Moving railcars had not always been simple. Traditionally it was done by the railroads with locomotives and later by industry with smaller steel-wheeled mobile railcar movers.
Shuttlewagon is the first in North America to use a common-sense, rubber tire drive system, the preferred method for industrial railcar switching operations globally.
After 45 years Shuttlewagon continues to deliver value with machines that utilize rubber tires for motive traction. Doing so poses a number of benefits.
Shuttlewagon uses a standard wheel and tire assembly along with a drive train that is more efficient and less complicated. The simple design coupled with common, name brand components means less costly maintenance compared to systems reliant upon steel-wheel drive and additional components.
Rubber tires deliver a coefficient of friction 2 ½ times greater than steel wheels, resulting in greater pulling power and braking ability. The tires also absorb shock-loads and vibration, reducing stress to axles, drive-lines, transmissions and engines, not to mention fatigue to chassis and operators themselves.
Shutlewagons utilize American Association of Railroads coupler design, just like that of locomotives and railcars. Again, simple design; connect, attach glad hand hoses, charge train air, make move, stop and auto disconnect. Some railcar movers utilize a weight-transfer coupling design such that once the connection is made, the railcar is then lifted by its coupler, while the weight of the rail car presses against its striker plate for as long as the car remains in this “lifted” state.
The extra step of weight-transfer, despite the stress on the railcar coupling system and the separation of the car body from the car’s rail truck beneath it, is necessary to compensate for the inefficiency of the steel-wheel drive system and the machines limited weight. These machines must “borrow” weight from a loaded railcar to achieve their rated tractive effort.
The simple, standard AAR coupling system on all Shuttlewagons is engineered to fit railcars in the manner which they are designed to be pushed or pulled. Since the Shuttlewagon does not borrow weight, time is not lost lifting railcars nor is added energy expended for carrying dead weight. Most importantly, the risks associated with separating a railcar body from the rail truck beneath are nonexistent.
Shuttlewagon capacity is based on the balance of inert weight, power and traction. Tractive effort is not dependent upon borrowed weight. A Shuttlewagon’s tractive effort remains unchanged when coupled to an empty railcar. Due to the greatly reduced traction of a steel drive wheel, weight-transfer machines only produce 40%-60% of their rated capacity.
Please contact Shuttlewagon today. We will be happy to provide a no-cost, on-site survey to determine how Shuttlewagon may be able to help improve railcar handling operations within your facility.