In order to engage in flushing, one of our two methods for catching endangered prairie dogs, we need to use a water tanker. Following is a checklist for how we use the tanker for those who are interested!
Water tanker preamble:
Caveat Emptor: Buyer, beware! Unless you are aware of what you need you are bound to be disappointed. The rental people are not there to anticipate your needs; you must be prepared!
Most of the times the tankers will have a commercial tubular electrical connection that will not fit anything you have. Although they should not let you off the lot without working lights, they will. Most of the time it is not a problem BUT…
DON’T DRIVE AT NIGHT! Diane has a tubular connection adapted to a “standard” trailer connection. Use it/borrow it if you need/want to. The bottom line is that most of the electrics on the trailers don’t work anyway.
They should hook up 3 chains, 2 as emergency chains and the third for the brake should the trailer become disconnected. If you stop fast you will feel the brake cut in. If it has cut in, it will also cause a slight lurch when you start off. Pay attention to cutting corners as you are towing a trailer equal in length to your vehicle.
Water tanker know list
Fact #1: The Albuquerque fire hydrants have a 2 1/2” male connection on the side and a 4” connection on the front; you always use the side connection
Fact #2: Once you have the fill hose connected open the hydrant slowly, using the “nut” on the top of the hydrant. BEWARE: the water is under a lot of pressure. If the fill hose is connected mechanically to the water tanker be prepared for some jumping in the hose and leakage; if you are holding the fill hose in the tanker be prepared for a surge. Open the hydrant slowly. RIGHT OR CLOCKWISE SHUT; LEFT OR COUNTER CLOCKWISE OPEN. You will have to turn it several times to get it to start flowing.
Fact #3: The water meter has a 2 1/2” female hose connection to connect to the fire hydrant side connection. Obscene as it may be, stick it between your legs and turn the connection until it is snug (righty-tighty, lefty-loosey). It is bulky and your legs will steady it to allow you to align and tighten it.
Fact #4: The water meter has a 2 1/2” male hose connection to which connect the fill hose
Fact #5: You must have a fill hose with a 2 1/2″ female screw coupling to conduct the water from the hydrant to the water tanker.
Fact #6: You must have a garden hose adapter on the discharge end of the pump to hook the flushing hose to.
Water tanker definitions:
- Fire Hydrant: The things dogs piss on and from which you will get water
- Hydrant Wrench: A five sided device that fits over the hydrant nut and side caps. It is at the end of a short run of rod (which can be tightened to the hydrant nut) to allow you to undo the side caps and open the hydrant. A pipe wrench will do.
Fill Hose: The hose which attaches to the water meter and conducts water to the tanker. THIS HOSE MUST HAVE A 2 1/2” FEMALE SCREW CONNECTION ON ONE END TO HOOK TO THE WATER METER OR HYDRANT.
Garden Hose Adapter: Something that fits on one of the discharge lines from pump, temporarily or permanently) to allow you to hook up a garden hose to the pump. It should look like a hose bib, hose valve, hydrant or whatever you might call such a device but must accept a garden hose connection. It should have a male thread.
Spray hose: Something they will normally “include” with the tanker which you have no use for.
Spray hose valve: Something that attaches to the end of the spray hose and which you have no use for either.
Gas Can: A vessel that holds gasoline; you will need one to refill the gas tank; Yvonne has one so there is no need to rent one. But you will need it to refill the gas tank, so ensure that it has gasoline in it.
Final Check List:
So you are at the rental place, you have your tanker connected to your pick up what do you need to have as a minimum:
1) The water tanker; safety chains; brake chain, all connected.
2) Preferably (but not necessarily) the proper electrical connections
3) A fill hose with a 2 1/2” female screw connection to connect to the water meter or water hydrant; something that preferably (but not necessarily) mechanically connects to the water tanker.
4) A water hose connection from the discharge of the pump, either permanently attached or attachable (usually a clip connection)
5) Paperwork ENSURE YOU HAVE EVERYTHING THEY SAY YOU DO (remember, you don’t need a spray hose)
6) Full tank of gas for the pump (should be included)
7) Stick your arm out the window and get the contractor attitude, cut off anyone you want, you are on a mission…
Water Tanker Fill:
- Remember I’ve warned you about the surge.
You have your paper work, right? The permit??
Pull up to a hydrant, leaving enough room for the hose to extend…
Remove one of the side caps with the hydrant wrench
Hook up the meter (or fill hose if you are stealing) to the hydrant
Hook up the fill hose to the meter and to the water tanker (either mechanically with the clip connector or through the top)
Open the hydrant nut slowly
Shut valve when full
Put on end cap and tighten
Roll up hoses
Put soap in the water tank
Put all tools, meter, and whatever else in the vehicle and head to the site.
On site start up:
- Hook up the garden hose to the garden hose adapter on the pump and open the valve
Turn on the gas to the engine
Prime the pump if you need to
Turn the engine shut off switch ON
Open the choke if you need to
Pull the starter cord and start the pump
Once it starts, close the choke
Adjust the speed using the throttle control
- Start flushing
Do you want to learn yet more about the tanker? Well, you’re in luck! Download this document with yet more information and even a diagram!