Test Your Vacuum Truck Knowledge

The answers to this Truck Corner quiz could save you from a tank implosion, ensure you maintain proper suction on the jobsite … and win you a prize

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Once in a while we all need to catch our breath and see if we’re learning something. In this month’s edition of Truck Corner, you get the chance to test your knowledge of vacuum truck operation. Read these ten questions and email your answers to truckcorner@promonthly.com. The person who responds with the most correct answers will win a copy of the book, Pumper 101: The Complete Guide to Owning and Operating a Vacuum Truck. Simply write the number of the question and then the correct letter answer. In case of a tie, the earliest posted entry will win. Let’s get started:

1. What is the best speed to run the vacuum pump on your truck?

a. 2,000 rpm

b. 2,500 rpm or over, never less

c. What the pump manufacturer recommends, usually between 1,100-1,500 rpm

d. Never Over 1,000 rpm

2. Barney runs the route and gets in late at night. Exhausted, he parks the truck and goes home, knowing he will be back in the morning and can take care of the basic maintenance of the truck then. He forgets, however, that the following day is his day off and it’s George’s shift to run the truck. George arrives on time and begins the route. What is very likely to happen on George’s journey?

a. The truck won’t start.

b. When George first turns the pump on, the remaining sediment from the previous day’s pumping will be sucked from the secondary to the pump.

c. The pump will crack because it doesn’t have any oil.

d. Nothing will go wrong.

3. What is the purpose of having a 2:1 gearbox on a vacuum truck?

a. To turn the transmission at the right speed so gear shifting will be easier.

b. To create vacuum that will last two times longer than the normal pump.

c. To create the proper rpm from the transmission to the vacuum pump.

d. To outperform a 1 1/2:1 gearbox. This will create a speedier, smoother system for vacuum operation.

4. The pressure relief valve on a vacuum system …

a. Can be switched to a vacuum relief valve by putting the truck in neutral.

b. Relieves the pressure on the gearbox as the transmission’s rpms increase.

c. Comes in handy when there is no four-way valve on the pump.

d. Relieves the excessive buildup of pressure inside a vacuum tank.

5. When the amount of vacuum decreases, where should the operator look to find the problem?

a. Check the hoses for blockage

b. Check the primary and secondary for waste

c. Check the pump for waste in the pump

d. All of the above

e. None of the above

6. True or False: Vanes are made of a special composite material and will last for a minimum of 20 years.

7. True or False: The best type of oil to use in vacuum pumps across the board is 30W motor oil.

8. Why do pumpers in Denver require a longer work cycle on their vacuum pump to achieve the same amount of vacuum as a pumper in Phoenix?

a. At a higher altitude, the air is thinner, and to create a vacuum — or a greater differential with the outside air — the pump must work longer.

b. This statement is untrue. It takes the same amount of pump time to create the same amount of vacuum.

c. Rising elevation ages pumps faster and the longer work cycle is meant to solely maintain the relative age of the pump.

d. Pumps are colder in the higher altitude and run slower, while in the desert, they are warm and run at higher speeds.

9. Vacuum is measured in

a. Pounds per square inch

b. Inches of mercury

c. Ounces of vacuum

d. Pints of pressure

10. Some vacuum tanks actually collapse under the stress of vacuum. How can this be prevented?

a. The vacuum relief valve and tank baffles

b. Running the pump at a slower speed

c. Using lightweight stainless steel in the construction of the shell of the tank

d. The way the skids are built and attached to the tank

Email your answers today to truckcorner@promonthly.com.

The winner will be announced next month.


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