Are IBC containers important for your business? Well, you need to maintain them properly just like any other asset. If youíre in the transportation business, especially hazardous materials, you need to take good care of your IBC containers. If you take more time to take good care of your containers, they will last for a long time.
You should be able to save more money when reusing the containers for a very long time rather than spending money replacing them. Or you can choose to purchase reconditioned IBC totes. Use the following maintenance tips to keep your IBCs in the best shape.
1. Meet Regular Inspection Requirements
Thereís much more to inspecting your tote than saving more money. Itís actually a legal requirement. The US government requires that all IBCS should be thoroughly inspected after the manufacturing process and every 2.5 years after that. The container should pass the leak-proof test after manufacturing to guarantee that it can keep solids and liquids contained.
Repeat the test every 2.5 years. Make sure the container is inspected externally every 2.5 years and check for any damaged or missing parts. Make sure the labels and markings are inspected and replaced when necessary. Also, you can inspect them internally every 5 years to check if there is any damage to the lining of the container.
If you miss out on any of these deadlines before the container is filled with materials around the inspection date, you can always complete the inspection after the container has been emptied and before refilling it.
2. Use Professional Cleaning Services
Does your business handle different types of materials? Itís prudent to clean the tote after every use to prevent any cross-contamination. If you or anyone on your team doesnít know how to clean the containers, or if you are not licensed to do it, hire a professional for the job. These professionals have the training, equipment and expertise to clean and sanitize your containers thoroughly. Use professionals for containers that were used to transport hazardous materials.
Cleaning professionals use high-pressure and Omni-directional spinner heads to clean the container thoroughly both in and out. If the product previously stored in the container is resistant to water, the professionals will rely on a special chemical to break it down. Professional cleaners will also make sure that any wastewater during the cleaning process will be properly disposed of. Once the containers are clean, you will be issued with a document to notify that they have been cleaned and ready for reuse.
3. Use Caution When Moving Or Lifting
Thereís much more to a tote than the 4 plastic walls. There is a discharge valve that should always remain intact if you want to use the container properly. When lifting or moving the container, you must be cautious to avoid damaging the valve. Always lift the tote from the side to avoid hitting the valve. Also, you need to be aware of the contents inside the container when lifting or moving. Always go slow and keep the contents as slow as possible to avoid shifting the weight.
4. Remove The Lid Slowly
Itís likely that there will be pressure build-up in the container but it mostly depends on the contents. Therefore, opening the bung too fast might result in injuries to you or people around you. Rather than opening the lid fast, you need to do it slowly and release the pressure gradually. Doing it too fast might force the bung to fly off or the contents might start bursting out of the container.
5. Avoid Overfilling The Container
Donít overfill the container. Yes, it might seem obvious but some companies overfill the containers to save money on shipping. The tank valves should be closed tightly and locked. The second closure should also be installed before the container is processed for shipping.
Yes, itís common to assume that your tote containers are durable. However, they are likely to start wearing out because of the constant moving, lifting and refilling. The structural integrity will start wearing off with time. You need to inspect your containers frequently as mandated by the law. Also, you need to be on the lookout for corrosion, damage or any other warning signs that your containers should be repaired. All your team members should always have the relevant knowledge on the maintenance of the container. Always go slow and treat the containers with utmost care. Always call the professionals if you can’t do it on your own.