Detroit Edison Earns Free Coal Car

DETROIT EDISON, A DTE ENERGY COMPANY, controls a fleet of 6,000 coal carrying freight cars. Used to continuously haul coal to various power production facilities, these freight cars must be built to the highest standards using the best available components.

But, as Chris Ferrari, GBC Sales Manager, Railway Products discovered, Detroit Edison was determined to look at all possible ways of reducing their car cost while maintaining top quality. Normally, an order to a railcar manufacturer results in a build using the manufacturer's standard bearing. In this case, the Hyatt Tapered Journal Bearing was not the standard and consequently, the lower cost Hyatt product, when specified, could yield dramatic savings.

Chris was welcomed on his sales calls by Bill Webb, Unit Train-Railcar Coordinator. Bill's singular vision evolved into a purchase order to General Bearing for all bearings on the 496 car build. That's about 4,000 bearings. So, how impressive were the savings? That's a confidential matter. But we can tell you this. The savings that the car builder realized in buying the Hyatt product had to get paid, somehow, to Detroit Edison. This was accomplished when Detroit Edison had the final car in their order, number 496, delivered at a cost of zero. That's right, the freight car was free!

Mr. Bill Webb was honored for his vision and effort when his co-workers arranged for his name to be emblazoned on the side of number 496, the "free" Webb coal car.