Where Ingenuity and Passion Meet: The First Key Prestressed Concrete Structure in the U.S.
High strength steel wire. Back at the dawn of the roaring twenties, prestressed concrete tanks looked different. The tanks of the day were primarily constructed from riveted steel and even wood. Old adaptations of concrete storage solution designs using steel turnbuckles would leave tank structures vulnerable to cracking and leaking; rendering them less resilient and far more permeable. All that changed when Preload came up with an intriguing plan to start developing wire-wound tanks.
From the beginning, Preload’s team has always been up for innovation in the design and construction processes. That’s why Preload tanks have evolved significantly over the years, from a sliding floor and wall connection to clever wire-winding techniques, new materials, and steel shell diaphragms. Next came tanks where Preload engineers learned to integrate dome roofs and build walls using precast construction techniques.
Preload tanks today continue to reinforce the advantages and the efficiencies of placing concrete in permanent compression using high-strength single-wire prestressing. That first spark of an idea — designing and constructing water storage structures that would be durable and impervious to the liquids they stored — has flourished into virtually maintenance-free tanks that provide maximum longevity for the customer. It’s the mark of tremendous perception, an understanding of what consumers need, that Preload’s brainchild has withstood so many eras.
90 Years of Protective Storage Solutions for the World’s Leading Industries
The wire-wound prestressed concrete tanks built by Preload serve as reliable storage solutions for potable water, storm water, wastewater treatment, or biofuels. Some act as sustainable thermal energy storage tanks that safeguard critical hospitals, universities, and government facilities — simultaneously saving them hundreds of thousands of dollars in energy costs. Some are even used for the sole purpose of facilitating fire protection. Moreover, the tanks have proven to be major assets in industrial settings, including instances where liquids are stored at cryogenic temperatures plunging under minus -260 degrees Fahrenheit — a testament to the depth of Preload’s technical, engineering, and construction knowledge.
Preload’s versatile material design and construction of prestressed concrete tanks have paved the way for storing liquid natural gas, making it possible for the cryogenic product to come into direct contact with the concrete wall. That groundbreaking design development unearthed a stream of others that followed. As a result, liquids like ammonia, butane, propane, ethane, ethylene, and propylene can be safely stored in protective, cryogenic storage containers.
Industries and utilities have learned throughout the passing generations: they can depend on Preload’s innovative wire-wound design and concrete structure; all in a manner that’s economical. Consider that Preload is a veteran in the practice of solving storage challenges. Multigenerational experience empowers the company to build cost-efficient, sustainable solutions.
Preload designs and constructs virtually maintenance-free tanks by choosing locally sourced materials that are environmentally responsible. These tanks are built almost completely out of natural and recycled materials. The triumph is a masterful one; a strong design that doesn’t forgo flexibility, allowing for any kind of conditions or parameters.
A Custom Website: Designing a Visionary Tank Maker’s Digital Story
When Preload set its sights on a revamped website, Hatfield Media wanted to help turn these tanks inside out: to showcase the brand’s time-tested originality. Christina Pfeifer, Senior Account Representative at Hatfield Media, attributes Preload’s savvy vision for helping to “launch a site that is well above par for the industry.”
Keep in mind, says Pfeifer, “Water tanks may look straightforward from the outside, but the quality and detail that go into them is something we wanted to reflect on the website.” Hatfield Media’s ability to tailor-make this website for Preload allows the user experience to feel personal. Pfeifer spotlights, “The custom icons and graphic elements add a polish to the site that only a custom-built website could accomplish.”
Hatfield Media’s team poured over Preload’s online presence, infusing each dimension with modern personality. Every page from “the design and construction page to the contact page have been given care and attention; both from a design as well as development perspective,” adds Pfeifer.
Kaen Blevins, Hatfield Media’s Senior Graphic Designer, approached the redesign with goal-oriented focus. “First, we knew it would be important to create a lasting impression for repeat and first-time customers, and we wanted to do justice to Preload’s remarkable legacy,” notes Blevins. The challenge would lie in curating an impression that instantly connects customers to Preload’s story.
Blevins explains, “A user can form an opinion about a website from its design in about 50 milliseconds. We wanted to make sure that those first 0.05 seconds would showcase immediately to customers: Preload’s brand feels trustworthy.”
A Thoughtful Fusion: Curating a New Experience That Engages Loyal Customers
Crafting the right design couldn’t ignore Preload’s long-held relationships with clients — an awareness that guided Hatfield's creative process. Blevins was sensitive to the user journey for returning customers, so they could welcome the website redesign while finding “it remains true to the Preload brand.” Especially considering that “Preload has a built-in powerful platform,” Blevins felt with captivating design choices, Hatfield could “elevate that to the next level.”
“We added easy-to-read graphs, introduced stunning imagery with simple, recognizable icons, and wove a story narrative all to better represent Preload’s values,” adds Blevins, who feels the efforts in perfecting these details are worthwhile. “Every new detail we approached with careful intention, and in doing so, we’re able to continue to help Preload build trust with repeat customers, while inviting the potential to inspire a future base.”
Ted Moso, Front-End Developer at Hatfield Media, commends the collaboration that went into creating Preload’s new website. “I loved joining this project knowing our Senior Graphic Designer, Kaen Blevins, would be taking his talent and creativity to task. Blevins brought unique vitality and functionality to Preload’s new design.”
Once Blevins had helped brainstorm Preload’s steely step into the future, Moso notes, “My role was to help build out that functionality. Delivering a unique online presence meant using precise tools to make graphic and slider features, tackling intricate details page by page.” Moso then used an open-source framework to create reusable components, working swiftly and efficiently to develop Preload’s interface.
“Step by step, I methodically dove into front-end development to create the best user experience for Preload clients. I chose to set up Advance Custom Fields on all pages to make it easier for anyone to change or add content to Preload. Working to bring Preload’s new site to life has been one of my favorite projects so far!” asserts Moso.
Mary Hawley, Hatfield's Business Analyst who assisted in front-end development, likewise helped users feel the benefits of a modernized Preload site, savvily developing interactive and visual elements. “The interactive Tank Wall Graphic allows a user to highlight sections of the tank and provides detailed information on each section of the tank wall. The Savings graph shows a visual representation of the cost savings of a prestressed concrete wall compared to a traditional welded steel tank,” adds Hawley. Graphics like these help strengthen the modern retelling of Preload’s historic story.
Turning the ‘Leader in Design and Prestressed Concrete Tanks’ into an Online Alpha
Communication is key when ironing down a fresh vision for a brand’s website. “Preload worked hand in hand with Hatfield Media to develop a high-quality website that conveys Preload’s product, services, company culture and value in a concise, appealing format. Hatfield worked with us as a partner and was willing to go the extra mile to assure our satisfaction with the end product,” says Will Cooksey, Vice President of Sales at Preload.
Blevins aimed to not only “set Preload apart from its competitors — we wanted to put this company miles ahead.” Ensuring that future users will now find the site is “easy to use,” Blevins knows it makes a difference to “sort through comprehensive data and integrate it in a way that’s user-friendly.” After all, this “not only helps Preload’s SEO, but also empowers strong connections with clients.”
Moving forward, “clients can effortlessly arrive at Preload’s new website and find all the information they need,” asserts Blevins. Hatfield is proud our team could help this established leader open massive potential in a new direction. Now Preload has a bold and professional design to complement its ironclad history — transforming tradition.