In the Field: Fluid and the Mining Industry

Posted by Amy Huckaba on Aug 19, 2020 4:45:00 PM

Here’s a number that might surprise you: it takes roughly 260 gallons of water to produce one ton of coal. That same amount of water is enough to run a dishwasher 86 times, flush a toilet 175 times, or meet one person’s recommended daily fluid intake for almost an entire year.

So, what’s all that water being used for in the mines? Almost every step of the process—from managing dust to transporting coal—relies on water in some form or another.   

Photo courtesy of iStock/SergeyZavalnyuk
Hydromonitor at a mining site. 

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Mining 101: Intro to Mining

Posted by Amy Huckaba on Aug 5, 2020 12:00:00 PM

For the average Joe, the word “mining” might spark an image of old-timey workers, covered in soot and dirt, picks slung over their shoulders and helmets on their heads. Others might recall the legendary gold-rush stories of our school days, picturing the determined men and women who sought a bonanza in the streams of California.

Neither idea is particularly accurate when it comes to today’s miners.

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From Well to Retail: Where Does Gasoline Come From?

Posted by Amy Huckaba on Jul 22, 2020 3:30:00 PM

Despite the fact that we depend on gasoline to get us from point A to point B, few of us could say how that liquid gets from the ground to our gas tanks. We buy milk from the store; we get fuel from a gas station: simple! But the milk wasn’t made in the store, nor the gas at your local ExxonMobil, so how did it get there?

Let’s start with the basics—of gasoline that is, not milk.

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Dairy's Haul Across America

Posted by Amy Huckaba on Jul 8, 2020 11:00:00 AM

Once upon a time, American families would wake up in the morning to fresh milk waiting on their front stoop. Dedicated milkmen delivered that delicious liquid to growing boys and girls everywhere, making it no longer necessary to keep a cow in the backyard. Today, milk delivery has all but disappeared, with a meager 0.4 percent of consumers still paying for this service. But never fear: the milkmen of yesteryear are still hard at work hauling milk, just in a different capacity.

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Crude Oil, Refined

Posted by Amy Huckaba on Jun 24, 2020 5:30:00 PM

We all have a vague sense of oil: it comes from the ground, is changed into a useful fuel source or petrochemical, and eventually benefits our lives. Oil headlines regularly splash across the news, and we notice when gas prices fluctuate. 

But what does the average American actually know about the refining process itself? In truth, we probably know more about cooking oils than we do about crude ones.

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What is the U.S. Transportation Sector?

Posted by Amy Huckaba on Jun 10, 2020 5:30:00 PM

The transportation sector includes companies that move people, products, and other goods across the United States to various destinations, and it takes millions of workers to make it all possible.

Several specific sub-sectors are included in the transportation category, including air, rail, marine, truck, transit and ground, scenic and sightseeing, and support activities. As an integral part of transportation, infrastructure and logistics are also counted as part of the sector.

These categories and subcategories are made up of private and public companies like airlines, shipping and trucking services, and other essential transportation businesses that keep America moving.

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Top 5 Freight Transport Trends in 2020

Posted by Amy Huckaba on May 27, 2020 3:45:00 PM

2019 wasn’t exactly a banner year for the trucking industry. From trade deals gone awry to an unexpected tariff war to driver shortages and regulation changes, the industry grappled with a host of challenges—some predicted, some not. Combined, these issues led to around 640 trucking companies filing for bankruptcy in the first half of 2019 alone. The year ended on a somber note, with heavy-hitter Celadon closing its doors as the biggest bankruptcy in trucking history.

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Cheese Production: Where Art and Automation Meet

Posted by Amy Huckaba on May 13, 2020 4:30:00 PM

Did you know the average Switzerland resident eats more than 47 pounds of cheese every year? The Swiss are some of the top cheese-eaters in the world, but their cheesy love affair falls short of the French, who lead the world in cheese consumption with an astounding 57 pounds per person annually. Where do Americans fall on the scale? We manage a respectable 40 pounds over the course of a year, giving us plenty of room for improvement—and more cheddar.

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King Safety Cables

Posted by Joe Sugarman on Apr 29, 2020 4:40:00 PM

If you’ve ever been on a worksite where a pressurized air hose suddenly becomes disconnected or a hose failure occurs, it’s not something you want to experience again. The quick exhaust of air causes the hose assembly to whip around violently, creating a potentially dangerous situation for all those around, not to mention the possibility of damaging equipment.

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Safety Check Valves

Posted by Joe Sugarman on Apr 15, 2020 4:30:00 PM

When using a portable air compressor on a worksite, what component should (almost) always be part of the job? The answer is a safety check valve (SCV), properly installed between the compressor and the hose. In fact, if your air hose has an inside diameter of more than a ½ inch, OSHA requires a SCV to be installed at the source of the air supply to shut off the air automatically in case of hose failure. (If a check valve is not being used, OSHA requires a safety cable, such as Dixon’s King™ safety cable, to be attached to the hose.) But selecting the right safety check valve is an important but often times confusing task.  There are many factors that play into that decision: air pressure, tool flow rate, compressor flow rate, the size of your hose, and the length of your hose, among them. Here’s a quick guide to helping make that decision an easier one.

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