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Old 02-14-2007, 03:43 PM   #1
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55-gallon barrels of WVO on back of bus

Hi everybody,

I have just converted my 1986 Thomas Minotour short bus (based on Ford E-350 chassis) to SVO/WVO. I hope to be able to carry WVO with me as I travel, have an idea how I might do it, & am wondering if anybody can give me advice on the feasibility of my idea.

In short, I wonder if it's possible to weld a ledge onto the back bumper/rear end of the bus, wide & deep enough (the width of the bus, projecting two feet) to allow me to strap three 55-gallon barrels of WVO onto it. My concern is that there might be too much weight for, 1) the ledge to hold it all, & 2) stability of the bus. The Dana rear axle is rated for 7,400 lbs. Fully loaded I estimate the barrels might weigh about 4-5,000 lbs (I might be wrong about this). Of course, as I travel along, the weight will constantly be decreasing as I use up the oil.

Does anybody have any ideas whether this would work?

Many thanks,

H.
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Old 02-14-2007, 03:53 PM   #2
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Actually I think I way overestimated the weight of barrels of WVO in my last post. According to the MSDS sheet for vegetable oils at http://www.cataniausa.com/msds.html , the weight per gallon is about 7.65, so round up to 8. That puts each barrel at 440 lbs, so 1,320 lbs for three of them.
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Old 02-14-2007, 06:58 PM   #3
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That's A LOT of weight on the back of that vehicle. I've seen plenty of 1 tons running around with 1000 lbs of tongue weight...but they had weight distributing hitches. You need to get the bus weighted first and find out how much weight is on each axle first of all. Obviously you will need to subtract out the unsprung weight of the axle and wheels, but I think you will find that you are very close to the max capacity of that axle. Is it a Dana 80 DRW? Dana 70 DRW or SRW? You will also need to heed the capacity of the tires. Call a Ford dealership and find out what the maxium trailer tongue weight allowed by that vehicle is without a weight distributing hitch. Heck...it might even be in the manual if you have it. Either way, I'd be a little nervous with that much weight on the back end of the vehicle.
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Old 02-14-2007, 09:16 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_experience03
That's A LOT of weight on the back of that vehicle. I've seen plenty of 1 tons running around with 1000 lbs of tongue weight...but they had weight distributing hitches. You need to get the bus weighted first and find out how much weight is on each axle first of all. Obviously you will need to subtract out the unsprung weight of the axle and wheels, but I think you will find that you are very close to the max capacity of that axle. Is it a Dana 80 DRW? Dana 70 DRW or SRW? You will also need to heed the capacity of the tires. Call a Ford dealership and find out what the maxium trailer tongue weight allowed by that vehicle is without a weight distributing hitch. Heck...it might even be in the manual if you have it. Either way, I'd be a little nervous with that much weight on the back end of the vehicle.
It's a Dana 70 dualie.

Thanks. I'll look into what you've suggested.

H.
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Old 02-14-2007, 11:49 PM   #5
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Put them up on top like most people do
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Old 02-15-2007, 02:13 AM   #6
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I found spring specs for that chassis that you can use to ballpark things before you get to the scales. The deflection rate on those rear springs is 894 lbs per inch. Round that to 900. Since you have two springs, it is 1800 lbs total per inch of deflection. So...time to measure. Measure the distance between the top of the spring and the frame when it's just sitting there. Then jack both sides of the rear up until the wheels are JUST touching the ground. Measure again. I bet it will have gone up atleast 3.5 or 4 inches meaning 4500 or 5400 lbs putting the load from that veggie oil dangerously close to your maximum. If it's still ok, then you might want to consider going to scales, but I still think you're running dangerously close to overloading the frame and/or axle.
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Old 02-18-2007, 09:06 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldog12
Put them up on top like most people do
putting 1,500 pounds on the roof of a short bus is a really bad idea. Your center of gravity would be affected in a negative way.

with my full size 72 passenger skoolie i found that having one 55 gallon drum of veggie on the roof is extremely noticable. When driving, having that ~500 pounds on the roof is far more noticable as far as making the bus sway from side to side than it is with ~4000 pounds of water in the jacuzzi.


just my 2 cents.
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Old 02-18-2007, 10:20 AM   #8
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YES, putting the 55 gal drums up on the roof WILL change the CG, and YES you will have to find the correct pump to move the WVO up that high, but let me see..... hmmm..... oh my gosh, there ain't no where else to go....
Is there???
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Old 02-18-2007, 10:58 AM   #9
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I would think that maybe, just maybe, reducing the load to only one 55 gal drum might resolve the problem.

Just a thought.
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Old 02-18-2007, 11:33 AM   #10
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Quote:
I would think that maybe, just maybe, reducing the load to only one 55 gal drum might resolve the problem.

Just a thought.


oldog12 Posted: Sun Feb 18, 2007 10:20 am Post subject:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

YES, putting the 55 gal drums up on the roof WILL change the CG, and YES you will have to find the correct pump to move the WVO up that high, but let me see..... hmmm..... oh my gosh, there ain't no where else to go....
Is there???
or use a smaller tank.

I do like the idea of having the tank up high as far as the simplicity of getting the oil from the tank to the engine. How about a flexible tank kind of like a small version of a waterbed....The sun could help heat the veggie...although on 2nd thought the sun might degrade the plastic material....

i work as a paramedic and i can't immagine putting a 500 pound tank on the roof of one of our rigs. They are basically about the same size/weight as a shorty bus. Our trucks are mostly E450 chassis weighing in at about 12K pounds.

perhaps the best way is to just try it and see how it feels. I would immagine that the driver will decide having that much weight that high off the ground will be undersirable if not unacceptable.
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