The new building is taking shape…

The progression of the new building is Stockton is really starting to take shape. In the last post the outside of the building was up except for the dock area. Now the dock area is enclosed and they are starting on the interior walls.

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The guys at the plant are going to like unloading the trucks with this new addition. They will nice and dry on those rainy days. Lets just hope it rains a little more than what it has for the crops sake!

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Now lets move on to the interior walls. First the wall struts have to be set in place.

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Then the fabric has to pulled tight and attached to the wall struts.

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If they keep going at this rate they will have all the interior walls up in no time!

Last tanks moved to the new containment in Williams Iowa

 

 

When moving the tanks into their new position you first have to lay down a 1 inch styrofoam pad so that the tank does not sit directly on the concrete.
When moving the tanks into their position in the new containment area, you first have to lay down a 1 inch Styrofoam pad so that the tank does not sit directly on the concrete. 

 

The crane company then hooks up the tank to be moved. This is done by lifting a man up to the top of the tank and then hooking the straps to the top of the tank,
The crane company then hooks up the tank to be moved. This is done by hoisting a man up to the top of the tank and then hooking the straps to the top of the tank. Now it is ready to be loaded onto the flatbed trailer. Straps are used to tie it down to the trailer.
The tank is then moved  to where another crane is positioned to put the tank into the new containment area.
Slowly the tank is moved to where the second crane is positioned to put the tank into the new containment area.
Now it has made it to the second crane and is ready to be hooked up to the crane again.
Now it has made it to the second crane and is ready to be hooked up. Once again a man is hoisted up and the straps are attached.
The tank is now pushed and  turned so that the inlet / outlet is in the precise and correct position.
The tank is now pushed and turned so that the inlet/outlet is in the precise and correct position. Thank you Troy Duffy and Dylan Koester!

 

After the tank is in its new spot it has to have the valves and hose barbs bolted on. You have to be extra careful not to over tighten the bolts because  it will crack the tank flange! Thank you for being so careful Dusty Schutt.
After the tank is in its new spot, the valves and hose barbs have to be bolted on. You have to be extra careful not to over tighten the bolts because it will crack the tank flange. Thank you for being so careful Dusty Schutt!

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Now the final stage of the installation. The hoses, air actuators(opens the valves), air lines and electrical have to be installed. There are forty  -nine 30,000 gallon tanks in the new containment area!
Now the final stage of the installation. The hoses, air actuators(opens the valves), air lines and electrical have to be installed. There are forty -nine 30,000 gallon tanks in the new containment area!

 

Another project that took place was in the 2 million tank!

This is the inside of the 2 million gallon tank. The bright round hole you see is the man hole in the side of the tank that you crawl though to get inside. There is also conduit that is on the wall of the tank. it is coming down from the top of the tank for the lights and  receptacles.
This is the inside of the 2 million gallon tank. The bright round hole you see is the man entrance in the side of the tank that you crawl though to get inside. We installed the conduit that is attached to the wall of the tank. It is coming down from the top of the tank for the lights and receptacles.
Randy Harris is installing the bracket to the side of the tank to mount the conduit on.
Randy Harris is installing the bracket to the side of the tank to mount the conduit on. As you can see, the further you get away for the entrance the darker it gets in there.
The bracket is welded to the side of the tank.
The bracket is welded to the side of the tank.
We also put in receptacles so that there is a place to plug in power tools if needed.
We also put in receptacles so that there is a place to plug in power tools if needed.
With the project complete you can see it is much lighter inside the tank area now!
With the project complete you can see it is much lighter inside the tank area now!
When the man entence is bolted shut the only way to get in is the top of the tank through a man door. Just in case you are ever asked to go in there the switch is at the top of the stairs!
When the man entrance is bolted shut the only way to get in is the top of the tank through a man door. Just in case you are ever asked to go in there the light switch is at the top of the stairs!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quick trip to CA to check on progress

At the time of the last Stockton update I believe we were finishing up the foundation walls and floors. We’ve progressed since then. I’m happy to say that building construction is moving along on schedule with no major glitches. By the end of next week the building frame, canvas, and interior walls will be complete. The only remaining item after that are the overhead and entry doors. The boilers will be delivered next week with installation beginning upon delivery. Over the next few months we’ll spend a great deal of time fine tuning the plans for production. We’re collecting data from our existing sites to evaluate our current systems so we can install the most productive system considering efficiencies, inefficiencies,  and economics. The following photos will give you a glimpse of the building in various stages of construction.

As Mid-Cal Construction continues to pour the floor in the storage area you can see a crane setting up on the outside of the building getting ready to set some more fiberglass tanks. As you can see, we’re limited on the clearance above the tanks once the roof is erected. Hence, the reason the tanks are going in the buildng now.

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And here is one of the 9 tanks getting set in place. The total tank count inside the building will be 26 – 30,000 gallon tanks, 1 – 21,000 gallon tank, and 7 – 6500 gallon tanks.

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The first truss is getting set in place. This type of truss is set in 2 pieces with 2 cranes and bolted together in the center once the ends are fastened to the walls.

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And a few hours later, all the trusses are set in place. The contractor started at 6:30 am and the cranes left around lunch time. They have obviously had soem practice.

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Here is the truck dock. The recessed area is where the dock leveler will be installed to ensure a smooth ride for the fork truck operator.

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Here’s the roof canvas in it’s entirety. You’ll notice a void spot on the corner facing the cameraman. This is where the truck dock roof will tie into the building.

Fabric Installation (9)-001

You can see the interior of the building starting to take shape. If you’ve been to our facility in Ashley, the layout should look vaguely familiar. We made a few changes but for the most part, the 2 facilities will have many similarities.

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Here’s a better view of the plant office. This area will be home to the production equipment; stuff we use for mixing and transporting fluids from here to there. That’s as in depth as I’ll get.

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Construction Resumes in Goodland

After a minor delay due to tying up some loose ends regarding agreements and such, we’re off and running again. At this time, the majority of the excavation is complete and construction on the containment trenches and load out building will begin soon. Construction will run through the summer and fall and come to a head prior to winter. We’re shooting for an October 1st completion date. The  photo below was taken from the top of a silo at the grain elevator next door looking south west so this would be the back of the site. I’ve added a few notes and shapes to give a better sense of what the future site will look like. You’ll have to excuse my barbaric depiction of the load out building. It was the quickest way to give a visual, illustrating the size and location of the building. You’ll notice the 2 new rail spurs run through the buildings adjacent to the existing spur. This is not a misrespresentation as the buildings are no longer present. The first order of business when construction commenced was demolishing these buildings.

Goodland Rear Photo

 

The next order of business once the weather cooperated was painting the exterior of the 2 million gallon tank. Litweillers have had plenty of practice as they came from our site in Williams where they just finished painting the 2 million gallon tank at that site. Due to the consistant high winds, they were unable to spray on the paint. Unfortunately, this occured in both Williams and Goodland but they were still able to complete the job in a timely fashion. I will say, if anyone is looking for a very good tank painter with a  high regard for quality and high moral standards, Litweillers Sand Blasting and Painting is a top notch company. Below you can see them sandblasting the oils and rust off the side of the tank prepping it for the first coat of primer.

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Primer coat number one below. They were able to spray this coat on. Must be the wind dropped below 50 mph for a day. Not a frequent occurance in Kansas.

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Primer coat number 2. They use a darker color primer on the second coat to provide better coverage for the final green color.

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The finished product. Many of the large tanks you see around the countryside are white. This is is the color used in most industries such as petroleum to keep the contained product temperature cooler. In the fertilizer industry some companies still choose white but the majority of what I’ve seen in my travels have been green, blue, or black. These colors attract the sun, adding warmth to the tank in the winter months reducing the risk of product fall out. The double wall tanks we’ve chosen to build serve two functions. First and foremost, the double wall tank provides secondary containment. Second, it gives us a dead air space providing a certain level of insulation.

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So hopefully you were able to find this new and exciting update. If you made it here by following the routing instructions on the old blog page, don’t be a blog hog; let your friends, family and business associates know where to find it. If you found it by accident…..good job and let everyone know as well.

California – Ideal Weather for Construction, not Farming

While the record drought has been catastrophic to the farmers in central California, it’s allowed the site expansion in Stockton to progress with no delays. Even though I’d like to see the project stay on schedule, I’d sacrifice a delay for a weeks worth of rain. Hopefully mother nature sends some moisture in due time so the farming community can get back to business as usual. Water restrictions have crippled crop growth in the surrounding areas. Even though our fertilizer is wet, it’s no substitute for water; and for those of you who ask about the miracles of Ferti-Rain. You’d be better off doing a rain dance than hoping this fertilizer will attract storm clouds.

 

Forming 3This is the area inside the building where we’ll be adding 9 more storage tanks. The pad they are forming is 14″ thick with lots of re-bar which you’ll see as you scroll down. The metal pipes sticking out the ground will be used to gauge the depth of the steel plates that are inset in the concrete. Steel brackets will be welded to the plates to hold the bottom of the tanks in place.

 

Pouring 2Here are those steel plates I was referring to, located just above the re-rod mat. If you remember from the original project, I commented on the mat design quite often. Well, the same engineering principles apply here and we have the same type of design. This concrete pad consists of 2 layers of 5/8″ re-rod spaced 6″ x 6″ square. When they pour the concrete, they’ll run a vibrating tool through out the pad to make sure the concrete fills in all the void spots.

 

Pouring 3Here’s Mike Paris, owner of Mid-Cal Constructors. It’s not all too often you see the boss out doing the manual labor but you’ll find Mike out here daily. I commend Mike on his companies workmanship and attention to detail. I’m not sure if he’s smiling for the photo or if he’s gritting his teeth. Probably smiling…..most construction type guys love having their picture taken when they’re hard at work.

 

Pouring 8And here’s the final product. The remaining floor in the building will be either 6″ or 8″ thick determined by equipment traffic. You’ll notice the steel squares embedded in the concrete. There are 9 squares evenly spaced around the permimeter of each tank. Once the tanks are set, the steel angle iron will be welded to the squares preventing the tank from sliding in the event of an earthquake……..er……..that’s the theory. I’d rather not be on the west coast if it’s ever put to the test.

 

 

 

 

 

Eastman, GA Clean Up

Ron Andrews, Randy Harris, and I made a trip down to Eastman recently to clean up the site and do a little site maintenance. On our adventures we encountered some of the local wildlife including a nest of snakes and various lizards. Randy even re-located a lizard deciding Michigan would be a better home for it. I’m sure the family will love the new pet.

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We’re official!! The new sign at the front entrance.

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The new sign facing the highway will give us lots of exposure.

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Ron Andrews provided some aerial views from up in the manlift. As you can see we’re pretty visible from the highway.

 

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A good look toward the front entrance from the manlift.

As you may have noticed, this blog was submitted by Todd Cressman. I’ll be co-blogging with Shaun in an effort to bring everyone more up-to-date information about the site projects. With all the work going on at the sites, keeping everyone informed has become a dual task. Either that or Shaun is just trying to pawn it off on me.  

New Site Development – Eastman, GA

For those of you who haven’t heard the exciting news, AgroLiquid has announced the addition a new property in the southeast. This is an 18 acre developed site which means driveways, parking lots, buildings, and utilities are already in place. A minimal amount of remodeling of an existing building will need to occur to make it fit our needs.  In addition to remodeling the building, we will also be installing a rail spur adjacent to the main line which is owned and operated by Norfolk Southern Rail Road. The timeline for distribution from this location will be determined by sales growth in the southeast. From a development standpoint, this facility should be much easier to bring online because of the climate difference (very few freezing days) from our facilties up north. That’s my glass half full perspective. Now for the glass half empty perspective: gnats, fire ants and humidity. Oh, and the entire state shuts down at the hint of snow. At any rate, the pro’s heavily outweigh the con’s and this will be a very important site as AgroLiquid’s presence grows in the south.

 

Gated Entrance
Gated Entrance

The Front entrance to the property is nicely groomed with some ornamental trees and shrubs complete with an irrigation system. This decorative fence, which you can’t see because it’s open, will also add a bit of security to the site. Not that we need to worry about the easy going southern folks down there.

 

Front facade of building.
Front facade of building.

Although it doesn’t face either road on the left or right, this is the most decorative side therefore designated as the front. The rail road main line is on the right side of the building. The edge of the building that’s barely visible on the left hand side of this photo is a bonus building that will be used for something not exactly known yet.

 

40x60 Storage Building
40×60 Storage Building

Here’s a better of view of that building mentioned in the previous photo. Just in front of the building you can see an exterior load dock.  Or maybe you can’t see it, but trust me it’s there. You can at least make out the yellow railing.

 

Side View
Side View

A side view of the building. I think I’m facing west so that would make this the east side. The building is square with the rail road tracks and they didn’t point them directly north and south so it throws me off. Not to mention, it’s overcast so my sun dial wasn’t working. As you can see, this building has lots of doors so we have many options as to how we decide to set it up for traffic flow.

 

Front Yard
Front Yard

As you can see here, we have lot’s of lawn to mow. I anticipate some day we’ll have some large tanks sitting somewhere in this vicinity. That’ll cut down on mowing expenses but we’ll have more to trim around. Another obvious landmark you may have noticed is the conveniently located Eastman water tower. Water and water pressure won’t be a problem here.

 

Fire Ants!!
Fire Ants!!

Oh and the site comes complete with our own ant farm. The dark sand in the middle would be fire ants.  Many of these mounds were to be found so if you make a site visit, keep your shoes on and tuck your pants into your socks. An interesting thing I learned about these guys is they not only bite, they also sting. They bite only to get a grip and then sting, injecting a toxic alkaloid venom. Thousands of them will do this in unison which is how they prey on small animals. For humans this is a painful sting similar to the sensation of getting burned by fire – hence the name fire ant.

 

Rail Road Tracks
Rail Road Tracks

Here’s the Norfolk Southern main line running along the west side of the building. The new rail spur will run right about where the lone tree is on the left side of the tracks. Highway 341 is on the right hand (west) side of the tracks giving the site great visibility from that direction.

 

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I’m standing just outside the back door so you can see how close the track is to the building. This will make it more efficient for plumbing because of the short pipe runs to the rail. The purchase of this site was a proactive decision based on the philosophy of intentional growth. Having the resources in place prior to needing them is much better (in a proactive sense) and easier than developing a site we need desperately. Not to mention, it makes for a happier customer.

 

 

 

The Various Stages of Construction

DESTRUCTION
Goodland, KS

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In Goodland, KS, the expansion project on the east side of the existing site continues. As everyone knows from previous blogs, we constructed a 2 million gallon tank on that side of the site late last year. The project continues with the demolition (below) of the existing buildings (above).

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PLUMBING AND INSTRUMENTATION
Williams, IA

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I’m a little late on these pictures but I thought it’d be good to show everyone the winter wonderland the pipe fitters dealt with this year in Williams, IA. Snow and ice removal became part of everyone’s job description since it had to be done in order to find materials. The snow piles up extra high on the north side of the large tanks.

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This recently cleared slab of concrete (above) lasted for about a day. It just so happens, that to stay ahead of the snow this winter you can’t stop shoveling.

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The photo above and the two after are also in Williams. This is a portion of the load out system located inside the new 60×100 load out building.

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The filters in the photo’s above and below will filter finish product coming from the mixer and raw product while it’s unloaded from truck or rail. Rather than filter while loading, we changed the process to filtering prior to the product entering the tanks. In doing so, our goal is to minimize the tank cleaning process.

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Here we see more results from the never ending winter. For some reason, this made it difficult to work. Go figure.

EXCAVATION
Stockton, CA

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The building addition is just getting underway. When complete, the 120’x180′ addition will have space for production and warehousing complete with a truck dock. The sub-grade material is getting placed and compacted in the following photos. If everyone finds dirt as exciting as I do, you’ll love these.

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Just in case you’re wondering, I have my hardhat and safety glasses on so if the guy on the sheepsfoot roller loses control, I’ll be safe.

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More dirt…

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…and more dirt.

I promise the next set of photo’s will be more exciting. I’ll be adding concrete.