The Air Spade® is a highly effective tool that uses a high-pressure focused flow of air to dislodge most soils, fouled ballast and compacted debris from beneath railroad tracks. This innovative handheld device is only four feet in length, weighing only seven pounds, and yet it packs a powerful air blast of 90 pounds per square inch to loosen and blow away hardened mud and dirt, fouled and impacted ballast and other material that is caked around your rails and ties. The Air Spade® is powered by a portable air compressor, making it a remarkably mobile cleaning solution.
Because the Air Spade® is handheld and removes debris with air, it allows workers to expose sensitive underground wires, fiber optics or cables with greater accuracy and less risk of damage than can be achieved by tools like undercutters. Also, with its extreme mobility, the Air Spade® is excellent for use in tunnels or remote areas with little or no off-track access and is ideal for spot undercutting to remove mud from troublesome areas.
The Air Spade® is typically deployed with a hi-rail vacuum truck to deliver Hulcher's air excavation service. The vacuum truck tows the portable compressor and collects the unwanted materials loosened by the Air Spade®, making the air excavation combo a self-contained, efficent solution for spot-cleaning and undercutting your tracks and exposing underground utilities.
The Air Spade® is used for a variety of services, including:
Anyone who has worked with railroad contractors knows that the most important part of an excavator is the person at the stick, the operator. Hulcher’s operators are railroad specialists. They have received training in railroad applications, are current in safety and security certification requirements for all Class I railroads, and have spent years perfecting their craft in maintenance-of-way environments.With their extensive railroad experience, our operators can work seemlessly with your rail gangs.
The Air Spade® is the perfect solution for cleaning and spot-excavation work, especially when underground utilities could be damaged by traditional excavation techniques. Call Hulcher today at 800-637-5471 to learn more about the Air-Spade® and our air excavation service or to schedule it for your next project.
|Case Study - Air Excavation / Vacuum Truck
Chronic mud problems created potentially dangerous softness and flex in the rail for one railroad company, especially on those stretches of track that ran along a river. The situation became more dire after flooding added to the mud in these areas. Unfortunately, the steep banks on either side of the track did not permit the use of an off-track undercutter.
Photos of Air Spade® - Air Excavation Projects