HTI Tank Wash started as a facility to service only Harkrader Trucking, but 25 years later, it's handling major work in the Bay Area
Mar 1, 2010 12:00 PM, By Rick Weber
HTI is equipped to clean both liquid and dry-tank trailers, with high-volume, high-pressure, steam, hot and cold water, and detergent. It also provides caustic washes, as well as kosher washes. Some of HTI's services include cold/hot-water rinse, interior tank drying, pump and hose cleaning, detergent wash and rinse, and tank acid brightening.
”I always felt that high pressure is great, but you have to have volume to move the product,” Harkrader says. “Especially on a rear dump, where it has to travel so far, it doesn't do any good to knock the stuff off the walls with Roto-jets if it just lies on the bottom of the tank. You need volume to move it out. We use 30-horsepower motors that put out 360 gallons a minute, which also gives us the capability to run three Roto-jets at a time if necessary.”
The facility is equipped with a Clayton Steam Generator, a 4000-gallon stainless steel hot-water tank, a 3000-gallon detergent tank, a 3000-gallon stainless-steel cold-water tank, and a 3000-gallon stainless-steel chemical tank. Spinners are from Gamajet Cleaning Systems Inc.
Bays #1 and #2 are dedicated to food-grade washes. Bay #3 is dedicated to chemical washes only. Bay #4 is hot-water food grade only (no detergent). Two outdoor bays are for high-pressure washing, hand-padding and product-heating.
“We do a lot of acids, polymers, latexes, resins, and wax,” he says. “One the food side, we clean a lot of vegetable oil and juices.”
HTI offers a driver's room, fax/copy services, free Wi-Fi, single shower, quiet paved yard, lighted overnight parking, video camera security, drop and spot, and after hours and weekend appointments.
HTI's safety program includes weekly safety meetings and periodic safety classes. All employees are trained in forklift operation and safety, hazard communication awareness, respiratory protection, fall protection, driver safety, personal protective equipment use, hearing protection, injury and illness prevention, confined space safety, and back and spine safety. HTI uses an outside safety firm to administer its safety program.
“It's worked out really well,” he says. “Every once in awhile, you get a visit from EPA, HAZMAT, or OSHA. The best way to keep current and in compliance with all required safety standards is to use a company whose prime business is to know the latest laws and technologies of safety and hazardous material handling.”
What does the future hold for HTI? Harkrader says he expects the wash-rack business to remain pretty much the same, but he is trying to buy an adjacent one-acre property that would expand HTI's total to three acres.
“We have a number of out-of-the-area trucking companies that need a place to park their trucks and/or trailers,” he says. “These companies are doing a limited amount of business in our local area — not enough to warrant a full-on terminal. So they park their trucks and trailers at our facility. This enables them to pick up a clean trailer while dropping off a dirty one. It also allows us to clean when it's convenient for us. We don't charge them to park here; it's a win/win situation for both of us. We end up doing more washes, since they don't have to wait, and they end up doing more loads.”
Harkrader says there's no magic formula for his business success. He just works hard to give companies what they want and need.
“We've been dealing with all the major companies,” he says, “and we haven't had any complaints. I guess that's why we've been in business 25 years.”
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