Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Winter is coming... Is your generator ready?

Winter, as we all know, will soon be bringing dark & stormy weather.

The southern region of the country is still recovering from a very active hurricane season.  Huge areas were knocked out of power for days.  Following the tragic heat caused death of eight patients of a Florida nursing home, the Florida legislature enacted an emergency law requiring all nursing & medical facilities to maintain a 96 hour supply of backup power.  This means, all of those facilities must have standby generators capable of providing emergency power for four days.  We have provided dozens of refuelers to these facilities, so they may remain in compliance.

We also sent almost 80 mobile refuelers to Puerto Rico for their storm disaster recovery. These will be used to rebuild infrastructure, particularly communications & public utilities.

It becomes ever so clear, that "prevention" is much harder to sell than "cure".  

Had the nursing home in Florida prepared adequately, tragic loss of life may have been averted.  If the utility companies in Puerto Rico had planned ahead, they could have recovered from the hurricanes far more quickly.  It's always easier to realize you've got a problem or weakness after the fact.  Preparing & planning ahead, vastly reduces the chance of disaster becoming a far worse event for your community.

Which brings us back around to winter...
This year, there will undoubtedly be thousands of people left in the dark due to weather related power outages. Some only briefly, some for longer periods of time.

In the massive Northeast power outage several years ago, over 55% of standby generators failed to start. The primary cause?  Stale, old fuel. Bio-growth in tanks. Clogged fuel filters.
too many companies, public agencies, etc., had simply let their generators sit with little to no maintenance.  Take this as your cue to go try and start your backup generator.  Run it for at least a half hour, under load if possible. Do this now, BEFORE you need to rely on it to provide emergency power.

You'll also want to consider how much run time your generator can provide.  When the fuel tank runs dry, no more power...  You don't want to count on fuel suppliers to come out during a power outage, at least not anytime soon...

This is when you realize that a TransFueler might be a very good thing to buy. Refuel your generators when you need to.  24/7, every day of the year, including weekends & holidays..

We recently sold 14 TransFueler 1000 gallon fuel trailers to a major grocery store chain. One for each of their regional warehouses. Before, they were limited to a few hours of generator run time. Now, they can refuel their standby generators for several days in case of an extended power failure.

That's the kind of forward thinking that will keep them up & running...

Interested in keeping your backup power generators running & supplying power? Call us, we'll build a TransFueler for you.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Made In America. Does it matter?

Since we started this company over 10 years ago, we've been proponents of having everything made in America.

We believe in supporting our fellow American workers first.  Granted, this is one planet we all live on.  We do not mean that our brothers & sisters in other countries are inferior, or less able to build our products.  We simply believe that improving our world begins at home. In our case, that translates to creating as many jobs here in America as possible.

We all know that so many of the products we buy & use are made in China, Vietnam, etc. We've all had those interesting tech phone calls with outsourced agents in India. Pretty much all those foreign workers are doing their best to make an honest living & support their families. 

We just differ, in that our company thinks it's smarter to keep our fellow Americans working, before we hand off jobs to another nation's workers.  Could we make more money by outsourcing & offshoring our products? Most likely we could.  Instead we prefer to employ as many Americans (and those who have the legal right to work here...) as we can.

We don't spend a lot of time thinking about TPP, NAFTA, and the myriad of other government trade policies. We think constantly about how to provide a better refueler to our customers, at a fair price. 

I, the primary owner of this company, don't think it's smart to get into political arguments in the context of business. Surely, I'll offend both those on the left, as well as those on the right.  I do want it to be clear though; we strive to be an excellent American company.

Ed Dunn

Thursday, October 19, 2017

The Best? What's The Best?

Best. Biggest. Greatest. Etc. Etc. Etc...

When we started in business, (2007)  there were maybe a couple other companies in the mobile fuel trailer business. One is long gone, they were wildly overpriced. The other is a mom & pop type operation, and they keep on selling a few refuelers a year.

Since we established the TransFueler brand in 2009, a couple other competitors had popped up. As we grew, still others jumped on the bandwagon.  Each tries to differentiate themselves, as all businesses ought to do. Most simply copy what we've done with the TransFueler line, with minor variations. A couple actually produce a well made product, but most are just copy-cats.

That's ok, we don't mind fair competition.  We're confident that our customers can figure out the difference between the original TransFueler, and the rest.

As we've grown, we've also stuck with an excellent partner: Western Global.  They nicely round out our range of products. Complementing, but not competing with our own TransFueler refuelers.  With our TransFueler lines, our Western Global TransCube, FuelCube & ABBI lines, we remain the world's largest selection of portable, mobile refuelers.

As we've pointed our before, we don't have to try to sell you just one or two choices. We have literally the widest selection in the industry.  Our associates use a consultative sales approach: we ask a lot of questions, and fit you into the best refueler for your situation.  Our sales staff does not get bonuses on pushing a particular product. They are trained to help establish the right fit, for each customer's specific needs.

That is what makes us the best in the business. 

Give us a call. We've helped others in your situation save time, money and hassle with their refueling needs.

Friday, October 13, 2017

URGENT: New Florida Law To Save Senior's Lives During Power Outages

Florida Rule 58AER17-1 
"Procedures Regarding Emergency Environmental Control for Assisted Living Facilities"

Following the tragic deaths of eight elderly residents of a Florida assisted living facility, Florida Governor Rick Scott instituted an emergency rule requiring the state's assisted living facilities and nursing homes to maintain generator backup power for a minimum of 96 hours.

Failure to comply by November 16, 2017 can mean fines of $1,000 per day for each facility.

Fundamentally, this ensures that interior temperatures do not exceed 80 degrees in the facilities. The state's acute care hospitals already have a similar law in place.

Florida has the nation's largest number of residents over 65 years old.  This new rule will add immense safety to those folks.  Not only will it keep the A/C on, but lights, medical equipment, food refrigeration, etc. 

QFT&T is currently supplying one of the state's largest operators of these facilities with TransFuelers to keep their generators up & running. 

Taking good care of our elders should be a given. To allow eight of these people to die simply because of lack of power is tragic.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Time To Be Prepared...

We're all aware of climate changes. Regardless of the cause, the weather IS changing on our planet, as it has done constantly since the beginning... 

This year has brought an unprecedented number of changes. From an abnormally wet winter in the Pacific North West, to the enormous level of hurricanes in the Gulf region. 

Houston and southern Texas & Louisiana were devastated by record breaking rain & winds. Thousands of homes and business destroyed. Many lives lost...

Then came the steady procession of hurricanes blasting through the Caribbean, Puerto Rico, and Florida.  Again, literally countless property damage and too many lives lost. 

While disaster prep is a huge subject, we're addressing what we're good at:  mobile / portable refueling equipment.  Our TransFueler and Western Global products are very effective in keeping infrastructure operating. At the time I'm writing this, we're preparing and shipping 24 refuelers to various locations for disaster readiness. 

Ten refuelers are going to regional distribution warehouses owned by Trader Joe's grocery stores.  These warehouses are distribution centers supplying Trader Joe's locations across the country.  Trader Joe's management realized that while they all have standby generators, those generators need fuel to operate. In case of natural or man-made disaster, local fuel suppliers may not be able to deliver fuel to keep them running.  Trader Joe's TransFueler mobile refuelers will increase their generator's run time by over ten-fold.  That can keep their refrigerated and frozen foods cold until normal power is restored.  That's good planning...

 We're also sending eight W/G ABBI fuel trailers to a customer in Puerto Rico that maintains the cell phone towers and system there.  You've probably read that cell service has been almost non-existent in Puerto Rice due to the storms. These refuelers will help restore cell service there as they fuel generators to power the cell infrastructure. 

Disaster readiness & recovery doesn't just happen.  Every outside resource has to be shipped in.  The tools, equipment and supplies need to re-positioned.  Having an on-site fuel supply becomes a huge asset when these incidents occur. 

Are you and your company / local government / utilities / hospitals etc. prepared?

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Fake News? Fake Fueling Systems?

Don't believe everything you read...

We're learning that news sources aren't always truthful in what they put out.  Well, we've known this has been the case for the past couple hundred years, but it's been much more obvious recently.

Since we're in the portable fueling business, we'll discuss refuelers and leave the news accuracy to you to figure out.

We've watched (with some amazement and annoyance) a couple of our competitors make inaccurate and wildly misleading claims about their products.  We're not a bit afraid of real competition, because we know that we provide an excellent value on very well designed and constructed refueling systems.

Laws, rules & regulations.
(Note: This is not to be meant or presented as legal advice. As usual, consult an attorney familiar with your local, state, and federal laws)

A competitor claims that their fuel trailers are completely legal for transporting gas.  They widely advertise this, and claim a "special exemption" of some sort.  There is a very narrow window that this claim is correct: That is for a private individual transporting gas for their personal use only. This DOES NOT allow an individual or business to transport gas in anyway related to business use.
Example: A builder cannot transport gas to fill equipment in these trailers. Neither can a landscaper, farmer, or ANY use other than: Strictly personal use by a private individual.

What IS allowed?
For transport of gasoline on all public roads or lands, there are three choices currently available:
  1. 110 Gallon or less portable tank, with a Federal Gasoline Exemption Letter. This is our TransFueler M-Series. 
  2. DOT406 certified & labeled tank, of any size. TransFueler DOT. Legal for gas, diesel, and aviation fuels.
  3. UN 31A/Y/ DOT   TransCube or ABBI tank. Legal for gas, diesel and aviation fuels.
TransFueler M-Series

TransFueler DOT406


What else is required? 
Federal code requires brakes on all vehicles transporting hazardous materials (Haz-Mat).  This means all fuel trailers are required to have brakes.  It's a pretty common sense thing as well, but a couple of our competitors don't even include brakes as standard equipment. They charge extra for them...

Tanks are required to be mounted properly on the chassis. Proper load rated tires. Etc...

Every TransFueler is built in a shop inspected and approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation.  Not all of our competitors are...

The trailer chassis itself needs to be of a sufficient strength to safely handle a full load of fuel.  Gasoline weighs about 6 pounds per gallon. Diesel weighs about 7 pounds per gallon.
500 gallons of gas weighs about 3,000 pounds.  A TransFueler 500 gallon fuel trailer weighs around 2300 pounds. For a total weight of somewhere around 5,300 pounds. The weights vary because of different equipment variations, etc.  The TransFueler trailers have a standard gross weight rating (capability) of 7,000 pounds, providing a good margin for safety. Where some other companies use a single axle trailer, we provide a tandem axle (double axle) trailer, STANDARD.

Every TransFueler, ABBI or TransCube has a stout steel frame, solid steel decking instead of cheap metal mesh, and steel fenders.  This costs a little more, but gives our customers a far tougher trailer, built to last for decades.  That's not marketing hype, it's reality.

There are many, many other differences. Some small like our steel guards around the taillights, to some larger, such as our proprietary pump mounting systems.  We won't make you read all of them now, but feel free to call and discuss...

Like pretty much everything, you do get what you pay for. You'll always be able to find a low-end bargain trailer.  That's not what we do though. We've always sought to provide high quality, at a reasonable cost.  In other words: Good solid value.

Next time we'll go into some of the myriad of rules regarding what sort of driver's license you need to transport fuel. Most of our competitors won't touch that subject.  We think you need to know what's required before you decide to purchase a TransFueler, TransCube or ABBI refueler.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Choices... One size doesn't fit all.

When we started this company, over 10 years ago, we wanted to be better.  Better?  What does that really mean?

We wanted to be different. Different than the rest of the industry, which is typically pretty traditional, not very innovative. 
  • Suck the oil out of the ground. 
  • Refine it into various fuels. 
  • Transport it to giant tank farms & terminals. 
  • Deliver it to local fuel suppliers.   
  • Sell it to you & me.
We chose to address that last step of the process chain, as we couldn't come up with $100 million to drill a couple wells and buy a refinery. 

We don't actually sell the fuel itself. We sell systems that make it easier, more convenient and cheaper to buy and actually use the fuel.

At first glance, it might not be obvious who our customers tend to be.  Think in terms of any entity that needs to use fuels, but can't simply drive to a gas station to fill up.
  • Heavy equipment; bulldozers, excavators, etc.
  • Farming equipment; combines, tractors, etc.
  • Helicopters; jet & piston helicopters. You could land at a gas station, but they don't have aviation fuels...
  • Airplanes. 
  • Generators. At hospitals, universities, anywhere...
  • Pump stations; public utilities, water districts, etc.
  • Any vehicle or equipment that needs to be refueled...

This array of customers creates a real need for a wide variety of refueling equipment. What's  great for a jet helicopter operator, (let's say a life flight type of service) is far different than what a road builder might need.

The helicopter air ambulance company needs a reliable source of fuel 24/7.  It also may have it's aircraft based at a hospital, rather than an airport.  Hospital's don't have jet fuel tanks, but they can have a TransFueler mobile fuel trailer on site.

It costs money every single time the helicopter's jet engines start and run. It costs money for the flight crew. It costs in maintenance for each "engine cycle".  If the helicopter needs to get to YOU in an emergency, it may cost you dearly if they need to fly to an airport to refuel, or wait for a fuel truck to show up.

The construction company runs heavy equipment on diesel fuel. When the tanks get low, they typically call out a fuel tanker to refuel. Instead of sitting around waiting for the truck to arrive, the smart companies simply have their on-site TransFueler refuel the equipment. Any time, around the clock. Refueling on their schedule, not the fuel supplier's.

The point is: one mobile refueling system does not fit all.  No other company remotely comes close to the choices we offer. We don't have to sell you on the one or two models we have.  We've got the widest selection in the industry, and there's a TransFueler or Western Global system perfectly suited for your needs.  

TransFueler DOT
TransFueler Aviation
TransFueler Custom
TransFueler M-Series

Western Global TransCube
Western Global FuelCube
Western Global ABBI
Western Global TransTank