In the workload control literature, the Load-Oriented Order Release (LOOR) approach has been neglected since its robustness was questioned at the end of the 1990s. This paper revisits LOOR and evaluates whether its performance can be improved in two ways. First, an intermediate pull release mechanism is added to avoid starvation between periodic release events. This mechanism was recently shown to be effective at improving the performance of a state-of-the-art release method known as LUMS COR. Second, an integer linear programming model is used to manage the trade-off between the timing and load balancing functions of order release. The two refinements are assessed using simulations of different shop configurations, which allow us to evaluate robustness. Results demonstrate that the refinements contribute to improving the performance of LOOR such that it can even outperform LUMS COR. Perhaps counter-intuitively, putting more emphasis on load balancing than on the urgency of individual orders is shown to lead to a lower percentage of tardy orders. Overall, the improvements mean that concerns about LOOR’s robustness are no longer valid – it now appears suitable for a wide range of shops found in practice.