Technology

Weight Transfer Advantage

Tractive effort of a rail vehicle depends upon the weight of the vehicle. The higher the weight, the higher the tractive effort. Weight transfer is a simple means of increasing the weight of the traction vehicle using part of the weight of railcars coupled to it.

To take weight transfer, couple to one or two railcars, move a lever and raise the coupler(s). With finger-tip control, add up to 96,000 lbs (43,545 kg) to the weight of the Trackmobile.

When additional weight for traction is no longer needed, move a lever and lower the coupler.

Is it complicated? The system consists of a control valve, hoses and cylinders, the same as any hydraulic circuit. The guide wheel system on some mobile railcar movers actually has more components and requires more management than our weight transfer system. Elementary operator training covers use of weight transfer, which has been mastered by operators worldwide for more than 50 years.

Does the weight transfer system have a lot of parts and components? It has the normal components found in any hydraulic system: pump, tank, hoses, valves and cylinders. Mobile railcar movers that use rubber tires for drive must have a guide wheel system to keep the vehicle on the rails. The guide wheel system is also a hydraulic system and has the same basic components plus some specialized items. This chart gives a side-by-side comparison of the parts making up a weight transfer system and a guide wheel system.

Trackmobile Weight Transfer System Guide Wheel System
Hydraulic pump Hydraulic pump
Hydraulic tank Hydraulic tank
Oil Filters - high and low pressure Oil filter - low pressure
Control valves and solenoids Control valves and solenoids
Pressure regulating, relief and check valves Pressure regulating, relief and check valves
Hoses Hoses
Cylinders-coupler raise / lower / traverse (6) Cylinders-guide raise / lower (4)
Accumulators
Coupler beams and pivots (2) Guide wheels pivot arms (4)
Coupler head rollers (6) Guide wheels with spindles, bearings and locknuts (4 sets)
Coupler heads with knuckles, locks and releases (2) Coupler heads with knuckles, locks and releases (2)
Control switches and gauges Control switches and gauges

Because Trackmobile products use flanged steel wheels both for traction and guidance on rail, no guide wheels are required

Is wheelbase important when comparing railcar movers of different technologies? Yes, it is an important predictor of stability in curves. The shorter the wheelbase, the more the stability in curves. In our literature we always state the wheelbase as measured from the centers of flanged steel wheels. Other railcar mover literature shows the wheelbase measured from rubber tire center to rubber tire center, but does not show the wheelbase measured from guide wheel centerline to guide wheel centerline. This additional length adds up to 18% to the wheelbase. This is an important measurement when considering performance in curves.

Is a computer-based system required to manage weight transfer? No. Our optional Max-Tran weight transfer management system aids the operator, enhancing his or her performance.

Why weight transfer? Because there is no point carrying dead weight when it isn't needed: during road movement or during a portion of the work cycle when only the Trackmobile vehicle itself is being moved, for example. During these times, the Trackmobile is moving only its basic weight, saving fuel and wear and tear on the tracks and roadbed.

Talk to your servicing Trackmobile distributor to get the full story about weight transfer.

  • A proven method to increase traction
  • A simple hydraulic system to raise and lower coupled railcars to transfer thousands of pounds for traction
  • Reduces fuel consumption and track maintenance