If you’re in search of trusted loading solutions that allow you to safely transfer crude oil, Northern Platforms is on your side. With over 2 decades serving Canadians as a trusted distributor of safe loading and access equipment, our team is proud to offer you access to a wide range of tools, including crude oil loading arms from manufacturers like OPW and Emco Wheaton. Below, we’ll discuss some key factors to consider when choosing crude oil loading arms. Read on to learn more!
Why the Right Fit Matters
Loading arms are essential to aiding your operations for 2 main purposes: safety and efficiency. No matter what you’re transporting safety is a vital part of your operations, and specific products like crude oil will have unique requirements where loading and unloading is concerned. Ensuring you have the right fit not only keeps your process fast and productive, but also makes sure that everyone is safe in the process. Key considerations to finding your right fit include:
What Size of Loading Arm Do You Need?
Rail and truck loading arms typically range in size from 2″ to 6″. Knowing what size of loading arm is best suited to your operation, as well as knowing how it’s going to integrate with your existing platform/system plays an important role in finding the best fit.
Are You Loading Trucks or Railcars
While both are common for the safe transport of crude oil, trucks and railcars have different sizing and load specifications, so you’ll need to consider the exact needs of your transport carriers when selecting a loading arm. You will also need to know if you truck or railcar will be spotted right at the gangway each time or if your loading arm will need some flexibility to allow for miss-spotting of the truck or railcar.
How Are You Loading?
Crude oil is typically loaded either to atmosphere, also called splash loading, or via tight connection thorough the fill tube on the railcar. Depending on your setup, you’ll want to find the right fit for your loading arm to prevent mishaps. For example if you’re loading to atmosphere, if you are going to be doing vapor recovery you need to consider if you’re looking for a hatch plate, hatch plug, or inflatable hatch seal. Each with have unique needs that need to be dealt with.
Are You Loading Straight Crude Oil, or Oil That Has Been Diluted?
One of the major challenges of transporting and loading crude oil is preventing it from becoming overly viscous. Typically to make shipping crude oil easier condensate is added to crude oil to dilute it and make it easier to pump/ship. If you are not handling diluted bitumen, commonly referred to as Dilbit, then you’ll need to keep your loading arms hot to allow the crude oil/bitumen to easily flow through your loading arm. Working with industry leaders like OPW Engineered Systems and Emco Wheaton we can supply your loading arms with a few different styles of heat tracing. We can offer traditional steam jacketing, ControTrace, or electric heat tracing for your loading arm.
Do You Need A Safe Guard For Overfill/Level Detection
Finally, Northern Platforms offers a wide range of loading arms and solutions, including supplying a level probe or overfill sensor which can help prevent costly and dangerous spills on site.
Heavy Duty Loading Solutions at Northern Platforms
If your team is in need of loading and safe access solutions you can count on, Northern Platforms has you covered. For over 20 years, we’ve been Western Canada’s preferred provider of loading products from the top names in the business, and are proud to carry solutions from brands like SafeRack (Northern Platforms is your exclusive source for SafeRack products in Western Canada), OPW, Emco Wheaton and more. When it’s time to tackle the toughest of applications, you can count on us to have your back, both with an inventory you can trust and extensive support services including turnkey installations and more. For more information about our support services, as well as our available crude oil loading arms, contact us today.