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Amazing Car Topper Tractor Unloads Like a Boss

Remember the old song I’ve been working on the railroad. It’s catchy, but depressing. It talks about getting up early in the morning, and going to sleep all day at the railroad. However, if you had to work at the railroad like these guys do, he would probably fight for the chance to be first in line. What you’re looking at is known as a car topper. It is made by Herzog.

Don’t let it’s long spindly hydraulic arms fool you though. It is one mean piece of equipment. The car topper was designed to efficiently load and unload railroad cars. Despite what you see, it is one of the safest most economical means of unloading rail cars. It completely revolutionized the industry when the product hit the market.

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The reason for its development was singular in the beginning. It can be summed up in one word… cross ties. That’s right, the car topper was originally developed to unload cross ties and was quickly modified to handle a variety of tasks. In the beginning, they were unloaded by hand. Then they were unloaded by forklift. Both of these methods took hours. The Herzog car topper greatly reduced this time, making business more efficient.

Yet just as the railroad did not stop expansion, the car topper did not stop with cross ties. It underwent a few modifications. Now, it can unload a host of things including rail plates, rail lines, spikes, and even bulk items like rip rap, and aggregate. This makes it a go-to piece of machinery because it is so versatile. It is the epitome of “work smarter, not harder.”


The Advantage in the Rail Yard… Offloading


The car topper works by moving along the top of the rail car as the train moves down the track. This is a huge advantage in the rail yard since you don’t have to move a massive piece of equipment to and from, trying to keep pace with the train. This practically eliminates delays and wait time. It also gives the car topper a huge advantage over other pieces of railroad equipment that were developed to do the same thing. The one separating factor? The Herzog can negotiate real cars with varying heights.

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That’s right, due to the hydraulic arms, the Herzog is easily able to move from one railroad car to the next no matter how much the height varies. This makes it a much safer option than other pieces of equipment that were designed to do similar functions in the past. 

 I’m sure you were questioning why the car topper was not using a flatbed and ramps to get up onto the railway car. That would make things easier, right? It does seem to take a hot minute for those big tires to kiss the ground. Well, think about it. This would simply be another piece of equipment to haul around from place to place. That’s the advantage of the car topper. This little railroad beauty requires no loading and unloading system. This means no extra pieces to haul from one place to another.

So yes, it might take a bit of extra time to get this yellow clawed wonder to the ground, but that’s just all in a days work. Even with the extra time, though, you are only talking about a few minutes. How long would it take to install ramps for those other pieces of railway equipment? Then, how long would it take to remove them once you are finished? Once you factor that in, I’m sure the few minutes spent maneuvering those hydraulic arms is a fair trade. Plus, I would imagine you feel like king of the yard for a while so there’s that. I would not mind feeling that way. This is why it’s all part of working on the railroad with the car topper. I think right now it’s time to go rouse the captain. My understanding is that Dinah has a horn to blow, or something like that.

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Yet just as the railroad did not stop expansion, the car topper did not stop with cross ties. It underwent a few modifications. Now, it can unload a host of things including rail