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Finding Plant Hire Solutions For Rail Possessions

By Other, Rail5 min read
close up of railroad tracks

Planning and preparing assets or plant hire for Rail possessions is a specialist challenge that no other industry sees. Being allocated small windows of opportunity, sometimes at short notice, to complete a job is how it works in Rail. Customers need an agile solution to support their operations. Often working under pressure and against the clock, usually at night, weekend or on a Bank Holiday with strict possession rules that require lots of prior planning and a confidence in the plant, tools and skills of plant operators.  Nobody wants to be responsible for the negative Twitter updates regretfully informing us that “over-running engineering works have delayed the services on Platforms 1 & 2”.  Not to mention the SLA disappearing out the window along with reputation and profit because penalties will follow!

Time is money, this is never more real than in rail possessions

Considering that during a possession you’ve got to take and give back control of the rail, Mobilise and de-mobilise site and carry out testing, the actual working time is scaled down to just a few hours, so it is important that everything works as it should.

Organising heavy plant & even small tools for a Rail possession is just one piece of the puzzle that has to be completed and you will want to avoid a mad panic the day before for obvious reasons. With a variety of specialist rail and track tools, heavy plant and also skilled labour requirements to consider there is no margin for error. Trying to manage all the components offline will generate mistakes and mistakes cost time and money. Recording customers requirements, in real time in your system makes a huge difference. You can simply act on the information without the need to transfer hand written requests or make several phone calls. This simply makes life easier and cut out mistakes caused by poor communication, which in turn will increase productivity because the correct items turn up right, first time!

Putting power in the hands of your trackside team

Imagine hiring a crane in at the last minute for a Rail Possession. You have 12 hours to complete and hand back and on hour 4 it breaks down with no contingency in place. Ensuring that you have systems and processes that can manage demand direct from track-side, in real time and from a mobile device gives you a fresh approach.  Your Plant Hire business can manage all aspects of the hire cycle, such as, on/off hire, breakdowns, logistics, labour allocations or logging service calls and keep the site team informed every step of the way.  Giving your site teams the support they need during the possession slot and more time on the tools opposed to solving problems on the phone.

Tracking plant hire and assets at your rail possessions

Not knowing what you’ve got and where is a real pain. I mean, what if you accidentally left some tools on the track or lost something really expensive, how’s that going to affect safety or hit your margins? Having the ability to track hires through their various states, update key asset and financial information during a possession is a fantastic way to take control.  Your plant hire solution needs to enable tracking of equipment on and off the job as well as real-time entry from trackside to update status and tasks. This, in turn, will see your utilisation and cost fall in-line with where you want them to be and lower the risk of loss and damage.

Activity reporting for your rail possessions

As with anything in life, if there is data involved then someone wants a report whether that is your management team or your customers. The last thing you want to be doing is pulling data together from a variety of different and often manual sources. It’s a waste of time and valuable resource. Being able to freely report on literally anything and everything, create bespoke reports and have them drop in your mailbox or have a live refreshable report gives an overall view of the success or failure of your Rail Possession.  You can track updates in real time as the job progresses through custom dashboards on your mobile phone, laptop or on a big wall screen if you want to share with a team.

Picking a reliable software solution, capable of operating in a Rail specific environment and supported round the clock, could be the difference between successful Rail Possessions or failure. Reach out today for more information on how Wynne Systems can help you stay on ‘track’.


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