What is in this article?:
- Cartridge valve manifold makes light work of lifting
- Simplified functionality streamlines operator control
Simplified functionality streamlines operator control
Several updates to the controls have also improved the MAX-TRAC traction/ABS control system and the MAX-TRAN hydraulic lift system. When the first Titan was designed with the Cummins Tier 3 electronic control engines in 2006, the decision was made to use CAN bus technology throughout the new product line. With goals of increasing operator comfort, safety and performance, we researched many CAN systems and settled on Class 1, which designs and produces custom electronic instrumentation, controls, and plumbing components for heavy duty-ground vehicles.
In the old system, engine and braking systems were controlled with pneumatic foot pedals. The hydraulic coupler lift and traverse cylinders were operated by switches on the console. Pneumatic rail wheel sanding switches were mounted in the corners of the cab, and an air horn was actuated by pulling a chain in the ceiling. In other words, the controls were everywhere!
To streamline this, a joystick mounted on the right armrest of an air-cushioned seat now controls the throttle and brakes. The joystick head also contains switches for transmission control, air horn, pneumatic coupler release, and sanding for traction. The left side of the seat has a small control panel that operates the front and rear hydraulic couplers. Also on this panel is a four-position joystick. This electronically controls the rail car’s air brakes. Everything needed to operate the Trackmobile is within easy reach — 22 items are operated from the seat controls and only four wires exit the seat, 12 V positive, negative, plus CAN Hi and CAN Low.
The two CAN wires transmit the commands from the seat module to other modules in the Trackmobile. These modules then send a voltage signal to the hydraulic and pneumatic valves and also the engine throttle. Braking is controlled by wire using a custom module built by Class 1 that controls an electronic MICO brake valve.
The instrument panel was redesigned using a digital display. All the engine, transmission and vehicle parameters are displayed here. This feature greatly simplifies the panel compared to previous models, which had a variety of mechanical gauges.
Click here to see a video of the Trackmobile's Viking in action.
Hydraulics, pneumatics provide system-wide power and control
Pioneering a unique air compressor design
Trackmobiles are operated in various environments from very clean (rare) to extremely dirty (the norm), such as paper mills and plastics industries. Wood chips and plastic pellets in these rail yards will eventually plug the radiator of a belt driven fan. The hydraulic fan system on the TIER 4 Trackmobile will, after a period of time, ramp down the speed to 0 rpm and ramp back up in the opposite direction for a short period. This prevents overheating by keeping the radiator from building up debris because the reverse air flow blows debris clear.