While tote containers are not meant to last forever, you can take several measures to ensure the one you use for storing and shipping liquids. Tote containers are known as IBCs (Intermediate Bulk Containers) and are ideal storage options for different liquids, including beverages, drinks, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals, among others. You can reuse them severally, more than the typical storage drums, especially if you take proper care of them. If you are searching for tips on making your tote containers serve you for longer, keep reading these tips from Verde Trader.
Proper Cleaning For Tote Containers
Proper maintenance and care that ensures the safe reuse of tote containers is dependent on thorough cleaning between uses, especially when the liquid in storage or transit is hazardous. An empty IBC should be sent to emptiers before being handed to fillers for reuse. It is a process that must adhere to set guidelines.
An “empty” tote container is defined as an IBC that’s dry and free from any solid or liquid material. An IBC meant to store or transport hazardous materials should have a max weight of 3% when empty. It means a 300-gallon IBC should not exceed 1 gallon of the dangerous material for it to qualify as empty. Therefore, the emptier must send the tote container back if it of more than the stipulated capacity.
Emptied IBCs that contained P-Listed ADMs (Acutely Dangerous Materials) must be cleaned thoroughly. They must be triple rinsed and drip dry to meet the required compliance. Moreover, the IBCs sent for emptying are expected to be in a serviceable state and having the Department of Transportation’s recommended labeling. Also, each tote container must have an MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet).
It would be best to rely on a professional company to empty and clean your IBCs and prevent cross-contamination. It is the safest option if you want to reuse the same tote container severally to store or transport different dangerous materials.
IBCs are prone to environmental damage. If the container is to be kept in a cold environment, you must take the required steps to prevent the fluids from freezing during storage. Liquids expand when they freeze, and the expansion can cause the IBC to develop cracks. Some of the cracks might be significantly small thus hard to detect. However, they will have compromised your IBC’s structural integrity.
Therefore, taking the necessary measures to prevent the stored liquid from freezing is essential if you want to minimize damage to your tote container. You can achieve this by investing in blanket heats designed for intermediate bulk containers that hold hazardous materials. Conversely, you can opt to heat up the holding facility.
Forklift Truck Bulk Container Shipping
Damage could also be due to improper handling of your tote containers, especially during transit. You always must check the discharge valves before heading out and lift the IBC from the side without the valve to avoid damage.
Always ensure the valve is shut and locked after refills and also inspect any secondary closure. It will help avoid cases of overfilling and spillage. Take precautions when opening and removing the lids because pressure can build up inside the IBCs. Therefore, start with releasing the pressure before opening the lid.
You also must train your staff to ensure they are aware of the proper handling and transportation of the tote containers. The train can be done in short sessions periodically and can go a long way in preventing damage. Teach your team how to inspect the containers visually with every use. Moreover, ensure that periodic testing is done as stipulated by the law, which is have addressed in the next section. Your staff should know how to detect structural integrity issues such as leaks, cracks, and corrosion.
Intermittent Testing And Examination
According to DOT regulations, all tote contains that meet the stipulated standards must undergo testing every 30 months to be certified for use. Those that fail the test or do not undergo it are not qualified for transporting regulated products. IBC owners must adhere to the periodic inspection programs and comprehensively document all procedures and results.
Tote containers must undergo a thorough external examination after every two and half years. Check for corrosion, cracks, or any other damage, including tests to identify leakages. Each IBC has a manufacturer’s plate on which you must mark or indicate the last testing date and a retest certificate that shows the results. Furthermore, IBC containers must schedule thickness tests after every five years, and the results also displayed.
Observing the required routine testing ensures your tote containers are protected and can serve you for a long time, aside from making sure your business complies with the Department of Transportation regulations.