Hoses or Loading Arms – What Works Best?

There’s more than one way to achieve a desired end result. Sometimes methods are employed because of history, budgets, purpose, preference, and/or safety. When loading and unloading tanker trucks and rail cars there’s more than one way to move product, too.

Whether loading from the top or bottom, the two most popular options are hoses and loading arms. Each has its own purpose. There are three types of hoses:

  • Vapor Recovery Hoses work best on jobs where light weight and flexibility are needed. They are appropriate for liquids including diesel, gasoline and lubricating oils.
  • Steel Braided Hoses are used for hydraulic situations with high heat and high temperatures so they have to be extremely durable and reliable.
  • Composite Hoses are compatible with the widest range of chemicals. They can transfer polar and non-polar liquids. These hoses also prevent sparking and arc-over hazards that can sometimes happen with metal hoses.

Many times, Loading Arms are an excellent alternative to hoses. Both top and bottom loading arms are superior in performance, durability and most loading/unloading applications. Loading arms come in a choice of materials, designs and sizes and they can handle refrigerated or heated products, liquefied gases, toxic or corrosive substances. Loading arms are often preferable to hoses because of their reliability, low maintenance and long life.

Each customer’s requirements are different and must be taken into account before the design stage to make certain engineers design the proper loading arm for the company’s needs. Loading arms have other advantages over hoses because they have few spare parts, minimal spillage waste, don’t cause trip hazards, don’t require hydrostatic testing, and they provide better safety because they won’t burst.

When the flexibility of a hose is needed for loading and unloading, a Hose Arm can help with some of the negatives of using a hose. Hose arms keep workers from having to drag heavy hoses around, pulling them up and over railings and other obstacles. A hose arm will prevent falls by taking the hose up to the top of a truck or a tank car, so an operator doesn’t have to. The hose arm can also help employees by holding the hose up while the worker makes the connection.

Hose arms make loading and unloading hoses more ergonomic for a streamlined operation and faster throughput. Hose arms help free up space on the platform while simultaneously increasing efficiency and revenue by requiring just one worker where there used to be two needed.

There are times when hoses are best for the job because they are more flexible than loading arms but they’re more likely to wear out due to weather exposure and/or being dragged across concrete. Hoses are heavy, bulky and create a fall hazard. Because they need replacing often, they’re also a constant cost.

Loading Arms protect workers and the environment against the effects of hose rupture, pull-apart and failure. They also make quicker connections and load/unload faster meaning better throughput for your company.

Carbis Fluid Handling can evaluate and provide you with top or bottom loading arms that work with your specific products and requirements. Contact us today to see how our loading arms and other safety equipment can help keep your employees safe, more efficient and effective on the job.

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