Thursday, February 03, 2011

Set Up a Battery Today

The photographic records of long trips tend to get posted here, but this sort of thing is part and parcel of my job as well. We haul these little batteries into north central Kansas all the time - this setup is for a low production well that cranks out saltwater with the crude.

From left to right are a 12'x10' 200 bbl fiberglass salt water tank, an 8'x27' fiberglass gun barrel, and two 12'x10' 200 bbl steel crude oil storage tanks.

Say what? What's a gun barrel?

I have no idea what the source of the term was, but it is a tank designed to separate water from oil by simple settling. The raw crude/salt water mix is pumped into the gun barrel straight from the oil well, where the oil off the top goes to the crude storage tanks, and the water from the bottom goes to the salt water recovery tank. It's not perfect - there is oil in the water and vice versa, but the majority gets separated. Tankers pick up the salt water and take it to reclamation centers where the rest of the oil is scrubbed (run through knockouts) and the salt water is injected back into the water table. The crude is shipped to a refinery somewhere.

I hauled the tanks, the ladders on the gun barrel and the water tank, and the landing and stairs on the two steel tanks. We don't plumb anything - but the crew that is there is busy doing just that. The tanker brought some water to put into the two fiberglass tanks to hold them in place until they start filling. If they didn't weigh the tanks down, the wind would carry them to parts unknown. I used my knuckle boom crane to unload and set the tanks, then to pick up the landing, set it and the stairs.

The crane I use is stout enough to handle 12'x15' 300 bbl steel tanks - but not at full extension. I've gotta watch myself and work close with those puppies. I can't handle the 12'x20' 400 bbl or the 12'x25' 500 bbl steel tanks that most of our trucks do handle - and frequently. Our most commonly produced tank is the 400 bbl steel tank with minor variations in fitting location or bottoms - most are flat bottomed, but some are cone bottomed, which the northern climes tend to use.

My "little" crane handles fiberglass tanks just fine, so I tend to get those assignments. Plus, the heavier cranes require some pretty stout support when mounted to the truck - all our heavy duty cranes are mounted on trucks with special ordered double frames. This is not an option you'll find just every day in the used truck papers, so to utilize the bigguns requires ordering new trucks. My lighter crane doesn't require a double frame for mounting - so the initial cost was considerably less for my company and gave them a bit more flexibility. I've had this crane on three different tractors, so it's kinda "my" baby.

I'm a trucker - but delivering the products is pretty specialized!


Anonymous said...

Nice to know all that stuff. Thanks!

Bob's Blog said...

My stepson, Thomas, starts out over the road from Omaha Monday. He is driving a Warner truck. If you see him, tell him Hi for us!

Jeffro said...

I wish Thomas the best of luck!