Hello, I’m Buddy Bryan, CEO and founder of Utilco Railroad Services, Inc. We’re glad you stopped by our web site. I think you will find some very interesting services that we offer to over twenty different railroads in sixteen states.
Our initial business of right of way clearing gradually migrated over to power line and pipeline construction which, of course, required cranes and Sidewinders or Pipelayers, as we called them. Before we knew it we had the basic equipment necessary to rerail cars and engines. This was about the time the major railroads were retiring the large rail bound derricks and I sensed an opportunity. With a background in engineering and a penchant for tinkering with something I designed and built a hi-rail system for my largest crane.
Most cranes are built to perform jobs that are totally out of the realm of rerailing railroad equipment and thus are very limited. After set up, they are restricted to their load limits. What was needed was a specifically designed crane capable of high tonnage, hi-rail gear, short boom, and a high road speed. I found this crane in the 150 ton Mantis built by Spandeck and purchased the first one owned by anyone other than a major railroad. This crane, in my opinion, lacked capabilities I could improve on. It needed a rolling outrigger to transport a load on the rail. It also needed a counterweight to take full advantage of the design. I designed the rolling outrigger which has been sold to other owners and, at my suggestion, the counterweight was incorporated into this model by the manufacturer.
Most derailments require moving cars and engines and in the past the Sidewinder was king. It soon became apparent these tractors, including my own, were extremely limited. They were being used in a capacity never intended. They could not rotate with a load, they had poor flotation, and their lifting capacity, and counterbalance were lacking. The market offered no remedy so I decided to engineer a derrick with a specific purpose, derailments. Beginning with a basic excavator frame assembly, the “Big John” derrick was developed and has far surpassed all of our expectations. It’s wide and long undercarriage, coupled with awesome brute lifting capacity and very high drawbar power make it the machine of choice on a derailment.
So as you scroll through these pages you will find many pieces of equipment and tools that we designed with a specific purpose in mind. From a machine that cuts brush thirty feet under itself, to a simple device to unload ties or rail, Utilco Railroad Services is the recognized leader in innovation. Our motto has always been, “The impossible only takes a little longer”.
Again, thanks for stopping by,
Utilco Railroad Services