Pittsburg Tank Maintenance can do it all when it comes to maintenance and repairs. We sell code updates, preventative maintenance, repairs, blasting and painting, and many other services.
“We take care of any type of tank that holds water, along with the occasional dry storage tank, whether it’s for a municipality, a fire protection company, or some type of storage warehouse,” said Vice President of Operations Hugh Haire.
“How many different companies in our industry do you know that fabricates, builds, and maintains steel ground storage tanks and elevated tanks?” said Haire. “We build them. We raise them. We lower them. We put liners in them – a full gamut of things we do to different types of tanks.”
What the maintenance department does, though, is maintain and repair steel, concrete, composite, and wooden storage tanks.
“To me, if you are repairing a tank the phrase “repair a tank” implies there is something wrong with it,” said Haire. “A lot of times we’ll do maintenance and upkeep on a tank that technically may have nothing wrong with it.”
All tanks – regardless of what they are used for or hold – should be up to federal, state, and local codes. Not being up to code is a liability for the tank owner. All tanks should also be structurally sound – if it’s not, there won’t be a tank left.
“Code updates are obviously important, but if you don’t maintain your tank and you don’t protect it,” said Pyles. “Then it’s not going to matter if it has 42” handrails or not because you won’t have a tank left. So, most importantly is any kind of structural concerns or anything that could affect the integrity of the tank. Then everything else kind of falls underneath it.”
A well-maintained tank can last for several decades. There are numerous examples of tanks lasting a century, with some still in use. The most common maintenance prevention would be applying fresh coats of paint on a regular schedule.
“We sell a lot of paint jobs, obviously,” said Director of Sales Jordan Pyles. “It’s to make sure the tank doesn’t prematurely deteriorate or experience a metal loss that could lead to more costly repairs.”
The paint’s condition, particularly on the exterior, is easily visible. People don’t have to be experts to see when storage tanks need an exterior paint job. Is the paint flaking off? Are there rusty spots? If either is true, the tank needs a new coat of paint.
It’s easy enough to spot paint deterioration on the tank’s interior too. Contact with water will break down steel over time, so tanks that are not lined or experiencing coating failure will start to corrode faster than those that are lined properly. Peeling paint and signs of corrosion on the interior are signs it should be painted.
“In my mind, what protects your tank the most is the paint job,” said Haire. “Unless you have a structural deficiency or a leak, the very first thing after that is paint.”
We use Sikaflex in addition to paint coatings. The Sikaflex acts as a type of sealant for the paint job. This can often be paired with cathodic protection, which helps protect the tank from corrosion. Adding a sealant to sharp edges or lapped seams and cathodic protection is a long-term investment in your tank – helping lengthen its lifespan.
Painting is the most common bit of upkeep for storage tanks. It’s often the base repair, with other repairs tackled as needed. Oftentimes people will want interior repairs addressed simultaneously as a tank job to minimize service interruption.
“We spend a lot of time talking to clients about what items to do while the tank is in service and ones that can be done while it is out of service,” said Pyles.
If customers have a specific date that they need for work completed, they can relay that information to their account executive and Pittsburg will pencil them in. There will be a bit of lead time between when clients call to schedule and mobilization for a project, but we can still provide quick turnarounds. We also do our best to be upfront with customers on what to expect with scheduling.
The sales and maintenance work closely together to provide the best experience for customers. The two departments are in close communication throughout maintenance, repairs, and inspections projects.
“Our mission statement is to be the best part of every project, and that’s what we work toward every day,” said Haire.
Haire praised his crews, who have performed jobs throughout the United States and in other countries.
“We do have good, solid crews,” said Haire. “The majority of them have 20 to 35 to 40 years of experience as far as foremen are concerned. They all work really hard to develop a positive rapport with the client. It speaks volumes that 80 percent of our business is probably repeat business, and we would not have repeat business if it weren’t for our field staff and the way that they take care of clients.”
Before the crews get on-site, the project managers send out introduction emails and provide their contact information to customers before the project begins. They also periodically check in with customers to let them know what’s going on.
Project managers plan carefully in the lead-up to the project. Probably about 90 percent of their job comes in the planning stages and not on-site. If you plan accordingly, it helps minimize hang-ups or snags that would delay the project. Pre-planning also helps cut down how long a tank needs to be out of service for projects that require that.
“We just try to make sure that we do everything we can for our customer’s best interest as well as our own,” Pyles said. “We take the time to know who our customers are and what their specific needs are for their storage tanks. Industrial clients will have different wants and needs than municipalities.”
Industrial clients are typically very focused on making sure their tanks are OSHA-compliant. They are preaching safety and following the letter of the law throughout their facilities, so it wouldn’t make sense to ignore the large structure outside in their parking lot just because its function is as a process vessel or for fire protection.
“It depends on the client’s needs at that point and time,” Haire said. “If you are in a plant that’s increasing their safety presence throughout the facility, they may want to do handrails and tie-off points on top of a ground tank. They may want to do handrails or a new ladder, safety climbs, things of that nature, on an elevated tank. It all depends on the customer’s needs and the direction that they are going from a facility standpoint.”
Pittsburg prides itself on being able to quote accurate prices for all projects. Customers won’t expect one price and then, when the final bill comes in, see another because of several change orders tacked on.
“When we give a price to a customer, very rarely are we wrong and gone back to a customer for more money,” Pyles said. “Because we are going to make sure we do the due diligence, we have the ownership of our relationship with that client to understand exactly the need and the tailored fit solution versus a generic catch-all.”
Let Pittsburg Tank Maintenance cater to your repair and maintenance needs.