On Track


The United States has relied on railroads to transport passengers and goods since the mid-1820s. As a truly non-stop industry, American railroads demand the highest level of service and maintenance to ensure all cargo not only reaches its destination, but gets there on time. TNT Repair, a truck shop outside of Albany, New York, supports this nearly 200-year-old operation performing preventive maintenance on trucks that service railroad trains and repairing faulty railroad equipment across the nation.

Due to the rigorous nature of the industry, railroad equipment experiences various setbacks on the tracks. In order to keep trains moving and minimize potential downtime, TNT performs several maintenance procedures on service trucks including welding broken pieces within the truck body, filling deflated tires on trucks, and repairing blown hydraulic hoses on railroad equipment and car haulers. These tasks require welding, air, and oil reels. The shop trusts Hannay Reels for the job because of several distinct design and construction advantages that contribute to long-term strength, reliability, and versatility.

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Each Hannay reel is designed and constructed from scratch based on the exact customer specifications. In the case of TNT, the reels must fit in tight spaces within the service truck’s interior to be shielded from harsh outside elements. “I simply call my sales rep and tell him the dimensions, and I know they can design a reel to fit it,” says Pete Ebert, owner of TNT Repair.

The exclusive one-piece hub assembly is compact, allowing multiple reels to fit in one service truck, therefore eliminating the need for several trucks to service a single job. Handcrafted reels do not add time to the purchasing process either. Hannay Reels boasts more than 200,000 sq ft of manufacturing space with large quantities of high-quality raw materials and parts that allow reels to be built to order and delivered without delay. In addition to handcrafting a reel prepared to address TNT’s essential truck maintenance, the knowledgeable Hannay Reels sales team also makes educated suggestions on new features that help a customer get the job done even quicker. “If it makes it easier, we’re open to it,” Ebert adds. “And, Hannay Reels always makes it easier.”


TNT recently introduced greasable pivots for smoother operation at the recommendation of a sales team member to better service railroad reels. With trains constantly racing against deadlines, TNT is often called during those crucial moments when extended downtime could compromise the entire operation. A high level of productivity must be maintained on the jobsite. Hannay Reels addresses the need by featuring sealed axle bearings on all models. The modified bearings provide a smoother ride and longer life.

TNT also takes advantage of advanced rewind features that keep the hoses organized and out of the way to prevent potential accidents while also allowing for quicker deployment and pick up. A faster rewind allows TNT to complete jobs more rapidly and consequently address more maintenance check-ups per day.

As a company constantly on-the-go for more than 30 years, the reels employed by TNT endure natural wear and tear from the job. Instead of insisting that a new reel be purchased, Hannay Reels offers part replacement, which extends the life of the reel. Ebert admits, “Other reels are built to fall apart after a while, but not at Hannay. They actually want them to last forever.” By offering part replacement, the customer does not have to buy an entirely new reel for one faulty part, cutting costs significantly.

TNT even sent a 10-year-old reel to Hannay for exact replication, a service that is not an industry standard. With other manufacturers, a customer might attempt to order a reel replacement only to find the model number changed or discontinued, forcing costly alterations to the reel in order to satisfy the job needs. Hannay Reels works closely with customers to ensure the appropriate reel is ordered and is equipped with the proper parts to last a long time. “The competitors are selling for the same price, but the quality isn’t there,” Ebert explains.


TNT Repair is certainly moving full steam ahead. The company anticipates this year will be the most lucrative year yet and continues to add more high-profile railroads with no signs of stopping. As a partner for more than 20 years, Hannay Reels is happy to be along for the ride.


Find out more about Hannay Reels, visit


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