The railroad industry's ability to efficiently move cargo across America has made rail maintenance work more critical than ever. Drew Ronald, Road Master for CSX Transportation, requires equipment with excellent mobility - on roads as well as on rails - to complete a variety of maintenance jobs on 180 miles of track from New Castle, Pennsylvania to Clinton, Ohio, including the town of Lowellville near the state line.
Equipped with a Diversified rail gear system, the XL 4100 III model used by CSX not only provides excellent mobility, but also allows Drew Ronald's crews to complete a large number of maintenance jobs with fewer machines. "We maintain track and crossings as well as clean culverts, rights of way and over-hanging vegetation," said Ronald. The XL 4100 III can be equipped with a range of bucket sizes, grapples and even mowers to complete all of the work.
The Gradall boom movements are especially productive in grading and cleaning out culverts, positioning the attachment for more efficient work. The low-profile telescoping boom design also makes it capable of working under bridges and trees, where there isn't much overhead room. The boom also can effectively position a mower at a 90-degree angle to cut back vegetation against fences or trim trees from about any angle.
An operator drives the wheeled undercarriage on highways at speeds up to 55 mph, while the XL 4100 III continues to maintain good mobility on the rough access roads alongside tracks. When the rail gear is lowered into position at a crossing, the Gradall is equally mobile on rails. In both cases, the carrier can be repositioned efficiently from the upper operator's cab, which saves time.
The only alternative to the Gradall is putting a front end loader on a flat car and moving it up and down the track, said Ronald. "That process takes a crew, a flat car, another car to haul away dirt and debris, and a lot more time."
For more information about Gradall excavators call (800) 445-4752.