Busy times

Feb. 1, 2006
THE SPARTANBURG, South Carolina, Polar Service Center, one of Polar Corporation's nine service center locations, has experienced increased business as

THE SPARTANBURG, South Carolina, Polar Service Center, one of Polar Corporation's nine service center locations, has experienced increased business as the US economy has improved, says Terry Olson, general manager.

As demand steps up, managers at the 19-bay center have continued to look at ways to expedite customer service, such as providing a separate four-bay shop that is dedicated to petroleum tank trailers and tank wagons that can be repaired quickly.

“We use that for quick ins and outs to get the vehicles back on the road as soon as possible,” Olson adds.

The 15 bays in the main shop handle more complicated procedures, but prompt service is a priority there as well, he says.

The shop operates Monday through Friday from 7 am until 5 pm, and a half day Saturday. Call-in service is available.

Looking for other ways to speed repairs, the center purchased a Uniflex of America Ltd crimping machine to use in hose assembly and certification services. The machine has a computerized program with a digital display that automates the assembly process and improves quality and efficiency, says Steve Yeargin, special projects manager.

Shop equipment includes a Wysong shear, Cincinnati press brake, and shop-built overhead crane.

Parts department

Polar's Spartanburg business has a parts inventory of $800,000. The entire Polar Service Center's network has a combined parts inventory of over $6 million. Locations share inventory, and parts can be shipped overnight to meet the customer need. Any Polar Service employee can instantaneously check online for inventory on hand at any Polar location.

Polar's in-house designed computer network links all of the Polar Service Centers. Parts are scanned into the inventory program, which also handles shipping and billing.

Building vehicles to customer specifications is another significant part of the service offered by Polar Service Centers.

A recent example of the Spartanburg shop's fabrication talents is a DOT406 tankwagon assembled for TNT Logistics of Jacksonville, Florida.

Used by the carrier to service locomotives, the 4,500-gallon Polar tank designed to haul diesel is mounted on a Freightliner chassis. In addition, a separate two-compartment tank mounted between the cab and the larger tank holds water and oil. Each compartment holds 280 gallons.

Company locations

The Spartanburg center echoes the services provided by eight other Polar Service Centers in Joliet Illinois; Mobile, Alabama; Welford, South Carolina; Houston and Beaumont, Texas; Marietta, Ohio; Port Allen, Louisiana; and Holdingford, Minnesota.

Polar Corporation is headquartered in St Cloud, Minnesota, and operates three business divisions: Quality Trailer Products, Polar Tank Trailer, and Polar Service Centers.

The Polar Service Centers specialize in all types of stainless steel, aluminum, and carbon steel tank repairs. They also sell new and used tank trailers and tank trucks. The service centers offer free repair estimates, road services, tank cleaning, sandblasting and painting, lining repairs, and all types of special modifications.

Other capabilities include total rebuilds and suspension rework, customer design and fabrication for specialty applications, HM183 tests and inspections, pressure vessel wet florescent magnetic particle testing, and federal and state inspections.

Shops hold American Society of Mechanical Engineers “U” stamps and are National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors “R” certified.

About the Author

Mary Davis