Re: color code


Hello Clark,

Since I did not see a response to your question I thought I'd mention a
bit of experience I had growing up (I'm still in that never ending process).
My farther ran a service station in the late 60s to the early 80s and he had
a couple of contracts with the local state road department to supply oil and
related products to several of their road maintenance stations. He was an
independent but bought his products from the lowest priced supplier. I was
in high school and loved to drive so I became his pick up and delivery guy,
Nevada did not have a highway speed limit during that time era.
Most factory new products were color coated based on the manufacturers
colors not by particular products. I remember Shell used all yellow and all
black barrels, 76 orange and black, Chevron in medium blue barrels, Texaco
used all red and all black barrels some white too, there were many other
companies and colors used too. All of these companies made various petroleum
based chemicals such as pesticides and solvents these came mostly in white
or black barrels labeled according to either DoT or Dept. of Agriculture and
had early styles of hazardous warning labels, actual barrel color was
irrelevant to the product but only the labeling being important.
We moved a lot of different grades of motor oil, transmission fluid,
hydraulic oil, gear oil, grease, and solvents. There were the standard 55
gal drums, 30, 15, and 5 gallon barrels.
After a new barrel is put into circulation (like pallets) it could be
filled with anything after that. I remember delivering several barrels of
motor oil that were all different colors but stenciled as the same item.
They were barrels filled by an independent Texaco distributors' plant. I've
seen different oil companies original barrels filled with competitors
products with the original logos painted out then restenciled with the
particular contents.
So based on my limited experience, you could see new factory fresh barrels
painted with the companies bright logos and colors, then after the barrels
were put into general circulation (like pallets) you may see just about
anything in any color of barrel. I also believe that there were small
companies that bought empty barrels and refurbished them and sold them back
into the market, with new paint if needed.
We always had quite a number of empty barrels on hand to trade for full
barrels to avoid any barrel deposits.
I've been in several oil products distributors warehouses and seen
barrels stacked to the ceilings and scattered all about the only color
distinction was not by the products inside of them but only by the company
colors. Several of these were served by rail and some motor oil did come in
tank cars along with gasoline, diesel, and fuel oil (home heating), the
products that came in drums were both loose and banded on pallets shipped in
box cars.
I hope this helps in some way but remember I was a teenager and knew
everything but then everything wasn't much back then.

Sam Clarke
Kadee Quality Products

----- Original Message -----
From: "Clark Propst" <cepropst@...>
To: <STMFC@...>
Sent: Saturday, April 09, 2005 6:46 AM
Subject: [STMFC] color code

I have an oil distributor on my layout that will receive oil products in
steel barrels (oil drums) in box cars. Is, was there a color code for
barrels containing different products?
Thanks for your help,
Clark Propst
Red Star Oil
Mason City Iowa

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