Watco’s newest service offering makes railcar repair easier and more convenient than ever for our customers. The Mobile Repair Units (MRU) travel hundreds of miles from strategically placed operations hubs across the U.S. The MRUs specialize in on-site freight, tank car repair, and service equipment repairs.
Whether the customer’s need is as simple as replacing knuckle pins, air tests, and running repairs to more complex issues involving railcars loaded with hazardous materials, providing versatile service to our customers is our goal. The MRUs are capable of addressing an almost unlimited amount of scenarios, and each request is reviewed on a case-by-case basis regarding the commodity, load/empty status, and type of repair.
“We don’t care what the commodity is if the customer is requesting us to replace an end hose gasket or a knuckle pin, but if it’s hot work-related or service equipment-related, then we look at that to make sure we can perform the repair in a safe manner. We encourage customers to reach out to us and we will analyze the situation at that time,” said Director of Operations Jake Renfroe.
The best way to reach the MRU Team is at their new 24-hour toll-free hotline or email address. Both (877) 243-3454 and firstname.lastname@example.org are staffed around the clock, enabling the MRU Team to respond in-person to any inquiry in a timely manner. Our representatives answer our Customers’ phone calls and emails, gathering information about the location, responsible party, type of service needed, and Material Safety Data. It’s then dispatched out to the nearest MRU Team.
The newly centralized dispatching system frees the MRU Teams from administrative duties to do more of what they do best; providing on-demand repair services to our Customers. This creates just one point of contact for Customers, and that point of contact will carry that case from the initial call, all the way through to billing.
The MRU Teams are spread across the U.S. and are capable to traveling hundreds of miles to provide repair services to Customers. Response time may vary from 24 hours to around a week, depending on travel distance and other obligations. Once on-site, they will perform repairs wherever it’s safe to do so. The railcars can be in a transload facility, on a rip track, in a Customer’s plant, or any number of scenarios.
“I’m proud that we now have the ability to serve our Customers in this capacity, where we didn’t before. Obviously, there’s a demand for it. We didn’t have the ability to before, and now we’re able to serve them out in the field, and that’s a service that I’m proud to offer. We’ve been getting calls for years at our brick and mortar shops, and we’re excited to be able to provide that service now,” Renfroe said.
The new service is more Customer-oriented than ever. Sending a railcar to a shop to be repaired is costly, in more ways than one. Freight is a huge expense, and shopping a car for any repair, even something minor like an outlet gate, results in lost time. It could be one month, three months, or more that the car is out of service. Serving Customers on a mobile basis avoids all of this, saving Customers time and money.
“We come to you and our team has the ability to address nearly any repair scenario in a safe, cost-efficient, timely, and convenient manner. We look forward to continue providing these services to existing Customers and to the opportunity to serve new ones,” Renfroe said.