Staying on track
Smart road-rail excavator with narrow swing radius keeps maintenance crews working on the rail
Trains are a great way to get around, but to keep passengers happy they have to keep moving. While a lot of maintenance is handled at night and on weekends, sometimes work simply must be done during the day, creating lots of challenges. KAISER AG’s innovative S22RR road-rail excavator is smart, silent, and compact, with a very small swing radius. And it’s helping keep Swiss railroads “on track.”
Keeping projects and traffic flowing
“Coordinating projects in Switzerland can be a headache for railroad maintenance contractors. The space between parallel tracks is often very narrow, leaving little room to operate equipment without disrupting traffic. When you’re using an excavator, for example, its back swings out over the neighboring track,” René Geiger, head of engineering excavators, describes. “The Swiss regulations are very strict: When a train approaches on the other track, work must be stopped and all equipment returned to its starting position. This means downtime and inconvenience for the operator.”
KAISER AG designed the S22RR to address this challenging situation. With a limited swing radius of 1.57 meters (5 feet 1 inch), it can stay in its working position when trains pass on the next track. So the operator can resume work without repositioning. “The time, effort, and cost savings add up,” says Geiger. Yet the S22RR doesn’t trade off performance: Measuring 8 meters (26 feet) long (with boom folded) and 2.6 meters (8.4 feet) wide, it boasts a digging depth of 4.8 meters (15.7 feet) and can drive on- and off-track. It can be fitted with dozens of attachments, while a ROTOline hydraulic system applies just the right pressure (between 20 and 350 bar).
The right engine for the job
To drive this unique excavator and its hydraulic system, Kaiser selected the 116-kW (155-hp) PowerTech PSS 4.5L Final Tier 4/Stage IV engine. Geiger explains: “A compact machine needs a compact engine. What’s more, emissions standards in Switzerland are among the strictest in Europe. The John Deere engine was the obvious choice because of its size, Stage IV emission certification, and diesel particulate filter (DPF).”
Local John Deere engine distributor Hamilton AG, in Kloten, Switzerland, supported KAISER throughout the development of the machine. “Hamilton supplied the engine and equipment to integrate the DPF and SCR catalyst into the drive system in a very compact manner. They also made sure the configuration of the engine was perfect. With their support we could bring the S22RR to market quickly.”
The S22RR is a niche product and is mainly being used in Switzerland and France. Feedback from customers on the S22RR and the John Deere engine has been very positive. “They are very pleased with the engine’s fuel efficiency, and the suitability of the exhaust gas aftertreatment for everyday use, even when operating at low engine load.”
Innovations that change the industry
KAISER started as a small workshop over 100 years ago and has kept that personalized touch — even as its team has grown to over 500 people. “Our machines are not sold by the thousands; we tailor them to our customers’ unique needs.”
The company’s innovations continue to set new standards. In 1986, it introduced the very first self-propelled walking excavator on the market. In 2019, KAISER presented the new generation of its S12 Allroad and S10 mobile walking excavators. The core features are a new undercarriage with improved kinematics and power as well as a significantly higher wattage of over 2 meters (6,5 feet). At the beginning of 2020 KAISER was awarded for the “Construction Machine of the Year 2020” by Austria‘s most important trade magazine, Baublatt.
The S22RR road-rail excavator was launched onto the market in 2015. Since then, KAISER’s sales distributor for Switzerland, MBA AG, has sold more S22RR machines than initially anticipated, and often without the customers have seen the machine at work! “That is pretty unusual in the industry, but it does show the strong bond between KAISER and MBA and the confidence our customers have in our products,” Geiger concludes.
Emission Certification: FT4/Stage V
Engine Model: PowerTech PSS 4045HFC09
Displacement: 4,5 L
Power: 125 kW (168 PS) @ 2200 rpm
Aspiration: air to air/charge air cooled
Distributor: Hamilton AG, 9545 Wängi, Switzerland