Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The new manager at WWW was Cliff Peters. For people of my generation imagine Gary Cooper in coveralls.

Soft spoken but self assured Cliff was a natural born leader. His hobby was building and reparing muzzle loading rifles. He drilled barrels from solid steel stock. I can't resist the pun because it was so apt, he was a sraight shooter in every way.

While some tanks were sold at the plant distribution was accomplished principaly at consignment points in almost every crossroads within 150 miles. A local oil dealer would volunteer to keep an assortment of the products avaiable in his storage yard.
Other dealers in the area could draw from his stock. There was a constant effort to both acquire new home oil and gasoline customers and to upgrade the storage capacities of existing customers by the dealers.

For home heating oil customers the dealer kept what was called a heating degrees/days chart that allowed him to refill the tank when a certain percent of the contents had been used. The bigger the tank the less refill trips made. The stocking dealer had first claim on popular size tanks plus he got a small fee for transmitting the sales data back to Waitsburg.

As mentioned in an earlier post, large tanks were custom built and delivered via the company truck.

The large tanks were engineered by Gil to fit under most bridge stuctures in the delivery area but the tank that I accompanied to Craigmont, Idaho, was a little fat so it requied a flag vehicle fore and aft and a route that took us on gravel roads high into the upper back country of the Idaho panhandle.

On arrival, we drove into the yard of a bulk storage plant. There next to the existing tanks was a fresh concrete pad slightly larger than the base of the 8'11" by 20'tall steel cylinder resting on its side on the semi bed. Imagine a tin can on steroids. While there would be tons of liquid bearing down on the tank bottom, the sides were relatively flimsey.

I asked what my duties would be and Art, the truckdriver, replied, "just keep out of the way!"

Art and John, the follow truck driver, busied themselves paying cables off the winches on their riggs. Slowly the tank rolled off the truck bed. A little more positioning and the winches began drawing in cable, a pulley relocated, steadily the tank creeped to the base and then began to rise. Within an hour of the time we arrived, a ten ton addition looked like it had always been there nestled among the other tanks.



Blogger Mike Barer said...

Your Welcome!

8:35 PM  
Blogger Danny Barer said...

I read recently that the phrase "Lock, stock and barrel" -- which I always thought referred to the contents of a general store -- actually refers to the parts of a muzzle-loading rifle. If you have the (flint)lock, the stock, and the barrel, you have the whole rifle.

12:48 PM  

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