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How to Choose the Right Loading Arm For Your Railcar Operation

Looking for a loading solution that’s guaranteed to boost efficiency and safety first? If you’re in need of safe access and loading options that you know are built to stand up to the demands of railcar loading and unloading, Northern Platforms is here to help. With a leading inventory that features the top products from industry juggernauts like SafeRack, OPW, and more, our team is proud to supply Western Canada with options they can trust for every operation. Below, we’ll highlight some of the top factors to keep in mind when choosing the right loading arm for your needs. Read on to learn more!

First Things First

Before going through the many options available for loading arms, it’s important to know what kind of tank you’ll be transferring to/from (rail vs truck, for example), as well as where you’ll be loading from- top or bottom. Each loading arm has a unique set of characteristics and certain applications will require a higher level of precision for success. With these factors accounted for, you can move on to selecting a unit.

Bottom vs. Top Loading Arms

As the name suggests, bottom loading arms work by having the operator stationed on the ground, which provides an enhanced level of safety. The spring counterbalance on the arm allows for much faster loading time, and the design of bottom arms typically allows them to reach more openings than other models.

Top loading arms offer a wide range of options for your operation, from a basic fixed reach arm for splash loading to a flexible reach supported boom arm with vapor recovery. This adaptability can save quite a bit of money while enhancing your efficiency across the board. Other options like scissor or boom arms are adaptable for rail and tank trucks with numerous options available like dry disconnect fittings, hatch plates/vapor recovery and overfill protection.

Determining Compatibility

One of the most important aspects when choosing a loading arm is determining compatibility with your existing system. Seamless integration will help to avoid costly errors and maintain superior operations with minimal strain. Experienced loading solution providers will be able to integrate loading arms with the systems you have in place already including gangways, platforms and fall prevention cages, giving you peace of mind and protecting your ROI.

Railcar Loading Arms At Northern Platforms

As Western Canada’s leading source for platform and loading solutions, Northern Platforms is proud to supply numerous loading arm products to our clients from top industry producers like OPW. As a global leader in the development of loading and coupling systems, OPW’s designs are perfectly suited for a wide range of needs all the way from standard drum filling operations to the unique requirements of the petrochemical industry and more. Known for superior performance and durability, OPW Engineered Systems offers solutions you can trust, job after job.

View Northern Platform’s loading arm inventory here, or learn more by contacting us today!