Railcar Cleaning Process Removing Residual Heel with Vacuum Truck into Rolloff Boxes ERC Midwest Video

A 50% Better Way to Remove Waste Heels from Railcars

Client: Railcar Cleaning Company

Issue: Manual Waste Heel Removal Processes Wasting Time and Money

Solution: An Automation Process That Creates a 50% Savings

An ERC Midwest client that cleans railcars for the chemical industry came to us with a complex waste problem to solve. The problem was that railcars received at their facility often had some volume of residual product, known as “heel,” remaining inside them. Before the railcars could be washed and cleaned, the residual product needed to first be removed.

For decades, the client removed these residual materials using a manual cleaning process that relied on employees entering the railcar with shovels and buckets, a potentially dangerous, time-consuming, and less than pleasant process.

As the buckets were filled, another employee, positioned on the top of the railcar, would hoist up the bucket and pass it down to yet another employee on the ground who would dump the bucket into a 55-gallon drum. The process would repeat itself over and over until the residual product was removed from the railcar.

The client realized that old habits can be hard to break so they reached out to us for ideas because we were already providing them with hazardous and non-hazardous waste collection, transportation, and disposal services.

“Can you help us?” was the question. “Of course,” was our answer.

A meeting was scheduled to allow ERC Midwest’s Industrial Solutions team to observe the client’s process and collaborate on options to achieve its goals, which were to improve its safety, efficiency and overall cost.

That observation led to a proposal that we were confident would meet all three of the client’s primary goals. The proposal incorporated the use of a High Vacuum Air Moving Machine – a Hi-Vac – in conjunction with a vacuum roll off container – known as a vac box – equipped with a bladder bag liner.

The client loved the idea but was concerned about the investment of $2000/day to execute it. They were looking at the investment as a cost and not convinced that it was worth it.

We were so sure that the investment in automating much of the process would save the client at least 20% over their existing time, safety, and disposal costs that we guaranteed the result.

If our process didn’t produce the result we promised, the client wouldn’t need to pay us. With that assurance, the go ahead was given.

The results were even more dramatic than we’d anticipated.

With the assistance of our team’s experience and equipment, the client cut their cleaning time in half on the first project.

After the additional investment, the client still saved 30% off the cost of cleaning railcars the “old way.” In addition, ERC Midwest also saved the client more than 50% in disposal costs by managing the waste disposal in a roll off container rather than in 55-gallon drums.

The client was thrilled with the results because they saved money, time, and liability exposure. The “new way” made their employee’s happier and improved their competitive advantage, allowing the client to pass along a portion of the savings to their clients. They tell us they’ve never been busier.

You can see how we did that in this video.

We were proud to be the guide that helped this client achieve its goals.

Another complex waste problem solved. Happy Client!

Contact us today to find out how we can help guide you and solve your complex waste problems.

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