A fleet of 15 DOT hazardous-material Tri State Tank vacuum trucks offers Reliable Environmental Transport the flexibility to provide customers a wide variety of services

Anyone sitting in the driver’s seat of a company knows that a more diverse customer base decreases the chances of business stall-outs. With that logic in mind, Jonathan Marks broadens the services offered by his company, Reliable Environmental Transport Inc., with 15 DOT 407/412 hazardous-material vacuum trucks built out by Tri State Tank.

“These trucks have been an important part of our diversification efforts,” says Marks, president and chief executive officer of the Bridgeport, W. Va.-based company. RET provides specialized transportation services for industrial clients, about 75 percent of which are in the oil and natural gas industries. “The multidimensional trucks allow RET to service not only the production, but midstream and downstream aspects of the natural gas cycle.”


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The fleet ranges in model years from 2006 to 2012 and reflects the company’s dramatic growth curve since 2006, when it owned just two trucks. The trucks are used primarily to collect natural gas condensate from holding tanks at producing well sites, then transport it to various companies that use the byproduct in manufacturing processes.

“Some production wells in the wet-gas area of the Marcellus have condensate, which is a highly volatile substance,” explains Marks. “We come in on a regular basis with the DOT 407 trucks to empty the production tanks. The condensate is then used for things like manufacturing gasoline or turned into a denaturant in ethylene plants.”

Built on Kenworth T800 and Peterbilt chassis, the trucks feature 475 hp engines; 4,000- to 5,000-gallon Progress aluminum DOT 407/412 tanks, made by New Progress LLC; 3-inch Blackmer product pumps; RB-DV45 blowers (500 cfm) made by Robuschi USA Inc.; and a BASE wireless remote system to control pump engagement, valve operations, and emergency shutdown system. Additionally, the units include heavy-duty oil field front and rear bumpers.

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“We order higher horsepower engines because of the mountainous terrain in which these trucks operate,” Marks says.

The trucks are unique because they feature a dual-loading system that enables safe working in a hazardous environment: a traditional vacuum pump that loads nonflammable material, and a gear-driven Blackmer pump specifically used to handle flammable material.


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A blower creates suction by moving large volumes of air through the tank. “A gear-driven pump, however, works off a series of gears that turn to create suction, so the potential for dangerous sparking is less,” Marks explains. “It doesn’t create the vapors you’d create with a blower pump.”

Marks says the aluminum tanks are a value for his company because they don’t rust and are significantly lighter than steel tanks, which gives his crews the ability to carry more payload without violating gross vehicle weight restrictions.

Dependability is another factor, he notes.

“If these trucks experience difficulties with the tanks – say, a leak or a weld seam doesn’t hold – then that truck is down and we lose a lot of money. But we don’t experience those kinds of problems.

“We do several other things, like (cleaning) frac tanks and roll-offs,” he adds. “But liquid vacuum trucks – for hazardous and nonhazardous waste – are the bread-and-butter of our company. They allow us to diversify into much more than just, say, hauling brine water or production water.”

And provide protection against those pesky business stall-outs.

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