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Thread: how are box cars loaded?

  1. #1

    Default how are box cars loaded?

    i am a warehouseman in the trade show exhibit industry, thus i make my living loading pad wrapped, palletized and crated exhibits into trucks. most of the time, my co workers and i load the freight into the trailers via forklift from the nose of the trailer to the tail. sometimes we'll use the side doors if we have particularly difficult items to load, i.e. long beams, odd sized pallets or rugs. many times drivers will create decks using load bars and four by eight ply in order to maximize his/her trailer space. we only exclusively floor load if the contract forbids stacking freight.

    since boxcars have two side doors, does the customer drive a forklift directly into the car and load them from both ends to the center?

    are the loads palletized? crated? are they just simply filled with loose boxes sometimes? are boxcars only floor loaded or do some of them have slots built into the sides for load bars?

    what gets shipped in boxcars anyway?

    i've always been curious about this, but i'm even more curious now since i'm employed in an industry that uses large trucks to transport its end product, trade show exhibits.

    and by the way, i have loaded an exhibit on to a trailer that ended up being driven to stockton, then transported by rail to las vegas...

  2. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by shekky View Post
    and by the way, i have loaded an exhibit on to a trailer that ended up being driven to stockton, then transported by rail to las vegas...
    Seems like it would have been quicker to drive to Vegas, but cool that it's being shipped by rail.

    Boxcars are pulled along side a dock so that it can be accessed from one side, and then typically forklifts are used to load what ever into the boxcar. They are typically loaded to the gills. Once either side is loaded and the fork can't fit in there, then they load it from the back door towards the front door. Alot of times you'll see notes saying unload from this side, or unload from other side.

    Contents of a boxcar could be pretty much anything. There are special ones that only ship news print, i.e. paper for newspapers. Others carry pretty much anything that a forklift can move. I've seen pricey wood (that you wouldn't want to get wet) and all sorts of other stuff. They typically have wooden walls, and sometimes things are attached to them to protect the contents or hold them.
    Eric
    RRF Photo Gallery

    It's the same things your whole life. "Clean up your room!", "Stand up straight!", "Pick up your feet!", "Take it like a man!", "Be nice to your sister!", "Don't mix beer and wine, EVER!" Oh yeah, "Don't drive on the railroad tracks!"

  3. #3

    Default

    **They are typically loaded to the gills.**

    i am assuming that this "loaded to the gills" is by pallets. and the pallets have to be pretty much square so they can be what we call in the trade show rackets "top loaded", huh?

  4. #4

    Default

    I'm a conductor for CSX, we have several industries around atlanta, ga that utilize boxcars. One is a paper company that load very large rolls of paper (6 rolls just about fill a boxcar from one end to the other stacked 2 high). They load them by forklift by driving straight into the boxcar from a loading dock.

    Another place we got is a beer warehouse. They get boxcars with pallets of beer on them, not sure on the volume that they fit in one, but I know that is a lot. One day, in our class yard, one of their boxcar's door flew open, when it coupled to another car, spilling out several pallets of beer on the ground. We all watched in sadness when we saw them throwing thousand's of fresh bottles of Corona's, Bud Light's, and Miller Light's into a large dumpster... a great deal of them unbroken Would have made a big free party !
    Evan Armstrong

    -Georgia Railroader:

    CSX Transportation, L&N Tennessee Consolidated Trainman's District #2, W&A subdistrict (Atlanta, GA to Chattanooga, TN)

  5. Default

    Damn Rule G.

    As for the pallets, yeah they stack them, but I guess I should say that not everything is on pallets, just that they tend to need to be moved by a fork lift.

    Maybe someone can post some shots of open boxcar's and we can see how they are loaded.
    Eric
    RRF Photo Gallery

    It's the same things your whole life. "Clean up your room!", "Stand up straight!", "Pick up your feet!", "Take it like a man!", "Be nice to your sister!", "Don't mix beer and wine, EVER!" Oh yeah, "Don't drive on the railroad tracks!"

  6. #6

    Default

    I run a crew that loads, and unloads boxcars. I alsoload and unload them. All I can say is it depends on the industry, the type of equipment used (it isnt all forklifts), and the boxcar.

    We use clamps. We clamp the product from the sides, pick it up manuever into the box car off of dock deckplates. Other pieces of equipment we use are Slip Sheet Machines, Reach Trucks, EPJs, forklifts, and even hydraulic manual move pallet jacks. Sometimes we use pallets, most of the time we dont. It depends on what the customer wants. Clamps offer a tighter fit, so product doesnt sway in the car, even when we do use pallets.

    Once both sides of the car are full, there is always a gap between thestacks of items, even when pallets are in use. We install rather large airbags on the last stacks on both sides, and blow them up. It prevents items from going all over the place, even if they are wrapped in shrink wrap and guranteed a smooth ride. When thats complete, there is the open space between the two doors, we load that area, and then put in two more airbags. This ensures the merchandise is pressed up against the walls, and other product. Its very simple really.

    Besides airbags there are other items used to tighten, or cinch, down loads. Pallet winches, stamped steel banding, nylon banding, steel load bars(samething found on trucks), chicken wire.

    One reason you'll see doors with decals on them that say "Open Other Side", or whatever, isnt always because of the loadout. Its because the doors are messed up, and wont open. Screwed up doors on boxcars are very common.

    Things I've seen shipped on boxcars include:

    Cereal
    Bricks
    Stones
    Sodas, cokes, pop, etc
    Rolls of paper
    Conduit
    Diapers
    Medical equipment
    Car Parts
    Non-vital military gear (ALICE pouches and LBEs)
    Mattresses
    Rubbermaid containers
    Paper Towels
    Napkins
    Hay
    Railroad stuff
    Clothing
    Electrical wire
    Fencing material

    You name, it probably rides boxcars

  7. Default

    At an industry that I used to work for several years ago we had a boxcar arrive that was deemed by the railroad to be empty. One half of the car was loaded with cases upon cases of Heinz Ketchup. Everyone went home with ketchup that evening.
    Mark St. Aubin
    My railroad photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/47162644@N07/

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Tower 55 View Post
    I run a crew that loads, and unloads boxcars. I alsoload and unload them. All I can say is it depends on the industry, the type of equipment used (it isnt all forklifts), and the boxcar.

    We use clamps. We clamp the product from the sides, pick it up manuever into the box car off of dock deckplates. Other pieces of equipment we use are Slip Sheet Machines, Reach Trucks, EPJs, forklifts, and even hydraulic manual move pallet jacks. Sometimes we use pallets, most of the time we dont. It depends on what the customer wants. Clamps offer a tighter fit, so product doesnt sway in the car, even when we do use pallets.

    Once both sides of the car are full, there is always a gap between thestacks of items, even when pallets are in use. We install rather large airbags on the last stacks on both sides, and blow them up. It prevents items from going all over the place, even if they are wrapped in shrink wrap and guranteed a smooth ride. When thats complete, there is the open space between the two doors, we load that area, and then put in two more airbags. This ensures the merchandise is pressed up against the walls, and other product. Its very simple really.

    Besides airbags there are other items used to tighten, or cinch, down loads. Pallet winches, stamped steel banding, nylon banding, steel load bars(samething found on trucks), chicken wire.

    One reason you'll see doors with decals on them that say "Open Other Side", or whatever, isnt always because of the loadout. Its because the doors are messed up, and wont open. Screwed up doors on boxcars are very common.

    Things I've seen shipped on boxcars include:

    Cereal
    Bricks
    Stones
    Sodas, cokes, pop, etc
    Rolls of paper
    Conduit
    Diapers
    Medical equipment
    Car Parts
    Non-vital military gear (ALICE pouches and LBEs)
    Mattresses
    Rubbermaid containers
    Paper Towels
    Napkins
    Hay
    Railroad stuff
    Clothing
    Electrical wire
    Fencing material

    You name, it probably rides boxcars
    thanks, man. so pretty much anything that goes on a truck goes in a boxcar. i was particularly interested in how you fill the negative space and your desription of airbags seems to fit the bill perfectly.

    one more question..are most boxcars fitted with the slottled thing for load bars or do the crews use the ones with the rubber chumpies on both ends?

  9. Default

    Boxcars are loaded by forklifts, with assistance from humans.

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by shekky View Post
    one more question..are most boxcars fitted with the slottled thing for load bars or do the crews use the ones with the rubber chumpies on both ends?
    What'choo talkin' 'bout, Willis?

    We must use different terminology.

    When we open the door, if the boxcar is empty, and its a big IF, we raise a dockplate similar to what is used for truck docks. The folding lip is much longer, and it goes into the car. There are several things used to hold doors open. Some companies all ow the deckplate to hold them open, some use "rubber duckies", some use tough plastic rods, or even18-wheeler truck bars (dangerous in my opinion).

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