Gas Cylinder Clarifications

I had a discussion with my local welding supplier about the Rental versus Ownership tank argument.
He stated that I was correct about my basic assertion about the 2 being
separated from date of manufacture as either one or the other.
The only time he knows of when rental cylinders have been converted into ownership cylinders is when a very large gas supply company, like Praxair or Liquid Air, buys out the inventory from a smaller company. They can restamp the rental bottles with either an upside down 7, or an "RA", and then sell them as ownership cylinders. He was not sure what "RA" stood for and had only seen it on Liquid Air bottles. They will usually replace the headstamp ring with a blank one, but not always.
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***************************************

**********************************
I own some of my own bottles. I rent a couple of extras. When they get empty, The local supplier just trades bottles with me. They have a record of what I own, and just charge me monthly rent for those I don't own.
That is to say, that although I own two bottles, the ones that I'm using (that I own) are not two specific bottles.
Wudsracer/Jim Cook Smackover Racing '06 Gas Gas DE300 '82 Husqvarna XC250 Team LAGNAF
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wrote:

This could create a problem if you wish to change suppliers or if your supplier is sold or goes out of business. Are you not in the possession of cylinders marked as 'the property of xxxx.ltd? Your only claim of ownership is paperwork and any claim to bottles may only be against your supplier company, which may cease to exist. You are at best an unsecured creditor and will be last in line to collect in any business failure or reorganization.
IMHE bottle suppliers have at best a rough guess as to how many bottles they have and where they are. All the suppliers that I have experience with have made substantial errors in my bottle billing records and which always seem to be in their favor.
Good luck, YMMV
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wrote:

***************************************** Thank you for the heads up.
However, IMHO, Life has some risk involved. My supplier is this one: http://www.welsco.com /
They have been friendly, easy for our company to do business with (for the last 40 years), and seem to be in good shape. I have records which state that two bottles (and state the specific size) belong to our company. The ease of just having them replaced with full bottles when needed, greatly outweigh any risk for my company of losing the bottles. (Plus, if an employee screws up a valve handle, it is not really my problem.)
Wudsracer/Jim Cook Smackover Racing '06 Gas Gas DE300 '82 Husqvarna XC250 Team LAGNAF
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"Private" wrote: This could create a problem if you wish to change suppliers or if your supplier is sold or goes out of business. (clip) ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ This happened to me. The business changed hands, and the next time I came in for a refill they said the cylinder was a "stray," and took possession of it.
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Leo Lichtman wrote:

Then you report the theft of your cylinder to the police and present your receipt for the purchase. Let the gas company see you in court.
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Pete C. wrote:

Not really. No cop would write up a welding supply in that circumstance, and no ticket, no court case. You'd have to sue them in small claims court.
GWE
--
Posted via a free Usenet account from http://www.teranews.com


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The time to pitch a fit and call the cops has passed. You should have called them on the spot. Even if they couldn't do anything, there's a record of the call. Now, all you can do is sue in small claims court. Or write a letter to corporate asking that they straighten it out. And if that doesn't bring any satisfaction that you are willing to go to the local TV problem solvers and picket the business for a few days.
They hate picketers, and that will bring a news crew on a slow news day. Be sure to know, understand, and follow the rules for picketing so you don't get into any trouble.
Steve
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Grant Erwin wrote:

In most states I don't believe the cops would have the option of not doing anything. You reported a theft and showed them your receipt for the stolen article and they have to write it up. Further, there are additional laws against transportation and filling of a compressed gas cylinder (fed I think) without the owners consent which the company would also clearly be in violation of in short order.
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A check with a DOT official might be worth while. We had an 18 month issue with AT&T. One call to the FTC, and the problem was solved with a $180 refund within the week. And a call back from AT&T to ask if we got the check and were happy with the settlement. Sometimes people will do what they think is right, or what they think they can get away with. All it takes is getting hold of the right agency to get the true and correct answer.
Steve
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I do not wish to brag but, I am not a lawyer and the following is merely IMHO and is not meant to be seen as legal advice.
In my area the police will take every opportunity to determine that these kinds of disputes are civil and not criminal in nature and will instruct claimants to use civil remedies. They are most likely to take the position that this is not a theft or a criminal fraud but rather a civil (and maybe also increasingly uncivil!) dispute as to ownership. I am (respectfully) surprised that anyone would think that the police would be of much assistance in this kind of dispute.
As in all civil claims to ownership, possession will be 9/10 of the law. If YOUR property cannot be LOCATED and IDENTIFIED by mark or serial number then it will be difficult to prove that they are in possession of YOUR cylinder. They will say that all their cylinders are marked as their property. At the least, you will need to provide a court with a COMPLETE documentation trail for every transaction and even then the supplier will submit that all the cylinders you returned to them were THEIR property and that you just returned an extra 'stray' and that you have not PROVED that you returned YOUR owned cylinder to their custody.
IMHE it is necessary to maintain very careful records and documentation to PROVE all transactions with industrial gas suppliers, ESPECIALLY cylinder returns. This applies to all customers and not just regarding owned cylinders. If you fail to keep ALL return receipts (forever) then you will have no way to defend yourself against a supplier's claim that you still have one or more of their cylinders. If you have provided your credit card # as security for your account, the first you learn of any claim may be a charge on your card. Read the fine print on your cylinder and account agreement very carefully, I suspect you will have very little recourse.
One strategy is to ALWAYS pick up full cylinders several days BEFORE returning any empties. This will provide a clear transaction trail that even a judge can understand. Check your suppliers policy regarding the start of the demurrage clock as most (but not all) suppliers will provide some 'free' demurrage that is not (or must not be) covered by a yearly rental contract.
The more experience you have dealing with industrial gas suppliers the better plasma cutters start to look.
Good luck, YMMV
LEGAL - I don't believe what I wrote and neither should you. Sobriety and/or sanity of the author is not guaranteed.
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Police are very busy people, and they will take every opportunity to pass something along as a "447" (civil matter) in their disposition. The point is that by calling the police, and having them come out there, and being adamant about it, there is a paper trail that this person kept your belongings and wouldn't give them back. The issue of ownership and who should have done what is then up to the court, unless the policeman has grounds to side with you and order the counter guy to return your property, which could possibly happen.

People can claim ownership without serial numbers and ID marks for most any type of property by swearing and affirming to the officer that the property in question is theirs. Remember, you are involved in an investigation, and if you give false info, you can go to jail.

And if you are trying to switch a company owned cylinder, or don't have the paperwork, you will likely lose.
At the

Which is why one goes to court. To lay it all out and have someone decide who's right.

Why would one NOT keep accurate records?

For the average hobbyist, it gets a little much to be making several trips to change bottles.

And the more experience you have with industrial gas suppliers, the better off you are. Like opening an account. Like getting to know the counter guys names. Like buying supplies there instead of on ebay. It all helps in those times when a friend behind the counter can make a lot happen with the wave of a hand.

Steve
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"Steve B" wrote: (clip) It all helps in those times when a friend behind the counter can make a lot happen with the wave of a hand. (clip) ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ I couldn't agree more. But not relevant to the statement that led down this path. Wudsracer said, "This could create a problem if you wish to change suppliers or if your supplier is sold or goes out of business." The guy behind the counter that used to help you with a smile and a wave was no longer there. In my case, it was a cylinder that sort of fell into my hands--I had no proof of ownership. My friend behind the counter said, "No problem. Just bring it in and we'll exchange if for you." This worked for several refill cycles, and then one day... They could have been on good legal grounds in taking it, but it didn't make me very happy. I didn't steal it--I bought it from a waste disposal site.
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You're right, Leo. But my experience through a lot of years is that if you are a good customer of a supplier, they will bend a lot to accommodate you and keep your business. Now, that by no means infers that they will do something illegal or to their disadvantage. But you and I both know that there is a lot of wiggle room on a lot of these cylinders. (exempting the ones that are company owned and have a stamped collar, and some with questionable pedigrees)
I was surprised to hear that they exchanged it several times, then one time they confiscated it. But, then it comes at the whim of the new owners. There's a shop in my neighborhood that's been through three or four owners in the last ten years. It must be fun over there. I can see why they go in and out of business the way they must po owners every time they change ownership and go through the cylinder dance one more time. Right now, I just deal with one of the biggest suppliers in town, and so far no problems.
Steve
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snip

As I said earlier, ALWAYS pick up full cylinders several days BEFORE returning any empties. It can be a bother and may even cost a bit more if you need to pay a little demurrage, but in the long run it can avoid a lot of problems.
Just my .02, YMMV
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"Private" wrote: As I said earlier, ALWAYS pick up full cylinders several days BEFORE returning any empties. It can be a bother and may even cost a bit more if you need to pay a little demurrage, but in the long run it can avoid a lot of problems. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ That would have worked for me. They would have regarded my "stray" as the one I picked up a few days earlier. As far as demurage is concerned, I believe they included 30 days free demurage in the purchace price, so that would not have been an issue. The extra trip would be a bother, but on the other hand, your procedure eliminates the bother of running out of gas and not having a refill on hand.
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That is supposed to be normal practice for ownership cylinders.
You don't own THAT cylinder, you own A cylinder of that size.
Some companies and schools, have there cylinders stamped and always get those specific cylinders back. At South Seattle Comm. Coll. they always get their cylinders back.
At DIT we do the same with our mixed breathing gas cylinders.
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