Central Equipment, LLC of Port Byron, New York has become one of the region’s most reliable sources of skid-mounted deicing sprayers and associated equipment since beginning operation in 1992. That was when Jim and Jackie Yonkers started selling liquid bulk storage tanks and other related parts after Jim’s layoff from a local chemical company. Since he was familiar with some of the equipment used in his former occupation, it seemed only natural for him to begin stocking and selling containers and equipment associated with farm liquid application and in other industries such as car washes. Additionally, there was a market for other liquid handling operations like municipalities and truck body companies. Many of these needed liquid tanks for storage and application of Calcium Chloride for roadway deicing.
Jim recalled how in the mid-1990s, it was discovered that there were a wide range of liquids that could be applied to roadways in addition to rock salt, for ice control. These liquids were found to enhance the deicing results, making the roadways cleaner and safer during the winter. With the variety of liquids coming from various sources such as the sugar beet industry, potato, molasses, corn syrup and other high carbohydrate industries, the need for corrosion resistant storage containers and handling equipment became evident to Jim.
It wasn’t long before he began assembling skid-mounted application systems as a way to make it simpler and easier for his customers to apply these liquids to the parking lots, driveways and roadways they were already contracted to clean using conventional snowplows and other snow pushing equipment.
Jim says that his knowledge of chemical application techniques and the chemistry of many of the liquids that are in use in today’s snow removal industry, gives customers the assurance of knowing they are getting the right equipment for their specific needs when they order equipment from Central Equipment, LLC. He says that not only are his company’s application systems in use for deicing situations, they are also used by contractors for dust control on dirt and gravel roads, site prep jobsites, soil stabilization applications, and other uses where Calcium Chloride is used for its hydroscopic properties.
Jim says that when he was first establishing his business, his products were often misunderstood and he was not allowed to exhibit at snow and winter trade shows because conventional wisdom in the industry suggested that you could not apply liquids to freezing surfaces as a way of controlling the anti-slip/skid properties of those surfaces. Eventually, as DOTs and other roadway maintenance groups began to realize the importance of pre-treating with liquid salt solutions and other anti-icing agents, the need for his company’s equipment grew.
“Today, the New York State Thruway Authority probably uses about 30 million gallons of liquid deicer while the New York DOT probably uses 60 to 70 million gallons of liquid as well. When you multiply that on a national level, it is easy to see how the industry has grown.”
He said that Central Equipment, LLC has expanded their customer base through the years selling equipment to orchards, farming operations and other end users, such as roadway maintenance groups on both the local and state levels. “As you travel New York State, when you pass an NYDOT maintenance facility and see those yellow poly storage tanks, you can be reasonably sure that they purchased them from Central Equipment. The same for the Thruway System,” he says. “They also use these systems in the non-winter months for soil stabilization applications, especially on the dirt and gravel roads.”
“Some of the newer based products are well-based salt brine products and lignin sulfinate, a by-product from paper mills,” he says. “That is a really sticky substance, and towns will use this material as a spray to hold the soil after they have cleaned out the ditches along the roadsides. These new spray materials help hold the soil in place without all of the vegetation that tends to grow along the ditches. This hardens the surface and it stays hard for two or three years and the rain doesn’t wash it away.”
Jim says that his skid-mounted spray units have become extremely popular with chemical company sales representatives who are looking for a reliable way to apply their chemicals when they make sales to their customers. The reps have come to know that a Central Equipment spray unit comes ready to use and is quick and easy to put into service. Their equipment line uses components designed to resist corrosion.
“We use all poly, no metal wetted parts in pumps and stainless steel fasteners,” he says. “We even use pallets that are made from recycled plastic so they will withstand the corrosive liquids.”
“We make a spray bar that is included with the system. Under most circumstances, our units are sold as a package, with nothing extra needed. They get the switch, they get the electric valve, they get the hose that they need, they get the spray bar and each unit comes with two sets of nozzles, a heavy set and a light set. In that way, the customer can switch materials that they are spraying without having to order additional parts to do the job,” he says.
“We can deliver the equipment or it can be drop shipped when it is ordered. The entire system can be loaded onto the customer’s truck and be ready to spray in 20 minutes. There is no need for additional set up. It is ready to use.”
“The same unit that is used in the winter to de-ice, can be used to do dust control in the summer months. All the owners need is to change the nozzles. In the winter they are spraying material at a rate to 30 gallons per lane mile, while in the summer, the application rate is 1000 gallons per lane mile, which would require the larger orifice nozzles.”
“We can have any size unit ready to ship in two days,” he adds. “We have the needed sub-assemblies on hand and we can assemble a complete package in two work days. We ship equipment every day, so if a customer orders by 1:45 pm, the order goes out the same day. Because we have the largest inventory of tank and Banjo Fittings in the Northeast, we can fill our customer’s orders quickly.”
“We are working on increasing our exposure on social media,” says Jim. “We are relying upon Tanisha Finley, our general manager, to help us with that effort. Tanisha has been with us for several years and she knows our business inside and out. She is more familiar with social media and how to use it effectively in our business.”
For more information on Central Equipment, LLC, visit their website at www.centralequipmentllc.com or give them a call at 315-776-5300.