LOCATED just a few miles southeast of Los Angeles, California, LA Wash Rack Inc has been servicing the tank transport industry for nearly 34 years with a primary focus on chemical tank cleaning. Over those decades, the company has worked hard to keep pace with steadily changing customer needs.
The most recent additions to the operation include construction of a stand-alone foodgrade tank cleaning facility adjacent to the chemical wash rack. The company also added a trailer maintenance shop.
The tank wash sits in the center of the city of Vernon which is known for being “exclusively industrial.” The surrounding manufacturing businesses and close proximity to several major interstates have aided in the success of the non-foodgrade and chemical wash rack since the operation opened its doors in 1985.
The facility at 4317 S Downey Road in Vernon operates Monday-Friday 6 am to 9:30 pm, and Saturday by appointment. Driver amenities include showers and snack machines as well as a variety of food delivery available in the area. Product heating is available in addition to drop and hook services.
Two 50-hp boilers provide steam for product heating and chemical cleaning. The boilers provide 125-psi steam and can heat product to 250° F.
A 10-person cleaning crew operates the foodgrade wash rack, while the chemical wash rack employs a five-person team. Foodgrade products cleaned include edible oils and vinegar, and juices will be added after LA Wash Rack receives Juice Processor Association certification, probably in April, according to Aron Gustafson, LA Wash Rack manager. LA Wash Rack is Kosher approved under the supervision of the North American Kosher Society and is International Society of Beverage Technologists certified.
While three chemical wash bays were keeping the tank cleaning crew plenty busy, management decided to take advantage of their nearly three-acre lot to expand operations. Phase one began in 2013 when they broke ground on the four-bay tank trailer repair shop. Upon completion of the repair facility in 2015, construction began on a stand-alone, three-bay foodgrade wash building. After withstanding countless delays, the foodgrade wash officially opened for business in January 2019.
The decision to enter into the foodgrade cleaning market was an easy one to make seeing as LA Wash Rack’s parent company, Coast Packing Company, is no stranger to the food industry. Coast Packing was established in 1922 and is a multi-generation family owned and closely held corporation that is known for their line of quality shortenings and oils. Coast Packing is the number one supplier of animal fat shortenings in the Western United States.
“This decision to add foodgrade cleaning was definitely mutually beneficial,” says Gustafson, fourth generation member of the family that started the company. “Coast is less than a mile down the road and they use foodgrade tankers to move product in and out of their facility.”
Coast Packing Company used their knowledge of sanitary design and commitment to quality to influence the design of the foodgrade wash building at LA Wash Rack, and it shows. The 12,000 square foot building is constructed of poured-in-place concrete and nearly everything inside of the building is stainless steel, including all plumbing, electrical conduit, fasteners, catwalks, tank cleaning equipment, and even the door jambs.