Cylinder Pallet Rental

Cylinder PalletAn overlooked revenue stream

The welding distributor has many outlets for producing income at his or her discretion; however, an asset that often is overlooked is the cylinder pallet. The cylinder pallet traditionally has been an operation (or expense) item for a distributor’s organization. The value of the cylinder pallet is in line with the value of a gas cylinder. Thus, the cylinder pallet should be set up in the same manner as a gas cylinder. Rent them by the day or month just as gas cylinders are rented.

As with gas cylinders, rent is based on the cost of the asset. For example, if a pallet costs $300, it would rent for $0.33 a day. Tracking of the pallet is done the same way as cylinders are tracked, except the pallet is listed as a line item on the invoice. Pallets are just one more means of income and are treated as such.

When all is said and done, rental income goes straight to the bottom line and renting the pallet is a way to increase that number.

Proper cylinder storage is mandatory for your customers. If the cylinders are not properly secured, OSHA or another government entity will issue a citation. Improper cylinder storage will also create a safety hazard. By renting steel cylinder pallets to your customers, you will be providing them with a safe cylinder storage solution—while increasing your revenue.

The OSHA requirement for storage of flammable and oxidizer gases (1910.253) states that the cylinders should be stored in an upright position and secured to a rack. It further states that the oxidizers and flammable gases must be separated by 20 feet or by an approved 30-minute firewall. There are two ways to meet the separation requirement:

  1. Rent two pallets with straps and separate them by 20 feet, or
  2. Rent one cylinder pallet with an approved firewall installed.

An added bonus for your customers is that the pallets can be safely moved around their plant by forklift to provide their own internal cylinder deliveries. This eliminates the practice of laying down a cylinder on the forks or on a wooden pallet, which are safety violations.

Four Ways to Help Customers Get Better Cylinder Control

 • Provide customers with the proper information for storing and transporting cylinders.

  

• Rent the customer a pallet. A steel cylinder pallet is an ideal and inexpensive cylinder storage device. Renting one is much less expensive than having the maintenance department—or worse, the production department—build a cylinder rack.

• If space is a problem, add an approved firewall to the pallet.

• Remember to check the cylinder carts used in the plant and advise your customer about the 24-hour rule.

The 24-Hour Rule
According to OSHA and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), cylinders are considered in storage after not being in use for 24 hours. This is the Monday morning visit from OSHA. Mr. OSHA asks if maintenance worked over the weekend, and often the reply is, “No, the plant was shut down.”  This statement allows OSHA the opportunity to generate revenue of its own by looking for carts with cylinders. Any cart found with cylinders properly secured and stored for use is now in violation of the storage rule if the cart does not have a proper firewall. Take this opportunity to solve your customer’s dilemma by renting him a new cart with a proper firewall. The firewall must meet three main requirements:

  1. Be rated for at least 30 minutes (some local codes require a
    longer time)
  2. Be at least 60 inches tall
  3. Block the line of sight between the cylinders.

Your customer now has a solution, will avoid an OSHA fine, and you have increased your revenue stream.

What are the first items that an OSHA inspector or a fire marshal looks for when auditing your customer’s facilities? Hazardous materials. These are the products that welding supply distributors supply. As distributors, you have an obligation to your customer, as well as the industry, to provide handling and storage solutions. By providing these solutions, you are making our industry and your customers safer and less likely to be fined. The rickshod wooden racks with rope used for securing cylinders or transporting the cylinders on the forks of a forklift must be a thing of the past. Our industry cannot stand accidents caused by failure to provide information to the customer on how to safely store and deliver cylinders. The safer we are, the less likely we are to make the news, and you know making the news in our industry is rarely a good thing.

Solutions = Revenue
The information above is to help you give better service to your customers while increasing revenue for your company. Put those assets (cylinder pallets) to work and let them generate a revenue stream for your business. It’s a win-win for everyone.

Gases and Welding Distributors Association
Jim Herring Meet the Author
Jim Herring is vice president of marketing & procurement at SafTCart, headquartered in Clarksdale, Mississippi, and at www.saftcart.com.