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Stepping up with WLT Folding Stairs

by Treloar June 23, 2021
With a commitment to finding the best possible solutions for our clients, we were recently approached by Coogee Chemicals with a unique challenge.

As the producer of industrial, agricultural and mineral processing chemicals, Coogee Chemicals needed to upgrade their Sodium Hypochlorite and Sodium Hydroxide loading gantries.

However this presented some challenges due to the unusual way in which their tankers are loaded. While most tankers are perpendicular to the direction of traffic on the stairs, in this case the direction of traffic was along the axis of the tanker.

This meant that due to the height of the tanker turret and handrails, the bottom step was a long way off the tanker walkway. Another issue was that the overhead structure wouldn’t allow the stairs to fully retract to a normal parked position.

According to Michael Farnworth, Coogee Chemicals Senior Process Engineer, the space available was a huge constraint in terms of the design.

“The existing gantry was in front of the new gantry and had to remain in operation during the construction phase. A pipe support bridge going across the site was a further constraint that had to be dealt with,” he said.

Despite these challenges, Michael said “Treloar worked closely with us to come up with a successful solution that met our requirements, the loading gantry has been successfully commissioned and is meeting all our expectations.”

Some of the requirements of the custom design process included:
  • The safety cage had to be large enough to allow access to two loading compartments at once
  • The parked position for the stairs had to be in the horizontal position due to the pipe support bridge being directly above
  • The stairs had to fold down to suit road tankers of varying heights, as well as ISO containers.

In addition, a narrower fixed step was added to the bottom of the folding stairs to ensure that the final step down onto the tanker wasn’t too big.

Paul Walton, Treloar Engineering Manager, believes Treloar’s strong working relationship with WLT enabled them to design custom folding stairs that provided a straightforward and safe way to access the top of the tankers.

“After discussions with Coogee Chemicals, we implemented a special ‘mini step’ to drop into the tanker turret on the top which allows clearance for the handrails and truck whilst enabling a safe and ergonomic step from stairs to truck,” Paul said.

“We also customised the cage to enable the operators to reach both manways for filling which saves time by not having to move the truck. For the clearance issue, we installed an upper pneumatic limit switch so that the stairs stop automatically before hitting the overhead structure,” he said.

A self closing gate was also installed to ensure the safety of operators when the folding stairs are not in use.


No matter how challenging the task, Treloar has the skills and technical expertise to develop tailored solutions so get in touch and find out how we can help you.