“Mobile Railcar Moving Attachments Systems” for Front-End Loaders is a Mitchell Rail Gear system that converts a standard front-end loader to a dual purpose loader railcar mover. Customers that convert their front-end loader they use in their normal operation to a dual purpose loader railcar mover can perform all their rail switching operations. Customers that convert their front-end loader to dual purposes loader railcar movers obtain a high return on investment that also results in efficient utilization of their equipment.
The retractable Friction Drive Hi-Rail is attached to the frame of the machine in such a way that allows a front-end loader to be used as a normal loader and also as an on-rail mobile railcar mover. Each system is custom manufactured for each model front-loader because every model front-end loader has completely different frames. The system is engineered to provide optimum performance of the machine as both a front-end loader and a mobile railcar mover.
The rail wheels have a friction drive hub attached to them that engages with the tires. As the tire rotates the drive hub the rail wheels are driven. The mechanical friction drive system is reliable because is it uses the road axle drive line system and braking system for propelling and braking. When on rail the articulated frame is hydraulically locked to keep the front and rear rail wheels in alignment.
For front-end loaders that have tires larger than 17.5 x 25 the tires must be changed to 18.5 x 25 so the rail wheel drive hub will make full contact with the road tire. Depending on the environment, the machine can be equipped with air filled, foam filled or solid rubber cushioned tires.
The system is available with a standard railcar coupler front or rear or a rear mounted weight transfer coupler. The weight transfer coupler has a shelf-type railcar knuckle. When the weight transfer coupler is engage with the coupler on the railcar, a pre-determined amount of weight can be transferred from the railcar to the Hy-Rail wheels that increase the Hy-Rail wheel traction.
The system comes with a 24 CFM train air brake system that controls the braking system of the railcar from the cab of the loader.
When considering the high cost associated of maintaining a specialty built mobile railcar mover in addition to the required normal maintenance of a customers existing front-end loader, the decision to combine the two functions into one machine makes good economical sense. Front-end loaders make a good choice for a base unit because of the durability of the engine and drive line system. The highest cost of railcar mover machine failures is the engine and drive line system. Front-end loaders are manufactured with far more durable drive line system than any specialty railcar mover manufacturers’ machine. Simply put; a major front-end loader manufacture has the resources to produce a drive line system with durability, reliability, and product support that cannot be matched by any specialty mobile railcar mover manufacturer.