Trailer Magazine November 2017 – Formula Chemicals Tanker

Raising The Bar


The transport of Dangerous Goods is subject to intense scrutiny from authorities, so most companies in the field outsource the transportation of their products to satisfy the complex safety requirements bestowed upon them. However, one Sydney-based family business has gone the opposite way and set up its very own Dangerous Goods transport service.

Formula Chemicals provides a vertically integrated service for its customers from production through to delivery of specialise hemicals to the end user. According to Managing Director, Leigh Smart, running its own transport service allows it to investigate new, efficient systems for the Dangerous Goods transport task.

Recently, Formula Chemicals’ search for new concepts brought it to fellow Sydney-based business, composite tanker specialist Omni Tanker. Leigh says that the Omni Tanker product was something of interest for some time, but newly increased order volumes from mining and industrial customers sparked the move to go ahead.

Fast Fact
Omni Tanker recently certified to ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System. This provides Omni Tanker with an internationally recognised quality system which is key to opening the offshore markets.

“The advantages of the Omni Tanker, with its ability to carry a wide range of products, including Class 8 Dangerous Goods, combined with light weight and a high degree of safety was a compelling value proposition for us,” says Leigh.

Fast Fact
Omni Tanker is developing a range of tanks for export in Europe and the US Dangerous Goods markets based on its patented materials technology. The technology creates an armoured thermoplastic tank, with a fully seamless interior of highly resistant thermoplastic polymer, and a high strength polymer matrix composite structure. The result is a tank that provides excellent chemical resistance and effective washout, with light weight and high safety factors. This range of tanks includes a 23,000 litre ISO tank with carbon composite structure for a tare weight of 2.5 tonnes.

Leigh approached Omni Tanker Managing Director, Daniel Rodgers, with the brief to build a rigid truck that enabled highly efficient delivery of chemicals in the volume range of a few thousand litres up to 10,000 litres. Traditionally, the task is carried out using multiple intermediate bulk containers (IBC) on the back of a flat top, but Daniel says Leigh’s vision was to “raise the bar and do things more safely and more efficiently than the accepted norm”.

“We worked together to develop a unique tanker design with Omni Tanker that uses two of its new export design tanks with 4,000 litres each on a Hino 6×2 GH1828,” Leigh says. “Together with a secure tray area at the front of the truck we can load an additional two IBCs, which allows us to do bulk and multi-load products.”

The vehicle layout also allows Formula Chemicals to use the integrated pump and meter system that Omni Tanker developed for the vehicle for safe delivery without the need to make multiple connections with individual IBCs. “This removes major risk operations for the driver,” Leigh says. Omni Tanker’s Chief Operations Officer, Robert Stubbs, engaged closely with Leigh to develop the vehicle layout to suit the specific requirements of Formula Chemicals.

Fast Fact
Omni Tanker has recently been awarded the 2017 JEC Asia Innovation Award for its export design tanks that have been used in the Formula Chemicals tanker build. JEC is the world’s largest composites organization with over 250,000 members and the innovation award recognises the latest developments in the field of composite materials.

“We worked extensively with Leigh’s team to determine the optimal positioning of the tanks given the wide range of products and different specific gravities to provide ideal axle loading,” Robert explains.

“The liquid handling and control systems were also engineered specifically to Formula Chemicals requirements. The control system allows for metered deliveries, with the ability to batch control precise amounts with automated pump shutoff. This gives the vehicle capabilities far beyond basic IBC pump out.”

According to Leigh, the vehicle is changing the game for Formula Chemicals and putting the company on the next level of safety and efficiency for their valued customers in full compliance with Dangerous Goods regulations. “Omni Tanker managed the Dangerous Goods compliance and certification of the vehicle from start to finish,” Leigh says. “The vehicle is set up to provide great operator safety, with a very high quality finish. We are really rapt with the overall result.”