Replace skids when tongues become deformed. Skid tongue must lie dead flat on the rail to be effective.
There are four basic uses for rail skids (also known as "rail skates"):
1. Car Stopper:
Through friction with the rail surface, a steel skid can slow and bring to a stop rail cars moving at 1 to 2 mph on flat track.
2. Wheel Chock:
On flat track, where the rails have low spots, a skid can be used as a chock at the low end of the railcar, while gravity keeps the car from rolling backwards. (Where the rails are level, double wheel chocks at both ends of the car should be used instead, for better security.) We do not recommend using rail skids on grades, as the skid may not hold the load.
3. Engineer's Alert:
A rail skid placed a car length in front of a bumping post will alert the switch engine driver that his cut of railcars is getting close to the post. The drag effect of the wheel contacting the skid will be felt back in the engine cab.
4. Locomotive Wheel Chock for Flat Track:
Aldon® has special low-profile skids that fit under locomotive wheel frames.
Rail skids are available for both exposed and flush rail track. Workers and bystanders must stay clear of the sides and front of rail cars or locomotives when wheels are mounting skids, as wheel pressure can suddenly "squeeze" the skid out from under the wheel with great force. In all uses of rail skids, the customer is responsible for providing alternate methods to stop the freight car or locomotive in the event the skid is knocked off the rail or fails to stop the vehicle.
The following models are available for both exposed and flush rail
FOR FLUSH RAIL you must order a skid for use on a left rail or a right rail:
The flange on one side is shortened
to rest on the pavement which encases the rail.