August 10, 2023

An Intro To Food Grade Tanker Trucks

Food Grade Tanker Truck

Maintaining the quality and integrity of cargo is a crucial aspect of product logistics and cargo transportation. Transporters must ensure that their cargo remains intact during transport to prevent damage and protect their bottom line.

The same holds especially true when it comes to the transportation of food. Because of the delicate and perishable nature of food, transporters must take extra precautions to accommodate the special needs of their cargo. To this end, food-grade tanks have emerged as a vital solution for transporting food and food products seamlessly.

Food Grade Tanker trucks are specially designed to safely transport condensed gases, liquid loads, or dry bulk cargo across the country. Learn more about food-grade tanker trucks, their design, and what they can transport below.


What Are Food-Grade Tanks?

Food-grade tanks are specialized containers meticulously designed to ensure safe, hygienic, and efficient transportation of consumable goods. These containers are crucial components of the modern food supply chain. As vehicles used for transport, they effectively protect the integrity of food and food products as they are moved from the production facility to distribution centers for the consumer.

Food-grade trucks are typically made from quality materials while adhering to strict industry standards. Stainless steel is a common material used in food-grade tanks due to attractive qualities like corrosion resistance and ease of sanitization.

What Kinds of Food Can You Carry in a Food Grade Tanker?

What is a tanker truck capable of transporting? There is a wide range of foods and food products that are transported regularly using food-grade tankers. Some tanker trucks haul dry products like sugar, grains, flour, coffee, or tea.

But most often, tanker trucks are used in the bulk transport of liquids, which include the following products:

The list of tanker products that a food-grade truck can transport is quite extensive. But before they are loaded onto the truck, the properties of the liquid must be considered beforehand to prevent cross-contamination and maintain product integrity and quality.

How Much Liquid Does a Food Grade Tanker Truck Hold?

In terms of capacity, a food-grade tanker truck’s carrying capacity will largely depend on its size, design, and intended use. But generally, smaller-sized tanker trucks can hold between 2,000 to 5,000 gallons of liquid products. Meanwhile, larger trucks have capacities that can exceed 8,000 gallons.

Capacity is a major determinant when choosing the type of truck used for hauling liquids. These are selected to suit the specific needs of the transported products while also adhering to regulations and safety standards. Different industries and cargo types may require different tanker truck sizes to ensure efficient and safe transportation while preserving the quality and integrity of the food products.

How Do You Transport Food in a Food Grade Tanker?

Transporting liquids in food-grade tanks involves a series of steps to ensure the products are handled safely and efficiently during loading, transport, and unloading. The following are some key steps involved in food transport:

  1. Tank Preparation: The tank undergoes a series of cleaning and sanitation procedures to eliminate possible sources of contamination.
  2. Cargo Loading: Specialized pumping systems and hoses load liquid into designated compartments inside the tank.
  3. Temperature Control: Special temperature regulation systems ensure liquid cargo is maintained within ideal temperature ranges for peak quality.
  4. Compartmentalization: The liquid cargo is loaded into specific compartments to prevent cross-contamination. 
  5. Transport: Once the cargo is secured, the tanker truck will travel across the country to reach its intended destination.
  6. Monitoring and Compliance: The tanker and its cargo are monitored throughout the journey to ensure the right conditions are met and maintained. 
  7. Unloading: Upon reaching the destination, specialized hoses and pumps are used again to unload the cargo from the truck into special holding tanks.
  8. Cleaning and Sanitation: After unloading, the tanker goes through another round of cleaning and sanitization in preparation for the next load.

Food-grade tanker trailers must meet stringent safety and sanitation codes before being certified to transport foods. Some common examples of the strict requirements are listed below:

  • Tamper-Evident Seals must be single-use, non-resalable, virtually impossible to tamper with, easy to identify, and constructed of non-toxic, non-corrosive, cinchable material.
  • Cleaners of food-grade tankers must make sure to sanitize themselves before cleaning the tank. Then, they must seek confirmation from a third party to certify that the tank is clean.

More about the sanitation guidelines can be found here.

How Do You Keep Liquids in Food-Grade Tanks From Freezing?

One of the key challenges when transporting liquids in food-grade tanks is the risk of freezing, especially during colder months. Certain food products are susceptible to freezing temperatures, which can alter their quality or even lead to spoilage. 

A combination of insulation, heating systems, and temperature control measures are employed to mitigate this risk. Tanks designed for cold-weather transport have heating elements that prevent the liquid from freezing during transit. These systems are carefully monitored to ensure the temperature remains within the appropriate range for the cargo.

Tanker Designs

What is a tanker truck’s most distinguishable feature? Tankers are best distinguished by their cylindrical shape, which has been shown to provide key benefits during bulk liquid transportation. Less common characteristics include:

  • the tank’s compliance with human food regulation standards
  • refrigeration capabilities
  • acid resistance
  • pressurization capabilities

The largest vehicles in the tanker family are those that are similar to railroad tank cars that are designed specifically for liquid loads. Other tanker truck types also exist, each adapted to the different types of loads transported by the vehicle. Unfortunately, these vehicles can be challenging to drive and may require special skills due to their high center of gravity.

Contact Us For Liquid Food Transport Today!

Tanker trucks are a critical part of our food delivery system, allowing for quick, safe delivery of perishable goods to stores nationwide. If you need reliable bulk liquid food transportation, call Kan-Haul at (800) 959-9501 or fill out our online form.

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One Comment

Nikol Jovic  /  December 10, 2014 at 3:04am  / 

Dear Sir/Madame,

I found An Intro To Food Grade Tanker Trucks lesson very useful.

I have a question for you: I am working for an agency which transports dangerous liquid goods in Tanker Trucks. Our tanker trucks are not Food Grade.
However, there is very little job for us, because chemical industry is not working.
So, I am wondering, how could we use our tanker trucks for liquid food transport (particularly vine)?

I have an idea: is there on the market, something like a “condom” for tank, like a huge plastic bag, which could be placed in our tank, then filled with vine, and it would protect the load from any contact with the tank wall? Of course, after one use, this plastic bag would be replaced with a new one.

I hope that you could give me an answer!
You may write on my email.

Best regards,
Nikola, Europe