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Powering Lennings’ tamper fleet

KEEPING pace with project demands, Aveng Manufacturing Lennings Rail Services (Lennings) has ordered eight Cat C13 engines from Barloworld Power for fitment in new and refurbished rail ballast tampers at its Boksburg East facility. To date two tamper rebuilds have been completed, with the third now under way. A further two new tampers will also be constructed by Lennings and all units will feature the industry’s latest instrumentation and control systems.

Southern Africa’s leading rail track construction and maintenance contractor, Lennings forms part of the multi-national Aveng group of construction, infrastructure and engineering companies.

Lennings’ equipment fleet requirements, which are largely manufactured at their Boksburg workshops, include ballast tampers, regulators, screeners and undercutters, track renewal and rail handling trains, rail grinders, and vehicles for ultrasonic rail flaw detection and track geometry measurement.

Within this machine mix, tampers have a vital role to play in new rail layouts, as well as maintenance, where over time the geometry and resilience of the track provided by the ballast structure needs to be corrected. Tampers achieve this by vibrating and compacting in-situ ballast, thereby ensuring optimum track support. In the process, hydraulic mechanisms lift and reposition concrete sleepers onto the freshly packed track ballast. (Laser guided systems are employed to ensure correct rail alignment.)

“On the rebuilt tamper units, we are changing out the old tried and tested Cat 3306 engine model with the new, more powerful and fuel efficient Cat C13 power plant,” explains Bart Vermaak, executive manager: technical training and special projects at Aveng Manufacturing Lennings Rail Services. “Historically, our Cat 3306 units have performed exceptionally well with minimal repairs and overhauls required over their lifespan, so we have high expectations for the C13.” Compared to the Cat 3306’s rated net output of 186kW (250hp,) the C13 has a net power of 328kW (440hp.)

During tamper operations, the main engine requirement is for rail work, with only 10% of the overall utilisation needed for travelling between sites. “Our research before ordering the C13’s shows that this engine handles the required loads very well, with smooth power delivery at stable operating temperatures,” Vermaak continues. “In fact, only about 75% of the total net output will ever be required, which should help to extend engine life.”

Adds Edwin Redelinghuys, responsible for locomotive engine sales at Barloworld Power: “The only modifications required were the addition of compression and transmission coolers to suit the application, and the repositioning of the radiator within the engine compartment design.”

Of the eight Cat C13’s ordered, one will be kept in reserve as a standby unit, with overall parts support and service provided by Barloworld Power, the Cat and Perkins dealer for Southern Africa.

As they come off the production line, these tampers will join existing units in the Lennings fleet, operating across South Africa as well as regionally for public and private sector clients in countries that include Swaziland, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Mozambique.

This footprint is expanding into other parts of Africa and the Middle East, as well as Australia and South East Asia, the latter regions in conjunction with sister company, McConnell Dowell Constructors. Recent examples include Lennings’ construction of a 300km rail line for a mine development in northern West Australia, a project that commenced in January 2012 for scheduled completion in August 2013. 

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