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Driver Mechanic

Sperry Rail
Atlanta, GA Full-time
Posted on May 13, 2019

Operate test vehicle/detector car* on and off railroad tracks and in all road conditions. Perform vehicle inspections and equipment set-up. Record and interpret data on computer monitors. Service/maintain/repair the vehicle and detector carriage under the vehicle. This will entail crawling under the vehicle with clearance as little at eighteen inches and bending/kneeling/squatting in awkward postures under the vehicle. Climb steps and/or ladders to enter/exit the vehicle repeatedly; perform ground examination of rails (bending/kneeling) with hand test units. Personal protective equipment required includes safety glasses, safety steel toed boots, hard hats, and safety vests are mandatory. Safety goggles and neoprene gloves may be required when working with vehicle fluids (e.g., antifreeze, oil, cleaners). Required to be trained in Road Worker Safety once a year.

*Detector car/Test Vehicle can be either a "rail-bound" vehicle that looks like a railroad passenger car or a box truck modified to also ride rails.


Operate: Drive detector car*; ascend and descend car (via ladder or steps) to obtain and assist crew members with measurements and recordings. Place and operate test equipment on the rail line. Operate equipment to fill paint and water tanks on rail car; exit/enter vehicle via a ladder or steps (few hundred steps a day).

Identify: Perform visual observation of car and track conditions, test data, and equipment function.

Communicate: Must be able to communicate verbally clearly and concisely to pilot and crew member in order to obtain instructions, safety rules, determine traffic patterns, and announce obstructions on the rail. Communications may be with an individual in the adjacent seat or located in the rear of the vehicle. It will also require communication via radio and intercom. Hearing various buzzers and alarms used in the vehicle for communications is safety critical.

Maintain: Inspect and maintain all components of the vehicle motor, body, carriage, and generator. Perform cleaning including sweeping/mopping inside the vehicle and washing outside. In addition to common vehicle maintenance (oil, antifreeze, air filters), maintenance and repair of the detector carriage is also required. This will entail crawling under the vehicle with clearance as little at eighteen inches and bending/kneeling/squatting in awkward postures under the vehicle.

Physical Forces (Lift, Carry, Push Pull)

  • Lift up to 85 lbs
  • Lift and carry 5lbs hand tools daily
  • Assisted lifting heavy objects (over 100 lbs) infrequently

Lower Extremity:

(Posture, balance - squat, stoop, crouch, crawl, etc

  • Crawl under an 18 inch clearance
  • Squat, stoop, crouch, kneel for an extended period (several minutes partially supported)
  • Maintain awkward back and shoulder postures while under vehicle
  • Lay on back and propel body forward and backward (under vehicle)
  • Lay on stomach and propel body forward and backward (under vehicle)


(walk, climb, jump, run)

  • Walk uneven surface in the railroad bed/on top of "ballast"
  • Climb steps or stairs onto/off of vehicle (up to 300 steps per day)

Upper Extremity

(Movement, Coordination-grip/grasping, repetition, reaching, etc)

  • Grip/grasp hand tools/hand test device
  • Reach forward to check gauges
  • Reach overhead with full extension and at all angles, with abducted arms

Back/Neck Postures

(Bending, Twisting, Turning)

  • Twist/bend neck to either side to full width and up/down the full range (neck extension/flexion)
  • Side bending with load


  • Sitting for extended periods while operating vehicle (can be several hours)
  • Alternate standing sitting to perform tasks

Special Senses

(visual, hearing, touch, taste-smell)

  • Visual -- observe track signals (distinguish red/green/yellow), to safely operate a vehicle, and to observe/interpret data on computer monitors and small display screens on handheld units. Ability to judge speed/distance of approaching vehicles.
    • Distant Objects: min. 20/40 each eye (DOT/FRA) with or without correction
    • Visual field 70 deg horizontal each eye;
    • Recognize signal colors (DOT/FRA)
  • Hearing -- verbal communications, as well as alarms/buzzers at various audible frequencies
    • Speeding, warning sounds, less than or equal to avg. 40 dB @ 0.5, 1, 2 kHz in better ear (DOT/FRA)
    • No significant hearing loss across audible range


  • Ensure safe driving at all times (including seat belts regulations)
  • Ensure compliance with DOT regulations, including driver logs, weigh stations, stickers, registration, etc.
  • Study and understand all specific customer procedures and guidelines in the Customer File.


  • Follow proper maintenance procedures. Assure all maintenance is performed in a safe manner.
  • Assist field maintenance personnel, as necessary, in repairs to equipment or vehicle.
  • Make periodic checks of equipment and report any problems to the Chief Operator.
  • Ensure compliance with preventative maintenance schedule and DOT inspections.
  • Assist with maintaining equipment to a condition sufficient to satisfy scheduled RR test cycles, while maintaining production levels established by contract.
  • Assist with maintaining standard inventory at a sufficient level to reduce down time.
  • Maintain an organized and clean detector car.

Customer Interaction:

  • Exercise diplomacy and cooperation at all times with RR personnel.
  • Report in detail any complaints by RR personnel immediately to the Chief Operator.
  • Assist with entering required data into DCS reporting system.


Other duties as assigned with or without accommodation.