Social Question

SQUEEKY2's avatar

I need some expertise on a work problem can you help, rest in details?

Asked by SQUEEKY2 (16240points) January 29th, 2017

I haul a product called wood pulp fiber it’s a by-product of a pulp mill, it looks like finely ground up cardboard.
The product is very damp, and in the cold weather it likes to stick to the loader bucket (like a tongue to a flag pole) making loading the product a real pain.
What would be the answer to make the product not stick to the bucket in cold weather?
P.S Mods if you could leave this alone I really am looking for an answer to this and not a lesson in writing ok?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

53 Answers

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Some things to know both the product and loader are outside.
In the winter the top part about 6inches of the product freezes solid once you break through the rest is very damp.
No we can not spray diesel on the bucket because it would contaminate the product.
I have though about the cooking spray PAM but very costly and doubt it would work in the cold.
I am wondering would using car wax work?

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@Dutchess_III isn’t ice melt in the form of crystals ,how would you coat the bucket with that?

chyna's avatar

Just tossing stuff out, cause I know nothing about this, but what about plane de-icer? Would that contaminate the load?

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, perhaps you could call the city, see what they put on the streets before an ice storm. See if you can get some.

johnpowell's avatar

Perhaps you could route the exhaust of the loader to the bucket with some sort of flexible hose to warm the bucket enough to melt the ice.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

That isn’t feasible but thanks for the idea, @johnpowell .

SQUEEKY2's avatar

I should note that one of the products our customer makes from this fiber is pet bedding so that is why the concern about contamination.

johnpowell's avatar

What about lining the bucket with some sort of durable plastic? It might be less prone to sticking than metal.

Or maybe the stuff they spray on to line the bed of trucks.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

I have brought that idea up to the boss, his concern is the cost.
Thanks @johnpowell

johnpowell's avatar

this is the best question I have seen on fluther for months.. so thank you.

CWOTUS's avatar

Since contamination is a concern, my first suggestion would be along the lines of the one offered by @johnpowell, to heat the bucket of the loader in some non-injurious way. Perhaps the outside of the bucket can be lined with the kind of 12V de-icing wire that people use to keep roof eaves ice-free. It could run off the vehicle’s own electrical system, keeping the bucket “just warm enough” to prevent icing. (And lining the outside away from areas where it will scrape against the product and against the ground, to prevent damage to the wiring. Alternatively, it may be possible to line the inside of the bucket, and then cover the wiring with sheet metal to protect it from wear.)

Or is it possible to re-route some of the plant’s waste heat (closed cycle cooling water for plant equipment, for example) into or around the pile of pulp fiber, to keep it warmer? Even a temporary shed with waste heat inside would help a lot to keep the product itself warmer.

Either way, warm bucket or warm product, will prevent freezing.

As an even quicker alternative, what are the chances of having an assistant with a warm-water hose to spray the bucket – while empty – between loads? You wouldn’t really want a person to hand-hold a steam hose, but “warm water” can be plenty warm; the person should be wearing gloves and a face shield for thermal protection.

johnpowell's avatar

I was thinking campfire that you dip the bucket in between loads. Just be careful of the hydrolic lines..

edit :: I so wish I was able to recreate this scenario and test the dumb ideas I have.

CWOTUS's avatar

Changing the approach a bit: If the product is placed in smaller piles where it will chill quicker – even better, if it starts to freeze – then it will be less likely to stick to the cold bucket.

Along the same lines, if the inside of the empty bucket is sprayed with cold water which is allowed to freeze, then the product may be less likely to stick to the ice itself. (Warm product on an icy surface might create enough of a melt layer to prevent the ice clumping that gives you problems.)

These are all relatively low-cost, low-tech, low-maintenance solutions that could be worth trying. (The first one might be the worst in terms of time and cost to install and maintain.)

SQUEEKY2's avatar

The smaller pile is an idea, we have no water available where we are located in our area.
Thanks @CWOTUS

The mill would freak at any started fires @johnpowell .
But please keep the ideas coming.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Get a job as a waitress?

I don’t know how salt could be that bad. I mean, does the guy who use it for bedding rinse it or anything as part of his process?

CWOTUS's avatar

If the loader is dedicated to the process, that is, it’s not used elsewhere in the plant for moving gravel, sand, dirt, etc., then you could make a relatively cheap and simple modification to the bucket by lining it with plywood sheets. (It doesn’t have to be a perfect job, just flat sheets to cover the largest flat areas of the bucket.) The plywood can be bolted in place and replaced from time to time as it breaks up or goes rotten.

The wood pulp fibers are less likely to freeze and stick to the wood surface than to the metal.

Again, it’s a cheap and quick fix, which won’t contaminate the product even if the plywood does start to break up. (The fasteners could be a problem, though, so they should be stainless steel carriage head bolts on the inside of the bucket, and peened on the outside so they can’t loosen and fall into the product.)

johnpowell's avatar

@CWOTUS :: I was thinking the same with the plastic but I wasn’t sure how to mount them without drilling through the bucket.

I suppose you could weld on some nuts to the inside of the bucket and then screw into them.

It could be a problem if the material they are scooping is pure ice. But it would cheap and could work.

CWOTUS's avatar

If anyone is worried about the bucket modifications required to drill through for through-and-through bolting, then stud-welding of threaded studs is an option, then double-nutting the plywood inside the bucket. If at some future date the studs are unwanted, then they can be ground off without much trouble and the bucket returned to normal state.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

The loader is owned by our customer and put there for our use only, and is used for nothing else but loading the product that we haul.
I am trying to convince our boss the spray in liner would be the answer but again he is worried about cost.
Our head mechanic is thinking about a no stick paint but is slow at getting back to us.
I am wondering about a car wax might take an hour or so to put it on but might do it.
@CWOTUS it is a reallysmall bucket and to line it with plywood would greatly reduce it’s capacity.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Get an engine block heater for the bucket.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Non-stick paint would not be good mixed in the bedding.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

if it chipped off I feel you are probably right @Tropical_Willie .

Dutchess_III's avatar

If the loader is owned by the customer, shouldn’t he pay to have it customized?

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Yes, but they don’t care if it takes the driver extra time, they pay for the load not how much time it takes.
Our contract says excess hours will be payed for (IF) billable to the customer that is what I am fighting with my boss for it takes extra time to load but he doesn’t pay just goes by the trip rate.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Stupid me but can you leave an empty at the site to be filled, hook up after dropping another empty? ? ?

BellaB's avatar

There must be an industrial grade/size of Pam – you’d think food haulers need something like that. I’d probably look on a trucking forum to check on it.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@BellaB
Pam is just Canola Oil, in a spray can.

BellaB's avatar

Perfect then. Industrial sprayer to apply the canola oil to the inside of the hauler.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

I have asked our head mechanic on that ,something like a garden sprayer filled with a light weight vegetable oil and spray the bucket before loading.
He keeps saying he will look into it.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@Tropical_Willie I haul and load the trailers we don’t leave an empty to be filled when one of us arrives on site we then proceed to load the trailers then check our weights then drive back home again.

CWOTUS's avatar

@Tropical_Willie‘s idea was quite brilliant, @SQUEEKY2. Is there a reason that it can’t be considered? After all, you bring an empty trailer to the site to pick up the product, right? So … if someone were to make an extra trip on Monday, let’s say, after one of the drivers has picked up whatever is available, then you simply leave the empty trailer at the site under the discharge chute for the product. The plant fills the trailer by running its normal process, and the next driver simply exchanges his empty trailer for the now-full one at the site.

It’s the most logical thing in the world.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Good idea except there is no discharge chute a mill loader brings the product to a pile and puts it there, we have a loading ramp that we park the trailers and load from there.
The mill does not load us.
The idea of having the mill load the trailers is a good idea, but they have no way of knowing how much to load with out putting us way over weight or way to light.

Cruiser's avatar

@SQUEEKY2 I would imagine this question has been thoroughly vetted by that industry. There are a lot of really good lubricants like silicones or perflourinated polyether that if mixed in with the pulp would ensure reasonable non-stick properties of the pulp you are hauling but I suspect the added cost per ton/per load would be prohibitive or IMO they would have done this already.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Can you paint the truck bed?
We used a product called Imron for surfaces that were subjected to high wear and needed to be slippery. Think boat hulls or airplane wings and fuselage A gallon would be enough to lightly cover a truck bed. A gallon container came with only 3 quarts. A fourth quart of activator was supplied with it. You dumped the activator into the paint and then made sure to shoot the entire job in less than one hour. The compressor needed to deliver at least 8.4 CFM to keep up.
You have to do it and be done in an hour because that’s how long it took the epoxy to take a set. Once it set up it was permanent and smooth as silk! Nothing stuck to it!

I have not seen it in years but it worked great! Lacquer thinner wouldn’t touch it. It was also quite toxic requiring a positive pressure breathing apparatus.

I did virtually no prep when I used it. I shot right over rust and it still stuck! Amazing.
Maybe there is better stuff now.

Cruiser's avatar

I put teflon and glass beads in a couple epoxy coatings I make that are intended to enhance the flow of materials that move across the coatings surface if that might help you here.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@LuckyGuy It’s the loader bucket that is the problem in cold weather.
That is an idea @Cruiser if it isn’t too costly.

Cruiser's avatar

@SQUEEKY2 Not sure at the cost per ton of wood pulp but I venture to guess it is in the neighborhood of next to nothing…these chems I suggested is $5.00 to $8.00/lb…even if you added a half a percent of either on the low side you just added $50.00 per ton and I imagine that would have the big bosses on edge to spend all that.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@SQUEEKY2 I estimate a gallon would cover three 3 yard buckets. You would still have to cover them all in one hour.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I just saw this on a woodworking site.

“I go to the grocery store and buy a box of paraffin wax for $2+ and then to the drug store for a bottle of mineral oil ( in the laxative dept) another $2
Fill a pot with water and set it to a boil, put a smaller pot inside of the first and pour the mineral oil into it. Add a stick of wax and let it melt. When the wax has dissolved, pour it off into a bottle and let it cool.
It can now be used as a food safe finish on wood, as a rust preventive on metal, as a friction reducer on saws, as a coating on screws to make them easier to insert without splitting, it also keeps glue from sticking and the list goes on. I use a bottle about every 8 or 9 months.”

Another person suggested rubbing paste wax on the metal surface. You could do a small area of the bucket, maybe half or ¼, and see if it makes a difference. These are both low cost, non-toxic solutions that might be worth a try.

LuckyGuy's avatar

This question just inspired me to spray the chute and impeller of my snow blower so snow will not stick and load up when I use it in near or slightly above freezing temperatures.
I sprayed half the chute with Miller Stephenson PTFE Release Agent Dry Lubricant MS-122AD, and the other half with WD-40.
Now I need some slushy snow so I can test it!

Last week the chute loaded up several times causing me to stop and dig out the slug of compacted slush. Hopefully this will work.

CWOTUS's avatar

Damn, @LuckyGuy, you gave me another whole idea for loading the trailer: a pulp-blower!

Cruiser's avatar

@LuckyGuy Your link from the woodworker site with the recipe for the mineral oil wax recipe reminded me of this product called Fluid Film he sprays the under body of his cars with every Fall.

When I went to their website the inventor claims the success of his product is because it is made with lanolin (wool wax).

My son’s very first car was an El Camino that ultimately he found out after replacing the gas tank that the frame was horrendously rusted and rotted. That really upset him so since that day 5 years ago he is obsessed with corrosion protection of his cars and if he says Fluid Film is the best rust protection then it is the best rust protection. It sounds very similar in concept to the woodworkers recipe.

flutherother's avatar

Can’t you keep the product dry in the first place so it won’t freeze up?
PS if you’ve any pictures it might help.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@Cruiser That stuff looks like it would work. I am still anxious to try the WD-40 vs. MS122AD experiment on my snow blower. Of course, the weather won’t be cooperating for at least a week according to NOAA. We got some snow today, 2”, but it is 22F out so it is light and fluffy and not worth starting the monster.

CWOTUS's avatar

It’s not going to be enough to do a one-side vs. the-other-side test in the snowblower, anyway, @LuckyGuy. You need to develop a way to consistently mushify that light, fluffy “dry” snow to make it reliably slushy so that you can create valid “control” snowpacks. Science demands it.

Cruiser's avatar

@LuckyGuy I texted my son about the woodworkers formula and he knew all about it. Said the only drawback is it is too thick and you have to heat it up to thin it enough to apply it. Small jobs like a table saw or snow blower no prob…but spraying the under body of a car demands a thinner formula. He says the $40.00 per gallon is worth it to him.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Thanks everyone I have tried WD-40 on the bucket it didn’t work at all.
I have fluid film but it is rather costly up here per can, the stuff is amazing at every application I have put it through it might work.
Mineral oil either sprayed on or even brushed on is something I really want to try.
Keep the ideas coming.
As for others no there is no way to keep the product or the loader indoors.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Can you try wiping an area of the bucket with Armor All? That is pretty slippery stuff when it dries.
You can also try hand buffing an area with paste wax. I’m guessing the loader buckets are large enough, 6–8 ft wide, that you can roughly split it into thirds and run interesting experiments like, left side: wax, middle: nothing, right side: armor all.
This will quickly point you in the right direction.
Unfortunately it is cold out now so it will take forever for the additives/coatings to dry.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Did not want to try a magnetic block heater? They run about $40

flutherother's avatar

Try covering product and loader with tarpaulins?

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@ARE_you_kidding_me The block heater idea would only warm the area where the heater is attached and wiring would be weird the bucket not only tilts but rises about 12 feet,have to talk about it with our head mechanic.
Thanks for the idea though.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Update I tried Fluid film and it worked quite well but it took half a can to spray the bucket and that was all I had now we will see how long it lasts.

Answer this question

Login

or

Join

to answer.
Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
or
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther