Heel Plagues Tank Cleaning Operations
Jun 1, 1998 12:00 PM
Tank cleaning companies continue to wrestle with the persistent problems surrounding heel, the undelivered product remaining in a cargo tank, said John Conley, vice-president of National Tank Truck Carriers (NTTC). He discussed the problem at the association's tank cleaning seminar held April 6-7 in Nashville, Tennessee.
Wash racks may have to handle gallons of heel per truck, said Conley.
NTTC and Chemical Manufacturers Association (CMA) executives are making efforts to call attention to the problem through brochures and other educational tools, by seeking input from their members, and urging cooperation between carrier, consignee, and shipper.
One carrier documents the amount of heel left in the tank by having the driver photograph the residue. "If you can document, you can bill for it," said Conley. The costs that are incurred from heel are not only in the tank cleaning. More time and effort are required in the storing and disposal methods.
Ways to reduce the problem include training drivers to be aware of the waste, charging for the product removal, and contacting shipping managers and consignees to make them aware of the volume of residue from their shipments. Suggestions have been made that drivers be given incentives for recognizing and documenting heel.
At Gentenaar Group in the Netherlands, any amount of heel more than five gallons is returned to the customer, said Willem Barends, president of CargoTank USA Inc, the company's US division.
The goal of the NTTC and CMA is to draw support from the industry in a cooperative effort to handle the heel problem in an economical and environmentally responsible manner and to work toward reducing the problem.
Copies of the heel brochure, promotional stickers, and other information can be obtained by contacting the NTTC office in Washington DC at 703-838-1960 (telephone); 703-684-5753 (FAX); or by writing to 2200 Mill Road, Alexandria VA 22314.
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