows a national trend toward a desire for larger tankers,” said Vice President of Operations Tatum Moyer.
The initial two super tankers are based at our operation in Fair Oaks, IN, and travel to Coopersville, MI, hauling milk for Select Milk Producers.
Super tankers hold 12,000 gallons of milk (8.6 pounds per gallon), more than doubling the capacity of traditional trailers, which means the cargo weight is approximately 103,000 pounds. The gross commercial vehicle weight (GCVW) for the unit is about 130,000 pounds.
To achieve this potential weight GCVW, Ruan is using Michigan’s axle law. The maximum gross vehicle weight allowed on a federal weight law truck is 80,000 pounds, with four of its five axles carrying 17,000 pounds each and the steering axle carrying 12,000 pounds. Michigan’s use of a grandfathered clause in federal rules allows a vehicle weight to be measured per each axle—up to a total of 164,000 pounds. However, a truck carrying 164,000 pounds in the state of Michigan must have 11 axles, each axle carrying no more than 13,000 pounds.
States and provinces bordering Michigan allow certain vehicles heavier than the federal-weight-law trucks. Ohio, Indiana, and Wisconsin issue permits allowing heavier Michigan-style trucks to travel on selected highways
Driver training in Fair Oaks has included informational sessions, followed by hands-on work with the trailer and related processes. Safety is emphasized, especially on processes to minimize risk with the heavier loads.