A $27.99 camera does the job
Sep 1, 2012 12:00 PM
CIRCLE City Tank Wash owner Troy Smith says there has been great concern about not breaking the plane at the manhole — even on foodgrade trailers — but in order to do an adequate inspection of the trailer interior, tank cleaners must be able to get a good look at the tank interior.
A safe and inexpensive way of getting that examination can be provided by a $27.99 camera can be that tool. Smith discussed his tank interior inspection solution during a presentation at the National Tank Truck Carriers' Tank Cleaning & Environmental Council annual seminar June 4-5 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
It may be “Third World engineering,” as he called it in his presentation, “The Use of Cameras for Internal Tank Inspection,” but it does the job.
“It plugs into a TV,” he said. “We mounted a 20-inch TV on the wall, ran a cable, and it actually works. We played around with some lights, and got a stick LED light of about 700 lumens. We can lower this inside the dome lid and we can actually see all the way to the back of the tank.
“We got a pneumatic air-hose reel and fished this through that hose and wrapped it up there, and it went across the ceiling to the TV. It worked great when I was doing it. We were actually showing it off to the drivers: ‘Here's your tank.’ We took a ¾-inch piece of PVC pipe and made a little handle so it fits in your hand. We just stick it in the tank, and we can turn it around and show the drivers the heads, the tank.
“Long story short, the concept works. I think it would work better if we had a wireless camera with an antenna that came into the handle and we had a receiver on top of the roof to give line of sight.
“To me, if you have a formaldehyde trailer, and the driver said there was heel … obviously nobody's going to stick their head inside that tank. That kind of gave me the impetus to start.”
And if the wash rack manager really wants to enhance the sophistication, there are $6,000 systems, according to an audience member. He said he has experience with a wireless unit that includes video streaming of the information that creates a record of documentation of the tank. It also has lights built into it, allowing for close-up images.
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