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

Archive for 2014

Overpack Salvage Drum

November 18th, 2014 by Lisa Stojanovich

Filed under: Salvage Drum

A Salvage Drum is an outer container used to store otherwise damaged, leaking or non-compliant drums and prevents any hazardous materials from damage.  A damaged or leaking drum can prove detrimental to both the environment and finances.  According to the 49 CFR 173.3 (1)(c)(7) “ the drum must be a UN 1A2, 1B2, 1N2 or 1H2 tested and marked for Packing Group III or higher performance standards for liquids or solids and a leakproofness test of 20 kPa (3 psig).”  This means that every Salvage Drum has gone through a series of severe testing and earned the proper  UN ratings.  One important rating is the ‘T’ rating.  This is achieved by filling the drum with water and dropping it from a designated height onto a critical spot. Should the drum show no sign of leaking or serious damage it is awarded the ‘T’ rating and can safely be used in overpacking.  This test must occur once every year, but with Skolnik Industries’ ability to test in house, drums can be tested as per the customer’s requests.

An 85 gallon open head salvage drum is the most commonly used size, but the containers come is various capacities; it is important to know which size container will be needed in case of an incident. For example, the 85 gallon Salvage Drum is used to overpack a 55 gallon drum, and a 55 gallon will overpack a 30 gallon drum.  Certified Salvage drums can be used for either solid or liquid due to the absorbent material placed inside.  This material allows a salvage drum to hold damaged or leaking drums containing liquids; the contents should never come into contact with the interior of the Salvage Drum.  If a Salvage Drum does not have the proper amount of absorbent material it risks the integrity of the drum and should not be used in overpacking.  Remember safety is always the number one concern.



When an unfortunate incident occurs it is important for any hazardous materials to be dealt with quickly and efficiently.  The proper size salvage drum can give transporters peace of mind that leaking or damaged containers will arrive safely to their destination.  Always make sure any Salvage Drums meet UN requirements and that the people handling the containers know the proper closure procedures (this can be found online-hyperlink-).  The proper Salvage Drum can make all the difference when it comes to reducing risk during transport and storage of materials.

Fresh Wine & Steady Business on Tap

November 18th, 2014 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Stainless Steel, Wine

Tasting rooms and facility tours have become increasingly popular weekend or vacation activities for craft beverage enthusiasts. A pit stop at a local winery or distillery not only provides an afternoon of entertainment and libation, but a neat snapshot of the town culture and people, and an ample selection of unique gifts to bring back home.

Providing an unparalleled brand experience and saving wineries the expenses of bottling and shipping, tasting rooms have grown into a cornerstone of the winery business, accounting for nearly 30% of most wineries incomes.

In the tasting room, the winery has complete control over their customers’ experience. Passionate winemakers can interact directly with their consumers and fans, building a more personal connection between brand and buyer. If a customer doesn’t care for one wine, the staff can get their feedback and suggest a product that may better suit their tastes. With stainless steel wine barrels, wineries can tap a number of different styles, flavors and ages of wine, and even try out experimental batches without jumping through the hoops and costs of distribution and marketing. Meanwhile, visitors enjoy a diverse palate of wines, straight from the vineyard.winedrums

Tasting room visitors rarely come by just to try and not buy, and, their tasting room experience will likely influence their wine selection next time they see your product at a retailer. In today’s ever-connected society, there are countless ways to reach your customers. However, stainless steel wine barrel-fresh wine and a person-to-person interaction with your brand is pretty hard to beat.

Napa Earthquake: How High is too High

November 11th, 2014 by Dean Ricker

Filed under: Skolnik Newsletter, Wine

One of the most frequent questions we get about our stainless steel wine barrels is, how high can they be safely stacked? The general answer, depending on gauge of steel and barrel design, is 4 to 6 high using standard barrel racks. But the recent earthquake in the Napa region reminds us that there are other factors that must be taken into consideration. The enduring images of the Napa earthquake will likely be the piles of barrels and racks from toppled barrel stacks. While most winery buildings made it through the earthquake with little to no damage, aside from the dramatic exception of Trefethen Family Vineyards’ historic winery building, several wineries suffered damage, lost wine and had staff spending precious time at the onset of harvest cleaning and reorganizing of barrel rooms. Despite the example of the 2003 San Simeon Earthquake, after which a forklift driver had to be rescued from beneath a pile of collapsed barrel stacks, most wineries throughout California still stack barrels up to six levels high with two-barrel racks laying on top of the barrels below. The setup provides for quick and relatively easy access to barrels and maximizes available space in a barrel room. But the big drawback of this stacking method became all too apparent to several wineries near the epicenter of the quake in the Carneros American Viticultural Area and as far into Napa Valley as the Oak Knoll AVA. Charles Chadwell of California Polytechnic University says that, "stacking six high is a bad idea just all the way around," based on shaker table studies he performed. Chadwell said, "barrels stacked four high with one of the specialized racks on the bottom could handle shaking similar to the recent major earthquake in California, and even stacks five high seemed to manage. At six high, I don’t condone that for any system." He added that seismic regulations have so far addressed ensuring the buildings and key infrastructure can withstand earthquakes, but there may be more interest in securing "heavy contents," which would include barrels. He said wineries may soon see a policy in place requiring them to have some type of seismic restraint system to help keep workers safe from toppling barrel racks. "Something that will come out of this is heavy contents and how it relates to life safety," he said. Chadwell said he’d also like to see winery "shark cages" or heavy-duty steel cages placed in easily accessible parts of the barrel room. If an earthquake hits a winery, or a forklift accident triggers a stack collapse, workers could run to the cage and be protected from falling barrels. "If anything goes wrong, at least they have a fighting chance to get into the cage," he said. "They may be stuck there for a while, but at least they’ll be alive."

Skolnik Royalty Making the News

November 4th, 2014 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: Cool Stuff, Skolnik Newsletter

For the last four years, patrolling Skolnik has been the responsibility of two noble cats, namely King and Prince. Working with Tree House, a Chicago based cat rescue, King and Prince were brought in as a critical part of the Skolnik team — their job — to keep the Skolnik physical plant free of rodents.

Four years later and King and Prince are doing their job, and doing it well! Since they began their patrol, not a single rodent has been seen! The program of placing cats in businesses throughout Chicago was started by Tree House and is now a successful abatement program. So much so that publicity about Cats at Work has reached as far as Athens, Greece and made frequent news and television spots. More recently, Community Cats, by Anne Beall, identifies the prolific cat communities in Chicago and the growing use of cats to solve one of the most common problems in Chicago. Both residentially and commercially, cats are stepping up to do their job in cat colonies around the city! With an entire chapter dedicated to our King and Prince, you can read the interview I had with Anne Beall about our Skolnik royalty.

Open Head Steel Drums vs Tight Head Steel Drums

October 30th, 2014 by Lisa Stojanovich

Filed under: Industry News

There is a wide variety of stainless steel drums, and many categories can be sub-divided again and again to create a very specific type.  One important classification of a drum is the ‘head’; there are two types, tight head and open head.  The tight head steel drum has both ends seamed and no removable lid and access is through fittings, usually 2” and ¾” in the top.  The open head steel drum has a removable cover and a seamed bottom.  Closure is made with a bolt or lever ring. Both drums types can be United Nations (UN) and Department of Transportation (DOT) certified for hazardous materials or dangerous goods.

Different tools or special procedures are used depending on the materials used to manufacture the drums, but both types start with a welded cylinder.  Next, on a tight head drum, both ends are flanged and thus permanently sealed, so both ends of a tight head drum look like a “bottom.” Open head drums have one end flanged which becomes the bottom of the drum and the other end is curled to create a seat for the removable head.  Typically for tight a head drum there are only two hoops added along the vertical drum equidistant from the middle, while an open head drum may have three hoops in varying distances along the vertical side of the drum.  These hoops add strength to the drum performance. An open head drum may also have a gasket or fittings in the covers.



In almost any industry where contents need to be shipped, drums are used, therefore it is important to make sure contents are being stored in the proper type of drum.  Open heads are best used for solids and viscous liquids.  When items such as honey, paint, or even radioactive waste are being shipped or stored an open head drum should be used.  Tight heads are best used for liquids, contents that can be easily drained through the fittings, such as flavors, fragrances, or beverages.



Whatever is being shipped, the proper drum makes all the difference in reducing risk and safe passage. Keeping transport clean and safe is the main objective for any carrier, and the right drum helps ensure a successful delivery.  Skolnik Industries is dedicated to giving its customers exceptional quality and service.  You can find more information on either drum on our website.

DGIS “Heats-Up” in Scottsdale

October 23rd, 2014 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: Associations, HazMat, Industry News, Skolnik Newsletter

While people usually don’t flock to the 110F+ temperatures of Phoenix in the summer, last’s month’s Dangerous Goods Instructor’s Symposium hosted by Labelmaster, had a record breaking turn-out with nearly 200 dangerous goods professionals attending. The conference opened with outstanding workshops including, LaQuita Donald demonstrating Effective Teaching Strategies, Sonia Irusta presenting DG Transport Realities and the Trainer, and Geoff Leach presenting an update of ICAO 2015. The following days were filled with riveting presentations by other industry leaders including Kristel Vermeersch, Mike Hoysler, Robert Jaffin, Shannon Mizell, Aaron Montgomery, Bob Benedict, Donna McLean, Bob Richard, Neil McCulloch and Rhonda Jessop. A notable highlight was the powerful presentation given by Wendy Buckley entitled, Lac Megantic — Anatomy of A Tragedy. The conference was held at the W Hotel and everyone enjoyed the social aspects of this annual networking opportunity. Held annually, the 2015 DGIS will be September 9-11 in St. Louis. To register for this free conference, contact Labelmaster.