Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Should we become the tank police?

Collapse
This topic is closed.
X
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Should we become the tank police?

    With the expiration of a large number of Crown Vic and other tanks on the horizon, I want to start a discussion on our community's responsibility on the issue.

    When we see cars offered for sale that are likely to have expired tanks, I wonder whether we have a duty to inform selling sites like Ebay, autotrader.com, and cars.com. My inclination is that we do have such a duty.

    Obviously, we don't want anybody to get hurt. That is number one. But there is a number two as well. I don't want to be inappropriate or graphic, but the surest way to kill this industry is to kill a few people.

    What do y'all think?

  • #2
    Re: Should we become the tank police?

    We do not need tank police:

    1. The fifteen year limit was nothing more than a educated guess at the time.

    2. Part of the rationale for a limit was the number of pressurization cycles. I have seen CNG vehicles that are 15 years old with 16,000 miles (I have one). Obviously way less than the expected life of the vehicle.

    3. The number of tanks that have failed due to age is zero. Tanks have failed due to mechanical failure and corrosion.

    4. Inspect carefully for mechanical failure and corrosive damage.

    5. There seems to be no official procedure for checking tank age-out save individual fleet managers. In California, vehicle inspections don't care what condition your vehicle is as long as it doesn't pollute. In North Carolina, CNG items are not on the safely inspectors radar.

    6. Putting $thousands of dollars into tank replacement is an example of a very expensive solution to a non-problem.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Should we become the tank police?

      Originally posted by jenki_putnik View Post
      We do not need tank police:

      1. The fifteen year limit was nothing more than a educated guess at the time.

      2. Part of the rationale for a limit was the number of pressurization cycles. I have seen CNG vehicles that are 15 years old with 16,000 miles (I have one). Obviously way less than the expected life of the vehicle.

      3. The number of tanks that have failed due to age is zero. Tanks have failed due to mechanical failure and corrosion.

      4. Inspect carefully for mechanical failure and corrosive damage.

      5. There seems to be no official procedure for checking tank age-out save individual fleet managers. In California, vehicle inspections don't care what condition your vehicle is as long as it doesn't pollute. In North Carolina, CNG items are not on the safely inspectors radar.

      6. Putting $thousands of dollars into tank replacement is an example of a very expensive solution to a non-problem.
      It seams that the only way to convince you that expired tanks need to be REMOVED OUT OF SERVICE is to have your expired tank fail on you.
      To rebuttle your opinions:

      1. The 15 year limit is set by the tank manufacturer and the CNG industry (i.e. DOT and ANSI). Of course there is a safety margin attached to that. As long as your tank does not have significant damage, your tank WILL NOT fail within the 15 year limit GUARANTEED.

      2. You are correct. The 15 year limit is set by the number of pressurization cycles. But did you know that infant car seats have 6 year service life? After six years from the DATE OF MANUFACTURE, regardless of the condition of the car seat (it could look grand new and only used once) the car seat should be condemned and thrown away. Why? Because materials degrade over time. Your tank degrades over time. Like I said before, the 15 year limit is conservative, but I wouldn't want to be around when YOUR tank finally does give up the ghost.

      3. The damage due to corrosion is based on exposure to the elements which involves TIME, i.e. AGE.

      4. Yes, every 3 years or 36,000 miles that is what is recommended by the DOT, NHTSA, State of California, State of Utah, every tank manufacturer, etc.

      5. Yes, there is a procedure. It's called CGA C-6.4. It is referenced in DOT FMVSS 304 and in ANSI NGV2. Also, the tank manufacturers themselves have inspection guidelines.

      6. I guess there is no problem UNTIL an expired tank fails. Just like there's no problem UNTIL somebody gets killed. Yeah, let's let somebody die first, then we'll solve the problem. Great thinking.
      Jared.
      Mountain Green, Utah
      2003 CNG Cavalier
      2003 CNG Silverado 2500HD

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Should we become the tank police?

        To answer the question of the thread: Yes, we all should become tank police. We should first point it out to the vehicle owner. I don't think that ebay, autotrader, and cars.com are going to do much about it. I think they are foreign when it comes to NGVs. And besides, the responsibility lies on the vehicle owner. In Utah, I know that the UHP is on top of it; if the vehicle owner won't do anything about it, I know that UHP will.

        Education is the main thing. If current NGV owners are educated on tank safety, then they should know the consequences of not abiding by the regulations. If the potential buyer of the vehicle is educated on NGVs, then he/she would know to look at the expiration date of the tank(s) and possibly the current tank inspection report.
        Jared.
        Mountain Green, Utah
        2003 CNG Cavalier
        2003 CNG Silverado 2500HD

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Should we become the tank police?

          I think a better approach would consider ourselves within CNG community to be SAFETY police as it relates to CNG. Expired tanks are just one small piece of it. MORE RISK comes from improperly installed tanks. Yet another RISK is getting proper inspection following ANY kind of accident involving a cng vehicle (ie tank may have shifted, cng fuel lines may have been damaged, etc). Big RISK also is innocent body shop repairman who doesn't know that the vehicle has cng, so it should be AIR DRIED rather than kiln dried following any kind of new paint job work. Even regular repair shop needs to be Strongly Informed that vehicle is CNG and has dangerous components that they shouldn't be fiddling with high-pressure cng fuel lines / tank if they don't know what they're doing. Every place I go (even if just for oil change), I make sure they know vehicle is CNG and they should ONLY touch the specific parts of car that they need to do their job!

          Education is the key . . . and Yes, I've contacted sellers on Ebay to let them know of Risks that a vehicle might have . . . or inaccurate information that they had listed, etc.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Should we become the tank police?

            Great topic, I love it.
            Moving this over to the Safety forum...

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Should we become the tank police?

              I would have jumped in sooner, but had problems with a new aircard

              Body shops are a problem one in Mesa, AZ had one go through a brick wall, roof, and injure one of the employees (8-10 yrs ago) while removing a tank

              As far as death goes the Super Shuttle incident blew our no death record.

              I agree very strongly that we, ourselve, need to "police" the CNG vehicle community or we will have both state and federal 850 lb gorillias breathing down our necks--and their breath stinks

              Larrycng

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Should we become the tank police?

                Yes, we should inform folks that expired tanks are.... expired. We don't want any incidents like the recent Seoul, Korea bus explosion marring CNG's US safety record.
                Craig
                '13 Honda Civic Natural Gas (bright blue!)
                '12 Honda Civic Natural Gas
                '11 bi-fuel Chevy Tahoe
                www.burnusgas.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Should we become the tank police?

                  What are some of the concrete steps that we can take? For example, in 2008 some folks in Utah kept on the UT Highway Patrol to institute mandatory tank inspections as part of the annual vehicle safety check program. One of our anonymous CNGchat members is actually a key person at UHP who put this program into place. Much of what he learned as to the NFPA-52 safety issues out there were gleaned from our forum.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Should we become the tank police?

                    For starters, the states should police it. Maybe I haven't given it enough time after the new UHP provisions cited above, but I see an awful lot of vehicles with expired tanks and current registration.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Should we become the tank police?

                      No we shouldn't become the tank police. I won't make a bit of difference in safety. Most people will do the right thing and comply with inspections and the removal from service dates for expired tanks. There are others, no matter what the regulations state, that will, for whatever reason, skirt the rules. Unless you have absolute control on a global level of where every tank is, who it is registered to, and when it needs to be condemed, they will fall through the cracks and into the hands of people who will continue to use them to keep an older vehicle running, save money or make a cheap CNG conversion. These will be the tanks that fail and cause the headlines. Look at the pictures on this site of some of the installations used in "owner" conversions for examples. If CNG is to become successful on a large scale, tanks need to be developed that will last the life of the vehicle without maintenance or inspections. Until that time, education about the problems and dangers of expired or damaged tanks would be the most helpful thing we could do.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Should we become the tank police?

                        I would support an annual tank inspection as part of current inspection requirements, but not at $75 for a 5-min glance by a second party. Personally, Id rather fire everyone involved with annual inspections altogether, gas or cng- the inspections add very little value to the overall safety of our streets and only add costs and more unneeded rules/laws that detract from personal responsibilities.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Should we become the tank police?

                          Another comment...

                          CNG tanks are like tires. You use them, they wear out. Even if its not being used, exposure to the elements (i.e. the sun on tires) causes them to wear out. When your tires get worn down, there is no police forcing you to replace your tires, however, there is the guy at the safety inspection shop that fails you for having bald tires and suggests that you replace them. Now, it is your decision to replace to tires or not. Nobody can make you replace your tank. Although, just like the tires, if you continue to use them, they will fail just like tires (explode, crack and leak, etc.). And 3,600 psi has a lot more stored energy than 44 psi.

                          It's been said on here more than once...Education is the key.
                          Jared.
                          Mountain Green, Utah
                          2003 CNG Cavalier
                          2003 CNG Silverado 2500HD

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Should we become the tank police?

                            Originally posted by tomdotstar View Post
                            With the expiration of a large number of Crown Vic and other tanks on the horizon, I want to start a discussion on our community's responsibility on the issue.

                            When we see cars offered for sale that are likely to have expired tanks, I wonder whether we have a duty to inform selling sites like Ebay, autotrader.com, and cars.com. My inclination is that we do have such a duty.

                            Obviously, we don't want anybody to get hurt. That is number one. But there is a number two as well. I don't want to be inappropriate or graphic, but the surest way to kill this industry is to kill a few people.

                            What do y'all think?

                            I think we should make those who are operating the sale sites aware of what FMVSS 304 and NFPA 52 require. In some states such as California if the tanks are out of date or haven't been inspected the vehicle is not in compliance CAC title 13 section 934.1 which gives 304 and NFPA 52 the force of law in Calif.

                            If the sales sites choose to ignore the information then, I believe, they would cary some liability. The "L" word might make them take notice. It is also the owner's responsibility to not mis-represent the vehicle.

                            At least the CNG community has acted responsibly to protect themselves and general public from injury

                            For what it is worth

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Should we become the tank police?

                              Originally posted by Highmarker View Post
                              When your tires get worn down, there is no police forcing you to replace your tires, however, there is the guy at the safety inspection shop that fails you for having bald tires and suggests that you replace them. Now, it is your decision to replace to tires or not. Nobody can make you replace your tank.
                              Not if you want to drive a registered vehicle. Of course the police can ticket you for expired plates--so, on a secondary level, they are enforcing "no bald tires". That is what I thought would become of the tank inspection at the annual safety check as well.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X