Home Drake Well Foundation About OilHistory.com The Author Contact
Tank Wagons and Trucks
Tank Wagons
Storage Stations
Wagon Builders, Tank Fitters
Early Conveyances
Early Tank Trucks
Tank Trucks, 1921-1941
Manufacturer's Advertising
Tank Makers and Fitters
Tank Truck Town
World War II

Tank Makers and Fitters

The truck manufacturers normally do not mount the tanks on their chassis, leaving that job to the expert tank companies. However, the truck dealership sold the finished product (tank truck). In the 1920’s companies that did this independent tank work were The Davis Welding & Mfg. Co. (Cincinnati, Ohio), Butler Manufacturing Co. (Minneapolis, Minn.), Brown Sheet Iron & Steel Company (St. Paul, Minn.), Pennsylvania Furnace and Iron Company (Warren, Pa.) and a great number more. These tank makers and installers advertised in the journals, just like the truck manufacturers and oil companies. In fact, the ads of the tank companies would often show a completed tank mounted on a truck and painted with the name and brand of the customer (oil company), thus showing that their tanks and work was accepted by important clients. The picture ads also showed the make of the truck in many cases.

Present day tank makers and fitters include Seneca Tank (Des Moines, Iowa), Progress Tank (Arthur, Illinois), O’Day Equipment Inc. (Fargo, North Dakota), Trans-Tech Industries, Inc. (Brewer, Maine), Vegely Welding, Inc. (Duquesne, Pennsylvania), Pennco (Warren, Pennsylvania) and more.

Just like truck chassis manufacturers, tank builders rely on other firms for some of the parts needed for a compartmented truck tank. For instance, tank manhole covers, compartment valves, safety vents (and other items) are made by Betts Machine Co. in Warren, Pennsylvania, a long time family business widely known for highway tank transportation accessories required in the tankage and hauling of petroleum and chemical products.

This SOHIO tank truck was seen "abandoned" in an oilfield operator’s equipment yard in western Crawford Co., Pa. Photo by S.T. Pees, 1995.
Wolf’s Head Oil Co. products’ distributor Ben Clifton of Warren, Pa., and owner of Service Oil Co., used this truck to haul gasoline, kerosene and fuel oil to farm customers. The tank is mounted on a 1950’s Ford F5 body model. It now sits abandoned on the outskirts of Warren where it is sinking into the ground. Photo by Ellsworth Sparks, April, 2002.

© 2004, Samuel T. Pees
all rights reserved