Monthly Archives: November 2015

Improve Your Business by Leveraging FG’s Logistics

At French Gerleman, we strive to offer our customers the best overall experience.  This includes customer service, creating a streamlined and efficient ordering process and delivering the best products in a timely manner.

What makes French Gerleman an industry leader? In this article, we profile how our logistical efficiencies help us improve your experience.

Delivery Options
We have a fleet of 24 trucks, some with side roll doors, ready and prepared to serve you. We offer local and inter-branch transfers, meaning we can access the products you need with a quick turnaround. In addition to box trucks, we have specialized trucks with flat bed gates that make certain deliveries easier and more efficient. Our large fleet of trucks allows us to accommodate your time sensitive deliveries.

We have morning and afternoon deliveries, as well as same day delivery if an order is placed by a certain time (please call for details). If you’re in a pinch and need something delivered immediately, we work with couriers and offer creative shipping solutions. For example, we’ve worked with airlines to get products delivered across the country the same day. If you need it, we will come up with a way to get our products to you (including internationally, if required)!

Warehouse Size, Scope and Processes
Our Regional Distribution Facility in St. Louis offers more than 134,000 square feet of space, all barcoded, which improves our shipping and receiving process and keeps our inventory updated and accurate. Companywide, we stock more than $20 million of inventory. If you’re looking for a specific product, chances are we have it.

Our Regional Distribution Facility runs two shifts to pick and prep shipment for the next day, and we will stay until all products are pulled and verified. Our two-step verification process ensures we are getting our customers exactly what they ordered. One employee will pull a product, and another will check it to verify it is correct.

Industrial Customer Benefits
It can be overwhelming to look at your order and see multiple items listed. We offer kitting in which we can put together multiple items into a kit or bundle to order and receive as a single SKU.

When you place a large order, it can be frustrating when your shipment comes and you’re trying to organize and sort the material. To simplify this process, we developed a custom labeling system to make your receiving process easier. Each line on the packing slip shows what box a product is in, and we can color code each box to match your purchase order or packing slip to trim your receiving time, making you more efficient.

If you’re planning a large project, but don’t have the space to store all the products or your equipment, we can lease out space in our warehouse to customers for storage. You’ll have peace of mind knowing that your products are stored in a safe place, and we will arrange for delivery when you are ready for them.

Contractor Customer Benefits
Like with the industrial benefits, we offer our contractor customers job storage options and will deliver to you when you are ready, including staging product for your projects. We offer mobile job site carts which allows you to keep materials stored, organized and prepped for projects.

We also have Tilt pipe carts that help move wire around and tip to get into elevators. This makes moving from floor to floor more manageable. The tile cart has been modified to handle bundles of conduit. By using the rotating sides of the cart is capable of easily moving bundles via elevators.

metal wire reels

Another option we offer to help our contractors is metal wire reels. These help with heavy wire at job sites to keep them organized and make installation easier.

We want to hear from you. Your feedback is important, and helps push us to be our best. Is there anything you would like to see us do or offer that would make the customer experience better for you? Let us know!

Pro Football Pick ‘Em promotion – Week 12 Question

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Protect Your Employees from Cold Stress

In the Midwest, people can be complacent about protecting themselves against cold weather until it is TOO cold. Cold weather can cause serious health emergencies to workers who are exposed to the elements. In our region, cold stress can occur when temperatures drop below freezing and the wind speeds increase, causing the body to rapidly lose heat.

What are the types of cold-related illnesses? Here are several cold stress issues to be aware of and watch out for as the temperatures drop:

Cold Stress
Cold stress occurs when the skin temperature drops, causing the internal body temperature to decrease as well. This could lead to serious health problems, tissue damage and possibly death.

Hypothermia, is the most common form of cold weather illness, occurs when the body heat is lost quicker than it can be replaced, meaning the normal body temperature (98.6°F) drops to less than 95°F. This can occur at temperatures above 40°F if a person becomes chilled from sweat, rain or submersion in cold water.

Frostbite is caused by the freezing of the skin and its underlying tissues. The lower the temperature drops, the more quickly frostbite can occur. Frostbite most commonly affects the extremities, specifically the feet and hands. In severe cases, amputation may be required.

Trench Foot
Trench foot, also known as immersion foot, is caused by prolonged exposure to wet and cold. Surprisingly, trench foot can occur at temperatures as high as 60°F if the feet are constantly wet. To prevent heat loss, the body constricts the blood vessels to stop circulation to the feet. This causes the skin tissue to begin to die because of the lack of oxygen and nutrients needed and the buildup of toxic products.

Chilblains are caused by repeated exposure of the skin to temperatures just above freezing all the way up to 60°F. This exposure to the cold causes damage to the capillary beds in the skin. This damage is permanent and the redness and itching will return with additional exposure to the cold. This typically occurs on ears, cheeks, fingers and toes.

Now that you see the potential ailments brought on by the cold weather, how do you protect yourself and your employees? The main way to protect yourself is by wearing the proper cold weather clothing. We have a wide range of products in our inventory that will help insulate you from the cold weather and cold stress.

Protective Clothing

PIP Sweatshirts
Sweatshirts are a great option in our region for cold weather protection since we don’t get the frigid cold and wind chill as our northern neighbors. We typically do not need coats until the wind chill enters the single digits.

PIP offers a great sweatshirt that we recommend to our customers. It is an ANSI, Class 3, quarter-zip pullover sweatshirt with a black bottom. It is reflective and perfect for construction, survey crews, shipyards, utilities and anywhere that high visibility is needed. Class 3 apparel is intended for workers that require the highest level of visibility, have high task loads and need to be visible throughout a full range of body motions.


The hands are one of the first places where people will experience the cold weather. Superior Glove offers a great glove perfect for those working in the cold. The Endura Deluxe Winter Goat-Grain Driver with WaterStop™/Oilbloc™ and Double Weight Thinsulate™ Liner is double the weight of the lining in their standard winter driver gloves. Even though the fingers are fully sock lined, these gloves remain very dexterous.

Superior Glove uses a special machine that tests each glove, bringing down the temperature to test their cold weather capability. They stamp each glove with its temperature rating, which helps you easily select the correct glove for your weather.

head gearHats/Protective Head Gear
PIP offers several great cold weather head protection options that are great for cold weather work conditions such as construction, wood work, oil drilling, maintenance, refineries and much more. The PIP 1-Layer Fleece Winter Liner is perfect for under a hard hat or helmet to keep the neck, shoulders and ears warm and protected from the wind.

The PIP Rib Knit Hard Hat Tube Liner is the perfect option to keep the ears and neck warm and protected from the wind. It is designed to fit over hard hats and stretched to fit snugly over most hard hat styles.

We can also do custom logoing on sweatshirts, hats and other cold weather items, as well as custom size selection. We will bring samples in various sizes to your team to try on ensuring each employee is ordering the correct size, saving time on returns.

Interested in learning more about cold weather protection or placing an order? Contact your French Gerleman Account Manager or contact us to learn more.

United States Department of Labor-OSHA Cold Stress Guide

Pro Football Pick ‘Em promotion – Week 11 Question

Thank you for taking part in our 4th annual Pro Football Pick ‘Em Challenge!

To qualify for our random weekly blog drawing, you must be a registered participant in our Pro Football Pick ‘Em promotion. You may register by clicking here.

Good Luck!

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French Gerleman Introduces eQuote

We are excited to announce our latest electronic tool to make your ordering process even more convenient – eQuote! We’ve had requests from customers to help streamline the ordering process with an eQuote functionality and, at French Gerleman, it is our goal to offer easy and efficient ordering options for our customers.

eQuote photo 2


Customers with an account can now review and approve any of their active quotes online.  If changes or updates are needed to the quote – no problem – their French Gerleman sales representative can update the quote with in-stock and special order items.

At their convenience, customers can also go online reference the specific quote number, add the quoted items to their shopping cart and check-out or submit the order. Quotes are active for 30 days, but can be updated and re-issued by contacting their French Gerleman sales rep.

The eQuote functionality allows customers simplify the approval process. A purchasing manager might need to approve a quote before ordering and, with the eQuote, they have the most up-to-date, accurate pricing for in-stock and special order items that can then be presented and approved.

If you don’t already have a French Gerleman online account set up, what are you waiting for? You can register HERE, or feel free to call your account representative to learn more about our many convenient online capabilities.

Pro Football Pick ‘Em promotion – Week 10 Question

Thank you for taking part in our 4th annual Pro Football Pick ‘Em Challenge!

To qualify for our random weekly blog drawing, you must be a registered participant in our Pro Football Pick ‘Em promotion. You may register by clicking here.

Good Luck!

This week’s question of the week has closed. Stay tuned for the next one!

VFD Cables VS. Traditional Cables for Drive Applications

Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) cables have been around since the early 1990s in order to help minimize operational issues with VFD systems. The advancements in Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistors and technology drives caused a significant increase in the high frequency information output from the drive inverters. That means that traditional power cables had issues handling these high frequency signals, which could lead to system problems.

This is why VFD cables are so important. They provide extra protection and are specifically designed for installation between a motor and a VFD. This reduces any downtime when using THHN or shielded tray cables. VFD cables are designed for higher stranding, robust insulation and overall better shielding.

Why should you choose VFD cables?

VFD cables are more reliable than traditional cables, and offer better protection and improved performance over traditional. Traditional cables cannot compare to the performance improvement and they lack a shielding system, which minimizes radiated and conducted noise. VFD cables offer industrial grade XLPE insulation, which is entirely more reliable than traditional.

Product Spotlight:

General Cable offers a wide range of VFD cables perfect for any setup. With the CVTC® and CCW® lines, General Cable offers the highest quality VFD cable solutions for many categories including factory automation, traditional power generation, marine, refining and petrochemical, specialty chemical and wastewater treatment applications. General Cable designs incorporate symmetrical grounding which minimizes ground voltages and induced ground currents that can lead to motor-bearing fluting and premature motor failure. VFD cables from General Cables undergo rigorous testing to ensure the most reliable power from the AC drive to AC motors. You can rest easy knowing your cables are performing at their best.


CVTC® VFD cables are designed and engineered to handle the challenges presented in VFD environments. They are used in a wide range of applications. CVTC is a low voltage power, shielded 600V, UL type TC-ER, unarmored and Method 4 color code.

Features (SPEC 4550):

  • Rated at 90°C wet or dry
  • Combination foil/brand shield provides maximum shield coverage required for VFD applications
  • Abrasion and chemical resistant
  • Stable electrical properties over a broad temperature range
  • Sunlight and weather resistant
  • Meets cold bend test at -25°C
  • Flexible strand conductors for all sizes to allow for ease of installation and long-term performance in light duty flexing applications

Applications include:

  • Free air, raceways or direct burial.
  • For use with AC motors controlled by pulse-width modulated inverter in VFD applications rated up to 1000V.
  • For use in aerial, conduit, open tray and underground duct/installations.
  • It is permitted for use in Class 1, Division 2 industrial hazardous locations per NEC.
  • Permitted for Exposed Run use in accordance with NEC.


CCW® VFD Low and Medium Voltage Power

General Cable’s CCW® Armored Power, 3/C VFD and 4/C cables are insulated conductors and grounding wires that are cabled together with non-hygroscopic fillers.

Features (SPEC 9600):

  • 3-conductor CCW power cables with three grounding wires are recommended for use with pulse-width AC drives.
  • CCW armor provides an impervious barrier to moisture, gas and liquids.
  • CCW armor provides EMI shielding performance.
  • Factory assembled and tested cable for use as an alternative to cable in conduit wiring systems.
  • Meets cold impact at -40°C.
  • 90°C continuous operating temperature, wet or dry.
  • 130°C emergency rating.
  • 250°C short circuit rating

Applications include:

  • 3-conductor CCW armored cables with 2 symmetrical grounding wires are the preferred wiring method for use with AC motors controlled by pulse-width modulated inverters in VFD applications.
  • CCW armored cabled offer an economical, rugged and reliable alternative to labor-intensive cable in conduit wiring methods.
  • For use in Class I, II and III, Divisions 1 and 2; and Class I, Zones 1 and 2 hazardous locations per NEC Articles 501, 503 and 505.
  • For use as services, feeders and branch circuits for power, lighting, control, and signal circuits in accordance with NEC articles 330 and 725.
  • Installed indoors or outdoors, wet or dry, buried, embedded, in a raceway, as aerial cable on a messenger, in cable trays, or as exposed runs secured to supports in accordance with NEC article 330.
  • Recognized for use on fixed or floating offshore petroleum facilities as recommended by the American Petroleum Institute.

Want to learn more about VFD cables? Give your French Gerleman Account Manager a call today or contact us.

Pro Football Pick ‘Em promotion – Week 9 Question

Thank you for taking part in our 4th annual Pro Football Pick ‘Em Challenge!

To qualify for our random weekly blog drawing, you must be a registered participant in our Pro Football Pick ‘Em promotion. You may register by clicking here.

Good Luck!

This week’s question of the week has closed. Stay tuned for the next one!