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Tank Car, Truck, and Ship Loaders - 53-7121.00

O*NET-SOC Description

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.

Sample of Reported Job Titles

  • Load Out Person
  • Loader
  • Loader Operator
  • Loading Operator
  • Oil Movements Operator
  • PVC Loader (Polyvinyl Chloride Loader)
  • Rail Car Loader
  • Tank Car Loader
  • Tankerman
  • Truck Loader

SOC Occupation Groups

53-0000 Transportation and Material Moving Occupations
53-7000 Material Moving Workers
53-7120 Tank Car, Truck, and Ship Loaders
53-7121.00 Tank Car, Truck, and Ship Loaders

Related Occupations


  • Check conditions and weights of vessels to ensure cleanliness and compliance with loading procedures.
  • Clean interiors of tank cars or tank trucks, using mechanical spray nozzles.
  • Connect ground cables to carry off static electricity when unloading tanker cars.
  • Copy and attach load specifications to loaded tanks.
  • Lower gauge rods into tanks or read meters to verify contents, temperatures, and volumes of liquid loads.
  • Monitor product movement to and from storage tanks, coordinating activities with other workers to ensure constant product flow.
  • Observe positions of cars passing loading spouts, and swing spouts into the correct positions at the appropriate times.
  • Operate conveyors and equipment to transfer grain or other materials from transportation vehicles.
  • Operate industrial trucks, tractors, loaders, and other equipment to transport materials to and from transportation vehicles and loading docks, and to store and retrieve materials in warehouses.
  • Operate ship loading and unloading equipment, conveyors, hoists, and other specialized material handling equipment such as railroad tank car unloading equipment.
  • Perform general warehouse activities, such as opening containers and crates, filling warehouse orders, assisting in taking inventory, and weighing and checking materials.
  • Record operating data such as products and quantities pumped, gauge readings, and operating times, manually or using computers.
  • Remove and replace tank car dome caps, or direct other workers in their removal and replacement.
  • Seal outlet valves on tank cars, barges, and trucks.
  • Start pumps and adjust valves or cables to regulate the flow of products to vessels, using knowledge of loading procedures.
  • Test samples for specific gravity, using hydrometers, or send samples to laboratories for testing.
  • Test vessels for leaks, damage, and defects, and repair or replace defective parts as necessary.
  • Unload cars containing liquids by connecting hoses to outlet plugs and pumping compressed air into cars to force liquids into storage tanks.
  • Verify tank car, barge, or truck load numbers to ensure car placement accuracy based on written or verbal instructions.

Detailed Work Activities

  • Clean vessels or marine equipment.
  • Communicate with others to coordinate material handling or movement.
  • Connect cables or electrical lines.
  • Connect hoses to equipment or machinery.
  • Control pumps or pumping equipment.
  • Direct maintenance or repair activities.
  • Inspect cargo areas for cleanliness or condition.
  • Inspect material-moving equipment to detect problems.
  • Install parts, assemblies, or attachments in transportation or material handling equipment.
  • Maintain material moving equipment in good working condition.
  • Mark materials or objects for identification.
  • Measure the level or depth of water or other liquids.
  • Monitor availability of equipment or supplies.
  • Monitor loading processes to ensure they are performed properly.
  • Monitor vehicle movement or location.
  • Operate conveyors or other industrial material moving equipment.
  • Operate cranes, hoists, or other moving or lifting equipment.
  • Operate vehicles or material-moving equipment.
  • Position material handling equipment.
  • Record operational or production data.
  • Test materials, solutions, or samples.
  • Verify information or specifications.
  • Weigh materials to ensure compliance with specifications.

Military Crosswalk Titles

  • Cargo Specialist (Army - Enlisted)
  • Engineman (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Fuels (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Fuels Apprentice (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Fuels Craftsman (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Fuels Helper (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Fuels Journeyman (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Fuels Manager (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Fuels Superintendent (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Landing Craft Air Cushion Loadmaster (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Machinery Technician (Coast Guard - Enlisted)
  • Marine Safety Specialist Engineer (Coast Guard - Warrant Officer only)
  • Maritime Cargo Handling Specialist-Supervisory (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Naval Engineering Specialty (Coast Guard - Warrant Officer only)
  • Semitrailer Refueler Operator (Marine Corps - Enlisted)

Apprenticeship Crosswalk Titles

  • Pumper-Gauger

DOT Crosswalk Titles

  • Loader I
  • Pumper-Gauger
  • Pumper-Gauger Apprentice