The 3 Best Materials for Your Custom Railcar Loading System

The 3 Best Materials for Your Custom Railcar Loading System

Move ‘em on, load ‘em up, head ‘em out: railcars! You want the best equipment for setting and loading materials into the railcars that enter your facility to pick up products and bulk materials. But have you ever considered what your equipment is made of? Certain materials work better for certain jobs (whether you’re handling free-flowing, powdered, granular, or pelletized material) while also providing better service or features overall. To help you ponder your choices, here are the three best materials for your custom railcar loading system.

Carbon Steel

Carbon steel is tougher than other types of steel, plus it retains a hardness not found in other metals due to its carbon content. Rust and corrosion can become issues if the equipment isn’t monitored, regularly maintained, and kept as dry as possible. Cleaning is a careful process, and carbon steel’s lack of pliancy means it’s apt to crack under stress. On the other hand, its aversion to moisture makes it perfect for handling dry materials like sand, rice, and other grains.


Aluminum has long been a worthy substitute for steel. It is rust and corrosion resistant and able to take and repair damage easily. It’s also lighter and more malleable, allowing it to be shaped and reshaped easily. Aluminum is good for handling many chemicals that might stain or corrode steel, and it lasts for a long time. Unfortunately, aluminum is expensive, and you might pay three times as much for its benefits as cheaper forms of steel. Still, you get what you pay for.

Stainless Steel

As for the last of the three best materials for your custom railcar loading system, stainless steel announces its biggest benefit in its name. Stainless steel railcar equipment is better able to resist rust and corrosion when handling items in bulk and is much stronger and tougher in the face of constant use when delivering abrasive material. Stainless steel is preferred when there’s a need to keep bulk materials sanitary and uncontaminated and is easily cleaned between deliveries. While it might run a bit more in cost, stainless steel railcar loading systems stay clean and endure rough use while staying in shape and looking sharp!

Have any questions about materials for your custom railcar loading system or any of our other products? Contact us today! We’ll be happy to speak with you about your facility’s needs and how we can meet them.

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