Plant, Machinery & Equipment, Track & Civil Construction

Harrybilt: A comprehensive solution for rail machinery and equipment


As the company has grown, Harrybilt Engineering has taken on greater capabilities and expertise to meet the demands of the Australian rail market.

For over 35 years, Ballarat-based specialist engineering business Harrybilt Engineering has been providing solution to local
and national customers. The regional manufacturer has continued to grow and now services the rail and utilities sector, along with general engineering projects.

“We started out as a small engineering business and were providing unique engineering solutions to local businesses and then 19 years ago the company started to gain more experience in the rail industry,” described finance and marketing manager for Harrybilt Engineering, Beth Martino.

To meet the requirements of the rail sector, the company brought in staff with manufacturing experience and engineering expertise.

“Since 2000, we have had an in-house mechanical engineer and have hired employees with engineering experience. Over the years, the team has developed an extensive range of skills in manufacturing in the rail industry,” said Martino.

Building on this heritage and the skills foundation, the company has expanded its footprint in Ballarat to satisfy the increasing demand for locally developed and custom designed rail equipment. In 2019, Harrybilt Engineering partnered with Hitachi to release the S Series rail guidance system fitted to Hitachi excavators. The partnership in part resulted from the expansion of Harrybilt Engineering’s footprint.

“In 2018, we doubled our shed size which has allowed us to employ more people and tackle more complex projects. This has allowed us to establish the partnership with Hitachi on the S series rail machine last year and we were also able to work with a customer to develop the Hi Brid Rail System,” said Martino. “We’re constantly customising and updating our rail maintenance attachments too.”

These projects and others like them are the result of Harrybilt Engineering’s connection with its customers in the rail industry. Having close relationships has enabled Harrybilt Engineering to respond to unique and changing demands.

“We’ve recently added the Heavy Duty Rail Threader and the Adjustable Fork Grab,” said Martino. “We’ve been able to do this by working closely with customers and utilising the new space that we have.”

These relationships are bolstered by the in-house engineering capabilities, which allow for Harrybilt Engineering to develop their own solutions.

“By having an in-house engineer, it is much easier to customise rail systems and rail maintenance attachments. That kind of customisation helps our customer achieve the results they need.”

A recent example of this is the Heavy Duty Rail Threader. Following feedback from customers on the original design, the attachment was updated to respond to harsh conditions some customers are experiencing.

“The Adjustable Fork Grab is the same,” said Martino. “We have altered our standard unit to suit customer needs. The tynes are adjustable to grab multiple sizes and weights of work tools and general rail maintenance gear.”

Responding directly to customer needs goes beyond the attachments and rail machines that Harrybilt Engineering produces for the Australian rail industry. For example, in the partnership with Hitachi, Harrybilt Engineering can handle the purchase of the base vehicle, fitment of the rail guidance system, as well as a Tiltrotator and any rail maintenance attachments required. This also includes the certification and registration of the rail vehicle for the many different networks around Australia.

“At Harrybilt Engineering, we offer a turnkey solution,” said Martino. “With the S Series, this is all done under the one roof.”

This capability not only applies to the S Series. Harrybilt can convert any brand or model of excavator or truck to be used on rail.

“We have worked hard to provide our rail customers with a rail machine, work tools and attachments, rail support and expertise along with after sales support through spare parts and services,” said Martino. “Harrybilt Engineering are a one-stop-shop for all rail needs.”

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