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

Archive for 2011

Skolnik – Our History

December 13th, 2011 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: Cool Stuff

We’re very proud of the Skolnik web site. In addition to listing more than 400 types of steel drum packagings manufactured in Chicago, Skolnik.com is the best resource for facts and regulations dealing with steel drums being used worldwide for hazardous materials storage, transport, and disposal. Of special interest, Skolnik.com also offers some insight into the unique personality of our company.

As we approach nearly 85 years of presence in the steel drum community, we have compiled a pictorial history of our company with photos, product brochures, and news events that date back as far as 1943. “Skolnik and Son”, Abraham and his son Sol, originally started circa 1925 as peddlers of wooden barrels. In 1940, with the loss of their father, Sol and brother Jack took the company into steel drum reconditioning and as of 1960, solely manufacturing new steel drums. In 1985, the company was sold to Howard Skolnik, son of Jack, and Edward Elins and the focus was to develop the niche or “boutique” markets which were not being served by conventional 55 gallon steel drum manufacturers. During these last 25 years, Skolnik has continued to aim for the highest levels of quality manufacturing with a vast array of products and services. We participate in the global regulatory arena to “save lives” by helping to prevent hazardous material accidents.

If you would like to see what we’ve been doing for these past 82 years, check out OUR HISTORY at Skolnik.com. We’re proud of our past, working hard in our present, and looking forward to a stimulating future.

No More Hand-Held’s for CMV Drivers

December 13th, 2011 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: DOT/UN, Industry News, Safety

Last week, the Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration (PHMSA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published a final rule in the Federal Register (76 FR 75470-75488) prohibiting the use of hand-held cell phones by drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMV). The FMCSA portions of the rule apply to CMV operators in interstate commerce and the PHMSA portions apply to both interstate and intrastate transportation of placarded loads of hazardous materials. The use of hands-free phones is not covered under this rule.

A commercial motor vehicle can be defined as: a vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 or more pounds; a vehicle designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver; a vehicle designed to transport 11 or more passengers, including the driver, and used to transport students under the age of twenty-one years of age to and from school; or any vehicle transporting hazardous materials which is required to be placarded

Using a hand-held mobile phone is defined under 49 CFR 390.5 as: using at least one hand to hold a mobile telephone to conduct a voice communication; dialing or answering a mobile telephone by pressing more than a single button; or reaching for a mobile telephone in a manner that requires a driver to maneuver so that he or she is no longer in a seated driving position, restrained by a seat belt that is installed in accordance with 49 CFR 393.93 and adjusted in accordance with the vehicle manufacturer’s instructions. Click here to view the final rule in the Federal Register. Personally, I hope that this law will eventually include taxi drivers and law enforcement personnel!

2012 Unified Wine & Grape Symposium in Sacramento

December 12th, 2011 by Jason Snow

Filed under: Wine

On January 25th-26th we will, once again be exhibiting our stainless steel wine drums at the Unified Wine & Grape Symposium in Sacramento, CA. This event has been extremely successful for us, as it is one of the most popular wine making events of the year. The Symposium provides us the opportunity to personally demonstrate the features and options of our wine barrels. Being an annual show for Skolnik, we have established trusted relationships with many winemakers and as always, we will have various sizes and styles of our stainless steel wine barrels for attendees to view. Please stop by and see us at Booth # 543. If you are planning to attend, please be our guest! We have a number of free entry vouchers that we would be happy to send to you and/or your colleagues. Click here for more specific information about the Symposium.

If interested in a free voucher, contact us immediately at 773-884-1513, or email jason@skolnik.com

Drum Components and Closure Instructions of UN Packagings Are Not Interchangeable

November 8th, 2011 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: DOT/UN, Safety

While steel drums may look alike, once they are United Nations certified for hazardous materials, they are as unique as each manufacturer. The entire design of a UN drum, and all its components (metal thickness of the body and heads, ring type, gasket, bolt, nut, plugs), is defined when being subjected to the Performance Oriented Packaging Standards per CFR 178.600, the US Code of Federal Regulations. The specific components used to perform the test comprise a drum type, or certification, that must meet a designated test standard for classified HazMat products. Once in the field, shippers cannot alter or interchange any of these components, even though they may appear similar, as it will impact the ability of the drum to perform as certified. This also applies to the required Closure Instructions per CFR 178.2(c), which are required to be given to the shipper by the packaging manufacturer. If replacement parts are needed, fillers must make sure that they get the originally tested components from the manufacturer. Once a drum enters transportation, compliance with the UN Certification is the responsibility of the shipper.