Tank Trailer Cleaning completes major wash rack refurbishment
Mar 1, 2008 12:00 PM
The wash bays had been in service since 1984, and some of the wash bay floors dated back to the early 1960s. Not surprisingly, they were showing their age after decades of heavy use. Replacement of those floors was a key objective of the refurbishment in 2007.
The wash rack makeover effort was launched in May 2007, when Danny Banister, a tank cleaning consultant, was brought on board as project coordinator. The renovation effort started in July and finished in November.
“Danny helped with the renovation and with the effort to keep the wash rack up and running throughout the project,” Stock says. “We had to make sure that we didn't sideline any of our customers' equipment that needed cleaning.”
The six-inch-thick concrete floor in the two foodgrade bays was completely removed and replaced. The floor in the four chemical bays was power blasted with high-pressure water and cut down almost to the rebar.
“We did two chemical bays at a time to minimize inconvenience to our customers,” Hunter says. “Most of the floor replacements were done over the course of a long weekend (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday).”
Following the power blasting in the chemical bays, workers poured a four-inch concrete cap. The flooring in the two foodgrade bays was a bigger project, though. It took nearly a week to break out the old floor and pour new concrete.
Once the new concrete was poured, the bays were back in use within a week. The new floors were allowed to cure for about a month at which time workers applied an epoxy topcoat with quartz anti-slip protection. The Crown Polymers material was brushed on in an eighth-inch layer and was cured for about 24 hours before tank trailers were allowed on it.
Along with the floor replacement, Tank Trailer Cleaning installed new galvanized steel mezzanines and staircases. The structures were assembled by an outside fabrication shop under TTC direction. Extra lighting was installed in the wash bays to provide a brighter work area. Workers also painted the walls white.
TTC designed new 1,000-gallon stainless steel wash solution tanks, which were fabricated by an outside shop. Five vats serve three of the chemical wash bays and contain hot water, warm diesel, caustic, and detergent. The fourth chemical wash bay is for hard-to-clean products, and the wash system includes four vats that hold hot water, cold water, proprietary stripper, and warm diesel. Hot water for the system comes from a 125-hp Kewanee boiler and a 100-hp Johnson boiler.
The solution tanks are part of a wash system that was assembled in-house. This system was upgraded for higher productivity during the renovation. Pump motors are rated at 75 horsepower and can generate pressures of 230 psi to 260 psi at the point where the cleaning solution reaches the Sellers spinners.
“Typically, we're running the spinners at 230 psi for most of the cleaning operation, but we're using a modern cleaning system that can supply considerably more pressure along with nearly double the flow rate,” Banister says. “Of course increased flow rate and pressure equals improved impingement. Generally speaking, TTC will be operating their hard-to-clean system with nearly three times the impingement available with the average tank wash system.
“We did a number of things to improve performance and lower energy costs in the wash rack. We sized the system from the spinner back to the vats for higher flow and higher pressure. With larger diameter piping and other engineering and equipment improvements, we were able to boost pump efficiency to 80% from 43%.”
In recent years, Tank Trailer Cleaning took steps to ensure that the wash rack and other operations can continue even in the face of power outages. Two 300-kw Cummins Onan generator sets provide enough power to run the entire facility. The generators are fueled with B10 (a blend of 90% petroleum diesel and 10% biodiesel).
“We use the biodiesel blend in all of our power equipment,” Stock says. “We have to remain operational no matter what happens. Our customers rely on us. If the power is down for even three to four hours, we get very backed up.
“We're definitely getting our money out of the gensets. During the winter of 2007, storms knocked out the power for five days. Summer storms in 2007 also brought power outages. Not once did these events affect our most important job: Providing our customers with quality and timely service.”
Tank Trailer Cleaning does everything it can to provide customers with the best possible service. Reliable backup power is part of that effort, as was the extreme makeover in 2007.
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