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Filling Tanks??

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  • Filling Tanks??

    Is it a commom practice for the local dealer to fill only the tanks he rents. I purchased my Tig and Mig tanks, "the bigguns" at my "great" Miller dealer in Phoenix. Thje local dealer says he really does not want to fill them as he is afraid they are stolen.

    I even told him I would brng in my receipts for the original purchase and that seems not enough. Same dealer that when I asked a price on a Dynasty 200 he stated " Never heard of that one, we just don't sell many machines to do aluminum"

    Hawk,or anyone, can you give me the name of a contact or dealer here in Shreveport La that wants my business. lease don't refer me to Red Ball Oxygen. Hint Hint!!

    Thanks in advance

  • #2
    I don't know if that is standard practice or not but every distributor has rules to follow. Here a couple distributors that should be close by. Hopefully one of them will be able to fill your bottles.

    [email protected]

    Phone: 318-222-7528

    AERIFORM - 1.44 miles
    Phone: 318-222-5883
    Kevin Schuh
    Service Technician
    Miller Electric Mfg. Co.


    • #3

      Thanks for jumping in! I appreciate the info on the dealers out of my immediate area.


      Most dealers will fill or swap out customer owned tanks as long as they are within the testing period. Most tanks are tested every 10 (ten) years. It sounds like your dealer does not want your business. We have one like that in my area also, but we too have several dealers willing to bend over backwards to help! Take the info Kevin has given you and give them a call. If you have no luck, then post again.


      • #4

        That is the common practice here as well. Most distributors don't want to be caught with someone elses tank. You may want to go back to the original dealer (if possible) and have them write an accept note to the new distributor. If this ever happens again, try to request an unmarked tank for your last fill so you can bring it in and start swapping tanks at the new place.



        • #5
          What do you mean by "unmarked" tanks. Other than the Fed Reg markings there is nothing else I can see. These tanks were tested 3 years ago.


          • #6

            I think Andy means without a dealer or distrubutor name on them.


            • #7
              JWELD I feel lucky that the the company That treated me so well 20+ years ago when I was a brat still treats me well after ownership and name changes. My original OA tank lease still in effect and others more rescent as well as my mm210. If you get a relationship with a great dealer you'll be like me loyal. Thank you AIRGAS, especially Rich and Randy!!!
              Hope things get smoother for you,


              • #8
                Originally posted by JWELD
                What do you mean by "unmarked" tanks. Other than the Fed Reg markings there is nothing else I can see. These tanks were tested 3 years ago.
                I think this is the marking on the collar ring around the valve. If it is a leased tank, usually the dealer's name is a raised lettering on this collar, around the circumference. BIG users, too, like here at Hoover Dam have their name on their collars. People like me have a blank collar, and when I exchange my tanks, they give me another with a blank collar. But Praxair won't exchange a tank with "AIRGAS" on the collar, for example. They'll assume you stole it from Airgas. And if Airgas ever caught them with one of their tanks...


                • #9
                  That's exactly what I was talking about. Most Distributors when you purchase a tank will still exchange it with one of thier own with the dealer name on it. The tank that you purchased is then put into rotation with all the other tanks. In MAC's case, the distributor chose to keep purchase tanks and lease tanks seperate. This is rare and a nice benefit for him as he will be able to jump to another gas supplier without hassle.

                  Good luck!



                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ASKANDY
                    This is rare...
                    I had no idea. I figured it was normal, seeing as how smart it was. Figures....


                    • #11
                      I am a new poster to the board. I have lurked and read a lot of the posts, but never replied. I have been in the welding business for 20 years, on the distributor end. For 14 for an independant, now for 6 years since we were bought out by a larger acquisition distributor. I see a lot of posts that I think I can add something to. I am not going to try and "sell" anything, just want to be helpful, maybe help somebody keep from making the same mistakes that I have made, or seen so many others make over the years.

                      In relation to JWELD's question, Yes it is common for distributors to only exchange their own cylinders. It is because of legal issues when filling someone elses cylinders. There was a day when either the distributor, or one of the major gas producers owned all cylinders. Back then they were leased to the shop or business owner and everyone was very touchy about anyone filling their cylinders. About 20- 25 years ago that started to loosen up. More independants started buying their cylinders, instead of leasing them from the majors. They in turn started selling cylinders to the shop owners also.

                      Then along came all these acquisition companies, like Airgas, buying up independants that were tied to all the majors and cylinder tracking got more dicey. Just becuse it has a name on the neck ring anymore is not a certain way to tell who's cylinder it is. There was a day, when most distributors kept track of every cylinder, by serial number. That doesn't happen so much any more, although many do use barcodes and even electronic transponders to track their cylinders. Cylinders are a distributors biggest asset and they are where they make their money. It is a unique business. most businesses put $3.00 worth of product in a $0.15 throw away container to sell it. Gas distributors, on the other hand, put $3.00 worth of product in a $150.00 returnable container. If the distributor doesn't get rent from the cylinder, and get it back to make more profit on the refills, it is a losing proposition, that is why they are so protective.

                      Where I am from, all distributors will accept a sales reciept, from a legitimate welding supplier, as proof of ownership of the cylinders. After you show them this, most will copy and keep it on file, they will exchange your cylinders for you. If a distributor won't do this, it could be because he is not interested in doing business with you, or because his competitors have taken him to court and won a "loss of Revenue" case against him. Either way, I would find another distributor. Even if you have lost the receipt, a good distributor will make a phone call to the distributor where you bought the cylinders to make sure it is okay to exchange them, I've done it many times.

                      The blank neck ring for customer owned cylinders is a great way to handle this situation, but it is a rarity. The best scenario for you as a consumer, is to buy your cylinders, and trade them at a distributor who is happy to have your business and does not try to stick it to you for retests or cylinder maintenence fees.

                      The guy that never heard of a Dynasty 200, I would never darken his door again, even if he gave me my gas. If he is that removed from todays equipment, he is never going to be able to help you solve your problems.

                      And one last word, I know...finally. Regarding distributors, people make the distributor. Many compnaies have very poor locations in one town, and fantastic locations in another. Once you find a good one, stick with him, don't shop him for every penny. Keep him honest, but if he is friendly and helpful to you, take that into consideration. Good help is hard to find, and paying him an extra dollar or two now and then may well be worth it in the long run. Besides, even if you are so good that you never need his expertise, isn't it nice to be treated well when you go to buy something?

                      Thanks for listening.


                      • #12

                        Welcome to the forum. Thank you for posting from a distributor's point of view. It sounds like you have a lot of knowledge and experience you are willing to share. Jump in!


                        • #13
                          I am glad to see a bit of the picture from the other side of the fence, so to speak. Thank you for your input and I look forward to it on other subjects that your knowledge will benefit all of us.

                          Thanks again,


                          • #14

                            The ultimate cylinder horror story:

                            My uncle had owned his own cylinders since some time after WWII. After he died my cousin inherited them. He always used the same supplier for refills, but one day a fellow he had gone all the way through school with came by and announced that he had a welding supply and would exchange cylinders cheaper than the other guy. Bill started using him until one day he was out of business. He took his next empties to the old supplier and discovered that the cylinders were not owner cylinders and in fact was a lease cylinder. He lost his cylinders and found out that the "friend" was in deep doo-doo with the law over many of his practices.


                            • #15
                              Welcome klsm54!

                              I wouldn't have told everyone about only putting $3 of product in the cylinders though.....I'm going down to my distributor and tellin him I'm only paying $6 for my next fill!

                              Just kiddin!

                              You are definitely right on. It's the people that make the distributor. I'm lucky here in Charlotte to have 3 equally competent and helpful dealers to shop at. Even though they know I work for MILLER, I get the same treatment Joe Blow gets. I demand no special treatment for my personal shop and they like that I pay on time! It goes both ways. We as consumers we expect a deal but not at a cost of service. I would have to say that any of you who purchased a welder online will not be able to get your welder serviced from that guy unless you are willing to ship it to them. I'm not bashing the online purchasers... Quite opposite. Go for the deal that you can. Just be prepared to pay later if you need machine service as dealers will most likely service you, but it will be after they service regular customers. You can't fault them for that. They need to look out for their own customers first. Most service distributors don't make much, if anything, at all off machine service. It's usually a way to bring "value added" one stop shopping to the customer. Imagine you are the guy at the service dealer and someone walks in and says "I bought this from you and it's not working" or..."I bought this on the internet and it's not working". Which guy is going to get fixed up fast?
                              I buy as much stuff as the next guy online, but anything that I think may need service or is a major purchase, I get at a dealer. That's just me. I purchased a big screen TV a few months ago, did it at Best Buy. The same TV was $208 cheaper online. I guess I'm a sucker for service.

                              Any thoughts klsm?
                              Thanks for bringing a Dealer look to us. I know a bunch of distributor are lookin at the site, wish more would chime in.