Sunday, October 15, 2006

Trucks Versus Trains

Say you've got a client located across the country who is serious about using modulars, but trucking costs are too prohibitive? That's the conundrum builder Grant Smerecynsky ran up against with a developer interested in using a modular building system in Southern California.

"Then we thought, 'what about by rail?'" says Smerecynsky, CEO of The Building Systems Network (Mount Gilead, NC), which sets and finishes dozens of homes annually.

So with the help of modular supplier PBS, which provided a modular section 48' long by 12' wide and 35,000 lbs, Smerecynsky arranged for sudden stop tests using a 70'
wood floor bulkhead flat car with 15" of cushioning. The conclusion? It is economically feasible to ship modulars by train, and the floating load concept performed as intended, although there was one floor joist that rolled and cracked due to catching on the rough wood floor as the load moved in the reverse impact. This did not structurally affect the unit. All the doors, windows and drywall were intact.

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