When it comes to safe vacuum truck operations, it is important to take certain precautionary measures, especially when engaged in a hazardous procedure such as transporting combustible materials. When working in such a volatile atmosphere, a vehicle should be equipped with an electrostatic mobile grounding verification (MGV) system. Before buying, it is important to learn more about such preventive equipment.
When unfamiliar with this new technology, the first thing to be asked is the what is it and what does it do. How it can increase the safety of vacuum trucks is a questions that can be easily answered. The Mobile Ground Verification system is a tool that provides integrity to the monitoring and verification of vehicle grounding conditions in order to prevent an electrostatic charge. When a tank or truck chassis can no longer contain accumulated current during its operation, sparks will eventually be produced. Installing this tool will enhance a machine’s safety during operation.
Some operators may neglect to properly protect their equipment and end up causing severe damage to people, property and the environment. The generation and accumulation of static electricity has certain characteristics that are both complicated and dangerous. Static electricity is almost always invisible to the naked eye and often only perceived to be present. When a static spark discharges, it is with lightning-like speed; at that point, it is too late to prevent ignition.
It only takes a spark to get a fire going. Just like gas oven lighters that use a spark to light the fire inside the oven, one single, tiny discharge can also ignite a fire in a highly combustible atmosphere. Eliminating the threat posed by an electrostatic spark can only be accomplished by verifying that a machine is properly grounded, which helps an operator determine that a vehicle will not accumulate electricity.
Bonding reels are usually connected from a vehicle to the ground, or grounding points, to prevent electrostatic discharges, although that may not be enough to prevent sparks. It is a somewhat reliable tool, yet has its own limitations. Bonding reels lack the capacity to advise of instability in the connection due to rust or paint coatings. It also lacks monitoring capabilities and cannot detect anything compromised within the connection from the clamp to the grounding point. A bonding reel cannot verify whether the pipes or support beam are connected to a true earth ground.
Because of bonding reel limitations, the MGV system was developed. It helps ensures that: a connection point is stable; a connection is grounded to the true earth and is not compromised in any way; and it verifies that a secondary connection point is true earth grounded as well. An MGV system has the capability to monitor and verify that both the tank and truck chassis are safely free from any sparks.
When purchasing any type of vacuum truck, the risks caused by even a small mistake such as an electrostatic spark should be understood, especially when working in a highly combustible atmosphere. If a vehicle is properly equipped with an MGV system for safety, rest assured that the job will be completed both effectively and safely!