Joseph Newman, president of Newman Carriers, enjoys a spectacular view from the office of his company’s new headquarters in Fairmont City, Illinois. It’s so nice, it inspired the name of his first tank cleaning operation.
“I was mowing the lot before we broke ground and I stopped to answer a call, and when I looked up, there was the arch right in front of me—the Gateway Arch in St. Louis,” Newman recalled with a laugh. “So there you go.”
The view inside Archview Tank Wash, which opened in May—unlocking a host of new advantages for its tank truck sister company—is equally impressive.
The two-bay wash facility, which is attached to a new four-bay truck terminal and an office building located on 18 acres just across the Mississippi River from St. Louis, features a customized four-vat tank cleaning system from A-One Chemicals and Equipment, two isolated wash systems for paints and polymers, an advanced water treatment system, two 60-horsepower boilers—and enough space for two additional cleaning bays.
“I didn’t want the vats in the wash bays themselves, because they get nasty and dirty, so I put them in the water treatment room,” Newman said. “But to do that I needed another 12 ft. added to the building, and since it was going to be too costly to add only 12 ft., I ended up adding 60, and building two more bays for future expansion.
“So we have two active bays now, and two that will be finished by the end of the year.”
Regulatory hurdles and the mounting costs of building and operating a tank cleaning facility might discourage some people from moving forward. Not Newman, who says establishing his own tank wash, vs. continuing to use third-party facilities, “was very much cost effective” and highly beneficial for his bulk-hauling operation.
Newman, a former truck driver before he founded Newman Carriers in 2012, started thinking more seriously about a cleaning facility in 2020. He toured tank washes in early 2021, then researched pricing, and finally decided to move forward last year with the idea of building a tank wash close to his established truck terminal—an idea his wife, Pam Newman, who also helps in the office part time, quickly shot down.
“She said, ‘Why do you want to do that? Why do you want to be in two different places? You’ll have two parts departments, and two of this and two of that,’ and I ended up saying, ‘You know what, you’re right,’” Newman recalled. So he designed an all-new, all-in-one headquarters—for a total investment of nearly $7 million—and sold the old landlocked 3½ acre property. Newman Carriers, which today boasts 68 drivers, 75 trucks, and 185 tank trailers, moved into its new terminal in April, about one year after breaking ground.
Archview came online a month later—with upgraded quality control the primary perk.
Newman previously kept two people on staff who exclusively fixed problems caused by third-party cleaning facilities, including product residue in the nose and rear of the trailer—which couldn’t be seen from the dome lid but was clearly visible inside—dirty hoses, incorrect caps, and even broken glass inside tanks.
“It was just all over the place,” he lamented.
Now those two full-time trailer preppers are Archview tank wash technicians.
Newman also is saving money on washes. Before the closest outside cleaning facility changed owners, the company paid $400 per trailer in the first quarter of 2022. The carrier paid $1,100 per wash in Q1 of this year, before Archview opened, he said. And with clean, dry, and odor free tankers always ready to go, and fewer consignee rejections, Newman Carriers is operating more efficiently. “Dispatch never has to wait for a trailer,” Newman said. “We always have clean trailers. And then we have a terminal in Kankakee, Illinois, as well, so anytime those drivers are down this way, we have them drop and switch their trailers.
“So we’re cleaning as many of our own trailers as we possibly can down here.”
They’re doing it with a state-of-the-art setup, too.
The base equipment skid features four stainless-steel vats for detergents, caustic, stripper, and hot water; and came complete with internal steam coils and automatic temperature controls. A-One, along with general contractor Litteken Construction, out of Breese, Illinois, installed all the cleaning machinery and piping, including the spinner delivery and return, and the steam and steam condensate return piping to the boiler room. The plug-and-play system also includes a poly tank for cold water rinses with an automatic water fill valve.
Additionally, A-one customized the vats to increase their size after Newman decided to expand the facility to four bays. Each vat now holds 1,000 gallons of product.
“Cleaning solutions are pumped from the vats to the trailers by two 40-hp spinner pumps,” said Ed Wickham, A-One sales representative. “The solution is then injected into the trailers through two Gamajet IV hydraulic-driven spinners attached to A-One-provided, stainless-steel cones. The chemicals are returned to the vats using two 7.5-hp self-priming pumps.
“Newman also chose to include a 20-hp dedicated water rinse spinner pump, which prevents the loss of cleaning solution remaining in the piping of vat systems that rinse with the same pumps used for cleaning.”
Archview also boasts isolated wash systems for hoses, and cleaning out even the toughest products. “Paint trailers are run on our Eliminator kit, which essentially is a mini recirculation system, so it doesn’t stain or soil the solvent vat,” A-One’s Nicole Moser said. “‘Elephant snot’ is run on a separate tote to prevent the polymer from gumming up the piping and main vats.”
“We can do a lot of the hard products most people won’t even touch,” Newman said.
A-One built the galvanized work platform located in the center of the cleaning bays. A 10-hp blower mounted on the platform is piped out to each bay for fast drying. Cleans are punctuated by an exterior wash using a two-step soap and brightener application system, along with a pressure washer for brush-free cleaning.
The entire system is automated, making selecting cleaning solutions and cycle times simple.
“The main cleaning system control panel contains a programmable controller with various cleaning cycles,” Wickham said. “Once the desired clean is selected, the PLC program instructs the system’s air-operated valves to open and close accordingly. Once the wash is complete, all the solution is returned to the chemical vat.
“This system also provides cleaning technicians with control panels at the top and bottom of the work platform.”
The boiler room is equally impressive.
Newman originally intended to have one high-pressure boiler installed, but when a sub-contractor ordered a low-pressure unit by mistake, he refused it, and instead hired St. Louis engineering firm American Boiler & Mechanical to install two 60-hp Fulton boilers. “I call it the most expensive room in the whole building, but it turned out phenomenal.”
Now, with two boilers—complete with full water filtration systems—in house, Archview never has to stop cleaning. “If we’re servicing one boiler, we can operate using the other one,” he explained. “We also have the ability to steam eight trailers at one time, and we return all the steam to the boilers to make the process very efficient.”
Finally, Archview’s dynamic water treatment system sends only properly pH-balanced, thoroughly filtered water into city sewers. The system, sourced from Pump Systems and installed by Blue Sphere Water Technology, features a 10,000-gallon holding tank and two 5,000-gallon batch reactors with impellers that neutralize the pH level—Archview shoots for 7.5 pH—before solids are separated and taken to a landfill.
Newman and son Joshua Newman—who recently joined brothers David Brown (equipment and maintenance director) and Jacob Newman (Newman vice president) in the family business as VP of tank wash operations—also visited the local water treatment facility, and Joshua obtained a Class K wastewater treatment license to ensure proper system management. “[City officials] were impressed by that,” Newman said. “They said people usually try to avoid them, so we explained to them, ‘No, we want to do it right.
“‘We don’t want to hide from you.’”
Newman can’t hide his excitement either. Archview is up and operational, it’s already delivering advantages—and they’re set to double in coming months. “We already did everything necessary to prepare for the next two bays,” he said. “So they’ll be simple to ‘plug and play.’” And when that happens, Newman plans to open up Archview to third-party business—so they can enjoy the same view of spectacularly clean tank trailers.
“I just want to make sure our house is in order, and we know exactly what we’re doing, before we venture out,” he concluded.