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Tank Car, Truck, & Ship Loaders

Also called: Loader, Loader Operator, PVC Loader (Polyvinyl Chloride Loader), Warehouse Man

What they do:
Load and unload chemicals and bulk solids, such as coal, sand, and grain into or from tank cars, trucks, or ships using material moving equipment. May perform a variety of other tasks relating to shipment of products. May gauge or sample shipping tanks and test them for leaks.
On the job, you would:
  • Verify tank car, barge, or truck load numbers to ensure car placement accuracy based on written or verbal instructions.
  • Observe positions of cars passing loading spouts, and swing spouts into the correct positions at the appropriate times.
  • Operate ship loading and unloading equipment, conveyors, hoists, and other specialized material handling equipment such as railroad tank car unloading equipment.


Manufactured or Agricultural Goods
  • manufacture and distribution of products
  • management
  • customer service
Engineering and Technology
  • mechanical
Safety and Government
  • public safety and security


Basic Skills
  • keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements
  • reading work related information
Problem Solving
  • noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it


Controlled Movement
  • use your arms and/or legs together while sitting, standing, or lying down
  • change when and how fast you move based on how something else is moving
Hand and Finger Use
  • hold or move items with your hands
  • keep your arm or hand steady
  • pay attention to something without being distracted
  • do two or more things at the same time
  • exercise for a long time without getting out of breath


People interested in this work like activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions.
They do well at jobs that need:
  • Attention to Detail
  • Cooperation
  • Dependability
  • Initiative
  • Concern for Others
  • Leadership


You might use software like this on the job:

Data base user interface and query software
  • CompuWeigh GMS
  • Data entry software
Spreadsheet software
  • Microsoft Excel
Materials requirements planning logistics and supply chain software
  • Distributed control system DCS software


Education: (rated 2 of 5)
high school diploma/GED or
certificate after high school
usually needed

Get started on your career:

Registered Apprenticeship

Job Outlook

Below Average Outlook
New job opportunities are less likely in the future.
per year, on average
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See more details at O*NET OnLine about tank car, truck, and ship loaders.