Given the work and the conditions they operate in, the trucks in Norfolk Southern’s Engineering Department fleet can get beat up and dirty in a hurry. At the Safety and Service Expo, engineering employees got to show off some of their work trucks while they were still new and shiny.
“This is the latest and greatest equipment we’ve got,” said Lake Division truck operator Chad Cummins, proud driver of a new 2013 Brandt R4 hi-rail material truck. Cummins operates the truck over road and rail to deliver railcars of crossties, rail, and other track material to maintenance-of-way track gangs.
“You can couple up cars from the front or the rear and basically use the truck like a locomotive,” Cummins said. The truck features a 600-horsepower engine and 50,000 pounds of tractive effort, powerful enough to safely haul around seven loaded railcars. A 28-foot boom mounted on the back has a magnet for picking up rail spikes and tie plates and a grapple for hoisting crossties. NS has two of the new 2013 models, which sell for about $900,000, in its fleet of 11 Brandt trucks.
“It’s a lot more technologically advanced – everything is computerized,” Cummins said. “It’s a Cadillac compared with what we used to have.”