The platform at a typical bulk plant is approximately 5 feet above grade level and has a set of steps at each end. During the period when the transport driver or rack attendant is engaged in filling the vehicle compartments, the driver stands at a level that makes it easy to open hatch covers and move loading arms into position.
Such loading-rack platforms are made of steel, with expanded metal floors. Many are covered with sloping roofs, designed to protect operators from rain or snow during loading operations. Loading racks vary in length, depending upon the number of vehicles to be simultaneously filled and the number of loading arms at the location.
Loading racks at terminals have facilities for both top and bottom loading, and are equipped with sophisticated control devices. These devices prevent overfilling of transports and ensure bonding of the vehicles to prevent uncontrolled static discharges.