For the past 24 years, Lynden Tank Company has designed, manufactured and repaired stainless-steel tank trailers and components for Milky Way and LTI, Inc. The customized tanks are used to haul milk and other temperature-controlled loads like wine, fresh raspberries and sensitive liquid and haz-mat chemicals.
“We pride ourselves on having one of the lightest-weight and safest trailers on the market and some of the most talented and creative people in the field on our team. No commercial tank manufacturer has gone as far as we have to allow maximum payloads while maintaining durability, quality and integrity for our customers,” explains General Manager Len Kilmer.
Once all components have been built, it takes approximately 200 hours to assemble a trailer. “We spend about 60 percent of our time building tanks and 40 percent on repairs, maintenance and on building ladders, fenders and running gear. It’s a kick to see a flat sheet of stainless formed, welded, polished and then rolled out as a sleek, new light-weight set of tankers,” Len says.
Lynden Tank offers on-site service to Milky Way and LTI, Inc. drivers who can pull up to the shop in Lynden and get repairs or maintenance taken care of on the spot. The company also builds, stocks and ships replacement components for the tankers to all Milky Way locations, and a certification from the National Board of Boiler & Pressure Vessel Inspectors allows Lynden Tank to inspect, test and repair pressure tanks to Department of Transportation (DOT) standards.
This spring, Lynden Tank is collaborating with Western Washington University’s Engineering Department on a project to test the aerodynamics of its tanks. A student is creating a 3D drawing of a Lynden tank for use with a computer program called Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). He is also building a model of a tank for use in a wind tunnel. The program will indicate drag on the tank and analyze possible modifications to help increase fuel mileage.
“This is a great partnership and is just one more example of how we continually work to improve our product and add value for our customers,” Len says.
The Lynden Tank crew. From left: Juan Borjas, Brady Johnson, Corey Clausen, Scott Williamson, Len Kilmer, Stan Lutts, Cody Matter, Bruce Bouwman, Doug Bouwman and Brian Zweegman. Photo credit: Heidi Doornenbal.