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  • klsm54
    replied
    If there has been any regulation change on selling larger cylinders, I have not seen or heard of it. Our Company spends a lot of dollars and calories on Safety and Compliance issues, and it is hard for me to believe that this would have fallen through the cracks. If you are going to blow something up with a cylinder, would a terrorist care whether it was a leased, rented, or customer owned cylinder? Sounds a lot like most gun control laws to me....

    Hazmat fees are supposed to help us distributors recoup the expenses we acrue with Hazardous Material related issues. Things such as DOT paperwork, Insurance company regulations, Mandatory Drug and Alcohol testing, Labeling and placarding laws, FDA regulations, etc. In my eyes, and at the locations that I work out of, we only charge Hazmat fees on Gases. We don't have any added expenses, related to hazardous material laws and regulations, in selling or stocking a contact tip or clear plastic lense. However, I have heard of some companies adding the Hazmat fees to all invoices. If they do, I would hope that is a very nominal fee.

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  • cope
    replied
    Originally posted by klsm54
    JWELD....At the bottom of my post is a link to Taylor Whartons page about Hi-pressure cylinders ...These sizes are approximate, but should get you lose enough to figure out the size of any cylinder.

    brwelder, that is too bad that all the distributors in your area have got together and pulled a strong arm on all the endusers. That is possibly the case, or one of the distributors has forced the legal issue and has all the others running scared.

    Sad but true about "Some" distributors not knowing anything about the equipment they are selling. I am sure that the guys from Miller can vouch though, that Miller, along with other manufacturers, offers a lot of distributor training, that is well attended, so there are some very good people out there. We are lucky, being only a couple hours from Pittsburgh, where Miller and Lincoln both conduct training classes. Most of our sales people attend at least one of these course a year, and I try to get the younger ones to at least two. Finding may be the trick. And yes, this forum is a great place to get questions answered. I would have loved to have a place like this to hang around when I started in the business, sure would have sped up the learning process.T-W Cylinder Chart
    Is there any thruth to a rumor I heard that the DOT has pretty much stopped the sale of cylinders larger that 80 cu ft? Supposedly due to Homeland Security reasons.

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    KLSM
    Thanks very much for the info.

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  • klsm54
    replied
    JWELD....At the bottom of my post is a link to Taylor Whartons page about Hi-pressure cylinders ...These sizes are approximate, but should get you lose enough to figure out the size of any cylinder.

    brwelder, that is too bad that all the distributors in your area have got together and pulled a strong arm on all the endusers. That is possibly the case, or one of the distributors has forced the legal issue and has all the others running scared.

    Sad but true about "Some" distributors not knowing anything about the equipment they are selling. I am sure that the guys from Miller can vouch though, that Miller, along with other manufacturers, offers a lot of distributor training, that is well attended, so there are some very good people out there. We are lucky, being only a couple hours from Pittsburgh, where Miller and Lincoln both conduct training classes. Most of our sales people attend at least one of these course a year, and I try to get the younger ones to at least two. Finding may be the trick. And yes, this forum is a great place to get questions answered. I would have loved to have a place like this to hang around when I started in the business, sure would have sped up the learning process.T-W Cylinder Chart

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  • brwelder
    replied
    the test date is on the cylinder . If there is a star symbol next to the date the test is good for 10 years.

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  • brwelder
    replied
    online sales

    In our area ( wash dc ) there are over 5 major gas companies and they will not exchange or take their competitors cylinders( 125 cu ft and up)
    These distributors do not sell these sizes so they make it pretty cut and dry if you have one of their cylinders.
    As far as the online sales go we do not make as much profit as a local dealer does as the the shipping cost associated with sales either by UPS shipping or Miller can vary from $ 25 to hundreds of dollars. We have to figure this cost in and still be competitive . I have also been told that many dealers will not and can answer questions about machines, prices, hookups, repairs and so on. To find someone who will answer your questions is hard. Thats what this forum tries to do and it does a great job.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    How can you tell what size cylinder you have and is the retest date on the cylinder??

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  • DDA52
    replied
    klsm
    What's the deal with the hazmat fees anyway? I used to get hazmat fees on hazardous mats only. Now I'm ( and I'm sure everybody else is too ) being charged those fees on things like gloves, wire and lenses. Is this a way to get more money out of us, or is there a legitimate fee being passed along to us consumers?

    Don

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  • klsm54
    replied
    HAWK, If they are telling you that you can't own a 300 size cylinder, it is only because of their company policy. We sell them every day, and so does our closest competitors.

    Many companies try to "protect" that large cylinder business by only leasing cylinders. When we were an independant, we basically kicked our competitions butts by selling all sizes of cylinders and they only leased anything larger than 80 size cylinders. If they only lease the cylinders, you are committed to going back to them for refills.

    The only drawback to owning cylinders is that some distributors "may" try to charge you for retests and a cylinder maintenence fee. If someone, that I was dealing with regularly, tried to charge me either of those fees on my customer owned tanks, I would seriously consider a new vendor.

    Added charges are a political football in the larger distibutors. This is a touchy area, and I don't want to offend anyone. But with some distributors, the sales personnel are really pressured to add them. With us it is a Hazmat Charge, and Delivery Fee. With others it is cylinder processing fees, cylinder maintenence charges, etc. It is a creative way to put money in our pockets. But that does not make all of us distributors evil. It is not all based on price gouging. As any of you who own businesses well know, costs are constantly rising. This industry has been locked in a buyers market, a market that is constanly holding, and even reducing gas prices, while operating costs continue to rise.

    In many cases, especially with larger customers, a delivery fee, or hazmat charge can be more easily justified than a gas price increase. The most important thing to remember is that, in most cases, these fees are negotiable. If I like you and want to keep your business, and you are a loyal customer, I will reduce that delivery charge, or Hazmat fee, considerably. That way I can appease my bosses who, justifiably so, are constanly monitoring my bottom line, and still treat you fairly. Once again it is the people who make the distributor. Good people will explain why they have to add these charges, and will work with you to keep your costs in line. Just remember, the distributor is in it to make money, and has a whole lot of overhead to cover.

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  • timw
    replied
    HAWK, I have one of the large cylinders that I own. The neck ring has "customer owned" on it. I actually took in a medium cylinder and paid for the refill. The salesman went to the dock to get my refill and couldn't find a full medium tank. He ask me if I would mind the larger cylinder. I ask about ownership and he pointed out the neck ring. I took it.

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  • Paul Seaman
    replied
    DDA52:
    If you do leave the primary supplier in favor of the secondary supplier just don't leave mad, sometime in the future you may need something odd and they may have it, and decide you don't deserve the deal, and hit you hard in the pocketbook.

    klsm54
    I believe so much in this equipment I've invited other customers from my supplier to come over and try it out, I know if they use it they will buy one. I know they have a training shop for demo's but a demo didn't sell me, seeing one in action in the real world did! I am just treating others the way one man treated me when I was on the fence as to which machine to buy.

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  • HAWK
    replied
    klsm54,

    CUSTOMER OWNED CYLINDERS: I have two rental cylinders (1) 92%argon/8% carbon dioxide (2) 75% helium/25% argon. They are the large cylinders (300CF). I have been told I cannot "own" these tanks due to their size. I have been told a 160CF cylinder is the largest I can "own" and cannot find these mixes readily available in such a small size. Also it is not feasible for me to own any smaller cylinders as I change out the 75%helium/25%argon about 2 times per month and the 92%ar/8%CO2 about once a month. Smaller cylinders would run me to death.

    Is what I am being told correct?

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  • DDA52
    replied
    klsm54
    Thanks for the dealer insight. I'm thinking hard about changing my primary supplier. I'm getting very tired of having to fight to keep a salesman's attention and get questions answered. My supplier is a smaller distributer ( about 9 stores) in south Texas. One big problem I run into is almost everytime I have a billing problem I can never get anyone that even speaks English! Almost always the trouble is a translation problem. The guys at the store are always civil, but you can tell that they'd rather be someplace else. Whitey does not always get the same service either, sad to say. I don't have this problem at my secondary supplier. ( Trigas) They have always been more than helpful. Every large purchase I've made in the last 3 years has been through them. This is due to the fact that they actually have what they are selling in stock. I'm not worried about service on machines since I use a repair only facility. I'm not constantly hasseled to replace rather than repair with them either since they sell only parts.
    Switching after nearly 12 years is a bit unnerving. Hopefully your suggestions will help make it smoother. BTW, the local Trigas has nothing but blue on the floor. What more could you want?


    Don

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  • klsm54
    replied
    Thanks for the welcome, guys. I hope I can offer some information here from the distributors point of view that will help out.

    You are right on the money with your assessment of the on-line -versus dealer subject Andy. I buy a lot of items on-line, but always do as you said, if it is a major purchase, that may need serviced, I try and buy locally, and from a reputable dealer.

    PJS, you again proved that "people" make a good distributor.Not every town has one, I'm sure, but usually you can find a good distributor within a short drive. It is no different than buying appliances, or automobiles, service can be a very big issue, and may be something you wish to consider before making that purchase.

    Cope, I feel sorry for your relative. It is a good lesson in "Buyer beware". I would always be wary of a "New Guy" who is offering something that seems too good to be true, it probably is. If you find a good distributor, he can explain the differences to you about owning versus leasing, or renting cylinders. If he doesn't want to explain the difference, and denies any advantages to owning cylinders, he is probably not the dealer you want to do business with.

    Leasing is usually the least expensive way to get the cylinder in your shop. But be assured, in 9 cases out of ten, when the lease is renewed, it will cost you more money. Just had one the other day, guy leased cylinders for 25 years from our company in 1957, for $50.00 a pair (Oxygen and acetylene cyls), in 1982 he paid another $50.00, but this time it was for only 10 years. Then in 1992, he started paying an annual lease which has since escalated to $42.00 per cylinder, per year. There were other options along the way, but his secretary (wife) always chose the "cheapest" option, which in the long run cost the poor guy the most money. Nice guy that I am, I told him if he paid the $84.00 he owed for this years lease, we would give him the cylinders. He still ended up paying an outrageous amount for these cylinders, because he always took tyhe cheapest way, at the time.

    Buying a cylinder has distinct advantages, that may vary from dealer to dealer. In our locations, we trade customer owned cylinders out of our normal stock. If someone comes in with cylinders witha competitors label and neck ring on them, we will trade, with a sales reciept, but I always warn him that he may, or may not, have problems when, and if, he decides to go back to that dealer. If a dealer doesn't care about sales reciepts for cylinders, and just takes anything with no questions asked, I would steer clear of him, it can cause problems likes Cope's cousin had down the road.

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  • ASKANDY
    replied
    Good for you PJS! I would believe they appreciated your upfrontness with them and you have a place to fall back on if need be for service.

    A-

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