This job story centers on an opportunity to help an existing Customer outfit one of its new design/construction customers. AIRMATIC had previously worked with the construction company located in the Carolinas to supply WORKMASTER pneumatic hopper car gate openers for a number of its clients. Now, the construction company was working on a new project: building one of the nation’s largest feed mills that would need hopper car gate openers.

Problem in more detail

The mill operation has the capacity to produce up to 27,000 tons of feed per week – making it one of the largest feed mills in the United States. Its setup would include an 8,014-foot loop track handling 110 or more rail cars and three locomotives on the CSX main line. To keep up with production and deliveries, the mill would need the right kind of hopper car gate openers. 

The construction company was familiar and comfortable with WORKMASTER products from past experience and had been impressed with the level of support and service that AIRMATIC had provided to them and their customers. On the construction company’s recommendation, the mill operators – who had previous experience with competitor solutions at other facilities – decided to purchase the WORKMASTER hopper car gate openers from AIRMATIC. 


Understanding that the mill would need safe, ergonomic, powerful, reliable, fast solutions based on the large volume of traffic it would see, the AIRMATIC team recommended options that they knew would best serve the new mill. The product selection and number of pieces of equipment in consideration evolved as the mill’s anticipated needs changed. Ultimately, the WORKMASTER GO-A13-HA Hopper Car Gate Opener was identified as the right choice. 

The GO-A13-HA is an air-powered hopper car gate opener on a wheeled cart with pneumatic control of its pivot wheels, allowing it to follow a traveling gate or moving train. It also allows for pneumatic height adjustment to accommodate varied height railcar capstans. The mill ordered three of the model, which was considered the ideal choice because they knew it could handle worksites with gates that have varying degrees of difficulty to open, height differences, the ability to tackle uneven terrain with great maneuverability, and a need for rapid opening and closing during continuous movement.   


Both the construction company and the mill operator commented on the great performance of the WORKMASTER equipment, as well as the support they received from AIRMATIC personnel. The new feed mill is up and running and plays an important role in the regional, agriculture-based economy. WORKMASTER has subsequently filled a request for special, custom 24-inch-long capstan drive fittings to be used to better access “low sill /low belly” covered hopper cars.  


Railcar Gate Openers

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Increase speed and safety when opening railcar hopper gates using air, electric, battery or mechanical-advantage manual power gate openers.


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