The main duty of yard officials is the safe marshalling and transport of trainloads. They control the shunting movements of passenger coaches and goods wagons using radio communication or hand signals.
Yard officials work in shunting yards where trains are loaded and unloaded. The job of a yard official is to place and clear trucks, compile, receive and dispatch trains and deliver trucks to their required destination. The contents of the trucks vary from heavy ore to livestock. Yard officials make sure that the trucks are connected to the correct locomotive and ensure that all trucks are properly coupled. They also make sure that the train has sufficient braking force for the proposed journey. They need to keep the external condition of trucks in order. They may be required to feed livestock where necessary and check cooling units. Obviously, special precautions need to be taken when shunting trucks carrying explosives. A yard official in South Africa works for Transnet, the state-owned freight transport and logistics company and the custodian of the country’s rail, ports and pipeline networks.
Schooling & School Subjects: A matric certificate
The yard official usually starts off as a Trainee Yard Official. They receive training on-the-job by working in a team with qualified persons. Theoretical and practical training is offered at larger centres such as Kaserne, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Bloemfontein, Durban, Germiston, Esselen Park.
Transnet Freight Rail
Waterfall Business Estate
9 Country Estate Drive
Tel: (011) 308-3000
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