Equipment Refurbishment: Cleveland Tramrail Tractor Drive Rehabilitation

Equipment Refurbishment: Cleveland Tramrail Tractor Drive Rehabilitation

Andrew T. Litecky4/28/23

Welcome to the Hoist Guy’s Blog! Where our resident Hoist Guy, Andrew T. Litecky, shares his experience in the overhead material handling industry to explain the refurbishment process for a set of Cleveland Tramrail Drive Tractors used in extreme weather conditions. 

Can old material handling equipment be restored?

Yes, but it depends on a number of variables. Let’s look at a case study where we were able to refurbish nine Cleveland Tramrail patented track tractor drives. 

The PT Drives to Be Restored

A construction company from the Albany, NY area had a State-issued contract to refurbish work platforms under a bridge on the Hudson River.  The project included nine heavy duty Cleveland Tramrail Model “CH” urethane dual-wheel patented track drive tractors.  From the above “before” photos, it was obvious that the tractors were in poor shape, badly corroded, and in need of either replacement or restoration.  The president of the construction company had hired one of our competitors four weeks prior to calling us. However, after a month of neither progress nor returned phone calls, he contacted us in frustration and panic to ask for options.  We assured the company president that we had the repair and restoration expertise and the personnel to immediately inspect the overhead lifting equipment and analyze the possibility for refurbishment.

For the initial inspection, the tractor drives were shipped to us, and we assessed each one.  We cataloged all parts on each unit that we inspected, noting the components that required replacing, what could be rehabilitated and others that only needed a sand blast and a new coat of paint to be restored.  Cleveland Tramrail provided the cost for the replacement parts, and within a week we issued a quote to completely refurbish the nine tractors.


PT Crane Tractor Drive Refurbishment Process

We began the refurbishment process by completely disassembling each tractor down to the individual parts.  Worn and corroded parts were discarded, and as the new parts were ordered and delivered, we began the task of masking the tractor gear cases, castings and motors, getting ready for the painter.  Small piece parts, including hardware, were sent to a plater, for a coating of electroless nickel.  Larger pieces were shipped to the painter, for a special Sherwin Williams high build epoxy/polyurethane paint system, in light blue.  Motors and brakes could not be sand blasted, so they were hand cleaned and roughed, for the best possible surface adhesion for the special paint system.   

Once everything was returned from both the painter and the plater, we began the process of reassembling the fully restored tractors.  All nine units were reassembled in a row, on a bench, each in a shipping saddle to keep the units upright.  When complete, an electrical run test was performed, and the refilled gear cases were checked for leaks.  One unit leaked (you can see it in one of the “after” photos) because the bolts were not tightened.  Once this was done, the nine refurbished units passed our QA inspection and they were placed in three wooden crates, with the shipping saddles keeping them upright for the journey back to Albany.


Contact Us for Overhead Material Handling Equipment Rehabilitation

An important part of the success of this equipment rehabilitation project was a weekly email to the customer, giving an accurate status of the progress.  Our quote included a promised ship date, and by communicating our status, they were at ease, knowing that they would be on time.

Since 1969, Shupper-Brickle has solved overhead material handling challenges and provided unique industry expertise to our customers. Contact us to learn more about our overhead material handling services, our engineering innovations and our hoist and crane repair and rehabilitation services