Ready for business

May 1, 2005
TWO cleaning bays for chemical tank trailers at Philip Service Corp's new facility in Freeport, Texas, are open for business. The wash rack was inaugurated

TWO cleaning bays for chemical tank trailers at Philip Service Corp's new facility in Freeport, Texas, are open for business. The wash rack was inaugurated with an open house on April 21.

Situated on five acres, the wash rack has plenty of room for expansion. PSC management expects the customer base to grow quickly in the chemical producing Gulf of Mexico area.

Starting off with two shifts operating Monday-Friday from 6 am until 11 pm and a Saturday shift from 6 am until 2:30 pm, the facility is projected to handle 20 tank trailers per day in the beginning, says James Luersman, tank wash manager.

“Of course the number of trailers, and the time it takes to handle them, will depend on their conditions and products hauled,” he added.

In addition to new wash equipment, the five-acre site boasts a 1,792-square-foot adjacent office building that houses administration, driver lounge, and office space available for lease to other companies.

There's also plenty of room to park trailers — and room for expansion, if the need arises.

The wash system was constructed in-house and is equipped with Sellers Model 360 spinners. The spinners are driven by two electric pumps, a 75-horsepower DURCO with 230-psi that produces 160 gallons per minute, and a 50-horsepower Ingersoll-Rand with 190-psi that produces 140 gallons per minute.

Four vats with 250-gallon capacity each hold hot water (180° F), detergent, caustic, and stripper. A three-inch line handles cold water. Return water is handled by three Gorman-Rump pumps rated at 50 psi to handle 260 gallons per minute.

All the piping is color coded to help identify contents such as the caustic and detergent and incoming and outgoing water.

Wastewater is captured in a floor drain and pumped to a nearby 6,000-gallon storage tank where pH is adjusted. Water is then stored until hauled off to another PSC facility with wastewater treatment capability.

A 2,000-gallon overflow vat is available if needed. It and the larger tank are inside a four-foot retaining wall and set on a plastic-lined concrete foundation to meet spill prevention requirements.

Any heel removed from tanks is stored briefly on site before being hauled off for disposal.

PSC also makes use of a Tornado Technologies Inc flare and scrubber that were on the property when it was purchased. Vapors in the tank wash are captured and moved to the flare through a three-inch vacuum hose.

While trailers are being handled, drivers can take advantage of the lounge with a desk and comfortable chairs. PSC also provides shower facilities.

Part of the office area has a room for personnel safety training. An in-house PSC training program is used to cover subjects such as confined-space entry and hazards of nitrogen blankets, as well as various regulations and company policy.

The tank cleaning crews wear movement sensors from Grace Industries when they are working inside a tank. The sensors respond with an alarm if movement ceases for more than 30 seconds. Each sensor is coded with the employee's identification so that if there is a problem, the employee is immediately recognized.

Having a new facility in place and personnel trained to handle the input, PSC stands ready to serve the Freeport area.