About Railcar Transloaders

About Railcar Transloaders. When Transloading liquids: Is a Cart mounted, Fixed or Trailer Mounted Mobile Transloader with Safe Access the right solution?

Over the past year S&S Technical has been asked on many occasions, “What is the best way to Transload?” As simple as the question is, it depends on the product you are transferring, access requirements, site layout and your vision.

The questions we need to ask our clients to truly understand their requirements cover many areas. I have listed the most common below. Whether you are top unloading a large daily volume of Propane from rail cars or bottom loading tanker trucks with bio-fuel, your solution will be dramatically different.

While S&S Technical can provide you a custom solution, these questions need to be addressed to design, engineer and fabricate the best solution.

  • What product are you transferring? Propane, Butane, Condensate, Crude, Chemicals, Ethanol …?
  • Do you need to move the Transloader to various rail cars at the same site?
  • Do you need or would you like to move the Transloader to different sites?  
  • Do you own the site and prefer a fixed over mobile solution?
  • Do you need to top unload or bottom unload? (Operator safety is critical)
  • Are you working with Rail, Truck, Storage Tanks, Cavern or Vessel?
  • Is this a Custody Transfer application and how much automation do you require?
  • What are your time constraints and what is the temperature range at your site?

Based on your answers the S&S team is able to design a Transloader specific to your application and site that falls in to these three Transloader categories. Trailer Mounted Mobile Transloaders, Cart Mounted Transloaders and Fixed Transloaders. I will go into these categories in more detail and have included pictures below that illustrate each.

Trailer Mounted Portable Transloaders:

Many companies are looking for a Mobile Transloader that provides safe access to top of rail cars and tanker trucks. Some of our clients would like the flexibility of having a trailer mounted Transloader that has the capability of being towed to another job site. This provides the capability of being towed without having the extra time and expense of taking apart the Transloader, putting the major segments on a flatbed and then reassembling the Transloader at the new site. While this is necessary to maintain DOT oversized height requirements, it is very expensive. As you refer to picture 1 you will see our solution allows the company to save all that time and expense by having the safe access stair and platform lower itself on to the deck of the Transloader. You will also notice this Propane Transloader is equipped with a gangway, cage and hose handler along with an FMC Microload, Smart Hoses and a Micro Motion Coriolis meter. (A very flexible solution indeed.)

Cart Mounted Transloaders:

While a mobile transloader is flexible, many companies’ application requires a more simple design that is practical and more cost efficient. A Cart Mounted Transloader (refer to picture 2) can be the proper choice if you do not need top access as part of this solution. In the picture 2 below, this solution is bottom loading Ethanol and is using a TCS PD meter, an FMC Microload and an OCV Digital Control valves. (Sometimes a simple design is the best.)

Skid Mounted Transloaders:

While talking with various companies, we find they have a need to Transload a high volume of product, but they are fortunate to own the site and do not have to move the Transloader around. In this situation the key requirements may be the need to unload multiple rail cars at a time and many in a day. When these are the main requirements the best solution is a Fixed Transloader. (refer to picture 3) In this example the company’s need is to quickly unload rail cars of Butane and put into storage bullets. They accomplish this by using this dual Blackmer (HD 942B) Compressor transfer skid with an Allen Bradley PLC, Human Machine Interface (HMI) and Rosemont Instrumentation. (Many times a fixed solution is best for high volume).

S & S Advantage:   Whether you are unloading a large volume of Propane from pressurized rail cars or a small amount of acids, be it top or bottom unload, utilizing hoses or loading arms, contact S&S. Our team will schedule a meeting to listen, ask and understand.  Using the information discussed with the client, the S&S team can design the best custom solution for you and your operation. S&S Technical is a one stop shop. We provide in-house Design, Engineering, Fabrication, Automation and Testing so you can feel comfortable the day your Transloader arrives at your operation. There is no need to pay for additional Engineering or Project Management, or have the additional risk of communication loss. S & S will work directly with you and your project team, with less noise and less expense.

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