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Chillicothe, Ohio

WITH GRAPPLE ATTACHMENT, XL 4130 V HANDLES MOW JOBS EFFICIENTLY

Controlling overgrown vegetation is an ongoing challenge for Norfolk Southern Railway, a Class 1 freight railroad in the U.S. Operating 19,420 route miles of track in 22 eastern states – some double track – keeps Norfolk Southern maintenance crews busy every day.

The Eastern Lake Division, extending from Portsmouth to Sandusky, Ohio, includes about 400 miles of track including the busy Toledo and Cleveland areas. Working on the Chillicothe District portion of the division south of Columbus, Lee Adkins, an equipment operator for 30 years, finds the XL 4130 V Gradall TrackStar machine to be both productive and versatile.

Gradall Versatility Advantages

“Mostly, we use the Gradall for ditching, but it also is very useful for tree removal, ballast restoration, cleaning up washouts and removing mud from around the track and ties,” said Adkins. “It’s a very necessary machine for track work.”

The XL 4130 V machine is equipped with Diversified high railgears – a 1650 gear in the rear, with a 50,000-pound capacity, and a 1630 gear in the front, with a 30,000-pound capacity.

The front assembly is attached to the frame and front axle, raised and lowered on the tracks using ground-level controls. The gear raises the front wheels off the track, using the rear wheels for mobility. This design utilizes the Gradall’s front suspension to navigate curves smoothly and dampen the effects of track irregularities.

The rear railgear assembly attaches directly to the truck frame behind the rear axle/tandem spring hangers. This assembly also is operated from ground level as it deploys onto the track with an articulated dual-scissor action. This mechanism provides a “side-shift” action, making it easier for operators to align the Gradall machine to the track.

Controlling overgrown vegetation is an ongoing challenge for Norfolk Southern Railway, a Class 1 freight railroad in the U.S. Operating 19,420 route miles of track in 22 eastern states – some double track – keeps Norfolk Southern maintenance crews busy every day.

The Eastern Lake Division, extending from Portsmouth to Sandusky, Ohio, includes about 400 miles of track including the busy Toledo and Cleveland areas. Working on the Chillicothe District portion of the division south of Columbus, Lee Adkins, an equipment operator for 30 years, finds the XL 4130 V Gradall TrackStar machine to be both productive and versatile.

From the equipment yard to the crossing, where the XL 4130 V is mounted on the track, mobility is exceptional at speeds up to 60 miles per hour, driven from the chassis cab. On track, the machine is operated from the upperstructure cab at speeds up to 20 miles per hour.

“We typically cover three to five miles on a track project in a day,” said Adkins.

For tree removal, Adkins appreciates the productivity of a fixed-thumb grapple attachment.

“The Gradall with a grapple attachment is an awesome piece of machinery,” said Adkins. “With a bucket, I could clear away small trees and brush at ground level, but with the grapple, I can actually reach out, grab and remove trees and brush. It’s more efficient and it does a better job. I can break trees right off, and remove about anything that might be an obstruction.”

Through out the cleanup process, even when the boom is fully extended and working, the chassis remains stable without the need for outriggers.

“I used to run a crane and thought it was the best job on the railroad,” added Adkins. “Now, I like running the Gradall a lot more.”


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THE GRADALL DIFFERENCE

It starts with the unique telescoping Gradall boom that handles more jobs efficiently, thanks to its movements and superior strength. Gradall offers a unique range of excavator undercarriages that have reshaped the industry idea of equipment mobility, both on and off highways.

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