In Hörby in Skåne we find the county’s most well-established specialised railway contracting firm.
Hörbys JM Entreprenad AB has five tractor excavators and two caterpillar-driven excavators, of which most are explicitly used in railway work.
“In addition we have loading machines, skeedsters and rail cars that are also rail-bound”, says Johan Månsson, owner and founder of the company which he started in 2002.
Johan tells us he had previously worked as an employed machine driver for another contracting firm, but as time passed he felt that he wanted to run these jobs himself.
No sooner said than done, and Johan bought a Bobcat Skid-Steer which he fitted out fully with amongst other things a front-mounted excavation aggregate with an engcon Tiltrotator.
The company has its base on a fine farm in the outskirts of Hörby and now has 18 employees.
Here we find a fully equipped workshop, offices and personnel areas, machine parking and also a length of laid railway line.
“Yepp, we train our drivers on various railway track operations and also test our in-house developed products here”, says Johan and at the same time points to an impressive number of tools standing in a row beside a couple of Huddig 1260 backhoe loaders.
There’s no mistaking that good order is prioritised here. In addition all vehicles – car, machines and trucks – are painted in a special blue colour, Jamaica blue.
“Yes, at an early stage I chose this colour and it’s actually become a clear calling card”, says Johan about the clear blue colour.
The company has recently ordered nine pick-up trucks, all of which are in Jamaica blue. The supplier couldn’t deliver the vehicles in that colour, so Johan took the matter in his own hands and drove all the pick-ups directly to a car paint shop.
Two of the company’s machine drivers are at home in the workshop on the day of our visit. When we ask to taker a few pictures of one of the machines out on the track, Karl Olsson climbs sprightly into the cab of his Huddig 1260C, which is among other things fitted with the engcon EC15 with grab.
Quickly and with versatility he mounts the tracks and in a moment he’s off on the rail wheels which are mounted under the machine. There’s not so much excavating, but it’s easy to understand that without the Tiltrotator it would quickly become difficult to work on the track as the machine couldn’t be moved as on a “normal” work site.
“It wouldn’t just be difficult, more like impossible”, answers Karl when asked if he could imagine working without the Tiltrotator.
To exemplify Karl picks up a large concrete sleeper that lies offset over the track, and then he puts the bucket into a couple of typical excavating positions. This is a fraction of the situations that an excavator operator can be up against before working on railway tracks.
Inside the workshop we find another of the firm’s excavator machinists, Kalle Zsolyomi, who only for today is working on forgings for one of the company’s many special tools.
“I can only agree with Karl – without the Tiltrotator our work on the railway tracks would be much more difficult”, says Kalle.
“Of course you could work, and before the Tiltrotator came we did just that, but everything was so much more troublesome and took a huge amount of time”, adds Johan Månsson.
Time – one of the most important factors concerning railway works where a length of track is closed off for a limited period of time. Effective machines and equipment are consequently a must.
Johan Månsson, Hörbys JM Entreprenad AB
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