Automatically Load a Trailer on a Train Car

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The patent pending Automodal system automates the loading and unloading of semi truck trailers on train cars. Now, time sensitive freight can be transported via railroads removing the diesel guzzling vehicles off our highways.

It works like this: A truck driver positions a semi trailer onto an Adaptor Plate (similar to a large automation pallet), unhitches the trailer, anchors it to the Adaptor Plate, and drives away. The Adaptor Plate is automatically staged, via conveyors, along side of a set of train tracks. A train yard can be equipped with as many of these conveyor zones as needed. A special Automodal train pulling Automodal cars stops alongside the conveyors. All Adaptor Plates on the train cars are simultaneously transferred off of the cars which are equipped with special conveyors for this purpose. At the same time all staged Adaptor Plates are transferred onto the train cars. The complete transfer of Adaptor Plates from and to the train cars (typically 120 cars) is completed in around 3 minutes. The fully loaded train leaves the yard.

As soon as the off loaded Adaptor Plates clear the train cars and while waiting for the next Automodal train to arrive all of the recently off loaded Adaptor Plates are automatically transferred, via conveyors, to the trailer loading area. Then, semi trucks hook up to these trailers and drive them away. Incoming trucks drop off the next set of trailers to be transported on the Adaptor Plates and the process repeats.

A recent time study suggests that it is possible to unload and reload the Adaptor Plates for a 120 car yard in around 17 minutes. The result is that each Automodal train yard can handle up to 3 trains per hour each pulling 120 cars. If the yard operates 24 hours per day it can process 8640 trailers per day.

Automodal System Benefits:
1.Transporting long haul semi truck trailers on trains saves diesel fuel and transport time thereby reducing freight expenses.
2.Reduced road damage which relates to reducing expensive road repair.
3.Reduce need to build expensive dedicated roads specifically for heavy trucking.
4.Many trucking accidents are due to fatigued long haul drivers. Transporting by train reduces insurance costs which relate to reduced freight expenses.
5.An Automodal train car can handle any Adaptor Plate and any Adaptor Plate can carry any trailer thereby reducing dedicated idle railroad equipment.
6.The Automodal System creates a new revenue stream for the train industry injecting badly needed money into its infrastructure.
7.Truck trailers transported via train increases the expected service life of the trailer.
8.Semi trucks will increase their time in service due to the reduced mileage.
9.Building specialized conveyors for the train yards will increase the industrial manufacturing sector of the economy.
10.Building specialized train cars will increase the train manufacturing sector.
11.Construction or modification of existing yards will create jobs in that sector of the market.

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  • Name:
    Steve Hall
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