Global Fastener News

2014 FIN – Schools & Flights Cancelled, But Fastener Companies Brave Record Low Temps

2014 FIN – Schools & Flights Cancelled, But Fastener Companies Brave Record Low Temps
April 03
00:00 2014

 

Delta Secondary's

Delta Secondary’s “tough employees” pictured midweek in Bensenville, IL.

Southeastern Companies Reopen
February 18, 2014 FIN – Earlier this month Midwest fastener facilities fought record low temperatures and more than a foot of snow, but managed to operate.  This week a few inches of snow closed many parts of the Southeastern U.S. unaccustomed to such winter weather.
The XL Screw branch in the Atlanta suburb of Austell, GA, closed at 2 p.m. Tuesday, January 28, 2014 as the winter storm began and remained closed on Wednesday.
“For some, a normal 30-minute drive turned into almost eight hours,” XL president Bob Sachs reported. “Some of our employees still have not made it to their homes. They found shelter with relatives or friends.”
“XL is open today,” Sachs said Thursday. “Most of our staff is at the office, but a few still can not get into the office.”  Web: XLScrew.com
In Birmingham, Alabama, a few Birmingham Fastener  employees ended up sleeping in their vehicles, president Brad Tinney reported. “All are safe and accounted for,” though there were “several wrecked vehicles.”
“We had a few sleep on the side of the Interstate,” Tinney described the situation in Alabama. “Several of us opened our homes to coworkers that could not make it home.”
After being closed on Wednesday, the Birmingham Fastener office opened Thursday at regular time and 90% were able to make it to work, Tinney reported.
The plant started production at 11:30 a.m. Thursday with a full crew and will work until 8 p.m.
“We will make up for lost production on Saturday,” Tinney told FIN. “Trucks are back online today.”
“All customers were very understanding,” Tinney said. “Smartphones really helped our salespeople communicate with customers yesterday.”  Web: bhamfast.com
“Do you remember the Chicago snow storm in 1967?” Sachs recalled. “That’s what this storm reminded me of. Not because the amount of snow but because both storms paralyzed the traffic in both cities.”
In Atlanta this year, “people were abandoning their cars in the middle of the roads and highways and just walking away or spending the night in their cars. I heard of someone spending 14 hours in their car without moving.”
Midwesterners noticed it was all over a few inches of snow. “Atlanta needs a better emergency weather plan than their current strategy which is not to do anything,” Sachs pointed out. ©2014 GlobalFastenerNews.com

January 7, 2014 GlobalFastenerNews.com – A year ago Aztech Locknut Company became the first fastener manufacturer to achieve ISO 50001 energy standard certification for its suburban Chicago plant.  This year those insulating blankets for the dock doors may be paying off.
“Yes we are working today, nice & toasty here!” president Mark Kaindl described the Aztech plant in Aurora, IL. Web: aztechlocknut.com
Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport set a record low at 8 a.m. Monday, January 6, 2014, as the thermometer dropped to 16 below zero.  In addition, the wind chill was down to -42 and there was 11.7 inches of snow at O’Hare.
The previous record of -14 was hit in both 1894 and 1988.
While schools throughout Illinois closed, hundreds of flights cancelled and Gov. Pat Quinn declared a state of disaster for the entire state, fastener companies reported they were still in production.
“At least it’s not -29F like today in Norilsk, Russia, where the nickel is mined to produce stainless,” Bruce Wheeler of Star Stainless pointed out.

So Much Closed, But Fastener Companies Open
• “We are open, and running full production for both shifts,” Bill Vodicka of AllStar Fasteners Inc. in Elk Grove Village, IL, told GlobalFastenerNews.com. “Yes, we are colder than crap, but people still need there parts just like we have promised.”  Web: allstarfasteners.com

• “My employees are tough,” Alina Agresto of Delta Secondary Inc. in Bensenville, IL, declared. She said only one employee didn’t make it in – because his car wouldn’t start.
Employees “all brought their lunch knowing they didn’t want to venture out,” Agresto added.
It was -17 with a -50 wind chill when she left her house Monday morning.  “It’s much worse in Minnesota and the Dakotas,” Agresto ventured.

• “Everybody is at work today and doing fine,” Bob Sachs of XL Screw Corporation of Lincolnshire, IL, reported.  “Due to the extreme cold, I have our employees parking inside the heated truck docks to prevent car problems when they go home later this afternoon.”
While XL Screw employees were on duty, Sachs noted that the “phones were extremely quiet. I am sure many of our customers stayed home today. I hope it’s the weather putting the freeze on business today.” Web: xlscrew.com

• Fastener companies were operating, but it was more difficult to be driving a truck. “When you combine the recent snow of the weekend along with today’s wind, it makes for some icy road conditions,” Wheeler explained.  “Because of the negative temperatures, the gross majority of trucking companies servicing Star’s Chicago warehouse have already advised us that they will not be picking up freight from us today. From what I see, it doesn’t look like much of anything will be moving out the door today.”

• The temperature on her car was -19 and more than a foot of snow had fallen when Jodi Stein of Tom McCall & Associates Executive Search headed to her office in Olympia Fields, IL. “Only a couple of us made it to the office,” Stein said.
But there was a major problem at work as her “office building has no running water due to frozen pipes,” Stein said.  Web: tmccall.com

• In response to the question on being open, Chicago Hardware & Fixture Co. national sales manager Jim Sullivan declared, “Absolutely!” Web: chicagohardware.com

• Farther east in Ohio, the Industrial Fasteners Institute office was “open and working, but we will probably send staff home a little early,” managing director Rob Harris reported.  Web: indfast.org

• “Yes, we are here,” declared Jim Ruetz, president of All Fasteners and All Tool Sales in Franksville, WI. “It’s a balmy -12 degrees.”  Web: Allfast.com
• “With 18 degree below zero temps & 50 below wind chill, the state of Wisconsin is pretty much in lock down mode,” Georgia Foley of Specialty Tools & Fasteners Distributors Association. “Nearly everything is closed.”
Foley had only one phone call in five hours at the STAFDA office.  A member in Tennessee opened the call with “What are you doing at work today?” ? “He couldn’t believe we were open,” Foley said. “I told him it was me, myself, and my dog at STAFDA.
“?The coldest wind chill in the entire state was in Wausau at -54, and Waukesha – near STAFDA’s headquarters – temperature dropped to -17.Foley was at the STAFDA office from 10 am until 3 pm Monday and later was checking emails from home.  Web: stafda.org

• Despite being headquartered in Minnesota, Bill Unferth termed Lindstrom Metric LLC, “fully operational.”  Web: lindfastgrp.com

• “Brrrrrrr,” Earnest Machine president Kirk Zehnder described the weather in a single word.  The Ohio headquarters remained open, but Earnest closed its Indianapolis distribution center. The Atlanta facility “is shipping orders that need to go.”  Web: earnestmachine.com

Though most were at work, several noted changes in their personal lives. “I cancelled my run today due to the -27° wind chill,” Zehnder admitted.
Wheeler said Star Stainless was serving hot chocolate “while supplies last” to brave customers picking up freight.
Though Aztech was operating, Kaindl noted his wife called to report the power was out at home. “A different story there!” Kaindl noted before heading home.
Ruetz noted he is looking forward to the National Fastener Distributors Association’s mid-February meeting in Palm Springs, CA.
On Tuesday, Wheeler said the temperature is supposed to climb to +10, “so I would suspect the worst is behind us and truckers will begin running once again at some point today.”
The weather for the balance of the week is supposed to get a little warmer each day and tomorrow we should be in the teens, Wheeler said.
“Wow, -12F in Chicago and  -13F all the way at the top of Alaska in Point Barrow,” Wheeler noted. “I guess it’s safe to call this an Arctic cold front.”
“It is -16 at 1:00 in the afternoon and the sun is as bright as ever,” Sachs observed. “With all of the snow and looking out from the inside, it looks very pretty outside.” ©2014 Fastener Industry News.
For information on permission to reuse or reprint this article please e-mail: FIN@GlobalFastenerNews.com.

Trucking Topped Polar Vortex Problems for Midwest Fastener Companies

January 23, 2014 FIN – After three days of record low temperatures beginning Monday, January 6, 2014, due to the Polar Vortex, fastener companies were back to business as usual by Thursday.
Trucking was apparently the biggest problem for Midwest fastener companies.

“We are back to normal winter weather here in Chicago,” Bruce Wheeler of Star Stainless reported.  “Schools are back in session, truckers are trucking and the roads are clear.”
Bob Sachs of XL Screw Corporation acknowledged that the “cold weather has had some effect on business the last few days. It has caused some difficulty with trucks picking up and delivering on time. But our customers are very understanding of the situation.”
The school closings and the difficult driving conditions have caused havoc with most of the employees among our distributor customers.
Sachs is looking forward to a return to the  “normal flow of incoming orders” as people will get back to work.
Sachs commended XL  employees for being at work “every day ready to do whatever it takes.”
Jim Sullivan, national sales manager for Chicago Hardware & Fixture, found disruptions were “primarily some delayed shipments due to road conditions. Orders seem to be getting back to pre-holiday levels, so that’s good.”
Weekend temperatures are forecast close to 40 degrees, which Sullivan noted “would be about a 56 degree swing since Monday. That’s what makes us Chicago people proud of being the “city with big shoulders!”
“We’ve continued running three shifts to get product out only to have it sit waiting since Friday for truck lines to show up,” Alina Agresto of Delta Secondary reported.  “Fortunately UPS has been consistent for Next Day Air shipments.”
At Tom McCall & Associates, Jodi Stein reported the formerly frozen pipes in the office building “are flowing but we are having light sleet!  I need to find some warmth and sunshine!” ©2014 Fastener Industry News.
For information on permission to reuse or reprint this article please e-mail: FIN@GlobalFastenerNews.com.

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