Creating a Great Load Plan
Load Plan Generation Using Load Plan Software and Industry Guidelines
Posted on February 13, 2020 by Erik Burden
A perfect way to generate a safe load plan when preparing to ship your product in a closed car is by referencing the AAR (Association of American Railroads) Loading Guides for your commodity combined with the use of load plan software. The AAR publications ensure you are following industry regulations while load planning software allows you to review the plan from multiple angles. The AAR has a general rule guide for shipping products in closed railcars called Circular 42-N. Circular 42-N covers topics from Inspection and Selection of Cars to the Center of Gravity Special Equipment. The AAR also has individual closed car loading guides for a variety of different commodities. The individual load guides outline specific regulations and load patterns created just for the product you are shipping. If any additions or adjustments are made to the AAR loading guides, the AAR will issue a General Information Series (GIS) regarding the update, allowing industry regulations and safety guidelines to continuously improve and be accessible. These AAR publications will provide the information you need to ship your product safely in a closed railcar and indicate what cargo securement products are required for your load plan.
With the AAR publications providing you all the regulatory body information you need; load planning software can help you put those rules and regulations into a 3D view. New load plan software has been developed making it easier for many users to navigate and design load plans. Developing a 3D drawing of the load plan can help the loader fully understand the load plan, determine what cargo securement products may be required and ensure that nothing has been missed or overlooked. Load planning software includes, but isn’t limited to Google SketchUp Pro, Load Xpert, LoadPlanner, and Cargo-Planner.
If you would like to confirm your load plan is up to industry standards and believe generating a 3D drawing of your load plan would be beneficial for you and your team, get in touch with one of our knowledgeable technical sales and service representatives by calling toll-free at 866-858-8800.