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Monday, August 2, 2021

Plant & equipment – One step ahead

With ongoing changes to the demands made of the rail industry, it is only to be expected that adjustments will be needed to the nation’s fleet of core excavators.

With this in mind, a document exists which helps owners provide a continuing high level of service.

The Rail Industry Standard for the Engineering Acceptance of On-Track Plant and Associated Equipment (RIS-1530-PLT Issue 3) steers organisations through an evolving landscape.

In order to comply with its requirements, the Quattro Group has launched a substantial renovation project covering its entire fleet of core excavators.

Over the course of 2011, more than 40 will be overhauled and upgraded. Whilst the work is being undertaken, there will be no more than three of the Group’s core machines unavailable for hire.

In terms of client upheaval, it has been decided that this is the least disruptive way to undertake the work. It should help to ensure that the needs of existing projects as well as additional spot hire and emergency requirements can all be catered for.

Technology showcase

A number of organisations are involved in the renovation, all of whom are well known and respected within the industry. Having recently returned to rail, 24 machines are with King Transport Equipment and the firm has chosen to showcase its new technologies on the Quattro Group’s machines.

The latest piece of equipment to undergo renovation is a Komatsu PW170, one of Quattro’s most-requested machines. Upgraded from GM/RT 1300 to RIS-1530 Issue 3 specifications, it underwent works at the King plant in Market Harborough including –

  • The extension of its lifting capability
  • Extensive modifications to incorporate a compliant GKD-rated capacity indicator, allowing the improved lifting capacity to be available continuously without any zones
  • The installation of a new service braking system for towed trailers
  • A repaint and the fitment of new decals.

Following initial planning of the upgrades, King has designed and manufactured a new test facility at its factory.

This will provide rail plant operators with an efficient and cost-effective method of stability testing and is designed to ensure that all renovated machines – including the Komatsu PW170 – are put rigorously through their paces.

The testing includes work on a turntable which can automatically adjust cant, incline and lifting angles to ensure that all upgraded machines are examined to the full limits of their operating envelope and comply with the requirements of the VAB certificate for Quattro and its other clients.

Interfleet provided VAB services and witnessed all the stability and on-track brake testing for this particular piece of equipment.

Feedback from customers on the benefits of the machines currently in rotation is vitally important to the Quattro Group, confirming that the modifications best match their needs and those of the wider industry.

A comprehensive understanding of the rail sector means that the planning team fully appreciates the railway’s requirements. As a result, this opportunity has been used not only to carry out the works required to comply with the Standard but also to introduce additional features to core machines.

Consider and adopt

As the UK’s largest user of the Engcon Tiltrotator, Quattro saw the benefits of applying this attachment to a number of core excavators, providing clients with a machine that not only performs to the highest standard but also brings additional advantages with regards to simpler handling, better use of time and improved functionality when performing routine tasks such as ballast handling, rotational handling and excavation.

The project has highlighted the need to keep one step ahead of the game and ensure that all changes in the technological side of the industry are quickly considered and adopted.

The renovations will profit both individual organisations and the industry as a whole, as well as helping the Group to continue providing a well maintained and compliant fleet to meet the hire needs of clients across the UK.

And there are lasting benefits for the fleet’s ongoing maintenance. Such a substantial renovation process radically improves the reliability of the core machines, maintaining the Quattro Group’s reputation as one of the UK’s most dependable rail plant hire firms.

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