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DEC 13 – FEB 14

VACUUM TRUCKS & TRAILERS IN STOCK NOW! The elves at VTS have been toiling madly at the foot of the garden over the past winter and have we got a shit load of trucks for you to buy! All of our tankers are available either immediately or at very short notice. Don’t hesitate to call or email us for more info. Also in this newsletter we are reprinting with permission a paper delivered by Jorgen Bhalla VP of AMOT in the USA. This was originally printed in the WJTA newsletter earlier this year. This paper highlights issues faced by vacuum truck operators regarding runaway diesel engines when pumping flammables or flammable vapours. I would encourage everyone to read this and be aware of the risks associated with this type of work. You actually never know when you will need to have a clear understanding of why your truck is revving its guts out and or exploding for no reason?

VTS 20000lt quad dogs x 2 Nearly ready to go. 20000lt mild steel 8mm barrels, 2 x 450mm top manways, 550mm rear manway, 100mm load, 100mm dump. Fuwa disc brake axles, steel wheels, hose trays and tool boxes. Built at our factory in China. Great buying at $140K each + GST

VTS 8000lt septics trucks! We currently have two 8000lt septic tankers booked for completion in March and April next year. Below are the following specifications for your reading pleasure… • • • • • • • •

8000lt 8mm mild steel vacuum tank 360cfm Fruitland vacuum pump PTO driven Full VTS 75mm shut off system Hose trays and tool box Painted gleaming white EPA compliant all states 280hp Auto Can be fitted with ROPs for mining applications

Expect to pay around $230K + GST and on roads. Call Mike on 03 5775 7300 for further details.

VTS is building ten 24000lt vacuum tankers! To meet the demands of our market. VTS is building 10 of these beauties in China. Unlike some imported crappy Shanghai shipyard junk tankers floating around, these top-of-the-range machines have been constructed to meet our rigorous Australian VTS standards. “Why China?” You may well ask. Our customers are asking constantly for quicker lead times than our small manufacturing facility can deliver. In addition, our quality tankers can be built more cheaply offshore than in Australia allowing us to pass on savings to our customers. We have carefully designed these tankers to meet or exceed the exacting build quality standard set by VTS.

Members of our Australian design and engineering team are onsite in our Chinese factory to fully inspect every stage of the manufacturing process and have fully and carefully engineered the brake systems and lighting to comply with current Australian Design Rules (ADRs). Our new tankers are currently ready to rock and roll at $140K each! Check out these specs! • • • • • • • • •

Full 8mm mild steel construction Hose trays and tool boxes Full VTS 75mm shut off system Fully bunded top area with air operated handrail and access ladder Full ADR compliant, brakes, axles, suspension and lighting Disc brakes, air bag and front lift axle 50mm kingpin Alloy wheels Two pack paint

Want to know more? Call VTS on (03) 5775 7300 for further details and the hottest price for quantity orders. Add a heavy duty Fruitland vane type vacuum pump and Deutz air cooled diesel motor package for only an extra $28K fitted. Don’t delay these rippers won’t last at this price. Do you have a requirement for a specific project that you think is too costly to build in Australia? Talk to a team member at VTS about our offshore manufacturing plant and our capabilities.

DEC 13 – FEB 14

28000lt aluminium vacuum triaxle tankers! Maximum payload in these rippers. Why aluminium? Lighter tare weight equals much greater payload. Aluminium is around 1/3 the weight of mild steel and when it comes to vacuum tankers that lightness translates into payload and profit. Be careful though as aluminium is not suited to all wastes. Ideally grease trap, septic/sewage and other organic wastes will not harm an aluminium barrel. Steer clear of any highly abrasives/acids or caustics. These will damage your beautiful new aluminium barrel! 2 will be available for delivery mid December. No more in the build line for the next 6 months so don’t buggerise around procrastinating, grab your cheque book and get down here quick!

This ripper DAF CF 75 is ready to suck! 8x4, 310Hp and auto will make this not only easy to drive but also economical to run, heaps of torque and lots of great driver features will help your bottom line grow! • 13000lt mild steel barrel, full roll over with hand rail, tipping tank. 360cfm Fruitland heavy duty vane type vacuum pump fitted with final filter will work day in day out. Full VTS shut off system protects the pump from un-necessary contamination. • 2000psi 20lpm water jet, 200lt tank with spring retractable hose reel. • Does have room for ROPs to be fitted for mining application or an additional cross chassis tool box. • Built to comply with EPA specs. All this and finished in gleaming white 2 pack paint. Your new truck will perform and look like a treat in any liquid waste business! Dig up the veggie garden, empty the ashtray, even talk to the bank manager if you have to, but don’t stuff around because this machine is in stock, ready to go and it will sell. Call Mike on (03) 5775 7300 for a full run down and pricing on this versatile vacuum tanker.

Hey all you Kennys out there!


What we have here is a full 304 stainless steel construction and waste/ water combination unit. 1600lt waste/600lt water. Great little Conde vacuum pump, electric start Honda and a beaut little electric flexible impellor water pump. Full overflow system. This great little sucker comes with 10m of 50mm Tigertail hose and 20m of 19mm water delivery hose. Stainless steel or PVC valves with camlocks. Not a cent to spend, go straight to work pumping dunnies, do not pass go but collect a shit load more than $200!!! Buy one or buy 10 the choice is yours. $19,000 + GST for one, better for more! We’ll fill up the water and you can do some cashies on the way home. Come and get it.

Jenna Jen is our engineer; although quite young at 24 she has learnt very quickly and is fast becoming a vacuum tanker design expert. Recently Jen has worked on designing the new VTS triaxles and also been to China to ensure our Chinese manufacturing partner is in tune with our quality and compliance expectations. Jen completed her degree at Melbourne Uni. Growing up on a farm in Mansfield, Jenna is a natural tom boy. She goes trail bike riding, water skiing and shooting on weekends. Despite being a tom boy she has never pulled the wings of flies!

VTS introduces the VTS Draincam Here is something everyone could do at one time or another – install an inexpensive highly portable small drain inspection camera. Packaged in an extremely robust lockable plastic case this great little camera: • Can be charged from 240 volt or from a car charger power supply; • Has full colour screen and recording facilities to either SD card, USB or straight to your computer. 30m of push rod/cable with a HD camera on the end means you get a clean view for quite a long distance without the need for continual digging. Want to learn more? Check out our video on YouTube, simply visit our website and click on our video gallery. Want one, five or 10? We have them in stock. Introductory offer of $1350 + GST and postage each.

DEC 13 – FEB 14

For Sale

CAC Transport are selling off some vacuum tankers and trailers which are currently surplus to their requirements. Call Adam for further details on 0418 386 177, he will be more than happy to help.

VTS Provac 200 We are pleased to announce that VTS is now the Australian agent for Condi and hence, we are proud to advertise, for the first time, these nifty little units which are made in the US. Up until recently, these great portable and versatile machines haven’t been huge sellers here in Australia (we used to build 4 or 5 a year) but as we didn’t actually advertised them…. Duh! Ideally suited for indoor usage or anywhere were access is limited e.g. restaurants, hospitals, schools and universities.

This super-easy-to-use little gem has: • A 200lt capacity, • Aluminium construction, • A handbrake, short suction hose and 5m of flex with a 15amp plug. Using 240V power it is: • Capable of either vacuum or pressure, • Easy to push around full or empty, • Capable of earning you very good returns. See the Provac 200 in action - go to our video gallery at, and click on the Provac video.

Hey Mr Turnbull, Can you dig it?

Whether you have a contract with the NBN or simply want something for potholing utilities this beauty will be the answer. Dig your way to wealth and happiness.

This compact and super high performance hydro excavator will be ready to dig very shortly.

Why buy a piece of imported garbage that wears out before you can fully depreciate it? Some manufacturers use extra thin steel in their barrels and in no time you are up the creek without a barrel.

Your new hydro excavator truck is nearly ready!

• • • • •

5000lt tipping with full open hydraulic rear door 1200cfm blower 2 x 1000lt stainless steel water tanks 4000lt psi 30lpm hydro water pump full hydraulic drive from the PTO via a heavy duty purpose designed hydraulic system • 100mm manual boom All of this great stuff is fitted to a brand new DAF LF55 280hp 1000nm Auto. A pleasure to drive and a pleasure to work.

VTS built hydro machine uses 8mm mild steel shell and ends, coupled with our super-efficient proven rear door locks, extra heavy duty seal and opening design. Our stuff is designed to last and last and last. Not to mention all the other good stuff we have engineered into this unit. Feel free to come and have a look. It should be finished later this year. You can even dig a hole or two at our joint if you are serious enough. How much? $340,000 +GST and on-roads.

For Sale 1988 Hino Ranger

1985 Isuzu Single Axle Truck

160,000 kms. 8,000 litre stainless steel tank with tipper and rear opening door ready to go to work. $85,000 ono. Phone Matt on 0429 923 782.

268,000 kms. 7,000 litre tank with tipper & rear opening hatch. New Wallenstein pump recently fitted by VTS & stainless steel 300 litre water tank with pump and 20 metre hose ready to go to work. $75,000 ono. Phone Matt on 0429 923 782.

Max Fricke – update Max Fricke, Australia’s up and coming speedway champion has made a huge impact in the UK with his speedway racing exploits in more ways than one. Seen here after some fool ran into him, Max was forced off the track though some lousy weak barrier and ended up totalling a sign post and running into the back of a parked van. Ouch. Max ended up with soft tissue injuries which kept him off the bike for a few weeks but nonetheless completed a very

successful season in the UK. Our champion is now back in Australia but will return to the UK after the Australian season. All is looking good for the summer as he started last weekend by winning the night! Luckily VTS also fits into this busy schedule. Max is back for the next few months hard labouring to earn his next overseas fare. If you are visiting for some reason, please don’t hesitate to say “hi” to him.

DEC 13 – FEB 14

Runaway Diesel Engine Explosion – Causes, Hazards and Prevention By Jogen Bhalla, Amot Controls Vacuum trucks are frequently used for tank cleaning, spill recovery and material transfer in the refining and petrochemical industry. With the use of vacuum trucks, a number of potential hazards are introduced that may lead to serious incidents if the right precautions are not taken. The following hazards can occur when working with vacuum trucks:

Understanding the Hazard

• • • • • •

Vacuum trucks must run the engine to perform the operation and it is not uncommon for these engines to be surrounded by hydrocarbon vapors. As refineries age and the oil and shale gas activity rises, the probability of a sudden hydrocarbon release increases substantially. Over time, refineries require upgrades and expansions. This will require a large number of contractors and diesel engines to perform the work. The use of unprotected engines by employers and contractors will continue to increase the risk of fire, explosions and fatalities.

Mixing of materials Loading hot materials Connection of vacuum truck to process equipment Ignition in the vacuum tank Ignition outside the vacuum tank Toxic vapors

As most of the fires/explosions with vacuum truck operations occur outside the vacuum truck, this article will focus on the most dangerous ignition source - runaway diesel engine. The intent of this paper is to raise awareness of (a) the potential fire and explosion hazards associated with runaway diesel engines; (b) the time it takes for an overspeed condition to occur after initial vapor release; and (c) safe work practices operators should follow when operating diesel engines in hazardous areas.

Stationary, mobile and vehicular diesel engines (vacuum trucks) are used in the oil and gas production, refining and petrochemical industry for their day-to-day operations. These industries are particularly vulnerable to diesel engine runaway due to hydrocarbon vapor cloud release.

The majority of the refining support operations are subcontracted to various companies. In these situations, safety may become compromised. Refining processes have enough risks of their own without the added unpredictability of human error.

Runaway Diesel Engine A runaway can be described as an engine running out of control on an external fuel source where the operator cannot shut down the engine using conventional methods. During this condition, turning off the engine ignition switch, fuel system, shutting off the solenoid or disengaging the engine’s load will not stop a diesel engine. Diesel engine speed is governed by the controlled amount of fuel fed to the engine through its normal fuel system and by its internal speed governor. When additional uncontrolled fuel is present in the environment, in the form of combustible vapors, the engine may ingest this uncontrolled fuel causing the engine to overspeed. If the engine draws in a flammable vapor, the engine is likely to backfire through the intake system. Turning off the normal shutdown system will only turn off the engine’s normal fuel source, permitting the engine to run on the external fuel source. In a total runaway engine situation, the result can range from minor engine damage to engine explosion, causing catastrophic damage to the equipment and surrounding facilities and deaths or injuries to personnel. An automatic diesel engine overspeed protection system installed in the engine’s intake system is the most effective method of eliminating this ignition source. Figure 2: Typical air intake system – 4 cycle diesel engine

Figure 1: Tank Farm Explosion involving runaway truck. Source: Center for Chemical Process Safety, AIChE-Process Safety Beacon, October 2009

OSHA in November 2012 issued a Fact Sheet titled Internal Combustion Engines as the Ignition Sources. This Fact Sheet is available by clicking on this link:

Runaway Diesel Engine Explosion – Causes, Hazards and Prevention (continued) In addition, a diesel engine is not just an ignition source but can potentially act as a “hot box”; a high-energy detonation source for a hydrocarbon release that can cause large scale explosions. A runaway diesel engine, depending on the richness of the vapor cloud, can explode within seconds. There is no time to take any corrective action and it is dangerous to approach a runaway engine to try to shut it down.

speed switch and air intake shutdown valves along with a complete installation kit for each engine type. The installation kit can save many design, engineering and installation hours, as well as eliminate errors. As shown in Figure 4, an automatic overspeed system detects the RPM velocity of an engine and activates the shutdown system as the RPM level reaches an unsafe limit. This action eliminates the diesel engine as an ignition source and limits the workers exposure to the hazardous environment. Automatic systems are available in the following configurations: • Automatic electric overspeed detection shutdown system with manual override. • Automatic electric to pneumatic overspeed shutdown system with manual and override. • Automatic hydro-mechanical overspeed shutdown system with manual override.

Figure 3: BP Texas City, BLSR and off-shore diesel engine explosions

Choosing Appropriate Control Methods The following steps can minimize or eliminate the safety risks associated with runaway diesel engines: • Never drive into an area where you suspect there might be a flammable vapor cloud. • Protect vacuum truck and other equipment driven by an internal combustion engine as this can also act as an ignition source. Such equipment might include mobile or portable generators, air compressors, and engine driven pumps. • Educate personnel that the normal engine shutoff methods will not work as long as flammable vapor continues to enter the intake system. • The truck itself may become a potential source of ignition and should be protected with an automatic overspeed shutdown system and a cyclonic spark arrester. This system detects the overspeed and activates the shutdown system as the engine speed level reaches an unsafe limit.

Figure 4: Automatic overspeed shutdown system with manual override

Manual systems are available in: • • • •

Manual electric overspeed shutdown systems Manual electric to pneumatic shutdown systems Pneumatic manual shutdown systems Cable operated shutdown systems

Manual systems as shown below in Figure 5 are typically installed on smaller, vehicular or portable engines where an operator is continually present to activate the toggle switch or pull the cable handle to shutoff the air to the engine.

• Inspect applicable engines for an automatic overspeed protection device prior to entering the facility. • Educate employees, contractors and other users on how to properly maintain a diesel engine overspeed protection device. • Do not drive unprotected diesel engines into the refineries and petrochemical plants or other hazardous areas.

Recommended Control Methods by Diesel Engine Manufacturers and Experts Most diesel engine manufacturers and dealers offer shutdown devices on their engines as standard and/or optional equipment. Check with your engine manufacturer for specific details. For after-market engines, air intake shutdown system manufacturers can provide magnetic pick-up speed sensors,

Figure 5: Manual Electric to Pneumatic Shutdown System

DEC 13 – FEB 14 Runaway Diesel Engine Explosion – Causes, Hazards and Prevention (continued) Industry Recommended Practices API, ISO, Canadian, British and other international standards recommend installing an overspeed protection system for all diesel engines that are at high risk of ingesting flammables in order to prevent a diesel engine from becoming an ignition source. An overspeed shutdown system and a dry cyclone certified spark arrestors should be provided on all internal combustion engine exhausts operating within 100 feet of the process area.

7. The operator climbs up the vacuum truck looking for the controls 8. The operator finds the fuel control and turns it off 9. The engine does not stop - it is consuming the same gas leak cloud and is running on compression ignition of the mixture 10. The engine overspeeds and puts a flame through the exhaust 11. The flame results in explosion of the gas and operator injury or death 12. The explosion spreads to the whole refinery resulting in additional fatalities – creating economic and environmental damage. Typically, the operator or the contractor will not go to the engine (at point 6) and will run the other way and (if lucky) save himself, but the runaway and explosion would still happen.

Lessons Learned Based on the BP Texas City Refinery and Deepwater Horizon Explosion investigations and hearings, there are numerous diesel engine safety related issues that must be addressed. These include: Figure 6: Typical Installation of an air intake shut off valve

Hot Work Permit Program Although many refineries and petrochemical plants control the use of diesel and gas engines into or adjacent to processes with Hot Work Permits, most permits only require continuous standby and gas monitoring when welding or burning is occurring. Vehicle entry generally requires an initial check for flammable gases, and periodic re-checks if the vehicle stays in the area.

1. Vacuum truck emergency shutdown devices should have actuation checked no less than once a month to determine that they are in proper working condition 2. A field proven overspeed protection system with proper installation kits for diesel engines in vacuum trucks should be used to prevent a diesel engine from becoming an ignition source. 3. Ensure that employees and contractors shut off their diesel engines when not in use. 4. Provide adequate training on safe operation of diesel engines

These practices make the likelihood of detecting a flammable release and shutting down the vehicle engine in time to avoid being the potential ignition source extremely low.

5. Ensure that employees and contractors follow the company guidelines on operating diesel engines in hazardous areas

Assuming, that all the steps required to check the presence of flammable gases and vapors under a Hot Work Permit program are completed, and a Hot Work Permit is issued to complete the work, the scenario can be as follows:

In summary, diesel engines come in a variety of design configurations and fuel schemes but handle air the same way for combustion. Every diesel engine has the potential to overspeed when in the presence of hydrocarbon vapors. This fact, along with the previously mentioned contributors, proves that providing effective combustion air control is the only way to prevent diesel engine overspeed.

1. A vacuum truck is allowed to enter the oil and gas facility 2. A sudden gas leak caused by a ruptured disc or broken line at the facility creates a vapor cloud that moves with the air 3. The gas detector detects the vapor in the atmosphere once the percent exceeds the pre-set lower explosive limit 4. The gas detector reacts and sounds an alarm 5. An operator hears the alarm, stops his job and decides what to do next 6. If the operator or contractor is close to the engine and sees it running , they may try to turn it off when the alarm sounds

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jogen Bhalla is a vice president at AMOT, with 25+ years of process instrumentation and control experience in the oil and gas, chemical and petrochemical industry. He became involved in controlling ignition sources and runaway diesel engines after the Texas City refinery explosion in 2005 and has presented and published numerous papers on the subject. Email:; (1)512.789.2751

DEC 13 – FEB 14

Ask Dr Tanker... At VTS we get many calls from guys wanting to build their vacuum tanks or parts in various forms, including kit form, semi-finished or otherwise… Invariably the caller questions why we are so expensive compared the price to that they think they could build it for. Not being the type to insult these poor misguided individuals I would usually point out the following to them. VTS is not a “not for profit charity” Our bank manager, accountant, employees and owners really like to see a tiny profit at the end of the year. This ensures we will be around in the future to service our products, build more tanks, and continue to provide local employment opportunities. Part of the gig of being in business involves not only making a little bit of money to pay your bills, wages and reduce long term debt but trying to contribute meaningfully to the local community while also putting a little profit away as a buffer for the future. In addition, our organisation offers specialist knowledge, expertise and great post-sale support. In contrast, many self-build customers fail to take into account one or more of the following: 1. The prices for quality parts remains the same whether bought from VTS or elsewhere. There are lots of cheap imports available but their quality is not assured. 2. Whilst self-building, the customer is not earning income or taking into account their own labour costs.

9. They often only build what they know so they don’t have access to the variety of design variations which we can offer. 10. They don’t have the engineering skills to properly design or build an adequate drive line for their vacuum pump/water pump or hydraulic circuits. Over my years in the vacuum truck business, I have found many guys that build their own gear only do it once or twice. Even those who do a great job will also eventually resort to buying from a vacuum truck builder. The wise ones often end up at our place... A funny thing happened a while ago; a guy (let’s call him Neimad - not his real name) came to us wanting an oversize barrel and pump fitted to his brand new truck. Priding ourselves on doing exactly what the customer wants we followed his instructions exactly - “Don’t paint it or finish it off. I will do it”, he said. We adhered to his request. He picked it up. Got a call some months later saying it was still not finished as he was too busy… A few months later… still not finished. Maybe 9 months later… Neimad called to say he’d finally finished it but work had dropped off and he wanted to sell it before he used it so it could be considered a new truck. He sold it to some liquid waste company a long, long way away. They called us a few months later and balled us out for lousy paint and drive line issues. We had to fess up and tell them that everything they were bitchin’ about was not a VTS build issue at all but the result of Neimad’s wonderful workmanship and quality system!

3. They may not have access to special equipment to do the work. 4. They may not have access to specialist parts or expertise required. 5. They may not have completed due diligence on their design considerations. 6. Their barrel generally won’t meet design standards such as AS1210 or AS2809. 7. They generally don’t follow a QA system. 8. They have to warrant their own work and carry that cost.


From All At Vacuum Truck Supplies

Whilst we will be on lying on a beach somewhere dreaming of building liquid waste trucks, we will be checking for messages periodically. If your enquiry is of an urgent nature leave a message or email us and we will try our hardest to help out. Please understand though that this is the Christmas period and many of our suppliers are closed.

CHRISTMAS CLOSURE We will be closed from Thursday 19th December and reopen on Monday 6th January 2014.

FREECALL: 1800 822 787 18 Crosbys Lane, Mansfield VIC 3724 PO Box 556, Mansfield VIC 3724

Fax: (03) 5775 1488 Email:

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