What are Hi-Rail Vehicles?

Hi-Rail bucket trucks, Hi-Rail pickup trucks, and other Hi-Rail system vehicles are dual-mode vehicles. This simply means that they can operate on both railroad tracks and roads. This combination of highway and railway access gives us the name of “Hi-Rail.”

In addition to their rubber tires, hi-rail equipment also has a set of flanged steel wheels that can be deployed to allow the vehicle to travel on railways.

Hi-Rail Bucket Trucks

McClain and Company Knows Hi-Rail and We Have the Rental Equipment You Need 

The Association of American Railroads reports that the United States has over 61,000 railroad bridges. These are all part of America’s freight rail network that stretches across nearly 140,000 miles and carries millions of tons of freight to every corner of the nation.

And these thousands of bridges are vital to this expansive network, allowing trains to cross rivers, gorges, and ravines.

The United States federal government and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) oversees the operations and safety of the nation’s rail system.

This oversight requires railroad bridge owners to implement safety plans that include, at minimum, annual inspections of bridges, with the goal of maintaining an inventory of all

bridges and verifying their safe load capacities.

According to the Code of Federal Regulations,

Railroad bridge means any structure with a deck, regardless of length, which supports one or more railroad tracks, or any other undergrade structure with an individual span length of 10 feet or more located at such a depth that it is affected by live loads.


Hi-Rail Bridge Inspection Work Means Specialized Hi-Rail Equipment Such as Hi-Rail Vehicles

Railroad bridge owners are also required to document all repairs, modifications, and inspections of each bridge. In addition, they are to ensure that bridge engineers, inspectors, and supervisors meet minimum qualifications and that bridge inspections are conducted under the direct supervision of a designated railroad bridge inspector.

Hi-Rail system inspection, maintenance, and repair work requires specialized Hi-Rail equipment.

McClain & Co., Inc. is proud to offer a wide range of reliable and versatile Hi-Rail Vehicles for these purposes including Hi-Rail Bucket trucks as well as Hi-Rail Under Bridge Inspection Trucks, or UBITs. 

Choose from Hi-Rail Bucket vehicles ranging from a compact, but heavy-duty truck offering a bucket capacity of up to 1,000 pounds and a work height of 46 feet, to a substantial Hi-Rail pickup truck that can lift a 2-man, 500 pound load up to 66 feet high.

Under Bridge Inspection Work for Railroad Bridges Requires Specialized Hi-Rail Trucks

Inspections of railroad bridges require a specific skill set to navigate the various railroad bridge structure types. In addition, access to hi-rail equipment specifically designed to inspect railroad bridges is necessary for providing federally compliant inspections.

A vast majority of railroad bridges span waterways or are situated at heights that also make them inaccessible from below. Much like highway bridges, this means the need to access the areas under the bridge deck with specialized, under bridge inspection vehicles such as UBITs. 

The Association of American Railroads notes that,

Regardless of age, history, traffic or conditions, regular inspection of railroad bridges contributes more to the ability to safely carry trains than any other component of bridge maintenance. In adherence with federal regulation, trained experts inspect railroad bridges at least once a year.

In addition to these annual inspections, many heavy-traffic railroad bridges are inspected as often as twice a year or more to ensure their safety and integrity. And having safe and reliable access under these bridge structures is essential.

Railroad bridge inspectors need to navigate underneath the railroad bridge deck to perform the necessary visual and manual inspections that are required. And this requires having under bridge access. 

Providing this access means employing specialized Hi-Rail under bridge inspection trucks, also known as Hi-Rail UBITs, that can place a working platform, usually a utility bucket, underneath the railroad bridge structure.

At McClain and company, we understand the specialized requirements of Hi-Rail under bridge work, which is why we offer several high capacity Hi-Rail Under Bridge Inspection Trucks to allow you or your inspectors to safely access all areas of railroad bridge structures.

For example, you can rent a UBIT that will provide you with a downward reach of up to 33 feet, and then access underneath your bridge out to over 31 feet with a three-man bucket. In addition, we can provide you with an under bridge inspection truck that can lower a two-man bucket that holds up to 600 pounds, as much as 40 feet below the bridge deck and out to just over 30 feet horizontally.

Hi-Rail Underbridge Inspection Trucks

McClain & Co., Inc. Means Experience and Reliability

Owner and founder Daniel C. McClain established McClain & Co., Inc. in 1998. In the more than two decades since, the company has expanded to provide support services to hundreds of government agencies and engineering companies for both highway and railroad bridge inspections and maintenance.

During those years, McClain and Company has also become one of the largest suppliers of under bridge access equipment in North America and has expanded over the last 20 years to become a diverse organization with several divisions.

Today, McClain & Co., Inc. is perhaps best known for its specialized under bridge access equipment rentals. We are proud to be the premier source for renting specialized under bridge equipment and our goal is to provide our customers with the highest quality under bridge equipment in the industry to help them safely complete every job.


Superior Hi-Rail Equipment Rentals and Superior Customer Service

Owner Daniel McClain and the team at McClain and Co., Inc. are committed to delivering world-class customer service, which means offering our customers the very best in Hi-Rail Vehicle and Equipment rentals.

We firmly believe that your success is our success, which is why our goal is to do all we can to help you choose the best Hi-Rail truck rental.


Request a Quote and Schedule Your Next Nationwide Rental with Us

McClain & Co., Inc. was established in 1998 to provide support services to engineering companies and government agencies for the inspection and maintenance of bridges. The company has grown to become one of the largest under bridge and Hi-Rail Access Equipment suppliers in North America. To find out more, reach out to us at 1-888-889-1284 or contact us at [email protected] today!

Underbridge, Hi-Rail, Aerial Work Platforms

Request a Quote and Schedule Your Next Nationwide Rental with Us. Traffic Control Service and Device Rentals available in select States.