A Guide For New Oil Industry Project Managers: Understanding The Importance Of Steam Trucks

If you are a new project manager going to work in the oil fields in the north for the first time, then you should first understand how valuable it can be to include a steam truck in your fleet of machinery working on your company's land lease areas. Steam trucks are good for cleaning and degreasing heavy equipment, as well as being safe for both people and the environment.

What follows is some information to help you see the value of utilizing a steam truck on your company's oil leases on future projects you manage:

Steam Truck Basics

Steam trucks are used in the Northern Canadian oil fields to degrease and clean heavy equipment which has become coated with bitumen and hydraulic grease. Bitumen is a hydrocarbon substance that is very sticky and is formed as part of the oil extraction process. Hydraulic grease is used in all heavy equipment as a lubricant and leaks are common.

Steam trucks are made of the following parts:

  • water tank
  • boiler
  • water pump
  • spray wand

In addition, there is also a separate tank where a pre-cleaning solution is held. Machinery is often treated with this pre-cleaning solution to make their steam cleaning an easier and faster process.

Requirements to Operate a Steam Truck

Any operator of a truck-mounted steam system operating in Canada is required to have a commercial driver's license. They are not required to have a heavy machinery operating license. Since the steam machinery is simple, and the application of the steam is as well, steam trucks can be driven by commercial drivers without a lot of specialized experience. 

Advantages of Steam Truck Usage

Steam truck cleaning is one of the best ways to clean your company's heavy oil sand machinery. Steam truck cleaning has the following advantages:

  • no chemicals or solvents
  • quickly evaporating
  • dry or wet steam options

In addition, steam cleaning is much safer than power washing with water on your job site. The reason is because water from pressure washing will puddle and can cause a slip and fall hazard. However, steam will quickly evaporate and will not puddle on any surfaces. This can go a long way towards reducing risk on your job site.

Final Thoughts

Now that you can clearly see the many advantages of utilizing steam truck in Fort McMurray on your company's oil lease sites, you will be more informed when you are planning future projects. Best of luck on your new job!