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Over time I have seen some good prices on fleabay on USA docksiders. Never bid as when searching on the Net I saw some bad comments. Guess the one that worried me the most was that wheels are so hard and wear out. I noticeed that some of those good deal auctions get no bids. Just wondered if it is one to get or stay away from? Now when I ask that question, I am not asking you to consider that I already have way too much G stuff.

Doug
 

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I'm a little confused by your comment. Hard wheels will, over a very long time grind away the inside of your rail head, but the wheels themselves shouldn't be effected. Tight radius curves (2' r, 4' d) are hard on engines, especially ones with three axles. That will put strain on the gear train, but should not cause the wheels to wear out. It will wear out Plastic wheels over a very long time.

Here is a piece of LGB 1100 series track (2' r, 4' d) that has had very heavy use, 8-12 hours everyday for almost 2 years. My friend has to replace his track every couple of years. He is running a 2 axle LGB Stainz.




Steel track may wear the wheels, but brass shouldn't. I don't know the relative hardness between stainless steel rails and USAT's wheels.

I have several USAT engines,but not the Docksider, and I haven't noticed any wear on the wheels. I imagine that all of their wheels are of a similar composition.

It all boils down to the radius/diameter of your curves. Everything runs better and lasts longer on large/wide curves. Use the largest curves you can when building your railroad. Your engines and cars will thank you with better performance and appearance.

Chuck
 

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Over time I have seen some good prices on fleabay on USA docksiders. Never bid as when searching on the Net I saw some bad comments. Guess the one that worried me the most was that wheels are so hard and wear out. I noticeed that some of those good deal auctions get no bids. Just wondered if it is one to get or stay away from? Now when I ask that question, I am not asking you to consider that I already have way too much G stuff.

Doug
I got a Virginia docksiders new more than 2 years ago. It's very heavy and can't negotiate well on the track. It has multiple derailments. I enjoy and relax when I watch LGB trains but not this one. And because of its weight, it often have more damages than a lighter locomotive when it derails. Different from LGB locomotives, they can run well on a less perfect track, this docksider model runs well only when you have a perfect track, which is very difficult to build outdoor.

I had multiple issues with this docksiders, and I spent the most compared to other models for keep buying replacement parts. The motor is extremely noisy, it generates some unrealistic and annoying sound. A few months ago, I changed all the wheels/axles and the locomotive ran a few times after that. But recently, it didn't run anymore, I was so disappointed and because of my busy schedule, I have not looked into what caused the problem. I general, my experience with this USA docksiders is not too good.
 

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I have to agree with mmt. I like the loco, but found the pickup of track power unreliable, constantly stuttering where other single block locos work better. No matter how well I clean the wheels. Next candidate for battery surgery

Jerry
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the info guys. And guess my late night posting is an excuse to say I made the mistake of saying, "so hard" when I should have said , "so soft". I saw one on fleabay that goes off soon for $300 and supposedly like new and guess I will keep my money for something else and also see nobody has bid I am way to unfocused on my G collecting anyway and spect when I finally bite the dust that my heirs will be selling all of it at pennies on the dollar to get rid of all of it.

Doug
 

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I've seen some reports of excessive wear on the Docksider, it is apparently plated wheels on brass, not stainless steel wheels as advertised.

This is a very heavy loco, and so that might contribute to the faster wear, but I do not understand the comments about derailing... these only make sense to me if you have exceptionally bad trackwork, or are trying to run on R1 curves.

I also have no pickup problems, in fact, my experience is that heavier locos have better pickup because they keep the wheels in contact with the rails better, and thus better pickup. I do not run any locos with skates though, which also might be a clue to the experiences above...

Greg
 

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I've seen some reports of excessive wear on the Docksider, it is apparently plated wheels on brass, not stainless steel wheels as advertised.

This is a very heavy loco, and so that might contribute to the faster wear, but I do not understand the comments about derailing... these only make sense to me if you have exceptionally bad trackwork, or are trying to run on R1 curves.

I also have no pickup problems, in fact, my experience is that heavier locos have better pickup because they keep the wheels in contact with the rails better, and thus better pickup. I do not run any locos with skates though, which also might be a clue to the experiences above...

Greg
Greg,
It derailed even after my modified my track to R3 and R5. As I mentioned all of my LGB locomotives never derail on the same track. I am pretty sure this locomotive is perfect if you have a very level track. In my case, it is a bit unlevel and it is ok to run down the grade but the locomotive will derail when it ran up.
 

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Check the suspension. Are there any springs where the axles go through the frame?

Years ago I had a similar problem with my Accucraft K-28. It wouldn't (couldn't) go around once without derailing. I mentioned this to someone I met in Arizona who had a K-28 and he solved the problem by removing some of the springs to soften the suspension. When I got home, I removed two of the three springs at each axle. Problem solved! I removed the spring on each side leaving the center spring.

Since I don't have this engine, I do not know if there are any springs involved, just a suggestion.

Chuck
 
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