Case Studies

Ballast Tools


Established almost 60 years ago, the family-owned, US-based Ballast Tools are specialists in wear-resistant tools and parts, and have been providing customers with superior-quality, tailored solutions to address the challenges of reducing wear and abrasion across many industries, but particularly in rail and freight transport infrastructure.

Rubber broom elements – used to keep rails and tracks clean and free of debris – are an important part of their inventory, and while they are vital to track safety and maintenance, they are also one of the most competitive products in the industry.


The tight and demanding market means suppliers must be able to prove that they can bring superior value, reduced operating costs and total overall benefit to their customers’ operations every working day. But many suppliers in the sector, simply attached value to price and for many years, the inputs, manufacturing and design of broom elements often left them wanting in terms of durability, reliability and value. They had a short lifespan requiring frequent replacement and sizeable cost outlay by customers over time.


Ballast Tools however sought a different, more holistic approach and in the late 1990s were introduced to Derby Rubber’s innovative broom elements, which combined:

Derby Rubber’s durability translated into significant cost efficiencies and peace-of-mind for Ballast Tools’ customers.


Derby Rubber replaced a US supplier of broom elements, and Ballast Tools have gone on to sell thousands of these vital components to clients across the United States, with the knowledge that the Derby Rubber product is superior in every aspect.

“Derby has been an excellent partner for many years”, said Ned Williams, President of Ballast Tools. “They have a very responsive team, great leadership, fantastic quality, and consistent production. Mixed with our customer-first attitude, stocking, and excellent sales coverage, this long-term partnership, and combination of Derby Rubber and Ballast Tools, has seen us become a very powerful and successful team.”

Much of the success of this enduring business relationship can be attributed to the close similarities between the two companies. Both were founded in the same year – 1964 – and both are guided by likeminded principles of outstanding customer service, proven value for investment, and superior performance, reliability, and overall quality.

“The Ballastick range of broom elements are designed to last longer and perform better than any other product on the market, and if it wasn’t for Derby Rubber, we would not be offering broom elements in our portfolio.”

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