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What is meant by term “specification tank”? Are all tank trucks specification tanks?

Question:

What is meant by term “specification tank”?  Are all tank trucks specification tanks?

Answer:

The Department of Transportation designates design and construction requirements for cargo tanks used to haul hazardous materials in 49CFR Sec 178.345.  These are minimum requirements.  The Hazardous Materials Table in 49 CFR Sec 172.101 authorizes the tank trailers which can be used to transport a specific hazardous material.  These tankers are known as specification tanks since they must be constructed to the DOT specifications.

Tanker used for non-hazardous materials such as milk and food or for hazardous materials not requiring a specification trailer such as fuel oil are called non-specification trailers.