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Milk Tankers: The Inside Story

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We watch tankers around our highways every day and don’t take much notice, but those tankers are working hard to keep safe and in this video NTI’s Adam Gibson gives us the milk tankers: inside story.

The slosh possible in a tanker full of liquid can be pretty powerful and come as a surprise. On this point, from my experience, touching brakes at 100km/h on a tanker full of molasses with broken baffles, can be terrifying.

In this video we can get a good idea of the behaviour of the milk inside the barrel. Running it through a series of bends shows us just how much different motion can happen. These kinds of manoeuvres would  compare well with the roads a milk tanker might normally travel on for a farm pickup.

This truck has all of its safety features in good order and working well, but there are still strong forces making life difficult for it to remain stable.

Apart from the safety aspects of this video, it is also interesting to see just how a the various forces created effect the load. The fact that this is liquid simply magnifies the effects of those forces, but they do exist in every load restraint scenario.

“If we think about it in terms of the stability triangle, how far do we have to push that combination before we start picking wheels off the ground and having bad things happen for a static load,” says Adam. “This is really the key thing to keep in mind around the dynamics of your vehicle when you’re driving with a partly loaded tank.”

This video was produced as another part of the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator’s Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative and produced by NTI as part of its industry education efforts. 


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