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How to Turn an Old Fuel Tanker into a Supply Truck

How to Turn an Old Fuel Tanker into a Supply Truck
Another farm DIY project once carried fuel but now it carries 28% nitrogen or water.

If you are in central Indiana and you seed a shiny tanker with a red semi pulling it, either on the road or parked in the field, it might belong to Ryan Facemire, Edinburgh. It's the tanker he used to supply the sprayer with 28% N when spraying corn with liquid N and herbicides after planting and before emergence.

Look closely and especially on one side, there are some dings and uneven spots in the aluminum body of the tanker. That's because it was once a fuel tanker, but was rolled on its side in an accident. Facemire bought it in an auction from the insurance company who totaled the trailer.

Fertilizer worthy: This aluminum trailer has a few dings here and there from being rolled in its life as a fuel tanker, but it has no leaks, and fits the bill perfectly to supply the sprayer in the field.

"Even with the modifications we had to make, it's an economical way to get a vehicle we can use to haul liquid N to the field," he says.

One of the changes was welding round, aluminum plates over the four holes on one side of the tanker. There are four holes because there are four compartments. They also had to re-rig the supply system underneath the trailer to dispense liquid 28 or water, and not fuel.

Related: Weekly Fertilizer Review

Welding aluminum takes some skill. While they employed a local specialist, he still experimented until he found the right aluminum alloy to use as a rod to weld a plate onto the holes. With the wrong alloy the weld broke quickly. Once he had the right alloy, the welds are holding in great shape, Facemire says.

How do you find a potential bargain? He saw an ad in a newsletter that his fuel supplier put out that the wrecked tanker would be up for auction to the highest bidder. Thinking outside the box to see the possibilities of what it could be helped him decided what he thought he could pay and have an economical unit.

This year they didn't have time to mount the herbicide tanks on the back of the trailer, so they carry them alongside in a pickup truck. In the future they hope to be able to carry everything they need on the trailer.

Are you confident in preparing your sprayer for the season ahead? Do you know how to best minimize herbicide spray drift? Brush up with our free report, Best Practices For Spraying: Get The Most Out Of Your Sprayer

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