Loadtec Benbecula Press Release

Loadtec Engineered Systems Acquired by Benbecula Group

Loadtec Benbecula Press ReleaseLoadtec Engineered Systems is delighted to announce the sale of its group of companies comprising; Loadtec Engineered Systems, In Control Projects and Loadtec Service, to Benbecula Group, a privately funded group of companies based in Wallsend, Newcastle Upon Tyne. Benbecula Group is led by Ally MacDonald, former CEO of Wellstream International and MD of Technip Umbilicals, current Chairman of Tekmar Energy.

The move greatly strengthens The Loadtec Group portfolio via its new sister companies; Tyne Gangway, Lift-rite Engineering Services and DDS Metals which serve the offshore, marine and engineering sectors.

Loadtec, established in 1996, has an excellent global reputation for providing an inclusive design, supply, commissioning and service package for loading arms, tanker access and fall prevention systems.

Lift-Rite which was acquired by Benbecula Group in October 2017, designs, manufactures, inspects, repairs and hires out lifting equipment, whilst offering on-site rigging and mobilisation services.

Tyne Gangway, originally founded in 1934, was acquired by Benbecula Group in October 2017. The company manufactures and designs marine access systems including gangways and accommodation ladders, predominately for the marine industry, with 50 percent of its equipment produced for export.

A large proportion of Tyne Gangway’s materials are supplied by it’s third division, DDS Metals, also acquired in Oct 2017 by Benbecula Group.  DDS was founded in 2005 and supplies aluminium and stainless steel plates and extrusions to a UK customer base.

As a result of this latest acquisition by Benbecula, the Group is targeting further growth in existing and complementary markets.  The Loadtec management team will remain and will be utilising the greater group resources to further grow the business.

Alec Keeler, Managing Director of Loadtec said, “We reached a point where we needed to be part of a larger group to achieve the growth we were looking for. Without wider support and financial resource, we were vulnerable to market fluctuations. Benbecula presented a clear strategy to grow the Loadtec Group and develop the existing team towards greater achievements. Our businesses complement each other well, it's very much a win-win arrangement and we look forward to providing our old and new customers both nationally and internationally with an even better customer experience."

Loadtec Group will continue to provide their Zip-Load loading arm products and safe tanker access systems. Going forward, this will be enhanced with innovative and unique products that will anticipate the changing needs of the industries served. Keeler added "We now move into a very exciting phase of the Loadtec story with a professional and ambitious partner".


For more details about this press release, please contact:

Sue Keeler
Loadtec Engineered Systems Limited
The Stables, Coach House
Hythe Road, Smeeth
Kent TN25 6SP
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0) 01303 81 4040
Mobile: +44 (0) 7747 844240

Email: sue@loadtec.co.uk

Interns Shandish and Josh, both 15, with sales engineer Alex Bolden doing work experience at Loadtec Head Office in Kent

Honeywell Training Event

This piece about the Honeywell training event was written by Shandish and Josh, both 15 years of age, who are here doing work experience at Loadtec Engineered Systems Ltd Head Office in Kent. They interviewed the staff involved in the training and had to understand industrial technical processes while writing this piece.

Honeywell Training Event

Three members of the Loadtec team –  Sales Engineers Rob Keeler and Alex Bolden, together with Project Engineer Nick Wood – attended the Honeywell training event in Chesterfield, UK. Honeywell is a company that deals with both domestic and industrial electrical and control equipment/software.

They learnt how fuels are blended and supplemented with additives. Honeywell has a product called the MSC-L which is a multi-stream load controller that manages how the fuel is blended and how much of each additive is combined with the product when put into tankers from fuel storage tanks at the terminal. The MSC-L meters and records all transactions associated with the loading process to MID specifications.

The MSC-L is unique due to its easy-to-use buttons and features and compatibility with safety devices including overfill prevention devices and earthing monitors. It has the ability to load different products through different channels simultaneously; it saves and shares how much of the product is inserted into the tanker and the concentration of its blend with the terminal’s automation system.

The event was a showcase of the product and its capabilities with the Loadtec team being shown how it works in a live demo situation with an explanation on the loading, additive injection and blending processes and where the MSC-L would be beneficial. The MSC-L has many optional adaptations that can be integrated to suit the specific needs of the end user.

  1. Fuel delivered to a fuel storage terminal usually by pipeline/sea/river
  2. Fuel tanker driver collects product from terminal
  3. The product must be metered whilst being loaded into the tanker and may require additive injection and blending
  4. Additives or blending chemicals may be added to meet local legislation and/or client requirements
  5. The MSC-L allows the driver to complete the loading and record volumes. The simple easy-to-use large buttons allow the driver to easily operate the MSC-L while wearing personal protective equipment
Loadtec Service In Control Team

Fuels Loading Brochure 2017

If you are a fuel distributor looking for a one stop shop for all the equipment and services require for loading fuels efficiently and safely, look no further! The Loadtec Engineered Services, Loadtec Service and In Control teams can provide all the correct equipment to allow you to load and unload fuels safely and efficiently. Check out our new fuels loading brochure to find out more...

Loadtec And In Control Fuels Loading Brochure (PDF)

Loadtec TC-10 Mobile Access Cart - Two Side by Side

TC-10 Mobile Access Cart: Product Presentation

This is a product presentation on the TC-10, or more commonly known as the Mobile Access Cart, created by Alec Keeler, Managing Director of Loadtec Engineered Systems Ltd. The TC-10 is a mobile solution that not only presents safe tanker access, it is also versatile, robust, can be used in all-weather conditions and only requires one man or woman to operate.

Loadtec Zip-Load Factory Visit - Equipment Undergoing Factory Acceptance Test (FAT)

Twenty Years of Loadtec

On 9 December 2016 (this Friday!), Loadtec Engineered Systems will celebrate its 20th anniversary in the field of loading arms and access equipment. We want to celebrate this significant milestone and share with our customers, suppliers and friends, some facts about our business and our team. We commissioned this wonderful infographic that will give you some fascinating facts about the company.

Twenty Years of Loadtec InfographicOur staff like to work with us. In twenty years, one person resigned because he’d come to an industry he didn’t like (really?), two were reluctantly released, one moved away to be with his girlfriend (subsequently married her and now has two children) and two retired.  Our staff are a very valuable feature of our business and we encourage their growth and enterprise.

As a company, we have had hard times and good times. But through it all, we can truly say our customers are at the heart of it all and we genuinely work very hard to meet and exceed customer requirements.

We don’t always succeed, but we learn from our mistakes and improve. There is fun and there is frustration. It has been fascinating and, sometimes frightening to see how the customer has evolved.

Twenty years have seen changes in the way customers seek out needed products or solutions. The internet has become a resource that was unimaginable by many 20 years ago. The levels of documentation and scrutiny have increased exponentially, probably driven by litigation and insurance claims because whilst safety has improved, those improvements have been made by investment in appropriate, modern equipment rather than more documentation.

So, where will the next 5, 10 or 20 years take us? New materials will lead to innovative designs. But, due to the transient nature of modern  employment, many end-users will find themselves facing a lack of suppliers carrying an experienced understanding of customer needs. Loadtec’s philosophy, training and ethos tells us, that will not be the case with us.

We hope you will raise a glass in spirit to us this Friday and toast to our anniversary and our continual success.

Alec Keeler - Managing Director, Sue Keeler - Operations Director

Nominate Personality of the Year

Loadtec to sponsor Tank Storage Awards ‘Personality of the Year Award’

Loadtec Engineered Systems Ltd will be sponsoring the ‘Personality of the Year' category at the inaugural Tank Storage Awards that will take place at the Floating Pavilion in Rotterdam on 29th March 2017.

The all new global Tank Storage Awards are designed to highlight those that excel in a range of different categories relating to terminal achievements, equipment innovations, ports and individual success.

Nominations are submitted by those working in the industry. However, the award winners will be chosen by a panel of impartial judges from across the sector and will be announced during a lavish gala dinner and ceremony in Rotterdam on the second night of StocExpo Europe.

“Loadtec is very excited about being the first sponsor for the awards. Through the many years I have worked in the industry, I have met many outstanding individuals and companies who have gone beyond their job scopes to ensure operators work in a safe environment. We are happy that finally, there is a way to recognise these individuals and companies who have made a real difference in the industry,” says Alec Keeler, Managing Director of Loadtec.

"We have been busy nominating individuals as well as companies in the industry that we feel have made a real impact! The reason we are sponsoring the ‘Personality of the Year Award' is because our industry has always been perceived by others as a rather dull and boring one. However, those of us who have been working in it for years know there are certainly enough colourful and interesting yet knowledgeable industry figures to make working in this industry still fun and interesting after all these years!” Alec explained further.

"The 'Personality of the Year Award’ is designed to recognise someone in the industry that stands out above the rest. We are delighted to have a company like Loadtec sponsoring this award and it’s a great choice for them," says Margaret Dunn, Publisher at Tank Storage Magazine, who are hosting the awards. "The Loadtec team are well-known throughout the industry, always smiling at tradeshows and usually have a funny anecdote to share!"

‘The Personality of the Year Award’ is the only one that will be voted on by the industry. Voting will open in January 2017 and everyone in the industry will be entitled to one vote each.

Nominations for this award are free of charge and will close in December 2016. Make sure you have your say and nominate that person who you feel deserves this industry accolade.

Winners will be revealed at a the gala dinner in Rotterdam on 29th March 2017. The evening consists of a drinks reception, 3-course dinner, live band, casino & all-inclusive drinks all evening – we look forward to seeing you there!

Training in Bologna 2016 -Loadtec Training Day

Loadtec Safety Presentation

This presentation entitled 'Safe?' was created by Alec Keeler, Managing Director of Loadtec Engineered Systems Ltd, and presented during the Training Event held in the Zip-Load factory in Bologna, Italy, in July 2016. In this presentation, Alec uses images gathered around the world in his job advising on safe tanker access and fall prevention to show just how safety standards differ across the world and the different solutions Loadtec provides for every scenario.

The Loadtec, Zipfluid and Carbis teams at StocExpo 2016

Brexit: Keep Calm and Carry On

Well, what a week and don’t even get me started on the football.

Without taking this down a political route and whatever your viewpoint, the UK seems to be entering a period of political and economic uncertainty. Market speculators are causing stocks and exchange rates to fluctuate widely and as a consequence, other countries may feel nervous about making commitments to UK companies.

At Loadtec we developed both long and short term strategies about 6 months ago for Leave and Remain scenarios. Whilst the route taken by Britain is not our preferred one, we do have strategies in place to mitigate risk for both our customers and suppliers.

The initial action, taken on Friday was to temporarily suspend validity of all offers made in Sterling that were within their validity period. We contacted as many customers as we could and advised them of this action. It was met with understanding and support, which is very encouraging. In the lead up to the vote we increased the number of offers made in Euro and Dollar currencies, to minimise disruption. We believe that over the next ten days, markets will stabilise and we will have a clearer position on where to pitch exchange rates and our Sterling quotations will return to normal validity. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

From a manufacturing viewpoint, as many of you know, much of our output is manufactured in the EU or USA with a smaller proportion (though no less important) coming from within the UK. Again, this strengthens our position to provide consistency and calm in a time of variability and uncertainty. So, essentially it is business as usual or, if the slogan can be applied, KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON.

Looking forward I cannot hope to speculate on how Brexit will play out or, indeed, whether it will play out at all. If brains, much closer to the politics and complexities don’t know, then what chance do I have? However, Loadtec is staying alert to market trends, meeting our customers’ requests and continuing to provide excellent products, quality and after sales support. The same qualities we are known for around the world.

If you have any questions regarding this or other matters regarding our products or service, please do not hesitate to contact us. If you want to talk about football, then please call someone else!

Kind regards
Alec Keeler
Managing Director

Loadtec can provide maintenance services

Watch video of Loadtec Service Team in Ireland

Yesterday the Loadtec Service team were in Ireland, conducting routine maintenance on some unloading arms we supplied to a pharmaceutical client. Taking advantage of the bright sunny weather, they decided to demonstrate the ease of use and handling of our bottom unloading arm. This is a 3” stainless steel arm with six high integrity swivel joints. At the outboard end is a full bore 3” ball valve and Emergency Release System. The combined weight of those items is approximately 30kg. So imagine trying to have those essential items on the end of a hose. The eagle-eyed viewers will have spotted the hose being carried on the arm. This is an extension spool for ISO tanker that have long rear decks.

The use of articulated pipe systems to replace hoses is becoming increasing popular, especially on bottom loading or unloading operations, where operators are protected by increasing legislation on manual handling and environmental pressures on spill prevention are ever present.

A 3” hose is far cheaper to purchase. However, it requires bi-annual pressure test; it is difficult to stow neatly when not in use; can be dropped; can be driven over; is very heavy to use if fitted with a valve at the tanker connection point and cannot be easily heated or have vent purge valves fitted to it.

Loading arms are balanced throughout their movement envelope; are designed not to hit the ground – protecting the valves and couplers; carry a (negotiable) five-year warranty; allow a one-man operation; can be moved into position with ease and left hanging in the air while the operator prepares the tanker connection; are parked neatly and can have various interlocks fitted to give permissives/warnings of arm condition/position.

Faced with a neat and easy solution or a messy and, potentially dangerous solution, which would you choose?

Medway Rovers FC Football Team wearing Loadtec Kits

Go Rovers, go!

On a sunny spring day on Saturday 14 May 2016, Loadtec Engineered Systems Ltd made company history by sponsoring Medway Rovers FC youth football schools, starting what we hope will be an ongoing relationship with a local football club.

Medway Rovers FC Football Team in Action during Cup Final - May 2016Loadtec’s involvement with Medway Rovers FC was instigated by one of their Sales engineers, Alex Bolden. Having found some early success with Walderslade men’s team which he and college friend Sam Kenny started, they took their team to Medway Rovers after meeting Roy Bowles, chairman of the Gillingham-based team.

“I generally played and help players work on their fitness while Sam ran training sessions and managed the team on and off the pitch. After two years, Sam started another Medway Rovers team on a Sunday and at this point I took over as manager.

“I played in goal and managed the team for two years until the end of the 2014/2015 season when I stepped down as manager, but carried on playing. We were always looking to improve the club with new kit, equipment, new grounds, new players and a new manager.” Alex explained when asked about his involvement in the club.

With Medway Rovers’ ambition for expansion, their plan was to start youth soccer schools; given that the way to secure the future of a football club is to start the kids young and to build a legacy that way. To get coaches, equipment, advertising, kits and so on is expensive and sponsorship was very much needed to get this idea off the ground.

Having worked for Loadtec for nearly four years at this point, Alex and Alec Keeler, Managing Director of Loadtec, have spoken on many occasions about Alex’s sporting activities and interest in football.Medway Rovers FC Youth Soccer School Kids wearing Loadtec Kits

“I mentioned to Alec that my club was looking to start up kids’ soccer schools and needed sponsorship to kit out the children in club football kits. I asked if Loadtec would consider sponsoring the kits to help get them started,” Alex said.

Alec responded positively to the idea and Loadtec was put in touch with Roy. After months of intense planning, advertising, setting up and recruiting, the club’s youth soccer schools started. At this point Medway Rovers used the generous sponsorship provided by Loadtec to get kits and equipment for all the kids.

During this time, the men’s team Medway Rovers XI managed to get to a cup final for the second time in the club’s history and the final was played on Saturday, 14 May 2016. Alec and Sue Keeler attended the thrilling final as guests of the club and met not only the teams but also the people behind the team such as Chris Making, Vice Chairman of the football club, who was a superb host to the Loadtec visitors.

Though the team unfortunately lost 3-2 to Medway Borough, the children from the club’s youth soccer school debuted their Loadtec-sponsored kits to a great reception from the local crowd.

Medway Rovers FC Youth Soccer School Kids wearing Loadtec Kits“It was wonderful watching the children, all potential football stars in the making, happily kicking balls about in their very colourful new kits and knowing that Loadtec has played a part in making this happen. We hope to build an ongoing relationship with Medway Rovers FC in the future,” Sue Keeler, Loadtec’s Director commented afterwards.

As a thank you to Loadtec, Medway Rovers also got the men’s team shirts printed with the Loadtec logo as well.

Loadtec Zip-Load Rail Wagon Tank Access System in the Middle East

Key Strategies to Building Safe and Efficient Rail Car Operations

Rail operations are increasing around the world as manufacturers and logistics operators seek more sustainable and efficient ways of moving bulk liquid from its place of manufacturing to the end users.

The loading and unloading of rail cars can present a number of safety challenges. Developing and implementing bulk fluid transfer systems in conjunction with fall prevention strategies is necessary for increasing safety, throughput and efficiency on site.

According to the Office of Rail and Road (ORR), the independent safety and economic regulator for Britain's railways and monitor of Highways England, there were four workforce fatalities in 2014-15. One of the electrocution fatalities was on the non-mainline, the first recorded fatality since 2006-07. In addition, workforce major injuries on other non-mainline networks rose from 57 in 2013-14 to 65 in 2014-15. These primarily involved track and other maintenance staff.

In other countries, where rail tank wagon operations are more common such as the US, the statistics are even more shocking. In 2015, there were 16,710 cases of workplace causalities (deaths and non-fatal injuries and illnesses) at rail sites, according to the Federal Railway Administration Office of Safety Analysis. If adequate fall prevention strategies were in place, this could have prevented many of these falls. Not to mention the legal ramifications for the company running the site where an incident has occurred.

Here are four strategies that can help improve your safety and efficiency on your rail sites:

  1. Know your products

Knowledge is king and more often than not, a first step is knowing what equipment is right for your site.

What products are being loaded? How many products are being loaded on site? The type of products will determine the material and the complexity of the loading arms.

  1. Know your site and facilities

What tank rail cars are coming into your site? There are a wide range of rail tank cars of varying lengths in use around the world, with their main differences on the top of the rail cars, often with things such as crash boxes, vents and ladders that affect access to the main hatch for loading and unloading.

Is the site being developed from nothing or will there be existing equipment that has be worked around? Is it a multi-purpose site, in that both rail wagons and road tankers are being loaded and unloaded? A lot of existing rail terminals have quite old equipment as well as ancillary equipment such as piping, which can present a real challenge when the operator has asked for a ‘bolt on’.

Loadtec is able to obtain crucial information about products and facilities using detailed survey sheets, site visits and through speaking to the right people.

  1. Get the operators involved early on

One of the biggest problems Loadtec has encountered is a massive disconnect between the people who order the equipment and the people who actually use the equipment, which can be different sets of people working in the same company or sometimes, in third party companies.

When on site, Loadtec often encounter operators who are resistant to change.  They sometimes view the arrival of new and safer equipment as a step towards automation and a risk to their employment.  Others, primarily because they have not been part of the evaluation or selection process, resist or find reasons to obstruct the adoption of new technology.

It is absolutely crucial that the operators are involved from an early stage of a project if you want to ensure safety and efficiency across the site later on. Nothing encourages an operator to use a piece of equipment safe and efficiently than when they have been involved in the selection of the equipment from day one. If a project is big, appoint a team leader amongst the operator who can represent their say in the matter and involve the team leader in the selection of equipment.

  1. If all else fails, engage a trusted equipment supplier

Say you do not know a swivel joint from a coupling, how do you then ensure the site you are commissioning meets all safety standards as well as it being as efficient as it can? You engage an equipment provider who knows what they are doing, like Loadtec.

Loadtec has been in the business for 20 years. In this time, we have worked successfully globally, across a whole range of projects with different demands. The knowledge we have gained in doing this is invaluable.

Loadtec is often asked to provide ‘a standard’ when it comes to the equipment we supply. But there are no standards and that’s why Loadtec works well when compared to the big corporations out there that mass manufacture standard products

Each solution we provide is unique. We do not fit something and hope it works. Loadtec has the widest portfolio of any company in the business, all of which chosen because they represent the best in their field. Loadtec also has its own factory in Bologna, Italy, a centre of engineering excellence, where we can work with new and existing designs.

When you come to Loadtec with a problem, we provide solutions that are custom-fitted to the demands of the site. Loadtec has recently completed a project for a Middle East rail/road loading terminal which required a much higher working range than normal. Loadtec’s solution was a hybrid TCEN4 rail access system that could operate a much wider and higher range than normal, plus loading arms that could work in that range. Not many companies can claim to be able to do that. And that is what makes Loadtec special.

Loadtec MD Alec Keeler presenting to guests in Eden Hall, Singapore

Alec Keeler Announced as Chair for Tank World Expo 2016 Conference

Managing Director of Loadtec Engineered Systems, Alec Keeler, has just been announced as the Chair for the afternoon sessions of the two-day conference programme happening within the Tank World Expo 2016 happening in Dubai on 12-13 April.

The conference programme will feature 18 leading industry figures from organisations such as The UAE Ministry of Energy, Oiltanking Odfjell Terminals Oman, Dubai Mercantile Exchange, Burgan Cape Terminals and CITAC Africa – who will provide a comprehensive overview of market conditions and future growth.

“I am excited to be joining this fantastic panel of speakers for two very exciting sessions of talks: from Turkey to Kurdistan; safety and investment issues to the latest in the design and development of storage facilities; the wealth of knowledge that will be shared on these two days will be immense and I am looking forward to assisting the discussions that follow,” said Mr Keeler about this newly appointed role.

The 2016 conference programme will reflect the changing market place, with an increased focus on the UAE and Greater GCC region which is currently developing the world’s largest terminal. Another key focus will be the growth of Fujairah which is one of the top three storage hubs in the world, outranked only by Rotterdam and Singapore.

Tank World Expo brings the bulk liquid storage industry together, allowing leading manufacturers & suppliers to showcase their expert products and services to a captive audience of buyers. Loadtec Engineered Systems Ltd will be exhibiting in Tank World Expo for the first time on stand C27. Come and meet the Loadtec team who will be on hand to answer any queries with regards to bulk fluid transfer and fall prevention systems.

The exhibition is free for visitors to attend and the conference is only open to delegates who have booked and paid to attend.

Find out more about Tank World Expo and register free to visit