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March 2017

Rail News: MOW

Technology/service update: Vegetation management

Knox Kershaw Inc. provides a Diamond Mowers brushcutter attachment for its KBR 925 Ballast Regulator and KSF 940 Snow Fighter.
Photo – Knox Kershaw Inc.

Knox Kershaw Inc.

For controlling light brush, limbs and grass in areas most easily accessible by track, Knox Kershaw Inc. offers a Diamond Mowers Inc. brushcutter attachment for its KBR 925 Ballast Regulator and KSF 940 Snow Fighter. Customers that have added the brushcutter option to their Knox Kershaw machine have been “pleased with the versatility it offers on the job site, quickly converting from ballast regulator to vegetation manager based on the needs of the day,” said President and Chief Operating Officer George Pugh.

The brushcutters can be attached on both sides of the machine and operated simultaneously by two operators in the cab. The boom has up to a 28-foot reach from the centerline, and the actuator comes with 90-degree movement forward and 75 degrees rearward. It has a high load bearing capacity and comes with a breakaway feature to prevent stress on the boom. The booms are constructed of high strength steel; boom and mower movements are controlled via main hydraulic control circuits utilizing Sauer Danfoss PVG 32 valve banks and multi-function proportional joysticks.

A variety of mower heads are available, including a 90-inch saw, 50-inch flail and 60-inch rotary styles. All heads can cut up to 8-inch diameter material. When idle, the brushcutter mowers rest securely on a rack/cradle mounted at the front of the machine.

“Knox Kershaw continues to improve upon existing models of its machines to make them safer, more efficient and easier to operate,” Pugh said, citing the “guidance and support” from customers as key to keeping the company on the product improvement track.

All Railroad Services Corp.

All Railroad Services Corp. (ARS) is a full-service contractor serving railroads and transit authorities. ARS offers full-service vegetation management programs designed by its staff of herbicide managers. The company provides weed spraying, and tree and brush removal services along mainlines and in yards, with both on-track and off-track work gangs and equipment.

ARS recently completed large pole line removal contracts with railroads in the eastern and midwestern United States. The company also has been focusing on ash tree problems — i.e., pine beetles and emerald ash borers, which are a problem for railroads and transit authorities, as well as home owners and industrial plants along railroad rights of way, ARS officials said.

Meanwhile, the company continues to upgrade its hi-rail equipment fleet. ARS officials expect a “strong” 2017 and continue plans to “extend our services toward the western part of the country,” they said.

Progress Rail

Progress Rail recently introduced a Kershaw SkyTrim 75HRT (Hi-Rail Truck) trimmer designed to manage vegetation for freight and passenger railroads.

The 75-foot SkyTrim offers flexibility and ease of operation — “not only during working mode, but also when being transported to and from various job locations,” the company said. The unit’s ability to move under its own power and not with the assistance of a third party ensures efficient and low-cost operation, the company said. For situations where track time is in short supply, a high-performance option is available.

K.W. Reese Inc.

K.W. Reese Inc. provides vegetation management services to railroads and utilities throughout the U.S. Northeast. Its crews use traditional tree trimming and removal techniques, as well as hi-rail-equipped aerial lifts, cranes, chippers and dump trucks to “safely and efficiently remove vegetation from railroad rights of way,” the company said.

A full-service railroad contractor with 45 years experience, the company also can provide a full range of post-storm restoration services, including debris removal, landslide/washout repair, track repair and material distribution.

Asplundh Railroad Division

Asplundh Railroad Division provides herbicide and mechanical cutting services throughout North America, and has eight fleet and office facilities in the United States. The company cuts and mulches limbs, trees, vines and brush; maintains crossings; sprays ballast or trackside brush; and offers mowing and fire suppression services.

Asplundh Railroad specializes in “innovative equipment and technology” to reduce the amount of track time needed for vegetation management, according to the company. By improving efficiency and reducing track time, the company helps railroad operators increase the overall amount of work completed on a yearly basis.

Asplundh’s fleet includes its Eco-Cutter dual-action brush cutting and spraying machines, a 60,000- to 80,000-gallon spray train and hi-rail side trimmers with telescopic booms. Rounding out its vegetation management toolbox are traditional hi-rail aerial lifts, chippers and spray trucks. With GPS and vehicle-locating technology installed in all of the company’s vehicles, railroad personnel know where Asplundh crews are located on the track and can obtain an electronic record of where herbicides were applied or vegetation was cut.

NMC Railway Systems

NMC Railway Systems continues to expand its line of hi-rail equipment, which is designed to combat remote vegetation growth and assist with other maintenance-of-way projects. Over the past year, the company added the Huddig 1260C Hi-Rail to its product line. The wheeled backhoe loader system features a specialized articulating center pivot system that enables the machine to operate multiple attachments, such as brushcutters for vegetation management projects.

The Huddig 1260C Hi-Rail also has a power output of 157 horsepower, enabling the machine to operate multiple attachments for various MOW projects, including tie replacement, ballast regulation, material handling, vegetation management, snow management and utility work. It also features an auxiliary tool valve and hose reel to run 5/10 gallons-per-minute hydraulic handheld tools, and the option to add a man lift and/or remote control.

NMC Railway Systems also offers a range of hi-rail equipment to “suit the needs of the railroads and rail contractors,” the company said. “These diverse machines can utilize multiple tool functionality, and with the ability to hi-rail down the track lines, the equipment can easily manage vegetation overgrowth in more remote areas.”

Loftness Specialized Equipment Inc.

Loftness Specialized Equipment Inc. offers the Carbide Cutter G4, the company’s newest generation high-
performance mulching head attachment for skid steers. Incorporating an adjustable shear bar to customize material sizing, the feature-laden Carbide Cutter G4 builds upon the company’s G3 model and includes a 37 percent larger displacement drive motor with more torque, the company said.

The Carbide Cutter G4 is available with 61- and 71-inch cutting widths; all models are offered with either carbide-tipped teeth or heat-treated steel planer blade Loftness Quadco teeth. The engineered tooth pattern features an improved staggered spiral configuration that offers better power distribution and balance, as well as single-tooth contact with the work surface at all times, according to the company.

The Carbide Cutter G4 features a two-stage cutting chamber with two shear bars — a combination of features that results in small particle sizes while eliminating jamming and wrapping issues, the company said.

A new adjustable primary-stage shear bar can be widened or narrowed to fine-tune material size and production rate, and the inside of the cutting chamber is smooth and open, which reduces clogging from mud or buildup of material, the company said. Skid shoes can be adjusted from 0.5 inches to -1.5 inches, which enables mulching below grade. Operating at 2,000 to 2,400 RPM, the mulching head features a synchronous drive belt for greater efficiency and less maintenance, the company said.

Barko Hydraulics LLC

Featuring a heavy-duty design for maneuvering across rough terrain, Barko Hydraulics LLC’s B-Series Industrial Wheeled Tractors are designed to provide fuel efficiency while increasing productivity. The machines deliver consistent performance for land clearing, right-of-way maintenance, site prep, and other large commercial and municipal applications, according to Barko, which is part of the Pettibone LLC Heavy Equipment Group.

The 937B model is powered by a 380-horsepower Cummins QSL9 Tier 4 Final diesel engine with selective catalytic reduction aftertreatment, while the 930B features a 320-horsepower engine.

Both include a high-capacity anti-clog radiator with auto reversing fan, along with a 127-gallon fuel tank that allows for longer operating intervals.

Barko’s load sensing hydraulic system automatically adjusts attachment performance according to the load, resulting in greater productivity and higher fuel efficiency, the company said.

A high-capacity oil cooler and variable displacement piston pumps are designed to keep hydraulic oil cool, and a high-pressure 20-micron return filter helps prevent debris from damaging pumps and valves, the company said.

The tractors’ 45-degree articulation joint withstands extreme stress and tough terrain, while each machine’s maneuverable design provides a turning radius of 15 feet, 9 inches to enable work in tight spaces, the company said. A hydrostatic transmission with two-speed transfer case allows for controlled operation speeds, and travel speeds up to 15.8 mph for the 937B and 12.2 mph for the 930B.

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