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How to Find The Right Rail Car Loading Arms

Every year, thousands of tankers and railcars across Canada are responsible for handling the safe and efficient transport of some of our most vital resources. From coal and petroleum to grain and more, rail freight plays an important role in sustaining our economy and helping businesses across the nation thrive. Northern Platform is pleased to be one of Canada’s leading providers of safe access and loading solutions, with diverse inventory that features an extensive range of products, including rail car loading racks and more. Below, we’ll highlight some of the key factors to keep in mind when choosing rail car loading arms, as well as the benefits of partnering with Northern Platforms. Read on to learn more!

Are You Loading or Unloading?

The nature of your freight as well as whether you’ll be loading or unloading railcars (including whether you’ll be loading from the top or bottom of the unit) are integral to determining what kind of loading arm or platform is best for your operation. Are you splash loading to atmosphere or are you loading the railcar via tight connection? Top and bottom arms, as their name suggests, are better suited to specific loading orientations, and thus knowing your exact needs will go a long way towards finding the right fit. A more detailed breakdown of bottom and top arms is as follows:

Bottom Arms

Bottom arms are designed to have the operator loading or unloading their product from the ground, which provides for increased stability, safety, and speed. Connections are usually made quicker when bottom loading because the operator is not required to get on top of the truck or railcar. Bottom loading arms are spring counterbalanced to ensure efficiency, and the unique design of these units makes them capable of reaching a wider range of openings in comparison to hoses and other types of loading arms.

Top Loading Arms

In contrast, top arms are designed to load from the top and come in many different kinds of models including fixed reach for loading something simple like gasoline to a more complex arm like a molten sulphur supported boom with vapor recovery. Because of their diverse nature, top arms can save you money and enhance ROI, especially when one considers that loading arms are much more efficient and much safer than a hose.

What to Use

As with most important process decisions, it’s important to remember that loading solutions are rarely “one size fits all”. Choosing the best fit for your operation requires you to partner with experienced loading solution providers who will be able to quickly pair you with the right option for the job at hand. Seamless integration and ongoing support will give you peace of mind and ensure that your solutions today match up perfectly with your existing gangways, platforms and other related systems.

Railcar Loading Arms At Northern Platforms

For over 20 years, Northern Platforms has been Western Canada’s leading choice for platform and loading solutions, We’re proud to offer clients in the oil & gas, petroleum, construction, agriculture and surrounding industries access to the products they need from manufacturers they can trust, including top names 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.

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