Representatives of San Jacinto College Maritime Technology & Training Center and ERL/Law Valve of Texas are pictured with the tank barge training trailer the company built for San Jac. Pictured are (top row, left to right) Amy Arrowood from San Jacinto College and Sean Ragains from ERL/Law Valve of Texas, and (front row, left to right) San Jac’s John Stauffer, Craig Theiler from ERL/LVT and San Jac’s Edward Horton.

ERL Delivers Tank Barge Training Trailer To San Jacinto College

ERL/Law Valve of Texas, a Channelview, Texas-based marine industry leader in valve and pump repairs, and ERL Commercial Marine, a New Albany, Ind.-based manufacturer of tank barge safety, environmental protection and vertical turbine pumps products, have built and delivered a new tank barge training trailer to the San Jacinto College Maritime Technology & Training Center. The training trailer will give incumbent and credit students the chance to learn tankerman duties in a safe setting, preparing them for a successful career in the field.

“Training aids such as this provide a low-risk environment for current and future mariners alike to increase their knowledge of mission critical marine equipment,” said Craig Theiler, general manager of ERL/Law Valve of Texas. “Pair this with the quality of instruction San Jac provides, and we are able to make significant progress toward our collective goal of providing a skilled maritime workforce to help strengthen the economy and make the maritime industry a safer place to work.”

Theiler said cooperation between ERL/Law Valve of Texas and San Jac goes back several years, with the company previously bringing its own training trailer to the college. Discussions for ERL/Law Valve of Texas to build a training trailer for San Jac began to take shape over the past couple of years, with the company delivering the finished product to the maritime training center earlier in January. The company is active in sharing its training expertise with other organizations connected to the maritime industry as well, Theiler said.

“We have also built a tank barge training trailer for the New York Fire Department and the United States Coast Guard,” Theiler said. “We also provide free training to the United States Coast Guard, our customers and our educational partners, such as San Jac using our training trailer and our pump performance test facility.”

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“All of us at ERL, especially the skilled craftsmen who built this training platform, want to thank San Jacinto College for giving us the opportunity to work with them on this tank barge training trailer,” ERL/Law Valve Vice President Todd Marshall said. “We value all educators, especially ones like those at San Jacinto College that train our mariners with hands-on, real-life working equipment.”

The San Jacinto College Maritime Technology & Training Center is located on the Houston Ship Channel’s Bayport Turning Basin and offers more than 72 Coast Guard-approved maritime courses, along with non-credit courses for professional mariners. The facility has three full-mission bridge simulators, a marine engineering lab, a fire field with modular fire trainer and two navigation labs.

“We value our partnership with ERL/Law Valve and are so excited to have received the new training tank barge trailer,” said John Stauffer, associate vice chancellor of the maritime technology and training center. “This training aid allows us to provide the vital hands-on training our students need to ensure they possess the necessary skills and knowledge to successfully and safely work on tank barges.”

The training barge trailer features functional high-level and overfill alarms with cutaways to allow students enrolled in the tank barge and tank ship courses to gain crucial hands-on training. Students are also able to observe a pressure/vacuum valve and an expansion truck with cutaways, a gauge tree, reach rods, gate valve and rising stick gauges.

“We have incorporated the ERL/Law Valve barge trailer into our United States Coast Guard-approved tankerman courses,” said Amy Arrowood, credit program director for the maritime technology and training center. “This allows students to become familiar with actual equipment they will be using once they begin the next level of their maritime career as licensed tankermen.”