You’ve invested in a loading arm and want it to function properly for years to come. That means starting with the right installation, and planning for routine preventative programmed maintenance. OILCO’s recommended installation procedures and maintenance tips can set you and your team up for success. Be sure to share this information with installation contractors and your operations personnel.

But first, general safety notes

  • Take all due safety precautions when assembling and operating loading arm units
  • Handle all components with care
  • Wear proper personal protective gear at all times
  • If there’s something unique to your OILCO assembly not covered here, contact us

And second, some warnings

  • Always properly ground the loading assembly and any associated container or transport vehicle. Product flow causes static electricity. Any failure to ground may cause an explosion, damage, and/or bodily harm.
  • Keep all body parts and non-essential equipment away from the assembly during operations. This includes the inlet connection area and all pinch points. Failure to do so may cause unnecessary damage to the assembly components or bodily injury.

Loading arm overview

Loading assemblies are designed to transfer product from a source location into a receiving container, like a railcar or tanker truck. Each individual loading arm unit is manufactured for a specific set of operational parameters. Only trained and skilled personnel should install, operate, or conduct operations around a loading assembly.

OILCO loading arm testing procedures

Before your OILCO loading assembly gets to you, it has been hydrostatically tested in accordance with OILCO’s established standards and procedures.

This testing includes:

  • Evaluating swivel joints for rotation and function
  • Examining tolerances for both torsion spring counterbalances and spring-matic counterbalance assemblies
  • Setting the loading assembly into a neutral position

Steps to install and assemble your OILCO loading arm

  • Fully review the technical drawing provided before proceeding with assembly. If you need a copy of the drawing, reach out to us.
  • Confirm that all bolts, nuts, and gaskets are included with the shipment
    • Note that OILCO doesn’t supply inlet connection hardware as standard
  • Assembly and installation options; pre-assembly of the complete unit or assembly of the unit by component
  • Ensure all threads are clean and free from foreign debris before applying proper thread sealant in a liberal manner
  • Clean all flange faces of foreign debris before seating a gasket
  • Begin assembly at the riser swivel joint and proceed toward the outlet
  • Warning: If the unit is assembled complete prior to connection to the inlet flange, you’ll need to use a suitable lifting mechanism. Be sure to secure the unit safely before raising it to any elevation. Failure to do so may result in damage or severe injury.
  • Once completely assembled and secured to its source flange, raise the loading assembly unit to connect the transmission link to the pivot arm

Caution: Advise all personnel to remain at a safe distance while trained individuals release the unit from its secured position. This allows the assembly to come to rest under its own power and spring tension.

Operation and maintenance of your OILCO loading arm

When operating your loading arm, always adhere to federal, state, and local policies and standards.

  • Prior to each use of the loading assembly, visually inspect the unit to be sure there are no immediate hazards
  • Perform final adjustment of the spring counterbalance once the arm is installed and in its final position
  • OILCO recommends a programmed maintenance schedule for all loading assemblies; this should include visual inspection, physical manipulation, and proper lubrication
    • Refer to the lubrication instruction data sheet provided with all OILCO equipment; keep this info onsite and use it in your planned maintenance
    • Refer to the spring balance adjustment procedures provided with all OILCO assemblies; keep this info onsite and use it in your planned maintenance
    • While performing any maintenance, be sure to remove the assembly from service and drain all product.
    • Should any replacement be required, follow all of the procedures outlined in the
      installation portion of these guidelines
  • If you decide to relocate or modify the unit, contact the OILCO factory for advice on any parts, adjustments, or considerations for continued best-performance

OILCO loading arm installation checklist

OILCO provides a complete set of standard documentation with each order. Be sure you have these documents in-hand before you begin assembly and installation. If you don’t have your copy, click the links below for a version you can print.

  1. Technical reference drawing for loading assembly
  2. Torsion spring / spring-matic counterbalance adjustment procedures
  3. Lubrication and maintenance instructions
  4. Swivel joint seal replacement instructions

OILCO takes safety seriously

At OILCO, we take safety and proper handling seriously – and know you do, too. Any improper handling or disregard for onsite safety and operational procedures or factory recommendations can cause unnecessary damage to the loading arm. Worse, it can cause personal injury or death to those within the immediate vicinity.

  • Please be sure all operators and maintenance personnel are familiar with this guide.
  • Know that using the assembly in a process other than intended, abused to the point of negligent damage, or including it in a system of a different medium or operating pressure will void your OILCO warranty

OILCO: Reliability at every turn

Proudly designed and manufactured in the U.S. since 1935, OILCO Liquid Handling Systems’ reliable products keep industries moving. From our unparalleled swivel joint line to our innovative loading arm assemblies, OILCO products are engineered to do more. Put our 85+ years of experience to work for your business.