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Understanding Truck Fall Protection Systems for the Cement and Asphalt Industry

Understanding Truck Fall Protection Systems for the Cement and Asphalt Industry

Now that warmer weather has begun, the cement and asphalt industries are about to kick into gear for peak construction season. One way you can ensure the efficiency and safety of your cement and asphalt truck loading operations is by investing in a quality truck fall protection system from Northern Platforms.

Next, we will outline some of the critical components of these systems and two products from SafeRack that were designed explicitly for the cement industry. Keep reading to find out more! 

What Makes for a Solid Truck Fall Protection System?

At Northern Platforms, high-quality, safe access solutions are key to our commitment to providing our customers with the truck fall protection systems they need. From designing custom solutions to installing ready-made options, we have the expertise to ensure your operations are safe and efficient. When it comes specifically to truck fall protection systems, some key components you’ll need include:

  • Loading Arms
  • Safety Cages
  • Operator Gangways
  • Loading Platforms
  • Safety Gates
  • And Spill Protection

Depending on the material you’re loading and unloading and the scope of your operations, additional components such as operator buildings and safety showers may also be required. However, with decades of experience under our belts, Northern Platforms has the expertise to ensure your truck fall protection is solid. Our expert team can help reduce the risk of worksite incidents and productivity losses due to downtime by ensuring the safety and consistency of your truck-loading operations. That way, your operations can continue smoothly without interruption, regardless of your industry. 

Specialized Solutions for Cement & Asphalt Loading

Loading and unloading cement, dry bulk powder, dry ash, and asphalt present some fairly unique challenges for your fall protection systems. For instance, the high cycle rates, multiple hatches, oversized and multi-truck configurations, loading from a height, and nonstandard hatch opening orientations will impact which fall protection system components will best suit your needs. 

At Northern Platforms, two essential SafeRack products—the SAS Gangway and G4 Series Offset Cage — can help ensure the safety and efficiency of your cement and asphalt truck loading operations.

The G4 Series Offset Cage, designed specifically for the cement industry, includes innovative features like flared and tapered rungs for full motion while in use. Compatible with all SafeRack gangways and cage configurations, this heavy-duty aluminum safety cage can withstand harsh conditions, offering versatility and durability. With its patented tapered extended profile for demanding high-cycle applications, this is the perfect safety cage for any cement operation. 

Similarly, the SAS (Self-Adjusting Stair) Gangway, with its extra-strong tube design and numerous range of widths and lengths, provides safe and easy access to trucks of varying sizes. This eliminates the need for multiple different-sized gangways, allowing your operations to enhance your bottom line. Its one-piece stair design also reduces the number of necessary welds, thereby lowering the risk of failures. At the same time, the self-adjusting feature ensures minimal effort and easy retrofitting for enhanced safety.

Northern Platforms’ team can explain the minute details of these truck fall protection components and how we can integrate them into your new or existing system. So, don’t hesitate to contact our team for more information. 

Your Source for Fall Protection Systems and More! 

Since 2002, Northern Platforms has been Canada’s trusted partner for designing, installing, and maintaining safe access solutions, loading platforms, loading arms, and more. As a family-owned and operated business, we take our commitment to safety to heart. We understand how workplace accidents can impact families, businesses, and communities, and that’s why we strive to provide the quality products companies need to reduce those risks. Whether your operations manage cement truck loading, ammonia as hydrogen railcar unloading or bulk water distribution, we have the access and loading solutions you need to keep your team safe!

Contact Northern Platforms today to learn more about our safe access solutions and to have our team design a truck fall protection system that suits your operation’s needs. 

Make Your Fuel Tanker Loading Systems Safer and More Efficient Today! 

Make Your Fuel Tanker Loading Systems Safer and More Efficient Today! 

Loading a fuel tanker comes with significant risks due to the flammability of the liquid and its vapours. That’s why having a safe and efficient fuel tanker loading system is critical for your operations. If your current tanker truck loading system is showing its age or is no longer working to its full potential due to a change in your operations’ scale or scope, Northern Platforms is here to help! 

Next, we will discuss tanker truck loading systems and how our team can help you design a system that enhances your operation’s safety and efficiency. Keep reading to find out more! 

Understanding Tanker Truck Loading Systems

When loading or unloading tanker trucks, it’s essential to understand how these systems work first. That way, you can better understand your operation’s needs. 

Whether you’re loading a fuel tanker, water truck, or sulfur tanker truck, the system components used follow the same basic principles:

  • Reduce the risk of environmental contamination.
  • Ensure operators’ safety.
  • Maintain a controlled loading/unloading process.

To achieve the above, tanker truck loading systems utilize top or bottom loading arms, loading platforms, gangways, safety cages, and hoses. Depending on the fuels, chemicals, or liquids you’re transporting, the system components you will use will vary as material compatibility, splash loading, and environmental and safety regulations will impact your options. 

Additionally, the scope and scale of your tanker truck loading operations, the size of trucks you’re working with, and the environment your facility is in will also impact your tanker loading systems. For instance, if you have a bulk water dispensing station up in the freezing North, you’ll need loading system components that can withstand below-zero temperatures.

Fortunately, Northern Platforms is here to help! As a family-owned and operated business with more than two decades of experience in safe access and loading solutions, our team can help you find the right components and equipment for your fuel tanker loading systems. Whether you’re transporting water, biodiesel, or hydrogen as ammonia, we have the expertise and equipment to help you outfit your entire operations! 

Tailored Solutions for Enhanced Operations

Regardless of the types of liquids or chemicals your operations are loading and unloading, Northern Platforms has all your safe access and loading equipment needs covered! As Western Canada’s leading safe access equipment, loading rack, and loading arm distributor, we have a comprehensive inventory of fuel tanker loading systems from trusted manufacturers like SafeRack, OPW Engineered Systems, Ultratech and more. 

When you need a new fuel tanker loading system, our team can ensure you get a tailored solution by visiting your work site and working closely with you and your team. That way, we can better understand your operations’ current challenges, goals, and scope. From there, Northern Platforms will draft a fuel tanker loading system that will not only ensure the safety and functionality of your operations but also aid in increasing productivity.

With Northern Platforms’ professional turnkey solutions, we can guarantee that your loading systems are installed and maintained in optimal condition. So, if you need a system that will make loading or unloading water, fuel, or chemicals safer and more efficient, turn to the experts at Northern Platforms! 

Get a Quote Today! 

At Northern Platforms, we are committed to providing our customers with superior quality products, on-time delivery, and outstanding service. Contact us today to get a quote on your fuel tanker loading system or to learn more about our loading arms, loading racks, gangways, and more!

Loading Tanker Trucks? Use a Quality Access Platform from Northern Platforms!

Loading Tanker Trucks? Use a Quality Access Platform from Northern Platforms!

Safety and efficiency during tanker truck loading applications cannot be compromised. At Northern Platforms, we understand how crucial these processes are for your operations. That’s why we are here to help you find the right tanker truck access platform for your facility.

Below, we will tell you about our SafeRack access platforms and gangways inventory and how our team can work with you to create a custom solution for your operations. Continue reading to find out more! 

Your Source for Tanker Truck Access Platforms

Whether your operations are loading tanker trucks with bottom hatches, top hatches, or both, Northern Platforms has you covered! As a leader in safe access and loading solutions, we carry a vast inventory of truck loading platforms and access solutions from SafeRack that can upgrade your operations’ efficiency, safety, and productivity. 

However, the team at Northern Platforms goes beyond meeting your operational needs; we also aim to exceed your expectations by delivering quality products and professional turnkey services. Our process of outfitting your loading operations with a tanker truck access platform starts with an on-site visit. This enables our team to understand your daily challenges and objectives. From there, we will develop a tanker truck loading access solution that will help you increase productivity, keep your workers safe, and ensure compliance with OSHA and other safety regulations. 

Looking for Flexibility In Your Loading?

One of the outstanding SafeRack products we carry at Northern Platforms is their track-mounted safe access gangways. These gangways slide horizontally along the loading platform, allowing your crew to quickly and safely access any place along the track system without stopping to move the tankers. With Northern Platforms’ SafeRack track-mounted loading gangways and access platforms, you’ll have the flexibility to spot vehicles of all sizes and types, speeding up your loading or unloading processes. 

The SafeRack track-mounted gangways are built with all of the safety features and mechanisms of their standard gangways and come equipped with a safety cage. This time-saving advantage, combined with the gangways’ durable, long-lasting design, means your operations will not only keep your crew safe but also enhance your bottom line.  

Custom Safety Access Platforms

At Northern Platforms, we understand that when it comes to tanker truck access platforms, one size may not fit all. As leaders in safe access solutions, we offer a range of loading rack and access platform solutions to meet your facility’s needs, including the one-of-a-kind type. With decades of experience under our belts, the Northern Platforms team can work with you to integrate any new solution fully into your existing operations. Whether that requires crafting a custom tanker truck access platform or simply adding a few fall protection components, Northern Platforms will work with you to find a cohesive, efficient, and productive solution that works for you! 

Ready to Get Started?

As a Canadian-owned and family-run company, Northern Platforms understands firsthand the importance of safety and efficiency in loading operations. With our expert team, turnkey services, and a comprehensive inventory of access solutions, loading arms, and loading racks, we are sure to find a tanker truck access platform solution that works for your operational demands.

Let our team guide you through your options today! Contact us to learn more about our SafeRack offering or to begin the custom access platform process.

How Bottom Loading Makes Your Fuel Tanker Loading System Safer

How Bottom Loading Makes Your Fuel Tanker Loading System Safer

Fuel tanker trucks are used across North America to transport large volumes of liquids and gases. With a rise in demand for biofuels especially, your fuel tanker system must have the right components to ensure smooth and safe operations.

As your source for safe access solutions, loading arms, and fall protection systems, Northern Platforms is here to help you make your tanker loading and unloading processes as safe as possible. Continue reading to learn more about how our bottom loading arms, in particular, can enhance the safety and efficiency of your operations.  

Understanding Fuel Tanker Loading Systems

The systems and equipment required for fuel tanker loading operations encompass a range of components. From gangways and loading racks to loading arms and spill containment, fuel tanker loading systems are complex, especially for larger facilities dealing with numerous tankers.

One of the essential components of a fuel tanker loading system is loading arms. Loading arm systems are crucial as they provide a safe means of accessing the content of the tanker trucks. These components connect to the tanker and the loading dock to provide a secure connection point for loading and unloading operations. Northern Platforms offers a range of top and bottom-loading arm configurations from trusted manufacturers like OPW Engineered Systems.

Next, we will explain why bottom-loading arms are often the safest option for fuel tanker loading systems. 

Advantages of Bottom Loading in Tanker Truck Operations

Northern Platforms’ inventory of OPW bottom-loading arms is available in a wide range of configurations. They offer operations many benefits that not only protect their workers but also enhance efficiency. These advantages include the following:

Fire Prevention

Top loading a fuel tanker often involves the splashing of flammable liquids, which can result in a build-up of electrical charge within the tanker itself. Electrical discharge can happen for several reasons, and the opportunity to generate a spark is increased by moving workers and equipment above the truck. Using a bottom-loading arm can reduce this risk, as they create less turbulence in the tank and often feature grounding systems. 

Spill/ Leak Prevention

Even minor petrochemical spills can be severe, from damage to the environment, creating the potential for a fire, pollution control, and loss of product perspectives. Bottom loading arms can reduce or eliminate the possibility of spills and leaks at loading terminals and service stations, especially when paired with a dry disconnect

Vapour Recovery

As many within the industry know, transferring fuels and chemical products can significantly contribute to local pollution and environmental damage. Bottom loading can make petrochemical vapour recovery easier than top loading. OPW’s bottom loading arms can be adapted to recover displaced vapours, making your operations safer and more environmentally friendly. 

Operator Safety

Top loading a fuel tanker requires your employees to be off the ground above the truck, creating a potential fall risk. At the same time, many fuel tanker loading systems are outside, making loading/unloading more dangerous during poor conditions at an elevated height. By using bottom-loading arms, your operators remain on the ground throughout the loading process, making it easier to react in an emergency and keeping them safe. 


Compared to top-loading islands or racks, bottom-loading islands are often less expensive to build and maintain. Without the need to maintain or replace walkways, gangways, or overhead loading structures associated with top-loading, your operations can enhance your bottom line and invest that money elsewhere. 

Your Source for Loading Arms and More!

At Northern Platforms, we proudly carry a comprehensive inventory of OPW top and bottom loading arms, quick & dry disconnects, and more. Our team is well-versed in fuel tanker loading systems, so if you’re looking for a custom solution for your operations, Northern Platforms is here to help!

Contact us today to learn more about our OPW bottom-loading arms or to speak with one of our safe access solution experts regarding your fuel tanker loading systems.

Top 3 Bottom Loading Arms for Sulfur and LPG Loading Applications

Top 3 Bottom Loading Arms for Sulfur and LPG Loading Applications

Bottom-loading arms offer several advantages over other types of loading equipment. At Northern Platforms, we carry a complete range of OPW Engineered Systems’ loading arms perfect for sulfur and LPG loading applications.

Below, we will highlight our top three models for sulfur and LPG loading and a bottom loading arm accessory that can make molten sulfur loading safer. Keep reading to find out more! 

Unsupported Boom Bottom Loader

The OPW Unsupported Boom Bottom Loading Arm is designed to provide a flexible, long-range, reliable operation that is easy to use in sulfur and LPG loading operations. This heavy-duty bottom-loading arm has five swivel planes of rotation, allowing for adjustments when changes in elevation or tilting due to the vehicle being loaded or unloaded occur. If you’re looking for a versatile, heavy-duty, and durable bottom-loading arm for your LPG or sulfur-loading applications, the OPW Unsupported Boom Bottom Loader from Northern Platforms has you covered!

Here are a few other features and benefits of this loading arm: 

  • Available in 2″ to 6″ sizes
  • Available in carbon steel, stainless steel and aluminum
  • Fully customizable
  • Can be safely stored in a “jack-knife” position for safe clearance of vehicles 
  • Easy to operate and maneuver 
  • Features a low profile design with a long reach, making it ideal for railcar unloading
  • Easily connects under trucks
  • Eliminate the need for hoses

A-Frame Loader

Another great bottom-loading arm option from Northern Platforms is the OPW A-Frame Loader. This loading arm is a popular option for LPG loading applications. Its unique configuration enables flexibility and a long reach while remaining convenient and easy to use. Typically used for tanker truck bottom-loading applications, the A-Frame Loader can also be utilized in top-loading/ unloading operations, making it a versatile option. And just like the Unsupported Boom loader, this bottom loading arm also adjusts for changes in tilt or elevation during loading operations. 

Next are some additional benefits and features of the OPW A-Frame Loader available at Northern Platforms:

  • Available in 2″ to 4″ sizes
  • Available in carbon steel, stainless steel and aluminum
  • LPG options feature an all-welded construction
  • Crossovers can easily be achieved
  • For multiple product applications, this loading arm can be mounted closely to others
  • Stores in an upright, near-vertical position for closer installation proximity
  • Fully customizable
  • Eliminates the need for hoses

CWH-Series Counterweighted Hose Loader

The last bottom loading arm we’d like to highlight is the OPW CWH-Series Counterweighted Hose Loader. This loading arm’s simple yet rugged construction provides efficient handling and coupling to tank adaptors. At the same time, the flange-by-flange base swivel joints ensure reliable performance and easy maintenance. The counterbalance adjustment is also smooth and straightforward, making the loading or unloading process quick and efficient. 

Below are some other features and benefits of the CWH-Series Counterweighted Hose Loader:

  • Features 4″ arms with a 114″ reach
  • Manufactured from carbon steel and aluminum
  • Includes a Dual Split Flange (DSF) inlet swivel for durability
  • Includes low-temperature fluorocarbon seals
  • The multiple-compartment loading capabilities save time
  • Crossover capabilities easily meet API envelope requirements
  • Comes with braided stainless steel or Rackmaster composite hose

Insulation for Molten Sulfur Loading

If your facility is specifically loading or unloading molten sulfur, then a bottom loading arm alone is not enough to ensure safe and efficient operation. At Northern Platforms, along with our inventory of bottom loading arms, we also offer a variety of loading arm accessories, such as the OPW Custom Insulation Packages. These removable and reusable insulation packages provide superior heat retention, safety, and an uncompromised range of motion, making them an excellent choice for temperature-sensitive loading applications. Available in 2″, 3″, 4″, and 6″ sizes and carbon steel or stainless construction, the OPW Custom Insulation Packages from Northern Platforms will ensure that your molten sulfur loading operations are safe and temperature protected. 

Your Source for Loading Arms!

Are you ready to find the bottom-loading arms your operations need to ensure safety and efficiency? Trust Northern Platforms in Leduc, Alberta, to have you covered!

Contact us today to learn more about our offering of OPW bottom-loading arms and let our team help you find the right loading equipment for your application. 

Why Quality Counts: Safe and Efficient Truck Access Platforms

Why Quality Counts: Safe and Efficient Truck Access Platforms

When it comes to ensuring the accessibility of elevated work areas around trucks, specialized equipment is essential. At Northern Platforms, we understand the unique challenges that companies face. That’s why we offer top-quality solutions and turnkey services to exceed your expectations. Our focus this time is on truck access platforms and how our approach, products, and expertise can make a difference in your operations. Keep reading to find out more! 

Why Invest in Quality Products

When it comes to investing in safe access solutions, opting for the cheaper solution can not only lead to risks but also may end up costing more in the long run. While these alternatives may seem attractive due to their lower upfront costs, the quality of these products speaks for themselves. A lower price tag often means compromises on the materials used in production, construction, and overall quality. All of which may cost you more when that access solution breaks down. 

At Northern Platforms, we proudly stock quality products from trusted manufacturers like SafeRack, typically built to withstand the rigour of numerous industrial applications. So, when investing in quality safe access solutions, plan for the future and invest in high-quality equipment that will give you a worthwhile long-term return on your investment (ROI). The enhanced safety and efficiency of your operations will ultimately lead to a healthier bottom line.

Truck Access Platforms for Diverse Needs

One of Northern Platforms’ top products is SafeRack’s SAS truck access platforms. The Self-Adjusting Stairs (SAS) access platform is engineered to provide employees with safe and efficient access to elevated work areas around trucks. They are built to articulate and self-level, accommodating varying heights of vehicles. So, regardless of whether you’re loading tanker trucks hauling biofuel or unloading manufacturing chemicals, the SAS truck access platform can ensure your team has secure access. 

Moreover, their one-piece stair design reduces welds, virtually eliminating failures. Despite their rugged construction, these platforms are easy to use, thanks to the spring counterbalance that requires minimal effort. Key features of the SAS truck access platform include:

  • Spring balanced lift and lower system for improved ergonomics
  • Positive locking system that protects drivers and operators
  • Plug-and-play setup for fast and easy installation
  • And more!

At Northern Platforms, we take a consultative approach, offering on-site visits to develop the right system for your needs. With expedited delivery, precision-built components, and custom solutions available, SafeRack’s truck access platforms provide a comprehensive solution for your truck loading and unloading needs.

Our Customer-First Approach

At Northern Platforms, our approach to building long-term relationships with our customers is based on the principles of understanding, personalization, and on-site engagement. While many companies rely solely on email or phone communication, we go the extra mile by visiting your site to gain a deeper understanding of your application. Our local, responsive staff can often be on-site the same day you reach out to us, ensuring a swift and personalized response. We’ve been in the business since 2002, and our experience speaks for itself.

By coming to your site, we not only garner a more in-depth understanding of your specific needs but also provide on-site education. This approach ensures that you not only get the right equipment but also know how to use it effectively. Combined with our installation and maintenance services, Northern Platforms ensures your site is safe, efficient, and easy to access, no matter the application. 

Your Source for Truck Access Platforms!

Ensuring safe and efficient access to elevated work areas around trucks is essential for the success of industrial and transportation operations. Northern Platforms’ inventory of SafeRack products offers a range of truck access platforms designed to provide reliable solutions to meet your specific needs.

Our approach to building strong client relationships and our commitment to quality, safe access solutions ensure your operations are safe and efficient. Trust Northern Platforms for your truck access platform needs, and experience the difference yourself.

Contact our team for a quote today!