What is the difference between an on road water cart and an off-road water cart?

When you are working on a construction site that involves demolition or earthworks in areas that are dry and prone to dust build ups, water carts are an essential piece of equipment on site. Not only can they provide large quantities of potable water to locations where clean drinking water isn’t easily accessible, but the water they transport can be utilised for a wide range of tasks such as field irrigation, dust suppression on work sites and unsealed roads (which need regular spraying to prevent dust issues), soil compression assistance, potable water transport, fire prevention and fire protection, environmental rehabilitation, and surface wetting.

Water carts and water trucks come in a range of sizes that can be tailored to suit the need of the project. In the construction industry, there are 4 main types in use in Australia:

• Off-road water carts that can go practically anywhere
• Semi water tankers which are large scale water trailers pulled by a road truck or Mack truck
• On road water carts that come in multiple sizes and can carry large amounts of water at a time
• Skid in water carts which are portable water tanks that are designed to slide onto the back of flatbed trucks and tippers can be used on multiple vehicles (as long as it fits on the truck bed).

Most water carts in operation are a combination of two of these types, for example, an off road skid in water cart. On Australian worksites, the most common 2 types of water cart are combinations of different water cart types the dump truck mounted skid ins that can go off road, and the road truck mounted skid ins that can travel on roads as road registered vehicles.

But what is the difference between on road and off road water carts?

Off road water carts, also known as rough terrain water carts and rough terrain water trucks are commonly found on mine and construction sites that are out on rural properties that have unpaved roads or require overland travel to access.

There are two main types of off road water carts; skid in truck mounted carts, and trailer mounted carts that are connected to a tractor via a joint or pin. One of the main benefits of these carts is that they can reach places that regular on road water carts can’t reach. This is especially useful when the area that needs water is in a location with soft or uneven ground such as mining sites and farming fields that require irrigation.

Some of the characteristics that off road tanks possess compared to on road water carts include large wheels with deep open treads designed for overland navigation, an articulated joint between the cab and tanker for ease of movement, a higher range of flexibility in vehicle suspension, higher tank clearance and they usually feature a round or oval tank design.

The one downside to this type of cart is although it can carry up to 50,000L of water, it is not a roadworthy vehicle and will need to be floated to locations that require travel on paved roads to access.

On road water carts, however, are able to reach all your road accessible sites with ease which makes them more suitable for mid to large scale civil and construction work instead of mining projects.

They are commonly found mounted on the back of road registered trucks such as road trucks or are separate trailers like semi water tankers.

They are usually more square shaped as compared to off road water carts as they are designed to fit comfortably into the existing trays of road vehicles. These carts also feature a wider haulage capacity range compared to the off road carts with capacities ranging from small washdown tanks of 1000L up to large loads of 20,000L.

Which cart do I choose for my project?

When you are choosing the water cart to hire for your next project there are 4 key things to consider: 

•    The size of the project
•    The location of the project
•    How much water you need for the project
•    Access requirements for site

If you are unsure about what water cart is the best fit for your project, the team at Yellow Hire can help. Operating across Victoria, they can meet all your water cart hire needs.