The SpillVak team first met Gene Lopez, Director of Development and Training with Seidner’s Collision Centers in Southern California, at NHRA’s Winternationals in 2017. Besides immediately noticing how important his family is to him, our team soon discovered that Gene is a forward-thinking professional and is always looking for ways to continuously improve processes, employee knowledge, safety and customer experience. He is adamant that shop cleanliness is a key to all of these factors and he feels that SpillVak has become an essential part of this process of continuous improvement. “We are a body shop,” remarks Lopez. “Cars come in with a broken suspension, strut towers and often-times there is damage to the radiators and the rest of the cooling system, which means fluid on the floor. We need to get these messes cleaned up quickly.”
“I would venture to say that SpillVak is 5 to 7 times more absorbent than the other spill products I have used. This is critical. We have fourteen locations. When you use a one-time absorbent, the clock starts ticking on getting it out of your shop, because it is immediately classified as hazardous waste. SpillVak, on the other hand, is reusable and can be continuously used until it is full and becomes saturated with toxic waste. It’s been 15 months at 14 locations and we haven’t had to haul away our 55-gallon cans of SpillVak yet.”
Lopez also found SpillVak easier to use than other absorbents he used in the past; “SpillVak is 100% better at picking up material. It picks up the spill quickly, absorbs fully without leaving a trace, and is easier to handle. We used to spend a significant amount of time brooming absorbent into spills in order to clean up the hazardous fluid. With SpillVak, it does the work while we are able to focus on other things and then sweeps up easily. Although SpillVak is significantly lighter, it’s fine material is heavier bodied, so it doesn’t blow around in our shops, even when the doors are open. The absorbents we used in the past tended to have really fine particles that were almost like a powder. Because of this, the fine material would blow around the shop and as a result, become inefficient. SpillVak is just easier and faster to use.”
Because SpillVak is reusable up to 6 times, Gene has been very diligent in training his employees to replace used SpillVak back to a receptacle where it can then be used for future spills. He and his employees soon discovered that it can be difficult to sort used SpillVak from the metal, plastic, rubber and glass bits that inherently end up in a fluid puddle when doing bodywork. To be able to use SpillVak to its fullest and make the process as simple as possible for his team, Gene devised ¼” screen mesh toppers for the 55-gallon drums he uses to hold the reusable SpillVak. Using these toppers makes it easy for his team to quickly clean the spill and sift out the small vehicle particles from his used Spillvak, so it is immediately ready for its next use.
“I like that Spillvak designs its products to fit the spill”, Lopez adds. “They have SpillVak HV for spills that involve fluids of higher viscosity, like oil, power steering fluid, brake fluid, etc. and SpillVak LV for spills of lower viscosity, like fuel and antifreeze, which is a big one for us. I also was able to see those new crumbles they developed when I was with the SpillVak team at Winternationals this year. We primarily use LV due to the nature of what we deal with in our shop. We don’t currently use the crumbles, but we are familiar with tow trucks and the issues they face at the scene of an accident. When they are out on the freeway at an accident, they have to quickly lay down absorbent because the car is leaking gas, antifreeze, oil, or all three. A lot of the time, they are working in windy conditions and absorbents can either blow away or become a dusty mess on the road. SpillVak designed their crumbles so they can be applied outside in the wind without blowing away or leaving a white residue behind.”
Lopez concludes; “I support SpillVak. I also want to mention that SpillVak comes with great customer service and support. My rep is Clayton Phillips but I have also had the pleasure to work with his manager, Miti Pula – these guys are just champions!” The SpillVak team is thankful to have customers like Gene Lopez, who work hard and are always looking to innovate.