Our shop-built prefabricated tanks are great, dependable vessels, but sometimes you need a tank perfectly tailored to your needs. Field-erected tanks are, much like the name suggests, tanks built in the field rather than prefabricated in a shop. They are designed to meet your specific needs. Here are five reasons that field-erected tanks might be the best option for you.
- You can fit more volumetric storage in a smaller footprint. If you tried to store 1,000,000 gallons in shop-built tanks, you would need many tanks, said Dillon Herdegen, vice president of operations for Pittsburg Tank Ground Division. Multiple tanks would also mean dead space in between each vessel, taking up a larger footprint.
- Field-Erected Tanks are more “bang for your buck,” said Herdegen. For example, a 1,000,000-gallon field-erected tank might cost $1 million. If you bought 20 50,000-gallon shop-built tanks, it would cost considerably more even though it would be the same storage capacity. By the time you factor in transportation and freight, foundations to set the tanks on, and piping, it would cost exponentially more to build so many shop-built tanks when one field-erected tank. “It drives up the cost, both initially, as well as the recurring cost of inspections,” Herdegen said.
- “All field-erected tanks are designed site-specifically because this is required by the governing codes,” he said. Shop-built tanks tend to have one standard design. Field-erected tanks can be tailored to fit the needs of the customer. We factor in geography and climate with wind loads, snow loads, and seismic loads. “When we design the roofs, we always take into account the snow load, which is provided based upon the annual snowfall and density of the snowfall,” Herdegen said. “You figure up the weight. The pitch of the roof will govern how much you can pile up on it. We make sure that when it accumulates on the roof, it won’t buckle.” Clients in, for example, Florida, don’t have to worry about snow loads, but they are concerned about high winds, particularly those brought by hurricanes. We can tailor a tank to help it withstand high winds that a tank in Minnesota might not face but which should be capable of holding a significant snow load.
- Field-erected tanks provide flexibility. The shop installs the tank’s accessories based on the pre-approved blueprints. If some of the pipes don’t align once the shop-built tank arrives at the site, it takes costly modifications to fix the issue. With field-erected tanks, accessories are installed in the field and can be altered pretty easily. If you ordered a field-erected tank with 4” nozzles, but the Fire Marshall says the tank needs 6” nozzles, the cost is minimal to swap the materials prior to installing versus having to remove the undersized nozzle and replacing it. Not to mention the shop-built coating would be ruined after the hot work modification. We can also install a liquid level indicator or ladder facing a facility’s window so the tank operators can monitor those components more closely. “The flexibility of the field-installed accessories is appealing,” Herdegen said.
- Are you on a tight schedule? Field-erected tanks can often be built faster than shop-built ones. If a tank needs to be installed inside a building or in a congested area, field-erected tanks might be the more feasible option.