The push for more energy-efficient work vehicles is growing, with more manufacturers beginning to research the different ways they can tackle the problem of fuel efficiency and environmental soundness. Hybrid and electric technology is making its way into the industrial sector; however, there are still many questions that must be answered before electric power is likely to appear in vacuum trucks. Due to the nature of their use, vacuum tank truck services may not see electric vacuum trucks soon, although truck makers are talking about how to produce electric vacuum trucks for sale sooner, rather than later.
Current Limitations of Septic Truck Electric Technology
Although the commercial market is readily embracing electric technology in work trucks of all types, getting it into vacuum trucks poses a few notable problems. The biggest concern that industry professionals point out is battery longevity, since this is greatly affected by how equipment is used. The greater the strain on the battery, the shorter that battery’s life is before it needs to be recharged. Unfortunately, vacuum trucks will likely put a huge strain on most electric battery packs, at least those that are readily available today as noted below.
Truck Weight – When fully loaded, vacuum trucks are exceptionally heavy, requiring extra power for stop and start driving, maneuvering, and all aspects of vehicle and pump operations. The harder the strain on the battery, the faster that power source will be drained; any battery pack used will have to withstand continued use despite loaded weight.
Truck Use – Vacuum trucks require strong pumps for creating enough suction to siphon out vacuum tanks. Running at high speed to generate enough horsepower, this use is also likely to drain a battery quickly, leaving operators with a weak pump that cannot actually get the job done.
With a short battery life, an electric vacuum truck is not likely to be more efficient, since it will require frequent charging and may not last long enough for operators to reach their routes, some of which are hours away from home base, before running out of power. This is the main stumbling block that designers of vacuum tank trucks are facing in their first attempts at creating an electrically powered vacuum truck. If this main hurdle can be remedied, the industry seems ready to accept the technology, except for one other major hurdle: cost.
Recovering The Cost of Electric Vehicles
Electric and hybrid technology is more costly now than conventional gas and diesel, since it is a newer technology still being developed. Truck buyers pose questions as to whether the additional cost of up to $20,000 or more per truck can be recuperated from the use of electric vacuum trucks in a reasonable period of time. High overhead and highly priced fleet trucks are cost prohibitive for many users, which are smaller businesses. If the equipment were reliable and offered a substantial savings in fuel consumption, it would be well worth the cost. Basically, the need for prototypes and models on which to base cost studies is there; however, it requires developing battery systems strong enough to consistently power a vacuum truck all day.
Even though the introduction of electric vacuum trucks for sale may be a ways off, there is interest. While it does not seem as if there are battery pack systems currently available that can efficiently and adequately power vacuum tank trucks, the technology is quickly advancing and may be just around the corner. Vacuum tank truck services may soon have the option of inexpensive, reliable and clean electric power!