Florida CDL Handbook: Safe Driving Rules
8. Tank Vehicles
In order to drive tank vehicles safely, you must remember to follow all the safe driving rules. A few of these rules are:
8.3.1 - Drive Smoothly
Because of the high center of gravity and the surge of the liquid, you must start, slow down, and stop very smoothly. Also, make smooth turns and lane changes.
8.3.2 - Controlling Surge
Keep a steady pressure on the brakes. Do not release too soon when coming to a stop.
Brake far in advance of a stop and increase your following distance.
If you must make a quick stop to avoid a crash, use controlled or stab braking. If you do not remember how to stop using these methods, review subsection 2.17.2. Also, remember that if you steer quickly while braking, your vehicle may roll over.
8.3.3 - Curves
Slow down before curves, then accelerate slightly though the curve. The posted speed for a curve may be too fast for a tank vehicle.
8.3.4 - Stopping Distance
Keep in mind how much space you need to stop your vehicle. Remember that wet roads double the normal stopping distance. Empty tank vehicles may take longer to stop than full ones.
8.3.5 - Skids
Don't over steer, over accelerate, or over brake. If you do, your vehicle may skid. On tank trailers, if your drive wheels or trailer wheels begin to skid, your vehicle may jackknife. When any vehicle starts to skid, you must take action to restore traction to the wheels.
Test Your Knowledge
- How are bulkheads different than baffles?
- Should a tank vehicle take curves, on ramps, or off ramps at the posted speed limits?
- How are smooth bore tankers different to drive than those with baffles?
- What three things determine how much liquid you can load?
- What is outage?
- How can you help control surge?
- What two reasons make special care necessary when driving tank vehicles?
These questions may be on the test. If you can't answer them all, re-read Section 8.
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