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Lubed Up

One of the things that always kind of amazes me about most of what we build here, even with close to a year and a half in, is just the sheer volume of machinery that goes into, say, a body load double.

I mean, think about it. The whole thing's a truck obviously, so you have a road engine driving that and everything else that goes into a working truck. You have separate engines to move the pumps, and the pumps themselves are intricate machines. And I haven't even gotten into the mixer, the tanks, and the instrumentation upstairs. There are like six or seven systems working together that, even on their own, are pretty impressive. Then we combine them in one giant piece of awesome.

And of course all of those things require their own supplemental parts, for lack of a better term. I haven't counted the total number of filters (or things that essentially function as filters) on one of these things, just for example, but it's a lot. It seems like every time I see something kind of cool looking, I take a picture and Google it back at my desk, it ends up being a filter.

We're not going to talk about filters today, that was just an example. We're going to talk about lube tanks, the two cylindrical things in this photo, for those who don't know.

Here are some technical illustrations of them. We have a guy named Richard here who does these things, and clearly he's very talented. Thanks Richard.

There are two of them, of course, because there are two pumps, and they connect to the power ends of each. We don't have a finished truck on site at the moment and I didn't plan for this post months in advance, so you're going to have to grant me a little latitude on this photo, sorry. There are lines going into the power ends, that's all I'm trying to communicate here.

So they're called "lube tanks," they go to the power ends... you're all smart people, I'm sure you can do the math on that one. But just in case...

Essentially, each tank is filled with oil (circle of life there, right?) and we use air pressure to get it down to the plungers in the pumps at about 15-20 psi. The plungers big, moving parts that are rather important to the operation of the pumps and, in fact, the entire unit, and you gotta keep them lubricated or things like the packing burn up and break. But not too lubricated, otherwise oil will be all over the place. It's an essential, but still kind of underrated, function. Like I said at the top, the primary components to all of this stuff are impressive in and of themselves, but it veers into mindblowing territory when you start to think about everything involved in keeping that stuff humming.

Here's a callout diagram to show all of the parts involved in making the lube tank work, because even the simple stuff isn't really all that simple. It's such a huge advantage for us to have a fully-integrated parts warehouse with extremely knowledgeable inventory people. Some people have to fabricate these things and put everything on hold while they track down a valve. Sounds horrible, to be honest. Wouldn't know though.

I just mentioned that we don't have a finished truck on site, but we actually are working on one right now (it's for sale, by the way, check it out), so I hitched a ride up to the fab shop (thanks Toni) and took a few pictures of in-progress lube tanks. A lot of times, that can be even more informative that the admittedly-prettier finished ones. Most things look presentable with a fresh coat of paint, but the route to that point is what separates us from others.

Long story short, we have the decades of experience and know-how when it comes to making a pump run and all of the required auxiliary components, we always have the all the valves, nipples, and other parts needed to get a lube tank together, and we have some amazing welders and fabricators on staff to bring it all together. So whether you just need a tank or an entire truck, we're your people, and I hope you'll get in touch as soon as possible!

See you at the top,

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