Replacing and maintaining railcar dumpers



Heyl & Patterson, Pittsburgh, PA, USA


Railcar Dumpers come in a var iety of designs including the ‘Turnover’, ‘C shaped’ or ‘Rotary dumper’ design. Each configuration has a variety of specification options such as end ring in or out, rack or chain drive, single, tandem, or triple barrel or even unit train or random train. Even the way the car is clamped down during rotation can be chosen, for example, you could use mechanical clamps or hydraulic clamps.

Ancillary equipment for dumpers includes railcar movers such as high capacity train positioners (both rack and wire rope drive designs), while Hammermills are used for crushing frozen product after dumping. A system for weighing and documenting railcars is very important for speed and accuracy during high speed operations.

Furthermore, there are a variety of car holding devices for spotting and holding the railcars. Dumpers for unit trains are capable of cycle times of under a minute from car to car.

Choosing the right supplier

When considering a dumper supplier it is important to take into account their experience. How many machines have they built, how long have they been building dumpers etc. Do they offer a variety of designs? It is also important that the company is continuously improving their design. Heyl & Patterson has this experience.

Heyl & Patterson Inc was founded in 1887 in Pittsburgh and has been unloading railcars for most of those 121 years. They started building dumpers in the 1940’s and boast that they can support any of their equipment in existence having maintained all original drawings.

The company was recently asked by a customer if they could provide replacement parts for their machine built in 1913, and quickly pulled the drawings and provided a quote. This support is critical to the operations of customers worldwide because of the significant investment in their capital equipment. This support helps keep  customer operations running efficiently.

Heyl & Patterson can provide engineering studies in order to assess and determine how to keep one’s equipment operating smoothly and efficiently, while at the  same time, if all that is needed are replacement parts, all original information is kept and file, and direct replacements can be provided. The last thing a customer wants is an inappropriate or outdated design because that is all the company offers.

Unique features

Some of the features Heyl & Patterson offers include the Hammermill, the first in the industry. They also offer the only NTEP certified weigh scale, found within the  laten, built into the dumper for seamless weighing and documentation. This NTEP certification is approved by the Association of American railroads, and Heyl & Patterson is the first and only railcar manufacturer to have it.

Rotary Dumpers do not last forever, and will eventually wear out after years of hard use. In the coal industry, some machines have been known to unload upwards of 100 – 200 million tones of coal.

Recently Heyl & Patterson received an order to replace the tandem rotary dumpers at the Vostochny Port JSC in Russia. The port exports coal to worldwide. This is the second time the tandem dumpers have been replaced, and upgrades to the current design are included with all replacement dumpers. The port has been using Heyl & Patterson dumpers for decades and has years of experience with the machines.

The new dumpers will be replacing the existing dumpers in the coming months. Heyl & Patterson expects to support these new machines in the coming decades.

Whether you are planning on replacing an existing dumper (of any manufacturer) or considering a new machine, remember to place a strong value on experience, Heyl & Patterson does.

Cookie Policy. This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.