Arizona milk cooperative maintains steady, strong growth
Sep 1, 2008 12:00 PM, By Mary Davis
Tank trailer maintenance is a high priority at the co-op. The two-bay shop on site has two mechanics and one helper. Tank maintenance and repairs typically are scheduled from 6 am until 2 pm Monday through Friday. Shop personnel, led by Sam Hilliard, lead mechanic, are qualified to rebuild non-code tank trailers. O'Carroll and Al Werkmister, safety director, oversee mechanics' training, including confined-space entry procedures.
The hands-on approach may also impact long-range improvements on the tank trailers, says O'Carroll. He recognized problems with trailers turning into the street from the co-op yard and shared his concerns with Walker Stainless Equipment Company. A 6,200-gallon frame and cradle tank trailer was supplied that would handle the twisting and turning coming out of the yard into the street.
In addition to Walker, stainless steel tank trailers in the fleet are supplied by Brenner Tank LLC and West-Mark Inc, and all typically have 6,200-gallon capacities. O'Carroll specifies LC Thomsen 60TTF foodgrade valves. Running gear includes Hendrickson Intraax suspensions, MeritorWabco antilock brake system, and Alcoa aluminum wheels.
We are ordering more tank trailers as the milk production rises, says O'Carroll. We have a new processing plant that opened this summer in Casa Grande, 45 minutes from the terminal, in addition to our co-op plant and four other processors in the Phoenix metropolitan area.
Meanwhile, the United States Department of Agriculture reports that Arizona milk production for 2008 is on the increase, and the average number of milk cows maintained by Arizona's dairy operations in 2007 rose by 8,000 head. Those statistics illustrate that desert producers will continue to provide, if not honey, a good deal of milk and the Dairymen of Arizona, with the team of experienced drivers will be there to transport it.
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