Friday, December 19, 2014

We'll Check the Oil -- for Free!

At IRM, it's the motorman's responsibility to check the compressor oil before each day of revenue operations.  On most of our cars that's no big deal.  On the CA&E wood cars, though, the sump plug
is in under the car (they must have checked the oil over a pit on the CA&E) and motormen, including me, are naturally reluctant to crawl under the car when they're dressed in a nice clean outfit.  So some may have avoided signing up to run the cars.

Have we got a deal for you!  Next year, we'll schedule the wood cars to run only one day on any particular weekend, and we'll be sure to check the oil during the previous week so you don't have to!  What could be nicer than that?


Anonymous said...

Run only one day on any particular weekend! Is this an early April Fools Joke? Hmm.

Randall Hicks said...

I really don't know why you might think this is a joke. In the past, we were often scheduled to run both Saturday and Sunday on a weekend. So instead we'll always do one or the other. Am I missing something?

Dan Buck said...

From Dan Buck,

On behalf of all us old guys, who aren't getting any younger, we thank you sincerely. I always look forward to operating the charming CA&E woods, but the pretrip undercar crawl has been an unpleasant adventure. Again thanks.

Anonymous said...

Is there not a way to route a pipe from the current fill nipple to the front of the compressor to facilitate oil checking without going under the car?
Currently it would take setting up blue flags just to check oil.
Curious what the oil usage is for a typical weekend?
Is it possible to check it on a Saturday AM and trust it to be OK all weekend?

Randy Stahl

Randall Hicks said...

Randy: For a compressor in good condition, oil usage for an operating day or two should be minimal. Most of the time, when the motorman checks the oil, it's fine. But we still need to check, because if it's getting low, damage can occur quickly.

The 309's compressor, in particular, burns oil and usually needs to be topped off after each day. That probably wasn't unusual: you will sometimes see pictures of cars on the CA&E where the front of the car behind the whistle has a big stain because emulsified oil from the compressor was being blown out the whistle. And if emulsified oil is being blown out when you drain the wet tank, that's another sign that oil is being used up.

Anyway, I'm afraid even two days in a row without checking the oil is too much. And now that we have about 35 cars available for regular service, it's no problem to run them only one day per weekend.