Industrial Packaging for Critical Contents

Drum It Up! Steel Drum Industry News, Trends, and Issues

Archive for October, 2016

Using, and Keeping, Closure Instructions

October 25th, 2016 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: DOT/UN, HazMat, Skolnik Newsletter

In previous Skolnik Newsletters, we have mentioned the need for drum users to follow the “Skolnik-Specific” Closure Instructions when closing a drum manufactured by Skolnik. Shippers of dangerous goods containers are required by DOT (49 CFR 178.2(c) to follow these specific instructions when preparing the completed package for shipment over public right-of-way. Closure combinations and drum designs vary from manufacturer to manufacturer and therefore, Closure Instructions are not generic. Recently, DOT has also stated that every time the drum is prepared for shipment, even if empty and going to a reconditioning or disposal facility, the closure instructions must be followed. Use proper calibrated tools when effecting closure and remember, it is the responsibility of the filler to not only follow these instructions, but also to reject a container that does not appear to be properly closed. A drum torqued at more or less than the prescribed foot pounds, a ring gap greater than or less than the specified distance, or gaskets which appear not to be properly seated onto the bead, should be rejected and returned to the manufacturer.

Why Use Steel Drums for Dangerous Goods?

October 20th, 2016 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: HazMat

Steel drums are one of the most popular containers for a variety of materials — including hazardous materials and dangerous goods. Several factors have contributed to steel drums’ rise to popularity in the shipping and storage of dangerous goods, but the steel drum experts at Skolnik have found that you don’t need to dig that deep to discover the main reasons steel drums are used for dangerous goods.


  1. Steel is strong. Sure, there are plastic and paper containers, but metal is stronger. Airplanes, aircraft carriers, and trains are made of metal, not plastic or paper. Strength is important when handling and transporting classified dangerous goods — therefore, more businesses choose steel drums over fiber or plastic drums, and more UN and DOT regulations require or recommend steel containers for dangerous goods.
  2. Steel is rigorously tested. Steel drums meet the highest levels of test performance of all non-bulk packaging. Skolnik steel drums are rigorously tested to meet stringent UN and DOT certifications, but also just to meet our own high-performance standards. We design and manufacture steel drums that get the job done and then some, and we test them accordingly. Plastic and fiber drums are not tested with the same intensity and precision as steel drums.
  3. Skolnik steel drums are special. We offer a range of packaging options, we specialize in steel drums and our engineers can customize drums for our customers’ unique needs. We are a company whose pulse is to find solutions to particular packaging, shipping or transport problems. We offer a diverse range of customization options including diameters, height, metal thickness, packaging, protective coatings, closures, placement of plugs and more. And, Skolnik steel drums are manufactured thicker, heavier and stronger than the industry standard requires.

We specialize in industrial packaging for critical contents and we recommend steel as the material-of-choice for packaging, storing and transporting dangerous goods and hazardous materials.

DOT Wants to hear you at #TranspoStory

October 18th, 2016 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: DOT/UN, Industry News, Skolnik Newsletter

The DOT has launched a new transportation blog. As our wide-ranging conversation demonstrates, transportation is more than roads, planes, and trains. It’s about where you’re going and where you’ve been. It connects us to the places we want to go, loved ones we want to see, opportunities we want to reach, and so much more. Recently, jazz legend Wynton Marsalis talked about transportation’s effect on our daily lives. As our wide-ranging conversation demonstrates, transportation is more than roads, planes, and trains. It’s about where you’re going and where you’ve been. It connects us to the places we want to go, loved ones we want to see, opportunities we want to reach, and so much more. Watch the interview with Wynton Marsalis here.

DOT wants to hear from Americans, and non-Americans, from all walks of life. They are interested to know:

  1. How has transportation helped you get where you are today?
  2. What trips have defined who you are?
  3. How do you get from Point A to B every day?
  4. What obstacles make it hard to reach your destination?
  5. What is your #TranspoStory?

Check out the Share Your Story site or connect with DOT on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. They are gathering our stories and sharing them on this website and across our social media platforms — as we’ve already done with our Skolnik Facebook page!

DOT may not be able to include all the stories they receive, but they are excited to hear them all! Thanks for sharing your #TranspoStory!

Grape Harvest 2016!

October 11th, 2016 by Dean Ricker

Filed under: Skolnik Newsletter, Wine

The short version of this years harvest: it’s good, again. Rain fell on much of Northern California this week, in some places for the first time in months. But it didn’t really matter because practically all of the thinner-skinned early-harvest varieties like Chardonnay and Pinot Noir were safely inside already. In fact, 2016 has seen such an early harvest that some winemakers don’t know what to do with themselves.The early harvest is the result of another mild winter, after which the vines awakened and started the whole process early. Also, there have been no major heat spikes of the type that can temporarily put a halt to the grapevines’ natural processes. As a result, the harvest has been not just early, but smooth and predictable. In terms of crop size, Northern California had a string of three huge vintages in a row that was broken last year, perhaps because there are only so many big crops vines can produce in a row. Vintners this year are reporting that their yields are more in line with the big crops of 2012-14 that may have become the new normal.As for what type of wines we’ll see when they eventually get to stores, that appears to be hard to characterize, because 2016 has not been a cold year or a hot year. Stylistic choices by wineries will be as important as ever, as well as the differing terroir across the region. While it’s easy to lump all of Napa Valley or Sonoma County together, one reason they are great wine regions in the first place is the microclimates, so asking winemakers what their grapes are like this year gets you answers that are literally all over the map. It’s all good news; just different versions of it. Also, for this season’s harvest, check out all our stainless steel wine barrels.