How Oil Skimming is Helping Truck Wash Facilities Meet Wastewater Regulations


truck-wash-1.jpg Success Stories: Heavy Equipment and Truck Washdown Facilities

Facilities that wash down heavy equipment or trucks often have to balance several operational priorities at once. For example, ensuring adequate washing of trucks/equipment while reducing operational expenses and meeting environmental standards.

For many, this balancing act can seem daunting; however, it doesn’t have to be. The following two companies with heavy equipment and truck washdown facilities recently found that they were able to meet all of their priorities with the assistance of a tube-type oil skimming system. 

Success Story #1: Heavy Machinery Rental Company

A Pennsylvania-based company in the heavy equipment rental business often finds that after equipment is rented and returned, it is caked with mud, grease and oil and needs to be washed down before it can be rented again.

However, as part of the washdown process, federal and local regulations require that the wastewater produced be free of contaminants, such as grease and oil. After thorough research, the company found that by utilizing the following two steps, it could effectively remove contaminants and meet wastewater regulations.

Step 1: Eliminate Debris

The first step requires the elimination of mud and debris from the washdown water. Water used to wash the company’s equipment is directed to a holding tank. From there, the mud and debris, along with some oil residue, are properly disposed of in a landfill.

Step 2: Separate and Remove Oil

The second step involves separating and removing the remaining oil from the water in the holding tank. By installing a tube-type waste oil recovery system, the company could separate and remove oil from the water in the holding tank – before the water was moved into a second holding tank that flowed into the city wastewater system.


The skimming system used, the Oil Skimmers, Inc. Model 6V, can remove up to 100 gallons of oil per hour, and is able to run 24/7 without the need for maintenance or supervision. Since installing the system, the company has been able to meet wastewater regulations and recover approximately 465 gallons of recyclable oil, monthly.

Success Story #2: Trucking Company

A Minnesota-based trucking company with a fleet of tanker trucks has had its fair share of challenges when it comes to oily sludge. When washing out the fleet’s tankers, which are used to haul soybean oil, oily sludge often mixes with the washdown water.

The company has attempted to use various chemicals, equipment and labor hours to remove the sludge so the resulting wastewater could be discharged into the city water system. However, these methods were expensive and ongoing. Thankfully, the company’s head mechanic sought an alternate solution that would drive costs down and remove the oil from the wastewater before it was processed through the facility’s dissolved air flotation (DAF) unit.


The trucking company found its solution in the Oil Skimmers, Inc. Model 5H tube-type oil skimming system. Since installation, the system has eliminated the need for employees to manually collect sludge from the wastewater and significantly reduced the chemicals needed to treat the wastewater. These benefits have, in turn, reduced overall operational costs while ensuring the company’s wastewater is free of contaminants, as required.

As an added benefit, the company has also found that the oil skimmer actually enhances the performance of its DAF unit.

How do tube-type oil skimming solutions from Oil Skimmers, Inc. work?

Tube-type oil skimmers from Oil Skimmers, Inc. feature a specially designed proprietary tube to efficiently and effectively remove oil from wastewater. The floating, closed-loop tube skims the wastewater surface, allowing oil to adhere to the outside of the tube as it is drawn across the surface of the water and into the oil skimmer. The tube then passes through ceramic scrapers that remove the oil, returning to the water’s surface to collect more oil, while recovered oil flows to a collection container.

To learn more about the challenges of removing oil from water, download the White Paper:
White Paper: The Challenges of Removing Surface Oil

For more information on how tube-type oil skimming solutions can help your washdown facility reduce operational expenses and meet environmental standards, Contact Us, or Request a Quote

Topics: heavy equipment model 5H model 6v oil skimmer truck wash

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