Ultra-TrackPans FAQ's

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1. How long will Ultra-Track Pans last in the field? Under normal working conditions, the Track Pans should last from 20 to 30 years in the field.  Due to rugged conditions expected at rail sidings, the Track Pans are molded in nearly twice the thickness of standard containment products manufactured by UltraTech.  The black color, combined with an ultraviolet (UV) ray inhibitor added to the polyethylene resin, helps protect the Track Pans from harmful effects of the sun.

2. How much containment capacity do the Track Pans have? Without Grates, each Center Track Pan holds 30 gallons and each Side Track Pan holds 25 gallons.  Each Track Pan Grate displaces 6 gallons of fluid.  Therefore, each Center Track Pan with Grates holds 18 gallons and each Side Track Pan with Grates holds 19 gallons. Ultra-Track Pans are connected together with bulkhead fittings.  One (1) bulkhead fitting is used to connect each Side Track Pan "end to end" and two (2) bulkhead fittings are used to connect each Center Track Pan “end to end”.  The patented bulkhead fitting design allows spilled fluids to travel from one Track Pan to the next, thereby increasing capacity as the spill travels over the length of the Track Pan System.

3. How much maintenance is required to use the Track Pans correctly? The Track Pans are virtually maintenance-free. Visual inspection of the sealing gaskets located between the rails and Pans should take place every six (6) months. If Track Pan Covers are used, the sealing gasket located inside each Center Cover “spout” should also be visually inspected every six (6) months. In addition, if Covers are used, leaves and other debris that may inhibit stormwater flow through the “stormwater ports” (located in the Center Track Pan Stormwater Feature) should be removed when present.

4. What are the Track Pan sealing gaskets made of? The gaskets that seal between the Pans and tracks are closed-cell polyethylene foam. The closed-cell material will not soak up any fluid.

5. What are the Track Pans, Grates, Covers and bulkhead fittings made of? All of these items are made of polyethylene. Coupled with the polyethylene track gaskets, the Track Pan product line offers consistent chemical compatibility. Note: Standard gaskets for the bulkhead fittings are EPDM – other materials are available if necessary.

6. What benefits do the Track Pan Covers provide? Most importantly, the Track Pan Covers keep rainwater out of the Pans. This benefit helps facilities meet various Stormwater Management Requirements. If the Track Pan System uses “below grade” piping that leads to an oil/water separator or other treatment process, the Covers eliminate the costs associated with treating clean stormwater. Track Pan Covers also keep debris out of the Pans.

7. How do the Grates and Track Pan Covers function together? Center and Side Covers have molded-in "thumbs" that protrude from their undersides. These "thumbs" friction fit into the grates, allowing the Covers to stay in place in windy conditions. The Grates also provide structural support for the Covers, allowing foot traffic on top of the covers.

8. How chemically-resistant are the Track Pans? The all-polyethylene Ultra-Track Pans offer excellent chemical resistance for a broad range of acids, caustics, corrosives, solvent, oils, diesel fuel, etc. UltraTech’s engineering staff is available to review specific chemicals upon request.

9. What are the most popular Ultra-Track Pan sizes? The 9-foot and 60-foot Ultra-Track Pan Systems are the most popular. The 9-foot System helps facilities capture “nuisance spills", while the 60-foot System spans the entire length of a locomotive or typical railcar.

Due to widely varying customer needs, the modular Track Pans have been provided in many different lengths and can be provided in any multiple of 4 ½ feet. Note: If an overall length is required that is not a multiple of 4 ½ feet, Track Pans can be easily fabricated by UltraTech to meet specific needs.

10. Railcar loading/unloading areas tend to experience high foot traffic. How do the Ultra-Track Pans address OSHA “slip and fall” issues? All top surfaces of the major Track Pan components feature a slip-resistant design. Grates and Covers have a raised, molded-in texture that is very similar to a diamond plate design. The inner surface of all Center and Side Track Pans has a surface that is similar to 80 grit sandpaper.

11. What is the working temperature range for Ultra-Track Pans? -40° F up to + 140° F

12. Does “wind chill” have any effect on the Track Pans? No effect.

13. What equipment and tools are required to install Ultra-Track Pans? Metal rake, shovel, sledgehammer, two 12” bar clamps, two pieces of wood 1” x 4” x 48”, two “slip sheets” approx. 10” x 60”, and a utility knife are typically required.

No heavy equipment required.

14. Can Track Pan Covers be removed AFTER a railcar has been positioned over top of a Track Pan System? Yes – Side Covers and Center Covers can be removed after the railcar is in place.

15. Do I need to order gaskets and bulkhead fittings separately when purchasing Ultra-Track Pans? No. Gaskets and bulkhead fittings are standard components and are packaged inside each Track Pan shipping container. Note: If planning to install below grade piping, 3” diameter bulkhead fittings to connect to piping must be ordered separately.

16. How are the Track Pans shipped? Each Track Pan is boxed separately to assure they are protected properly during shipment. The modular units stack neatly on wooden shipping pallets via LTL or full truckload shipments, depending on the size of order.

17. Have the Ultra-Track Pans been designed to be connected to “below grade” piping to allow large spills to be channeled to oil/water separators, holding tanks, etc.? Yes. Center Pans and Side Pans have molded-in recesses at their low points. The recesses are shaped like large “hockey pucks” and can easily be drilled out for 3” diameter polyethylene bulkhead fittings.

18. Why are there multiple pipe recesses molded into each Track Pan? The location and spacing of railroad ties along a set of rails is not entirely predictable. We have provided multiple pipe recesses to guarantee that at least one recess can be used for piping without disturbing any ties.

19. Do I have to connect the Ultra-Track Pans to below grade piping? No. The pipe recesses give you the option to do so if desired. Many users are concerned only with capturing small spills and leaks and do not have the desire or need to pipe below grade.

20. Will UltraTech provide assistance to help determine below grade piping specifications and design? Yes. Click here to see a set of “Typical Below Grade Piping Drawings”. As potential Track Pan projects move forward, our engineering staff will provide design assistance upon request.
21. Can Ultra-Track Pans be installed on a curved track? Yes. The modular design of the Track Pans allows them to follow along a curved track up to 12 degrees without any customization. Please contact UltraTech for technical assistance on any track with a curve greater than 12 degrees.

22. Can Ultra-Track Pans be installed on any tracks, regardless of rail weight? (Note: Rail weight is defined as the number of pounds per yard of rail length.)

Ultra-Track Pans have been successfully installed on rails as light as 65 lb. All rails greater than 65 lb. work very well with Ultra-Track Pans. Rails that are less than 65 lbs. are not feasible as the rails are too short to allow proper clearance.

23. Upon placing an order for Ultra-Track Pans, does UltraTech need to know the rail weight of the track? Yes. UltraTech will provide a drawing that details a cutaway of a standard rail and tie plate. We will request that two (2) specified dimensions be provided to us. These dimensions determine the correct gasket design that the installation will require.

24. Does UltraTech offer turnkey installation service for the Ultra-Track Pans? Yes. UltraTech has personnel qualified to install Track Pans, with or without below grade piping. UltraTech personnel will travel to installation sites on a contract basis.

25. What length Track Pan System is required to handle a typical railcar or locomotive?

  • Railroad tanker cars typically range from 35 – 60 feet. Each Ultra-Track Pan is 53.5” (4 ½ nominal feet) long and can be configured to virtually any length desired.
  • Locomotives typically require a 60-foot Track Pan System.

26. How many Track Pans make up a 9-foot System? 40-foot System? 60-foot System? (Note: The following answers to these questions assume that each Track Pan System includes Center Track Pans and Side Track Pans on both sides of the tracks.)
  • 9-foot Systems: two (2) Center Pans, four (4) Side Pans
  • 40-foot Systems: nine (9) Center Pans, eighteen (18) Side Pans
  • 60-foot Systems: fourteen (14) Center Pans, twenty-eight (28) Side Pans

27. Can vehicles be driven over the Track Pans?Yes, provided the following:
  • Track Pan Grates are in place in each pan.
  • Adequate support (i.e. compacted soil) is provided under each Pan.
  • If side Pans are installed, concrete must be poured to “ramp up” to the outer sidewalls of the Side Pans.

  • Note: Vehicle weight limitation of the Track Pans is dependent on the strength of the bedding material under the Pans. UltraTech engineers are available to provide guidance in specifying bedding material, etc.

28. Can vehicles drive over the Track Pans WITH Covers in place? UltraTech does not recommend driving over the Track Pans with Covers in place. We recommend removing the Covers before driving vehicles over the Track Pans.

29. When clean stormwater (rain) falls on top of Track Pans with Covers in place, where does the water go?? Side Track Pans - when installed, the Side Pans are positioned at a slight angle, sloping away from the tracks. Rain that falls on top of the Side Pan Covers, runs off of the outside of the Covers, just as rain runs off the outside edge of a rooftop.

Center Track Pans - because Center Track Pans have a rail located on both sides, it is not possible to channel rain off to either side. UltraTech has patented a means to channel clean stormwater onto the ballast beneath the Center Track Pans, keeping rain out of the Center Track Pans. The graphic below shows the path that rain follows once it falls on top of the Center Track Pan Covers:

Still have questions? Contact us and we'll be happy to assist you.
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