Asphalt Load Rack Upgrade

Marathon Oil Corporation



  • Part of widespread program utilizing standard equipment, safety, and operational standards
  • Upgraded load rack, gangway equipment, and safety features for multiple loading stations to match program standards
  • Multiple engineering disciplines to deliver a fully integrated project
  • Long-term relationship a key factor in understanding client needs


Detroit, Michigan

Eight lane load rack

In addition to safety improvements, SSOE’s upgrades also improved product distribution and reduced downtime.

SSOE completed multiple projects for the Marathon Load Rack Program. This program was charged with improving safety and optimizing truck loading across their facilities by eliminating potential fall hazards. The Detroit Load Rack was one of the larger projects completed due to the extent of piping and electrical changes implemented.

The scope included the design of new platforms, gangways, stairs, safety cages, load arms, and piping. The safety-enhanced version of Marathon’s load rack included improved controls and safety interlocks, as well as improved lighting. The operator interface was redesigned to assure that safety interlocks and protocol for loading are satisfied prior to the start of loading. To ensure safety and ergonomics, many of the hand-operated valves were replaced with actuated valves. SSOE also integrated the control of the hydraulic gangway as part of the load rack controls. Hydraulically actuated gangways were installed to prevent injuries related to strain and poor ergonomics. In some areas, SSOE added stairs or extended platforms to create an optimal distance between the operator and the fill point.

SSOE’s experience with asphalt piping and electrical systems extends far beyond addressing safety issues, providing the added benefit of increased efficiency at this facility. Redesigned piping at loading stations improved product distribution. Reconfigured controls ensured that only affected lane(s) would shut down in the event of a problem, resulting in less downtime. The features integrated were part of a standard used throughout Marathon’s facilities so that workers can now safely operate equipment at any location.

Related Projects

Wind Energy Structural Study
Wind Energy Structural Study
Wind Energy Corporation
Ethanol Facility Expansion
Ethanol Facility Expansion
Glacial Lakes Energy, LLC