The market of railroad tools is vast. It’s our job to weed through the options, test them in the field with end users, and bring to market only the tools that will make your job as a maintenance worker a whole lot easier.
And while the heart of IRS belongs to maintenance-of-way and providing safe, efficient track maintenance tools, we also have efficient and modernized tools for the locomotive and car shops as well. Below are some new-age solutions that could soon become mechanical shop necessities.
HMT’s Reamers, Drill Bits, Hole Cutters & Taps
Holemaker Technology’s (HMT) VersaDrive line is useful in your shop anywhere you need to cut or drill holes into metal or steel fast and with precision. The VersaDrive line of reamers, drill bits, hole cutters and taps are high-strength and will quickly drill, tap, countersink into metal and steel 15 times faster than standard methods. The tools can be used with any standard impact wrench and are resilient lasting 15 times longer than the standard hole cutting technology on the market.
Pictured below is our HMT VersaDrive RIP Kit
Testimonial from a Class One Railroad customer who used HMT cutters and adapters on bridge scaffolding:
“The cutters and adapters worked extremely well. Made short work of the rivet removal process, and we used battery drills therefore eliminating the need for a compressor. Much more efficient, quieter and easier on the body. Will definitely recommend this process.”
Postalloy by Postle’s welding wires and electrodes are high-strength and long-lasting deposits and buildup. The wires are work hardening, ductile and weld through contaminants. The 3042-FCG wire is relied upon by various Class One railroads for repairing and rebuilding damaged locomotives. The wire has facilitated engine rebuilds, front repairs, bumper replacements, snow plow adherence amongst other locomotive work. The 3042-FCG wire is also currently being used in the car shops for the repair and reconstruction of railcar wheels.
Postle’s line of wires are highly dependable and have the field data to back it up. Here is a field test performed on Postle’s FrogTuff welding wire.
Enerpac's Battery-Powered Machine Skates, RCL10 & RCL25
A safer, more efficient load positioning system would save time and frustration in locomotive shops that are laden with heavy equipment. These Battery-Powered Machine Skates will position loads up to 55 tons requiring just a single operator and a wireless remote control removing the user from the danger zone. Fully loaded, the Skates move 26 feet-per-minute and rotate 360 degrees.
With the nature of railcar RIP (repair in place) track maintenance, easily portable lifting systems can be a large time saver. Both the RCL10 Kit and RCL25 Kit are portable lifting kits equipped with a battery-powered hydraulic pump. The RCL10 lifts the railcar coupler to access the wear plates for maintenance, and the RCL25 lifts the railcar wheel housing for wheel adapter maintenance allowing for more productive and efficient RIP track maintenance.
While the lifting of heavy railcars and locomotives are necessary for maintenance, it also poses great safety risks. Any item at risk of movement while being lifted for maintenance - railcars, locomotives, railroad equipment, etc. - particularly those that are active loaded, i.e. lifted using hydraulic or pneumatic jacks, or when a tool being used causes vibration to the object being lifted, it should be stabilized with cribbing blocks for increased safety.
Unlike wood cribbing, Dura Cribbing is made from durable plastic and will not split or absorb oils or other hazardous fluids. Its surface has an interlocking design comprised of a pyramid-locking pattern allowing for safer stabilization, and is generally lighter than wood. Dura Cribbing is made in the USA from recycled plastic, is field and lab tested, load rated and washable/reusable.
With our experience in car shops, we've noticed the integrity of the asphalt or concrete surrounding the tracks where railcars enter and exit the shops deteriorates greatly requiring repair. DPR is a quick, cold-applied pavement repair solution lasting just as long as the surrounding pavement. DPR is made from a 100% solid polymer blend of recycled and renewable materials, so it can be used in enclosed areas, takes less than 1 hour from start to finish, and everything needed for the repair is included in the kit.
Whether you’re cutting, bending or welding metal to repair railcars, metal fabrication is an ongoing task in car shops therefore a reliable saw and grinder is a must. And with the power of Milwaukee battery tools rivaling pneumatic power tools, not to mention their ease of use and portability, Milwaukee grinders, and circular and reciprocating saws make reliable catch-all tools for just about any car shop. *Norton wheels and stones fit Milwaukee grinders and saws.
Upon request, we will kit Milwaukee tools as well, whether that’s saws, grinders, impact wrenches, grease guns, etc., and pair them with the customizable Milwaukee Packout system. Packout is a great way to organize and safely transport your shop tools from point A to point B.
Industry-Railway Suppliers (IRS) is a North America distributor for all products shown above. Please call our customer service department at (630) 766-5708 to inquire on or purchase any items above, or Contact Us here.