RailAmerica is a company that has banned kicking cars, on most of it's properties. (it's actually grounds for dismissal, if you get caught doing it) Every single car must be shoved to a hitch. Most G&W properties, if not all, also follow this rule. It does make for a tedious day, working in a yard, designed for flat switching, to shove every car to rest/hitch, but the rule comes from the experience of thousands of bypassed drawbars, over the years, and resulting damage/derailments that usually come with them. I have seen bypassed drawbars in a hump yard, where all cars are cut on straight track, and couple on straight track. The only foolproof way to a hitch, appears to be shoving to a few feet away, stopping and examining the joint, adjust if necessary, then hope it makes. Adding hours to your day, at the cost of productivity. Isn't that what safety is really all about?
(that oughta start it, now!!
) Most places have also banned flying switches, or "drops", for similar reasons. (derailments/collisions) On one property I worked, 2 years ago, this rule dropped our 8 hour average, of cars switched, from almost 500 per shift, to just under 200, per shift. And this was with a 4 man crew. (one on switches, one on hitches, one pulling pins) We did, on more than one occasion, bypass drawbars, with a safety stop being made, and a man watching/making the hitch, so I imagine that there's no such thing as fool-proof. Hey LCJ, did you ever work a "field" job. My all time favorite job,on the ground, until they outlawed it. Nothing like a rainy night, at Oak Island, waiting to catch an "east end" ride, between two tracks, loaded with cars. Not for the faint of heart, to be sure! Regards