Ask Roger: Spill Control Products
Automotive fleet maintenance and production facilities should always be prepared for leaks and spills. If you are wondering how to choose between all the different products out there, here are some guidelines to help. There are two main categories: oil-only and general purpose. Oil-only absorbents repel water but also absorb oil-based fluids such as gasoline, diesel fuel, grease, hydraulic fluid and more. General purpose, or universal absorbents, absorb a variety of substances such as oils, grease, water, solvents, and coolants.
Mat Pads and Roll
Absorbent mats are essentially ultra-durable towels. They can be used to line walkways so there are no slips, to soak up puddles or catch and contain leaks around machinery. Mats can also be a liner under oil drums.
Socks and Booms
Sock and boom absorbents are the first step in containing large spills. They create a dike to keep the spills from spreading further, which will mean fewer cleanups later on.
Socks can also wind around the base of leaky machinery to catch leaks and drips before they get into walkways and create a hazard. They can also be placed near windows and doors during harsh weather to prevent any leaks from coming inside. Works great to mold and shape around drums and vessels.
If a spill gets really big, it’s usually time to call in the big boys: booms. Booms are socks that are just longer and larger in diameter than socks. They are most often used to contain and absorb oil-based liquids that have spilled on a body of water, but they can be used to contain oily spills on land as well.
Loose or Granular Absorbents
It doesn’t happen often, but sometimes mats, socks and pillows just don’t fit the bill. For example, sometimes they won’t fit into a small space that the leak or spill has found. That is where granular sorbents such as Zorbit or Gaultra come in. The loose pellets can fill in the empty spaces and dry up the remaining liquid. The grains can then be quickly swept up and disposed.
Drum covers are absorbent drum-top pads that are precut to fit 55 gallon drums with allowance for fill and breather holes. Use these to prevent liquid from sloshing over the sides and dribbling onto the floor.
Spills kits are also available in a variety of sizes. These kits can be placed throughout your facility or trucks to maintain that spills are handled and cleaned quickly and effectively. Custom kits can be made upon request.
Keep spill kits on hand in maintenance trucks or near high spill areas for quick response before the problem gets bigger.