Sani-Kleen opens Joplin MO wash rack
Mar 1, 2005 12:00 PM
JUST 90 days after work began on the project, the new Sani-Kleen Tank Wash Inc facility in Joplin, Missouri, was open for business. Not even winter weather could delay completion of the new foodgrade tank cleaning rack, which initiated operations on February 28.
This is wash rack number two for Sani-Kleen, which has been operating a similar foodgrade cleaning facility in Mt Vernon, Missouri — about 40 miles to the east of Joplin — for the past seven years. Strong growth in bulk edibles hauling to food processing plants in the Joplin area prompted the decision to build the new wash rack.
“Food processing activity has increased steadily in Joplin, and a number of the food haulers were sending their trailers all the way to our wash rack in Mt Vernon for cleanout,” says Jim Cloud, Sani-Kleen co-owner. “The fleets had begun asking for something closer to Joplin. We believe we've chosen an excellent location with plenty of growth potential.”
Cloud lists several reasons for the optimism: Food processors drawn to the area include General Mills, which takes about 200 loads of flour a week for its ready-made dough products. Also in the area are a dog biscuit producer and a cereal maker.
Located on part of what used to be a headquarters terminal for a major truckload dry freight carrier in Joplin, the Sani-Kleen wash rack is just a short distance from the food processing plants. In addition, the rack is close to four large truck stops and near the intersection of US Highway 71 and I-44.
“This new wash rack is in a great location to bring in new business,” Cloud says. “Our Mt Vernon wash rack will be impacted, but we anticipated that. We believe the new location will take about 20% of the Mt Vernon volume.”
The company expects to clean a wide range of edibles in addition to flour. “We'll handle trailers that haul sweeteners, juices, and dairy products,” Cloud says. “We even expect to see an occasional wine tanker. We'll have kosher certification by the end of this year, which should generate more activity.”
The new wash rack is scheduled to be open from 7 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday. Operating hours will be extended as needed to meet demand. “We expect to clean about eight trailers a day initially,” says Scott Cloud, co-owner and manager of the Joplin location. “We should reach 12 to 14 a day within 90 days.”
The cleaning operation is housed in a renovated building that had served as a body shop for the truckload carrier. “Using an existing building presented some challenges, but it also made it easier and faster to get up and running,” Scott says. “We believe it saved us at least 90 days of construction time.”
Extensive changes were needed to convert the building to tank cleaning, and the process started with the floor. The old floor was removed and a new concrete floor was poured with a nine-inch drop to center. Beneath the floor is a sump and pit arrangement that collects solids flushed from trailers during cleaning.
“Since we were protected by the building walls, we were relatively unaffected by the winter weather,” Scott says. “We were able to pour concrete on the coldest days in December and January without using any additives. In our opinion, we got a better floor that will wear longer and should be less prone to cracks.”
The two bays are each 15-feet wide, providing more working room around trailers. Standing between the bays is a carbon-steel platform that was fabricated locally to Sani-Kleen specifications. At the top of the platform are dual catwalks that provide a level walkway for tanks and dry bulk trailers.
“We decided on the dual catwalk arrangement based on experience with the Mt Vernon wash rack,” Scott says. “Seven years of tank cleaning at Mt Vernon also led us to specify stainless steel piping in the new wash rack.”
The piping leads to a Peacock high-pressure, low-volume, single-pass wash system in the equipment room. The system typically cleans at 600 psi but can operate as high as 800 psi. The Peacock system produces hot water and steam on demand. Detergent also can be injected into the hot water as needed for specific cleaning jobs.
Dual high-pressure stainless steel injection pumps in the Peacock system supply cleaning solutions to Wilmar Delta spinners in the wash bays. The unit also provides water for the pressure washer used for exterior trailer washes.
“We generally use two spinners at a time in a dry bulker,” Scott says. “We'll pre-wash the trailer interior in one bay while the spinners are running in the other.”
Cleaning operations are directed from an upgraded programmable logic controller that has been programmed by The Peacock Company to provide automatic and manual cycle functions, cycle monitoring, system monitoring, system diagnostics, and safety protocols. A color touch-screen control station on the wash unit makes it easy for the operator to input previous tanker product contents, seal number, and tank trailer identification number. The operator initiates the cleaning process by pressing the start button on the touch-screen.
Sani-Kleen specified a strip chart on the wash unit to ensure a written report of each tank-cleaning job. The report contains the wash rack name and location, phone number, tank trailer ID number, previous cargo, seal numbers, cleaning cycle, cleaning time and date, and process conditions.
With the new foodgrade wash rack fully operational, business activity is beginning to build. The Clouds are confident that the second Sani-Kleen wash rack will be every bit as successful as the first.
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