Ever wonder what happens between the time they take the oil out of the ground and when you fill your car at the gas pump? Me too. Ok not really, as long as there’s gas at the station when I need to fill my car I feel like it’s a successful venture. As it turns out there is A LOT that goes into getting that stinky black goo refined to the point that it can fuel my car. The oil is delivered by boat, train and truck to oil refineries all over the country.
Recently, Faber Crane got a sneak a peek at what goes into getting that oil into our cars. We were called out to the rail yard at Shell Refinery in Anacortes to help assemble a rolling platform. These are used to help workers safely access the openings on top of the rail cars and insert a hose and transfer the oil from the cars to the refinery.
The platform arrived at the rail yard in 6 pieces, think Ikea furniture but on a much larger scale. In order to raise the heavy metal components off the lift Eric, our NCCCO certified crane operator, had to move his 23 ton boom truck as close as possible to the side of the powered base section of the lift. To achieve maximum lifting power Eric then fully extended the outriggers until the wheels of the boom truck lifted off the ground, which provided optimum stability and strength. In order to have enough leverage to lift the heavy steel pieces, Eric kept the boom at its shortest length and largest angle. After several hours of lifting and maneuvering the platform was completed. There are two arm-like catwalks that extend over the tops of oil cars enabling the refinery workers to walk along top of each car and easily handle their equipment without worrying about slipping off the rounded tanks. Nice job everyone!