It is the customer’s responsibility to deliver oil samples to the lab. This can be done in person, by post or a courier service. Using tracked delivery methods is recommended as this makes it easier to locate any missing packages.
When delivering in person there is generally no need to contact us if you expect to arrive during the normal office hours, although feel free to check if unsure. If you are running a little late it is sometimes possible to have someone waiting for you, but do call to arrange. We are also able to arrange out of hours delivery, however this will typically be at an employee’s home address and would need to be arranged beforehand. Due to the nature of the samples we are unable to offer an unattended drop off service.
Most oil samples are not classed as hazardous and can be delivered by post, although some restrictions apply. It is best to check with Royal Mail regarding latest regulations, however previously it was possible to ship a limited quantify of oil (<400ml) without any problems, provided the samples were well packed, protected by a plastic outer envelope and contents were clearly identified as
“<400ml Sample of oil in service for analysis, Non Hazardous, Not Restricted by I.A.T.A., Flash Point >150oC, MSDS Enclosed”
and a Material Safety Data Sheet was enclosed. You should be able to obtain an MSDS for your oil samples from the original blender/manufacturer. A brief MSDS for used lubricating oils is available here, however it is the sender’s responsibility to provide this information and we cannot be held liable should this prove unsuitable.
If necessary we can supply freepost labels for shipping samples to the lab. You may find this more convenient than having to pay postage yourself at the post office. There is a fee for using these labels and it’s typically agreed in advance and charged on a per sample basis. The above information about postal deliveries also applies.
This is Royal Mail’s equivalent of a tracked courier service. The advantage is that we tend to receive Special Delivery items before or around 9am, whereas courier deliveries happen throughout the day, with some companies reaching our area after lunch.
This is often the most convenient option as there are no restrictions to oil quantity, shipments are tracked and from most locations overnight deliveries are available and quite economical. If necessary we can arrange collection and delivery by our courier, however this would have to be charged.
It is sender’s responsibility to include an appropriate Material Safety Data Sheet. These are normally available online from the lubricant manufacturer’s web sites. If you are not able to locate one a brief MSDS for used lubricating oils is available here, however it is the sender’s responsibility to provide this information and we cannot be held liable should this prove unsuitable. The MSDSs should be attached to the exterior of the package.
It is important to pack the samples carefully and securely using suitable overspill protection and padding. When shipped by post or courier the samples travel alongside other mail and a spillage could damage other people’s goods. We provide sealable overspill bags free of charge with our sample bottles. They offer a reasonable degree of protection provided they are sealed properly and suitable padding materials are used to protect the samples. If the package is small, an exterior plastic envelope would offer additional protection (we are able to supply those if needed). We are also able to supply cardboard boxes or padded envelopes if required.
Please do not use vermiculite to protect the samples. Although this material is soft and absorbent it is very difficult to remove from the sample bottles and can contaminate not only your samples but also other samples in the lab. If you are not familiar with vermiculate it’s the stuff that looks like cat litter. Come to think of it don’t use cat litter either! 🙂
For routine sample schedules having a sampling case can be a good way of safeguarding the samples on their way to the lab. We are able to supply Peli
cases of different sizes, suitable for any occasion. They normally come with foam padding that can be customised to suite each customer’s needs. Depending on size they can fit up to 30-50 sampling bottles as well as tubing, pumps, etc. On receipt at the lab the cases are cleaned, restocked and shipped back to the customer. Typically two or more cases are in use for a location to ensure there is always one on site ready for the next round of samples. Their robust design guarantees many years of service and in the unlikely event they are damaged they can typically be replaced under warranty.