This article has been reproduced from Tank Storage Magazine August/September 2016 issue.
Loadtec Engineered Systems’ first distributor training event in Italy provided a comprehensive overview of the nuances of the safe access and loading arms industry.
Tank Storage Magazine was invited along to gain a greater understanding of the company’s operations.
Continued and long-term investment in education and industry best practice in safe access and fall prevention systems sits at the heart of Loadtec Engineered Systems’ business model.
The growth of the company in the provision of fall prevention systems and fluid transfer solutions has prompted a growth in its distributor network to span the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
To ensure consistent product knowledge delivery as well as to keep up to date with the latest market trends affecting the bulk liquid storage industry company executives organised a distributor training event at their collaborative partner Zipfluid’s factory in Bologna to give an overview of their product line as well as key industry themes.
Loadtec managing director Alec Keeler explains: ‘It is critical when working in exacting environments that our staff and representatives understand the client’s problems and have the confidence to question the validity of the brief they are given. Giving them that confidence comes from close support, training and development of their skills.
‘We are committed to a long-term plan of education and close support of our field agents. Familiarisation within the factory and our in-house team is important, but this has to be complimented with regional training events to understand the nuances of culture and level of technical development in their home countries.’
The two day training and networking event in Bologna underlined these principles with presentations on the specifics of marine loading arms by head of marine Martin Dicke-Künitz including various technical parameters that need to be considered, tanker sizes, tide levels as well as manual or hydraulically powered operations.
Keeler then went on to explain the fundamentals of loading arms, including the company’s range of Zip-Load loading arms for the chemical and industrial markets as well as the company’s core principles behind these products.
This was followed by a talk about safety and fall prevention systems. Keeler highlighted real-life, operational examples of an inherent lack of understanding surrounding safety and fall prevention systems as well as how the company is working to address these deficits with their range of solutions including the multi modal elevating safety access system.
In addition, Loadtec’s latest venture, Loadtec Service, a new division of the company providing servicing and support for road, rail and marine loading and access equipment was also discussed in greater detail.
Led by Dicke-Künitz and Rob Williams, Loadtec Service will ‘plug a gap in the service industry’ according to Keeler.
He adds: ‘We have seen a huge shift in the capital purchasing of goods where there is still a lot going on but customers are more wary of investing in something that is a short-lived item.
‘There have been a lot of companies coming to the market that are driving prices down for equipment but not offering the total care package.
‘Customers have been disappointed, initially they get low capital cost but paying a high lifetime cost. We don’t think that is morally right and we would like to be in it for the long haul.
‘We want to be involved at concept and consulting stage, to provide the best quality technical solution and to go on and support our products through their lifetime.’
In addition to the company’s new division it has also very recently acquired a majority share in Incontrol Projects, a loading and access equipment service, maintenance and repair company in the UK.
Keeler adds: ‘We have already worked together as far afield as Russia, Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia, with great success. Incontrol have also built some amazing systems for us in the last few years so the natural development of that is to join forces.’
Distributors were given a tour of the Zipfluid factory. There were working demonstrations of various loading arms for different applications as well as a wide range of safe access equipment.
In the evening distributors were treated to a gala dinner at the Circolo della Caccia club as well as a tour of historical Bologna.
On the second day, as part of the networking event, distributors were given a tour of the private Righini Collection, which comprises a rare and unique collection of classical, vintage cars.