Multi-Tank Fuel and Service Trailers Provide Increased Uptime for SiteWORX
As the largest site development company in Cincinnati, Ohio - and one of the fastest-growing contractors in the area - SiteWORX started out as a small, family-owned company with little more than its own drive and dedication to the construction industry.
"In 2010, myself and two other people started SiteWORX. It was just kind of out of necessity," says Matt Smith, President and Co-Owner of SiteWORX. "The economic times had put us out of work at our previous employment, so we started off small -we were pouring patios, building fences, you name it. Our motto was "˜we'll wash your windows if it pays'."
"As the economy improved, we improved and grew with it. We have 110 employees today, and we're now the largest complete site development contractor in the greater Cincinnati area."
SiteWORX specializes in complete site development, from land clearing and utility installation to turning the ready-to-build site over to builders. With its growth has come a fleet of equipment built to handle the heavy earthmoving load that comes with mass site development. This includes everything from excavators and dozers to scrapers and wheel loaders. Most pieces are high horsepower (150 horsepower and above) and have a continued need for both diesel and diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) with the advent of Tier 4 Final emissions solutions.
Faced with the challenges of an expanding business, SiteWORX was in search of a fueling solution that could help ensure uptime and that fuel was always available, even when only needed in small quantities. After looking at their options, SiteWORX purchased a Multi-Tank Trailer (MTT) and Service & Lube Trailer (SLT) from Thunder Creek Equipment. Benefits achieved included:
· SiteWORX gained control over fueling schedules and availability.
· The company was not penalized for low-quantity fuel drop-offs.
· Fuel and DEF could be delivered and dispensed by all employees, as neither trailer requires CDL or HAZMAT certifications.
· The cost and upkeep of the service and lube trailer is considerably less than that of a full-sized service truck.
Large-Scale Site Work
SiteWORX works about 15 jobs at once across the greater Cincinnati area. The company is currently working a large residential development project called Greenshire Commons in Cleves, Ohio.
"We've already moved about 300,000 cubic yards of dirt on that site, put in several miles of pipe," says Smith. "It's going to be phased over a three-year period. We're currently building the last phase, and that'll take us into the end of this year."
The 460-gallon Multi-tank Trailer has served the job well. The trailer features four independent 115-gallon tanks that are completely separate of one another. The tanks are only joined when a common manifold at the pump is opened for fueling.
"Before we bought the MTT trailer, we used to have to have our fuel supplier bring out fuel every day and had to have standalone fuel tanks onsite," says Lou Buehner of SiteWORX. "For service, we either had to pay our equipment supplier to come out and service it, or we had to use our service trucks and send them out and do all the services. But now I can bring out 460 gallons of fuel at a time, 100 gallons of DEF and take care of most of it on my own."
"The fact that the MTT doesn't require a CDL or a HAZMAT is very handy," says Smith. "We can have any of our crews - most of which do not have a CDL or HAZMAT - hook onto the trailer and take care of their own fueling needs that way. Versus, if it was a different solution, we've only got a couple people on staff that have HAZMAT, so we would have to always use them to pull that trailer."
The trailer also provides industry-leading DEF handling solutions that ensure optimal DEF quality to protect SCR systems. Each trailer can be outfitted with a 100-gallon DEF tank that features Thunder Creek's closed DEF delivery system, including its proprietary 2-in-1 DEF pump, which ensures that the DEF is never exposed to environmental contaminants.
"The diesel exhaust fluid system on this trailer, it's a self-contained system, so it's all sealed. You don't have to worry about cross-contamination," says Buehner. "The biggest problem with [DEF] is that people go and fill open-end jugs or fill up equipment and they get dirt and dust. With this system, it's all self-contained, so you don't have to worry about having cross-contamination. Everything's adaptable, so there's nothing to it."
The MTT Trailer is available with an optional rear utility box to provide space for tools and materials needed for regular daily maintenance activities. These utility boxes can be customized to the needs of any contractor with toolboxes, a workbench with vise and Thunder Creek's 3-in-1 welder/generator/air compressor. SiteWORX uses that extra space to store a greasing system.
"My guys will pull up, I can fuel them, take care of their DEF while they're greasing," says Buehner. "It just makes more sense, it's more cost efficient to do it that way too because you're not depending on somebody else."
One recent example of how the fuel trailer has helped maintain operations for the contractor revolves around Memorial Day weekend. The company worked part of that weekend, but was unable to get fuel deliveries from its bulk fuel supplier. The trailer helped fill that gap and keep the fleet up and running.
"Memorial Day weekend, we couldn't get fuel," says Buehner. "Our fuel supplier was closed on the weekend. I filled it up four times, took care of all our jobsites, was able to keep running and get another full day of service without having to worry about somebody that couldn't take care of you. It would be hard to put a dollar amount on it, but you're talking thousands of dollars of lost revenue and lost production if you can't get fuel to your jobsite."
Another advantage of the trailer is that the company is not hamstrung by penalties that bulk suppliers levy for fuel drop-offs that drop below a certain threshold.
"All of our trucks are equipped with 100-gallon tanks, so the jobs that are burning 100 gallons or less a day we can handle with the crew truck that's already going to be on site," says Smith. "We still get bulk fueling on most of our job sites, but there's some job sites, if they can't bring several hundred gallons in a drop, they're not all that excited about coming. With the multi-tank trailer, it fills that gap for us. It also gives us the ability to transport some DEF fluid as well which is becoming a bigger [need] every day."
Service and Lube Trailer
With an entire fleet of equipment scattered across the region, it's significantly easier to bring the service to the jobsite than bring the equipment into the shop. Rather than buying a high horsepower service truck to perform this work, the company purchased a service and lube trailer (SLT) that achieves many of the same functions, but at a fraction of the cost and without the added maintenance and carrying costs of a large truck.
Thunder Creek's service and lube trailer features a modular tank design capable of holding 440 gallons of fluid in combinations of 25-, 55- and 110-gallon capacities.
"With the service trailer we were kind of at a crossroads where, because of growth, we couldn't do services in the field out of 5 gallon buckets anymore, we needed something bigger and better," says Smith. "We researched the self-powered units, the large trucks that had that dedicated stuff. We don't do services every single day, it's hit and miss, so to have that expensive of a truck sitting around as much as it's being used just didn't seem to make a whole lot of sense. As the initial expense of a vehicle like that is several times more expensive than a service trailer. Really doesn't do anything more than the trailer can do, it also gives a mechanic the ability to have all of his stuff with him while he's out doing this service, he's got his truck and his tools, and everything that he's familiar with, he's not moving his tools that he thinks he's going to need to a different vehicle, and getting out there and not having what he needs. It just kind of seems like the best of both worlds."
The investment in the service trailer was about a quarter of the cost of a new service truck that had similar capabilities, but the cost savings don't end there.
"With a full service truck, it's got an engine that needs the oil changed, and it's probably going to be a larger vehicle that has air brakes, so you've got DOT certifications that have to be done on it annually. Just multiple services that need to happen on that particular rig that the service trailer does not require nearly as much of. You've also got higher insurance expenses."
The SLT can be configured with up to eight tanks for oil, antifreeze, diesel fuel, and other fluids depending on the operation. SiteWORX configured its trailer to contain OEM-recommended oils from multiple manufacturers.
"That trailer has three different types of oil on it," explains Buehner. "CAT oil, John Deere oil, and then it has transmission oil, and it also has your coolants and a recovery tank, so that way when we come out to do services we don't have to worry about putting the used oil in some type of container to haul it back to the office. Everything on this trailer is self-contained, so you don't have to worry about it."
Scheduling basic equipment maintenance with a third-party service provider can also affect productivity on a jobsite. SiteWORX saves time and money with the ability to service their own equipment on their own schedule.
"You don't have to worry about lost production," says Buehner. "We can schedule it when the equipment's available. We can go out to a jobsite and do six or eight pieces of equipment in a day because we're at our own disposal."
"We have so much less downtime because we are out greasing our own equipment; we are out servicing our own equipment," he adds. "There's times you'll call the dealership and they'll say, "˜Oh, well I'm two weeks out.' That's two weeks of more wear and tear on the motors and equipment because it needs to be serviced on a regular basis. We keep track by GPS of all our equipment and we know within a week of when it needs service. We can get all the filters, all the gaskets, whatever we need to service it, have it ready to go."
"I think the service trailer and the Multi-tank trailer both have helped our uptime," concludes Smith. "The service trailer we can get in the site quick, get a service done maybe while in operator's eating lunch, just the easy access to everything allows that process to go quicker than if we were trying to use jugs of oil and things like that. Then, with the Multi-tank trailer, instead of making those special trips with a 100-gallon tank to help top off fuel, we can stop in and top everything off at one time. It definitely has helped our uptime."