Category Archives: Guides

Building a Water Truck

Building a water truck.

In industries like agriculture, construction, and mining, where handling large volumes of water is a routine task, a customized water truck can significantly elevate operational efficiency. While standard, pre-made water trucks or rentals are an option, having a water truck customized to your unique requirements offers benefits like enhanced performance and greater efficiency. Access Truck Parts provides an in-depth look at the key aspects of how to build a water truck that best fits your industry and applications.

Identifying Your Unique Needs:

Before building a water truck, the first step is to outline your specific needs and intended applications during the customization process. Consider its primary function — is it for dust suppression, irrigation, firefighting, or something else? Evaluate the frequency of usage and the estimated volume of water that will be needed. By having a clear picture of your requirements, you can make informed decisions at each stage of the customization process.

Choosing the Right Truck Chassis:

The chassis is the backbone of any water truck and thus requires careful consideration. Evaluate key metrics like load-carrying capacity, engine power, and overall dimensions to ensure that the chassis can comfortably support the weight and size of your planned water tank. Make sure when building a water truck to adhere to safety and performance standards to ensure a reliable, long-lasting solution.

Opting for the Perfect Power Take-Off (PTO):

The Power Take-Off (PTO) is an essential part of a water truck. It draws power from the truck’s engine to operate the water pump, ensuring a stable and consistent water flow. It’s crucial to choose a PTO that aligns with the engine’s power output. The right PTO will not only ensure smooth pump operation but also minimize engine strain and maximize efficiency.

Designing the Ideal Water Tank:

The water tank is arguably the most crucial component of building a water truck. The design should be tailored to both your specific needs and the selected truck chassis. Consider the tank’s material — whether steel, aluminum, or polyethylene — along with its capacity, shape, and mounting options. Don’t forget to account for environmental factors, such as the weather conditions and types of terrain your truck will be operating on, to design a durable and user-friendly tank.

Securing Proper Tank Installation:

An improperly installed water tank is a hazard waiting to happen. Make sure the tank is securely mounted to the truck chassis using robust fixtures like brackets, bolts, and tank springs that can withstand the operational stress and weight. Optionally, skirt boards can be added for additional stability. Pay meticulous attention to sealing all the joints and openings to prevent wasteful or dangerous water leaks.

Integrating a Reliable Pumping System:

A water truck is only as efficient as its pumping system. Depending on industry, several types of water pumps can be considered when you build a water truck: PTO driven, hydraulically driven, or by an independent engine. Ensure that the selected pump can meet the flow rate and pressure requirements for your specific applications to avoid any performance bottlenecks. If your water truck has an hydraulic system, you may need some quick couplers and hose assemblies to bring power to your hydraulic motors.

Adding Hoses and Spray Nozzles:

The choice of hoses and spray nozzles can add a layer of versatility to your water truck. For agricultural settings, drip irrigation hoses could be a water-efficient choice. For dust control or broader irrigation tasks, specialized spray nozzles that distribute water evenly over large areas are more suitable.

Incorporating Enhanced Functionality Features:

Depending on your industry-specific requirements, consider integrating additional features when you build a water truck. A filling hose and valve can simplify the water tank refilling process, while a filtration system can ensure that the water is free from debris and contaminants that could damage your water pump and plumbing system.

In Conclusion:

Building a water truck is an investment that pays off by delivering operational efficiency and tailored solutions for your industry’s specific needs. By adhering to this guide’s comprehensive steps, you can construct a water truck that perfectly aligns with your operational requirements. Just remember, quality planning, safety compliance, and the use of high-grade components will result in a reliable, cost-effective water truck that will serve you well for years to come.

Common Causes of Water Pump Failure

The centrifugal pump is a critical part of your water truck build. When it’s operating at peak efficiency, so are you… but inevitably that’s not always going to be the case. Water pump failure can cost you time, money, and potentially bring your operation to a halt. What should you focus on to prevent it? Are there common points to look out for when troubleshooting an issue with your pump?

The short answer is the Pump Shaft, one of the main points of stress in any centrifugal pump system. There are many factors that can lead to a broken shaft. Continue reading below to learn about the most common issues that can contribute to pump shaft damage, and steps you can take to reduce the probability of failure.

Maintain your parts to avoid Water Pump Failure.
Core Parts of a Centrifugal Pump

Manufacturing Process & Material Flaws

While it’s not outside the realm of possibility that flaws in material and manufacturing can occur, only a small percentage of failures are due to manufacturing flaws. The most common root cause of system damage is improper operating conditions putting undue strain on the pump and its components. This is good news because it means that you are in control and can take steps to reduce the risk to your investment.

Misalignment & Water Pump Failure

One of the most common causes of pump shaft damage is misalignment of the PTO and the pump. A frequent assumption when installing a new pump is that the pump and the PTO should be perfectly aligned with each other. This may make sense in theory, but in practice it can be a source of strain and eventual failure of your system. Proper installation requires a slight offset between the angled PTO and the pump. The difference in position is then compensated for by the drive-shaft and U-joints used to connect the PTO to the pump.

Pump Failure from Impeller Cavitation
Pump Impeller Cavitation


Vibration is never good for any mechanical system and can put unnecessary strain on your entire pump. Vibration is most commonly caused by cavitation, running at excessive RPM, impeller imbalance due to blunt force, or operating outside the pump’s optimal efficiency range. Continuing to run a vibrating pump eventually leads to pump bearing wear, allowing the shaft to shift laterally from its mounting position causing it to flex and eventually fail.

Water Hammer

When operating a fluid dispersal system, there is risk of shock to that system from hydraulic forces exerted by the fluid being pumped. Imagine dropping a stone in a pond – the force applied by the stone sends shock-waves far away from the initial point of impact. This same force can be exerted on your system by a sudden stop in fluid movement, called a Water Hammer. When valves are shut off at high RPM, a shock-wave can be sent back down the pipes to the pump which can exert shearing forces on your shaft and potentially lead to a bend or complete breakage of the pump shaft. You can remedy this by lowering the RPM or disengaging the PTO before shutting off the valves. To further insure against damage from a Water Hammer, you can install a relief valve to vent the excess pressure and prevent it from reaching your pump.

These are only some of the most common factors that can lead to water pump failure, download our Centrifugal Pump Guide for more information on proper maintenance practices. With adequate care and mindful operation, the life of your pump and shaft will be long and fruitful.

If you find yourself in need of help, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 602-437-6948, or browse our online store, your one stop water truck parts solution!