SCL Partners Report Little Disruption to Projects Currently Under Way

In the days following a state mandate by California Gov. Gavin Newsom that non-essential businesses close in an effort to minimize impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19), SCL customers reported little disruption to construction projects.

The Association of General Contractors of America (ACG) has stated it is closely monitoring the epidemic, as well as government measures aimed at lessening the virus’ impact, but it has yet to provide any recommendations on stopping projects.

On the contrary, the organization has petitioned the federal government to recognize construction as an essential business, especially after a list of “critical infrastructure” industries released by the Department of Homeland Security failed to include it.

While states have been encouraged to use the DHS list as a guideline when considering state and local COVID-19 responses, it is not tied to any federal mandate. As such, construction projects have continued to move – even those directly tied to the federal government.

WHAT’S GOOD IN CONSTRUCTION

According to SCL Fuels Specialist Keith Kerslake, dirt moving right now is on projects bid anywhere from 6-9 months ago.

“These projects have already been planned, there are already commitments that have been made and deadlines that have been set. I’ve seen no one winding down,” Kerslake said. “One of our larger partners is still working on a project that will go for three years, and they’ve given no indication they weren’t moving forward with that. Everything on the table is still happening.”

According to ACG, only a “nominal number” of projects nationwide have experienced any delays at all, and those were largely related to the delivery of manufactured and raw materials. The organization has also reported the virus has yet to impact the work force or development of projects.

WHAT’S CONCERNING IN CONSTRUCTION

There is always concern related to businesses delaying or getting out of contracts that have already been instituted due to the delays in material delivery or shortages of labor, but that has yet to materialize.

The concern right now for SCL construction partners has to do with projects yet to be bid, that is builds and tear downs scheduled to start 6-9 months from now.

“If we head into a recession obviously it will affect monies to be able to go into investments, new construction, that sort of thing,” Kerslake said. “In 6-9 months, if we have fewer construction projects or deconstruction projects, we could see a drop in construction fueling and, obviously, fueling across the board.”

OPPORTUNITIES IN CONSTRUCTION

Right now, SCL partners are focused on business as usual, but that doesn’t mean customers are necessarily searching for acquisition or other investment opportunities.

According to Kerslake, although it’d be a great time for any business to consider expanding, like other industries, construction partners are more or less in a wait-and-see mode.

“Anything new, new customers, new commitments, existing opportunities, people are probably not going to make a move right now until we get a better feeling of what’s going to happen,” he said. “They may have plans, but it doesn’t feel like anyone is going to commit right now.”

How that will affect projects moving into the fall, when contracts currently being executed come to an end, remains to be seen.

 

Contact an SCL Consultant today 

In a wide range of automotive, industrial and commercial sectors, SCL remains steadfast on its commitment to product and industry knowledge, performance satisfaction and superior logistics. We protect and optimize the machines that keep our country moving. For more information on how we help can help with services including bulk purchasing or managing inventory, contact an SCL expert today.

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Super Low Sulfated Ash Product Extends Service Intervals, Improves Fuel Economy

A revolutionary product announced by Chevron for the Heavy Duty Engine Oil (HDEO) market is now available through SCL, and supporters are calling it a “gamechanger.”

Chevron Delo 600 ADF with OMNIMAX, specifically formulated to drastically reduce the rate of Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) clogging and extend service life for off-highway heavy-duty vehicles, delivers maximum protection to both the engine and emissions systems.

According to Chevron, “current heavy-duty engine oils are formulated up to the API CK-4 limit of 1% sulfated ash. Chevron’s Delo 600 ADF is formulated to 0.4% sulfated ash,” which not only reduces the rate of clogging but also greatly redefines fuel economy retention.

“This product really is a gamechanger for our customers with fleets, heavy-duty construction, and any others with vehicles that have DPF systems,” said SCL General Manager Travis Becktel. “It not only alleviates the issue of filter clogging – a very common and expensive process – and extends service intervals by a reported 2.5 times; it also improves fuel economy by 3%. Those stats alone make this product a hard one to ignore. It’s truly one that all of our customers should look into as a long-term, cost-savings measure, if nothing else.”

The product, which has been in development since 2003, is the result of over $5 million in investments and an ongoing commitment by Chevron to answer OEM concerns.

Alleviating the DPF Clogging Issue

According to Chevron, the DPF collects up to 98% of particulate matter emissions in the form of ash and soot. A regeneration cycle combusts the majority of the soot from the DPF. The ash is incombustible material derived from metallic lubricant additives, meaning that over time it leads to a clogging of the DPF and, often, unpredictable service intervals.

“There are usually a number of factors that contribute to DPF clogs,” said SCL Customer Solutions Specialist Amos Molina. “It could be the type of oil being used – especially if it’s a mid- to lower-tier oil; it could the type of driving, like long hauls versus short hauls; or even the quality of lubricants and fuels vehicles use. Regardless, clogging is an issue the majority of our customers experience.”

In addition to the high cost of DPF replacements (anywhere from $3,000 to $7,000) or cleanings (around $700), clogs force companies to incur costs associated with lost productivity.

“Those are real issues that companies who rely on heavy-duty engines have to deal on a much too frequent basis,” Becktel said. “This product, by reducing the particulate size of that sulfated ash, offers a way for businesses in a range of sectors to extend service intervals while also reducing emissions in the process. And we all know that emission regulations for heavy-duty engines have continued to tighten over the past several years anyway.”

Chevron estimates that for each off-highway heavy duty vehicle, Delo ADF 600 with OMNIMAX can save companies $4,000 per year or more.

An Added Benefit of Protection

In addition to the benefits that come with reduced sulfated ash particulate, Delo 600 ADF also offers increased protection against oxidation.

A Volvo T-13 performance test conducted by Chevron showed the product far exceeded passing limits for API CK-4.

According to Chevron, all Delo ADF products have been formulated to reduce the level of the metallic component in a lube oil by 60% and replace them with high-performance additive that doesn’t contribute to clogging the DPF over time.

For more information about Delo 600 ADF, offered through SCL in 15w-40 and 10w-30 viscosities, contact your SCL representative.

Contact an SCL Consultant today 

In a wide range of automotive, industrial and commercial sectors, SCL remains steadfast on its commitment to product and industry knowledge, performance satisfaction and superior logistics. We protect and optimize the machines that keep our country moving. For more information on how we help can help with services including bulk purchasing or managing inventory, contact an SCL expert today.

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How to Know When Your Drums are Ready for Pickup

Environmental and Transportation Regulations Demand Intact, Drip Dry Drums

Customers in nearly every industry receive 55-gallon drums of oil, lubricants or chemicals from SCL on a regular basis. From automotive to construction, agriculture to industrial manufacturing plants, 55-gallon drum deliveries are a crucial part of doing business.

But what about when those drums are empty? Can SCL drivers simply exchange an empty drum for a full one?

The short answer is yes – but it depends.

While SCL and its suppliers visually inspect all containers prior to filling to ensure both cleanliness and product integrity, the extraction apparatus or pump used by end users oftentimes presents an issue regarding our exchange criteria. As a precaution, most manufacturers design pumps with downtubes that sit slightly elevated from the bottom, inadvertently leaving some fluid remaining. This ensures pumps do not pick up any potential foreign materials resting at the bottom that could find its way into an operator’s machine.

As a result, most drums, once they are deemed “empty” by customers, often have about 1- to 2-inches of product still left in the bottom. According to state and federal regulations, “if” that product will no longer be used for its original intended purposes, it is then deemed hazardous waste and must then be transported and disposed of in accordance with appropriate regulations.

“At that point, as much as we’d like to take our customers’ word that the material in those drums is the original material, we cannot assume that liability,” said SCL Regional Manager Brett Leggitt, who oversees all compliance for northern California. “The chain of custody of that drum has been lost and we cannot vouch for its contents based on anyone’s word or good intentions. Our drivers are also not licensed to transport hazardous material, so it’s just safer and easier for everyone if drums are empty when they are picked up.”

Drip Dry Drums and Cost Savings

Aside from regulations prohibiting SCL drivers from taking drums that contain any unused product, the practice amounts to wasted money for customers, Leggitt said.

In order to ensure you get the most out of every drum, the best practice is to empty any remaining product from drums into 5-gallon pails and then use that product in the application relevant to your business.

That way no one has the added burden of disposing of hazardous waste and businesses get the most out of product they’ve already purchased.

“If you’ve got 3 gallons left in that drum and product is $15 per gallon, that’s $45 you’re potentially throwing away,” Leggitt said. “By using a pail, our customers can turn around and use that product. They’re not losing money and our drivers can take the empty drum from them and deliver it to a recycling facility.”

In order for drums to be compliant for pick-up by SCL drivers:

• They must be drip dry.

•  They must not contain any waste oil.

• They must be intact (no holes) with bungs in place.

• They must not contain excessive rust or corrosion.

• If plastic, they must only have been used for DEF or coolant. All metal drums, regardless of brand or provider, may be picked up if standards above are met.

Making it Easier for Customers

SCL drivers are trained to make the entire process as easy on customers as possible, many times carrying extra bungs or caps to ensure drip dry drums can be taken in the event the original caps were lost.

If drums have been used for waste oil, SCL drivers cannot take them. SCL can, however, help customers get the required EPA ID number (which are issued online at no cost) and contact a certified waste hauler who is licensed to handle waste oil.

“Our goal here is not be an adversary to our customers; our goal is to help them dispose of their waste properly and make the entire process as seamless as possible,” Leggitt said. “We just have to do so in a way where we’re keeping environmental and safety regulations top priority.”

For more information on EPA regulations or to obtain an EPA ID number for drums that have been utilized for waste oil or those that are not intact, customers can visit www.dtsc.ca.gov.

Contact an SCL Consultant today

In a wide range of automotive, industrial and commercial sectors, SCL remains steadfast on its commitment to product and industry knowledge, performance satisfaction and superior logistics. We protect and optimize the machines that keep our country moving. For more information on how we help can help with services including bulk purchasing or managing inventory, contact an SCL expert today.

 

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Are Your Empty Skid Tanks Really Empty?

HMR Regulations You Should Know to Avoid Hefty (and Often Imposed) Fines

For our customers in construction and agriculture, skid tanks are often used for their convenience in providing on-site fuel that keeps operations running efficiently. Unfortunately, they can also be the source of exorbitant fines due to violations in federal hazardous materials regulations, especially when it comes time to transport them off site.

Skid tanks are often delivered to farms and construction sites empty on a flatbed truck, and then filled in place. Once empty, customers and many providers often mistakenly assume they can be transported away in the same manner.

Regardless of whether you believe tanks to be “empty,” if this is your practice, you may be unknowingly violating federal regulations and leaving yourself and your business open to fines of up to $55,000.

According to federal Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR), if tanks have not been properly cleaned and purged, even if they contain only gasoline vapor, they are not “empty.” The remaining fuel-residue mixture inside is classified as hazardous material, making it subject to HRM standards regarding transportation.

The exception to this rule is if the tanks contain diesel; unlike gas, diesel may be transported by drivers possessing only a CDL license. Placarding is also only required if diesel tanks are transported in bulk (exceeding 119 gallons).

Confusion often arises, however, when skid tanks contain gas, which is classified as a hazardous material.

Avoiding Hefty Fines that Affect Your Bottom Line

According to HMR, a person who violates a requirement applicable to the transportation of hazardous materials – including gasoline – is liable for a civil penalty of no more than $55,000 and no less than $250 for each violation.

The maximum civil penalty is $110,000 if the violation results in death, serious illness or severe injury to any person or substantial destruction of property, and a minimum $495 civil penalty if that violation relates to HAZMAT training, according to an article published in the Petroleum Marketers Association of America Journal.

“Transporting empty skid tanks from sites using flatbed trucks, without properly cleaning and purging those tanks beforehand, is a common practice, honestly. And it’s not because of a blatant disregard of regulations; it’s because people simply aren’t aware of the details of those regulations,” said SCL General Manager Travis Becktel. “When fines as high as $110,000 are on the line, we want to make sure our customers remove any potential risk to their employees and their bottom lines.”

In order to avoid fines, companies can do one of two things:

• clean and purge skid tanks of vapors on site before transporting them, or

• adhere to proper DOT requirements when removing them from sites.

Proper Transportation from Sites

If companies elect to delay proper cleaning and purging of tanks before transporting them, there are a few essential regulations they must adhere to in order to avoid hefty fines and, worse, out of service orders.

These include:

Placards – Unless skid tanks are cleaned and purged, they must be placarded on all four sides. The only exception is when gross aggregate capacity of the tank is less than 1,000 gallons, in which case tanks may be placarded on only two sides.

Shipping Papers – Skid tanks containing vapors or residue must be accompanied by shipping papers that comply with U.S. DOT HAZMAT regulations, the same format as papers used with fuel transported by cargo tank truck or transport. Make sure the “quantity” field on your paperwork states “residue” if there is no usable material left in the tank(s). If there’s any additional material left inside the tank, it must be designated in gallons.

Driver Qualifications – Only drivers with a current CDL and HAZMAT endorsement should transfer skid tanks that contain any fuel or residue.

“Once you’ve used a skid tank, unless you want to invest in cleaning and purging those skid tanks on your site, it’s best to operate under the assumption they still contain hazardous material,” Becktel said. “We’ve seen too many customers get hit with hefty fines when they haven’t.”

Contact an SCL Consultant today

In a wide range of industrial sectors, SCL is committed to being the number one logistics and solutions provider for the products that protect and optimize the machines that keep our country moving. We pride ourselves on remaining at the forefront of industry trends and technological innovations, and as the market continues to evolve, we are committed to providing extensive product and industry knowledge and total performance satisfaction for our customers. For more information on how we can assist you in choosing optimal products at a competitive price, as well as services including on-site fueling, contact an SCL expert today.

 

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