Reduce The Cost of Tank Car Leases by Half & Eliminate NARs

Have you ever been fined with a Non Accident Release?

What are the true the hidden costs of conventional Manways and how to mitigate these...

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Industry Update:

The issue of NARs continues to plague the industry. The Association of American Railroads (AAR) has not released any new data since June of 2014, but announced last week (AAR Tank Car Committee meeting, Dallas TX) that year-to-date NARs for 2017 are at 347 putting it roughly on pace to match the yearly totals for 2013/2014 when tank car traffic was significantly higher.

There were 21 Grand Slam Award winners. An award winner must have been recognized by at least four Class I railroads and have had zero NARs involving their shipments the previous calendar year. I spoke with a number of the winners, (many of which are repeat winners with very long and consistent records of safety) and what most stood out was not only their commitment to safety, but also the costs involved, from investing in the best service equipment available, a fastidious gasket policy that see them use a new gasket for every shipment to the dedication of culture of continuous training and pride.

 AAR – New Direction:

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 According to the most recently published 2014 NAR data ( 67% of all Non Pressure Cars NARs were Manway related. Although an improvement from 2012 when it was 87%, the four leading causes of NARs have been virtually consistent throughout all the available data points.

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In the face of what is tantamount to a failure to significantly see a reduction in NARs, the AAR is embarking in a new direction with the creation of three new committees to investigate root cause analysis by product commodity (flammable gases, flammable liquids and corrosives). The AAR is seeking volunteers to head these committees. This change of direction represents a move away from equipment based analysis even if the data shows that 77% of NARs in 2014 came from Petroleum Crude or Alcohols NOS.

 The Invisible Costs of Avoiding NARs

Whether you are considering ordering new cars or retrofitting your existing fleet, the cost of installing a new manway cover (plus eyebolts, washers, lift-assist can run into the $000’s.

 Yet, what is critically ignored are the annual maintenance costs:-

 A quick calculation using standard industry costs for a tank car running 10 annual trips, replacing a gasket for every shipment and at a minimum needing to replace 2 eyebolts using a mobile crew, also results in cost running in the $000’s.

 What is not included here is the time to correctly install a gasket, torqued in three passes, as well the need to wait 4-6 hours to then perform a final retorque.

 The Solution:- 

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Priced for significantly less than a conventional manway system (including a new nozzle) and unlike all other designs, this system comprehensively addresses all the issues related to manway NARs and eliminates them:

  • No Loose Bolts – by eliminating the conventional manway gasket; the metal-to-metal contact creates a dead-stop.
  • No torque specifications - Impact wrench approved
  • No Re-torquing or ability to over-torque
  • No Deteriorated/ Missing/ Misaligned Gasket

Innovative Sealing Solution -

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By eliminating the need for a face gasket, this design sees continued and improved sealing as pressure within the car builds.

Courtesy of a self-retaining groove on a stainless steel shear ring. The FEP Encapsulated O-Ring, provides a universally chemically compatible gasket, Its resilient outer shell and elastomeric core ensuring long-term repeated use.

 Conclusion -

The data categorically shows that manways are the principal cause of NARs. Similarly, if only 21 shippers are capable of avoiding NARs, then the problems are more widespread than most might care to admit.

Ignoring the risks and costs of incurring an NAR or the loss of revenue for delaying a car, what many shippers fail to fully appreciate is the total costs of maintaining their manways. Best practices require a new gasket for every shipment which can easily run $150 per gasket. Even in the event of a one-time need for a couple of eye-bolt replacements, the cost to send a 2-man mobile crew can easily run into the $000s. Other costs include the risk and time to individually torque 6-8 bolt manways, following correct procedures or the potential for human injury.

There are numerous iterations of the conventional manway available ranging from over 30 lid designs and 6 standard nozzle bevel designs. All of which have proven equally ineffective. More recent introductions include another single-bolt design that while an improvement on the conventional manway, also exhibits the same issues and does nothing to eradicate NARs.

This new system is the ONLY proven solution to completely eliminate NARs while also being comprehensively safer, easier and more cost effective. The entire opening/ closing process takes less than 2 minutes, yet will only function is (open or close) unless all steps are correctly followed.

For a short animated video on the full list of benefits and features of this innovative design, click below:-

For a short video to see how this new manway system works in real life:-

For more information on this new innovative design, please feel to contact TransQuip with any questions.

Other related articles:

Why Tank Car Manways Are Designed To Fail

The End of NARs


Emanuel Guerrero