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What to Consider When Choosing Railcar Loading Solutions

Are you in need of safe and efficient loading solutions for railcars? As one of the most depended upon resources for heavy industries worldwide, hopper, gondola, and tank cars play a vital role in ensuring the transport of key resources like grain, steel, coal, gasoline and more. The average weight of a standard freight car is approximately 250,000 lbs, meaning that safe loading and unloading is a top concern for operators. Northern Platforms is one of Canada’s leading distributors of safe access equipment, including platforms, gangways, loading arms, and more. With top products manufactured by the names you know and trust, you can count on our team to have your back when it matters the most. Below, we’ll discuss a few main factors to keep in mind when deciding whether to you permanent or temporary railcar loading solutions. Read on to learn more!

Why the Right Fit Matters

Choosing between permanent and temporary rail loading solutions doesn’t need to be a hassle, but it should always be front of mind to ensure the safety and efficiency of your operations. Knowing what kind of solution is best suited to your environment, as well as your specific application helps to guarantee optimal performance today, tomorrow and in the many years to come. When deciding between a permanent or temporary railcar loading system, considering the following:

Are You Loading or Unloading?

Loading and unloading both have unique needs, which certain pieces of equipment will be better equipped to handle compared to others. Additionally, you’ll want to know where you are unloading from (i.e. top or bottom), as this will help to further narrow down your selection. From telescoping gangways to loading arms and dry disconnect fittings, Northern Platforms is pleased to offer a wide range of options to suit all your loading and unloading needs!

What Kind of Data Do you Have on Your Railcar Fleet?

While permanent solutions may be best suited to transport locations that deal with very specific (and consistent cargo) and therefore deal with a fairly uniform range of railcars coming and going, temporary options may afford more flexibility where needed. Keep in mind key data points such as the size of railcars you’ll be working with including the min and max length/height, crash box ranges, and all other related information when making your selection to ensure the best fit.

Are You Planning on Using Loading Arms or Hoses to Load/Unload?

Depending on what kind of cargo your railcars will be hauling, either a loading arm or hose system will be best equipped to handle the loading and unloading the railcar. Again, as with above, if your facility will be consistently handling a specific type of cargo, make sure your selection is well equipped to handle your application, permanent or not.

Are You Going to Need Spill Containment Underneath the Railcars?

Safety should come first at any job site, so in addition to spill containment provisions, you should also consider if you’ll need safety showers or eye washing stations that can be integrated into whatever system you select. If this is the case, your permanent equipment can easily integrate with any of solutions Northern Platforms has available.

Ready to Get Your Show on the Road?

For over 19 years, Northern Platforms has offered customers across Canada safe and reliable solutions for your railcar loading operations. Partnering with the industry leading safe access solution provider SafeRack for gangways and loading racks to representing companies like OPW & Emco Wheaton for loading arms, at Northern Platforms Ltd you’ll find the best in class products for your facility. You’ll also find products from industry leaders like Ultratech, Scully, Aldon and more. Our team is proud to put your needs first and to work closely with our customers to find the right fit, every time. Learn more about our Railcar solutions as well as our extensive range of other items by contacting our team today!